Ahoy! Is Your Watercraft Protected?


It’s a rule of thumb in real estate that the closer a home is to water, the more valuable it is. This is true whether the property is located on the Pacific in Malibu, a lake in Minnesota, the Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale or a bay in Martha’s Vineyard. Beyond the picturesque views in locales like these, proximity affords easy access to the water. For many homeowners, this means the ability to enjoy their jet ski, boat, sailboat, yacht (generally defined as a boat that is 25- to 30-feet or longer) or mega-yacht (a yacht that is worth millions due to its size or luxury features).

Since owning a watercraft is a necessity for few people, mass-market insurance companies offer meager boat insurance coverage. A typical homeowners insurance policy includes only $1,000-$1,500 total, which may pay for a couple canoes or kayaks but won’t even cover the full cost of a small motorized craft like a jet ski. If you have more or larger “toys” like this, you should have separate watercraft insurance. And if you own a small boat, sailboat, yacht or mega-yacht, it’s imperative to have excellent boat insurance in order to mitigate several types of potential liability.

Watercraft insurance can (and should) cover a variety of situations: fire, theft, vandalism, collisions, damage that occurs during transport, and damage that results from weather such as wind, rain, hail, lightning and waves. Kelly Klee has access to the elite insurance companies that provide the gold standard in boat and yacht insurance. While they will customize their policies to meet your individual needs, here are some of the protections you might want to purchase:

  • Agreed Value Option – pays the value that you’ve agreed on with the insurance company ahead of time if your vessel is a total loss
  • Uninsured Boater – provides coverage if you or the guests on your boat are injured as a result of the actions of another boater who does not have boat liability insurance (which is not a mandatory coverage for all boaters)
  • Property Coverage – pays for items damaged or destroyed on board a vessel, including tenders (a smaller boat or dinghy used to transport supplies and people to/from a larger vessel), fine art, personal property and furnishings
  • Liability Protection – can be customized to meet your needs and may include pollution cleanup and containment, marine environmental damage and wreck removal
    * Occasional Charter Coverage – is available if you rent your yacht or mega-yacht to others on an infrequent basis
  • Legal Defense Protection – covers legal-defense costs related to ownership or use of an insured yacht
  • Emergency Towing & Assistance – pays for assistance in the event your vessel is disabled
  • Hurricane Haul-Out – reimburses costs incurred to move and store a vessel in order to keep it from being damaged by a named storm
  • Deductible-Free Coverage – is available for a variety of situations that may be found on a yacht or mega-yacht, including: loss of charter income, loss of or damage to crew personal property and motorcycle or moped coverage
  • Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHCWA) – covers those employed aboard a vessel who are within the jurisdiction of the LHCWA

Kelly Klee can help you sort through these options and more to help you make informed decisions so you can relax and enjoy your time on the water. Call us at 844.885.1600 or click here to begin the conversation.

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