Owning your own boat affords enthusiasts a time for recreation and adventure on the high seas, but there are certainly many risks in owning, piloting, and maintaining your personal watercraft. It just takes one little accident or a major disaster to sink all of your future plans, and this is why boat insurance in California is such a vital commodity.

When insuring your yacht, skipper, or small craft, insurers take into account the size, type and value of the craft as well as the waters in which you use it as a factor into just what type of coverage you’ll need and how much your policy will cost. It’s up to you to determine which policy meets your needs and to make sure you understand what perils are covered along with what your policy limits in the contract are.

Will homeowners policy cover my boat?

As you might expect, most small watercraft will be covered under a standard homeowners or renters insurance policy. However, most insurers provide limited coverage for property damage for small boats such as sailboats, or small powerboats that travel less than 25 miles per hour. Coverage generally includes the boat along with its motor and trailer combined. Liability coverage is typically not included but can be added as an endorsement to a homeowner’s policy.

You may want to have additional insurance in the event that the boat is damaged and considered a total loss. This means that you’ll be covered for the entire value of the vessel. A typical boat insurance policy covers physical damage to the boat, any property damage, theft or medical payments required, each carrying its own deductible amount. Your insurer may offer additional optional coverage for any trailers and boat accessories.

You should inquire about losses or theft of any belongings stored on your vessel that may or may not be covered. While your homeowner’s policy may provide some coverage for such items, you should specifically inquire about special equipment kept on the boat, such as fishing gear, radio equipment, entertainment systems or other gear in order to make sure it is covered under your policy relating to boat insurance in California.