Does Boat Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?

  • Post category:Insurance

A boat is a significant investment, and you want to be sure to protect it. If you're thinking about buying a boat or are looking for insurance policies to protect your boat, you are probably wondering: does boat insurance cover hurricane damage? The answer to this question can help you know how to protect yourself and your investment best. We've done the research to help you make the best decision.

The simple answer is that though most boat insurance coverage offers some physical coverage that includes storm damage, coverage varies from provider to provider. Some insurance companies include hurricane coverage in their standard offering, while others group it into their comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage may be optional. So, when selecting a policy and provider, be sure to read the fine print.

White yachts in the port with blue sky on the background

Boat insurance can be complicated and feel a bit overwhelming. We've put together this post to help you feel a bit more comfortable and confident so that you'll know what to look for in a policy.

If your boat is used along the coast or even in freshwater in an area prone to hurricanes, you need to have a policy that will protect it from hurricane damage. In most cases, boat insurance includes storm damage. What may not be covered, however, is the cost to clean up and remove the boat from the water should it sink. This could cause financial issues for you should the boat need to be salvaged. Furthermore, you must pay attention to what is covered. Portions of your boat may be protected while other parts are not. So, you cannot purchase boat insurance and assume that you are entirely protected in all circumstances.

The good news, however, is that you can purchase more coverages to protect yourself from additional issues. After close examination and study of your policy, you can determine where your coverage may be lacking. If you are not sure, ask your agent to help you understand exactly where you still may be susceptible. If your budget allows, work in concert with your agent and do everything you can to protect your boat and your wallet. Though insurance payments often make you feel as though you're spending money on something you'll never use, should an incident occur, you'll be glad you invested extra money to prepare for the worst possible outcome.

What is the Hurricane Zone For Insurance Purposes?

When you decide to purchase boat insurance, you will need to know as much about the area where the boat will be stored as possible. There is a tremendous difference in the likelihood of being subject to hurricane damage in Florida as opposed to Maine. Understand that your location has a lot to do with the price you'll pay for your boat insurance.

That price can change not only from state to state, but from county to county, city to city, or even the part of the city where you store your boat. Because of hurricane zone designations, you may pay more to dock your boat in one area instead of another.

Hurricane zones are established based on the likelihood that an area will be affected by storm surge from a hurricane. The National Hurricane Center makes this determination. Areas are then subdivided by states as they attempt to anticipate which areas will need to be evacuated in the event of a hurricane. Typically, the zones are classified from A to E, with A being the first zones to be evacuated. If you live in a hurricane zone or store your boat in one, you are potentially subject to higher insurance rates. This is because insurance companies are going to take the necessary steps to protect themselves and limit their risk. You can choose to dock or store your boat in a hurricane zone, but be prepared to pay more to protect it. You can find out what zone you're in by visiting your specific state's hurricane zone website.

Knowing that you may have to pay more for boat insurance based on location may or may not soften the blow associated with the cost. You may decide to look for alternative solutions, or you may assume that your boat may be covered under the terms of another insurance policy.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Boat Hurricane Damage?

Many people operate under the belief that their homeowner's insurance will cover their boat. This includes any damage that may occur as a result of a hurricane. However, boat insurance, like car insurance, is separate from the insurance on your home. Just as you would not expect a car accident or theft to be covered by your home insurance policy, you cannot expect your boat to be covered by it, either. So, if you are investigating insurance options, don't assume that your current policies will cover you. Understand that you will need to have separate coverage for your boat and that your plan will need to cover physical damage. Otherwise, you may be left in a precarious financial position.

Does Boat Insurance Cover Repairs?

The expectation with insurance is that it will cover all manner of damage and issues. However, this is not always the case. Exclusions and exceptions apply, and you must familiarize yourself with your policy. Boat insurance is no different from other types of insurance in this instance. You and your agent will need to discuss exactly what is covered and what is not. For example, damage to certain parts of your boat may be covered for repairs, while other parts may not. Usually, the hull or body of the boat is covered along with the motor and other features. You should not assume that something on your boat will be automatically covered and eligible for repairs under your specific policy.

Does Progressive Boat Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?

As we have discussed, boat insurance is multi-layered. It varies significantly in terms of cost and coverage. There is no universal boat insurance offered by all companies that protects your investment from hurricane damage by default. What is provided by one company may not be offered by another, and this can make price comparisons and purchasing decisions complicated.

Progressive Insurance, one of the most well-known insurers in the United States, does offer hurricane damage protection. However, this is not a standard part of its offering. Instead, it is part of its optional Comprehensive & Collision package. Though Progressive is a national name, its stance on boat insurance is different from some other companies. As you investigate coverage options, be sure to realize that no singular hurricane damage protection package exists across all providers.

Ultimately, it is crucial to understand exactly what a boat insurance policy protects you from and what it might not. For more information on these topics, check out our previous posts, Does Boat Insurance Cover a Blown Engine? and Does Boat Insurance Cover Theft?

Though you may live in a hurricane zone or have made it clear to your agent that you are planning to dock your boat in one, you cannot assume that your boat will be protected from hurricane damage. You cannot and should not attempt to insure your boat through your homeowner's insurance. Likewise, don't think that just because one company offers hurricane damage protection as a part of their standard boat insurance offering that another company will do the same.

You invested a significant amount of money when you purchased your boat. Be sure that you take the time to research your insurance options to settle on the right decision for your needs. We hope that this post has been helpful to you as you begin the search for the right policy, and we wish you the best on the water!