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How Much Boat Insurance Do I Need?

You finally bought your dream boat and are ready to spend a day of fun in the sun on Lake Murray—or maybe you have your sights set on Charleston and the open ocean. Either way, it’s important that you understand your coverage requirements under South Carolina state law. New American Insurance serving Irmo, Lexington, and Columbia, SC and surrounding areas is here to answer all your questions: 

Doesn’t My Homeowner’s Policy Cover My Boat Too?

While most homeowner’s policies do cover some boat damage, the maximum coverage provided is extremely low, typically $1000 to $2000.This coverage is ideal for smaller, non-motorized watercraft such as kayaks or canoes, but it won’t go far for larger watercraft. Plus, homeowner’s policies don’t include any liability coverage for medical damages incurred in a boating accident. 

South Carolina Doesn’t Require Watercraft Insurance. Why Should I Get Covered?

It’s true that South Carolina, like most states, does not require boat or watercraft insurance. However, if you’re financing or leasing your boat, your lender will require your asset to be covered, and most ports and marinas require a certain amount of watercraft coverage in order to use their facilities as well. So, if you want to travel anywhere and be able to dock, a boat insurance policy is a necessity. Finally, boat insurance just makes financial sense. It’s one of the most cost-effective types of insurance; you can get a policy that fully covers your new asset, helps with towing and emergency assistance expenses, covers your personal effects, and protects you against liability claims for an incredibly affordable rate. 

How Do I Decide What Kind of Policy to Get?

The type of policy and the amount of coverage you buy will depend on many factors, including the length, age, and value of your boat, how frequently you use it, liveaboard status, speed, or horsepower, where you intend to use it, and more. While it can seem complicated at first, a good rule of thumb is to look for a policy that provides similar liability coverages as your auto insurance policy and provides agreed value coverage vs actual value coverage. Agreed value policies cover the full replacement cost of your boat as of the day you enact the policy while actual value coverage decreases year by year with depreciation. 

We’re sure you have a lot more questions about how to best protect your new boat, and New American Insurance has the answers. Contact us today for an appointment; your agent will sit down with you, discuss your options, and help you find the right boat and watercraft policy at the right price. 

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