insurance

Summer insurance: What you'll need

Boat coverage from stem to stern
Boat coverage from stem to stern

Buy a watercraft for summer fun off dry land, and you'll take on a boatload of risk.

Homeowners or renters insurance may provide all the coverage you need. The Insurance Information Institute says for larger and faster boats, or personal watercraft -- like Jet Skis -- you'll need a separate marine policy.

Your premiums will depend on your boating background, type of boat and where you'll use it.

What this all means is that sailboats cost less to insure than riskier speed boats. And, boat owners in Miami-Dade County, Florida, pay the highest premiums because of hurricanes, thefts and year-round use of their boats, says Jeffrey Berndt, vice president of the National Boat Owners Association.

The group says your age, credit history, driving record, boating certifications and whether you own or rent a home can affect your policy cost, too.

Proper boat insurance will pay if your boat is accidentally lost or damaged and cover damage or injuries to others, as well as your legal costs, if someone takes your boat for a joy ride without permission.

 

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