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What Is Watercraft Insurance?

Watercraft coverage, also known as boat insurance, is designed to cover your property, your personal liability for loss events occurring on the water, and damages caused by uninsured boaters.

No matter what type of watercraft you own — whether it’s a Jet Ski, sailboat, motor boat, or yacht — having the right coverage is a crucial part of protecting your investment.

Who Needs Watercraft Insurance?

In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, watercraft insurance isn’t mandatory. However, if your boat or other vessel is financed, the lender may require you to take out a policy. Additionally, if you plan to dock your watercraft at any privately owned marinas or harbors, you may need to show proof of insurance to do so.

Regardless, it’s always in your best interest to have coverage before heading out on the water — especially if you plan to invite friends or family members who aren’t part of your immediate household to join you.

If you plan on chartering your watercraft or using the vessel to support your business, you’ll need a policy that specializes in professional use.


What Does Massachusetts Watercraft Insurance Cover?

A typical Massachusetts watercraft insurance policy protects you against a number of perils, which are defined as events or incidents that damage your boat. These include collisions, fires, windstorms, theft, lightning, and vandalism. Generally, these policies don’t cover acts of war and poor vessel maintenance (in other words, you can’t submit a claim for damage if you aren’t properly taking care of your boat).

Also, don’t forget to alert your agent when you add valuable contents or features to your boat. As with your home, upgrades may affect replacement value and/or warrant the addition of specialty endorsements (e.g. coverage for fishing gear, water sports or scuba equipment).

Specifically, basic policies tend to cover:

  • Accidents that result in property damage, personal liability, and/or medical expenses
  • Any personal items that become lost or damaged
  • Fuel spills
  • Legal costs
  • Physical damage to your watercraft
  • Towing and wreckage removal

If you need additional coverage, adding endorsements is always an option. Ask your agent about any special considerations you may have (e.g. year-round use, using your boat internationally, or racing).

What Does Watercraft Insurance Cost in Massachusetts?

Because each watercraft and its intended use is unique, pricing for insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all. What you’ll pay for your policy depends on certain factors, such as:

  • Deductible amount
  • Geographic location
  • If the watercraft is used as a primary residence
  • The number of watercraft owned
  • The type of watercraft owned
  • Watercraft age, condition, and value
  • Where you plan to operate your watercraft (e.g. lakes, oceans, or rivers)
  • Whether the watercraft has a motor
  • Your age
  • Your boating safety record
  • Your previous boating experience
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Why Choose C&S For Plumber Insurance?
  • We get you the most competitive rates. With access to all the top carriers for business insurance, we can give you more options than other agencies. More options mean more competitive pricing and, quite often, better terms.
  • We maintain a dedicated Claims Department, so there’s always someone on hand to support you when something goes wrong. A dedicated claims department also means your claims get closed out faster, which is key to maintaining a healthy loss history.
  • We know commercial insurance. Our commercial insurance industry experts have years of experience helping tradespeople just like you, so we know what matters most for your business.

What does watercraft insurance cover?

Standard watercraft policies typically include coverage for accidents, lost or damaged items, physical damage to the vessel, towing and wreckage removal, fuel spills, and legal costs.

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How much should I insure my watercraft for?

You should insure your boat or other watercraft for its “agreed value,” or the amount it would take to replace it.

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Will my homeowner’s insurance policy cover my watercraft?

It’s possible for your home insurance policy to extend to your boat or other watercraft. Typically, if the vessel is under a certain size and value, it will be covered either in part or in full.

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Do I need watercraft insurance for a canoe or kayak?

These boats are examples of watercraft that may be covered as part of your homeowners insurance. Many homeowners’ policies include a $1,500 limit for small watercraft kept on premise.

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Who is allowed to operate my boat?

The majority of boat insurance policies allow anyone to operate your boat, as long as you’ve provided permission.

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Are yachts covered by watercraft insurance?

Yacht coverage is typically broader since these larger vessels often travel on longer journeys, which increases the risks for perils and exposures.

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Protect Your Watercraft Today

Your business is too important to be left vulnerable to the risks that come with on-site tradeswork. Discuss a plumber’s insurance policy with a C&S Insurance agent today — a small investment now could protect your hard work in the future.