Does Boat Insurance Cover Theft?

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Getting burgled gives you a sad and hopeless feeling that is very hard to shake off. Especially if something as expensive and important as your boat gets stolen. Perhaps you own a very expensive boat, and you’re planning to insure it. One of the questions that comes to mind is: does boat insurance cover theft?

Does Boat Insurance Cover Theft?

Will My Boat Insurance Cover Theft?

Yes, most comprehensive or full-coverage boat insurance policies cover theft if your boat gets stolen from your yard or dock. Your insurer would reimburse you for your watercraft up to the policy limits. And belongings and items stolen from it may be covered, depending on your plan.

The amount the insurer pays back to you for your boat depends on the coverage you chose. Meanwhile, if your vessel is stolen from a storage facility or marina, the owner of the property should be responsible. Their insurance should step out to help first, while your coverage could come in later if needed.

You can choose add-ons for extra coverage on your policies related to theft. That is why it is advisable to always double-check your policy.

Generally, your standard boat insurance covers your boat and the equipment attached to it permanently, such as anchors, sails, outboard motors, and lines. 

Certain upgrades you made to the vessel or other items you added, such as a GPS, fish finders, or television, may not be covered by your policy.

However, some stolen personal property from the boat may be covered by coverage C of your homeowners insurance.

How Will Insurance Pay for a Stolen Boat?

Your insurance provider will pay you for the stolen boat, whether it has an agreed-upon value, a replacement cost value, or an actual cash value.

This depends on the coverage you choose for the vessel when you purchase the policy. Typically, the most affordable coverage for boat insurance is the actual cash value.

This type of coverage covers the boats for their current market value at the time you purchased the policy.

However, it may depreciate over time. So, if your boat gets stolen after 5 years of purchasing the policy, you won’t get the money you paid for it because the vessel has lost value or depreciated over time.

The way insurers calculate depreciation varies by company. However, generally, the older your boat gets, the less you will get for it when it gets stolen if you have actual cash value coverage.

Agreed upon value is very straightforward. Whatever you and the carrier determine the vessel’s worth when you purchase the policy, that is what will be paid to you if it is stolen.

Some insurance providers offer total loss replacement or total replacement coverage for a stolen boat.

With this type of coverage, the insurance provider will pay for a brand new boat of the same model and make it look like the stolen one, regardless of the cost.

This is the costliest coverage option, and it is only available for new boats that are less than a year or 2 years old.

Your insurance provider may even pay more than what you paid for the boat if the price has gone up since you purchased it.

Stolen Boat Insurance Claims

When it comes to claims, stolen vessels are one of the most common types.

To prevent these claims, it is advisable that you store yours in a building or locked in a garage. The insurance company will ask about this when you are purchasing the policy.

They may even offer you a discount for doing it. Also, you can use cable locks to protect your jet ski from your dock, a trailer, or each other when you are not making use of them.

How to Report Stolen Boat to an Insurance Company

If your boat gets stolen, you should report it to your insurer and relevant authorities immediately. When you call your carrier, you will be asked to fill out a claim form. You will have to describe the loss, including where and when it happened.

Your insurer may also ask for a police report. Keep in mind that you will need to pay for the deductible when you file the claim.

If you file for stolen equipment or personal property too, you may have to pay a separate deductible for them if you have bought add-ons for them.

If you are filing a claim for stolen equipment, your insurance provider may ask to see evidence for forced entry. Or they may ask if you store the items in a compartment or locked area before reimbursing you.

Also, every boat made in the last 40 years has a hull identification number. You will have to provide this number to the police when your boat is stolen. It can help them track the watercraft.