Review your coverage before setting sail.
Yacht or boat? Generally, vessels up to 26 feet long are considered “boats,” while larger ones are designated as yachts. Yacht coverage tends to be broader and more specialized than coverage for boats, because these larger vessels travel farther and have more unique exposures. You might be tempted to assume your homeowner’s policy has you covered when it comes to smaller craft. That could be a costly mistake. Keep in mind that many homeowners’ policies limit or don’t cover marine-specific risks, such as salvage work, wreck removal, pollution or environmental damage.
What’s changed? If you have separate boat insurance, give some thought to any changes you’ve made in the past year that could affect coverage. These could include upgrading (whether mechanical or aesthetic), using the boat as a primary residence, renting it out, adding valuable artwork or changing ownership structure.
Are you covered? An annual review is also a good time to make sure you’re covered for ancillary costs such as medical payments, personal effects, uninsured boaters liability, salvage and consequential damage, as well as towing and assistance in an emergency.
Have a crew? Double-check that you have liability coverage for all full-time paid crewmembers, including the captain. And while most policies cover permanently attached equipment—as well as items like anchors, oars, trolling motors, tools, seat cushions and life jackets—it never hurts to double check. Finally, if you don’t regularly leave U.S. waters but plan a trip to Mexico or the Caribbean, consider a cruising extension, which covers you temporarily for international travel.
Agreed or actual? There are two basic types of boat insurance: “agreed value” and “actual cash value,” which differ in how they handle depreciation. An “agreed value” policy (like Chubb’s) covers the boat based on its value when the policy was written, with no depreciation for a total loss. Actual cash value policies cost less up front, but they factor in depreciation, so replacing a total or partial loss can be costly.
Chubb has been helping to protect boat and yacht owners from maritime risks since 1882. We offer coverage that is typically excluded by other insurers, such as protection for losses due to mechanical breakdown, faulty repair and ice or freezing. Other advantages include replacement cost, agreed value, year-round navigation coverage and emergency towing and service. Visit our website to learn more about boat and yacht insurance.