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Does Boat Insurance Cover Borrowed Boats?

Does Boat Insurance Cover Borrowed Boats?
If you already have a boat insurance policy, or if you’re planning on getting one soon, you may be wondering what happens if you lend your boat out to friends. Will your policy still be in effect?
Knowing precisely what is and what is not covered by your insurance will help you to better manage your boat so as to minimize liability risks. And it will give you the chance to add extra cover as a rider to your policy if your current policy seems to fall short or leave some gaps.

Standard Boat Insurance Coverage
The basic, standard policies for boat insurance are relatively uniform in Florida, and in fact, nationwide – although, there are details that vary from insurer to insurer even on a standard liability policy.

Standard policies will NOT cover your boat when friends or extended relatives borrow it – ONLY when you or an immediate family member are using the boat.

Your standard coverage may give you liability cover of anywhere from $100,000 to a million dollars, depending on how much you choose to protect yourself with. Basic policies cover personal injury, property damage, damage to piers and docks, and more.

Damage to your own boat, its motor or trailer, and accessories on board, can also be added. And personal injury protection for those in your boat instead of just for others who might be injured during a collision, of course, is available.

Your insurer may allow you to keep your boat covered when you lend it out, but you would have to add this as a rider or add specific persons to be covered while using your boat. Otherwise, all that your policy covers becomes of no effect when an uncovered individual is borrowing your boat.

Umbrella Boat Insurance
An “umbrella” policy will fill in the gaps left by a “regular” boat insurance policy. It may include coverage for non-immediate family members borrowing your vessel.

Umbrella boat insurance can put boat, boat trailer, RVs, ATVs, and cars all under one policy and keep them covered. It can also cover elements not included in standard policies – and do it all at a lower rate than if you had added all of that coverage in separate policies and riders.

Thus, if you are in the habit of lending your boat to anyone outside your immediate family, if you want to fill in gaps left by standard boat insurance, or if you want to put multiple vehicles/items under one policy to gain a discount – umbrella insurance is for you.

All Risk Boat Insurance
Some people are misled by the term “all risk boat insurance,” supposing it to mean that absolutely everything is covered no matter what.

Actually, “all risk” is an insurance lingo term that just means all types of loss are covered UNLESS they are specifically EXCLUDED by the policy. Such policies normally excluded damage due to normal wear and tear, manufacturing defects, collisions with animals, ice and freezing, and more.

You have to review the exclusions specific to your policy, and “all risk” will mean that covered losses apply only when immediate family are using the boat, unless you specifically add coverage for those you loan your boat out to.

To learn more about how boat insurance works and how to protect your boat while it’s being borrowed by friends or relatives, contact Flagler County (FL) Insurance Agency today!