After the long cold winter we had in NH this year, it is very exciting to see the ice disappear from our area lakes. The transition from bob houses to boats happens in a flash so if you own a boat, be sure it is properly insured before launching it into the water this spring.
At HPM Insurance in Milford we have had several clients over the years tell us that their boat hit a rock while on Lake Sunapee or Winnipesaukee. Some had coverage for such an incident, while others did not. Those who did not have coverage incorrectly assumed that their homeowner's insurance would extend to cover the boat; however we know what can happen when one assumes...
Why It Is Not a Good Idea To Insure Your Boat on Your NH Homeowner's Insurance Policy:
Many homeowner insurance policies will cover a boat; however the coverage is limited to $1000 including trailers, furnishings, equipment, outboard engines and motors. Based on this description, it is really designed for someone who has a small canoe, kayak or perhaps small row boat. You would not be able to collect more than the $1000 on a standard policy and any loss would be subject to your deductible.
- The other issue with insuring a boat on a homeowners policy is that the policy will only respond to a covered loss. This would typically include events like fire, theft, and wind damage; however it would not include running into a rock, taking on water, etc.
- Besides the limitations for coverage on the boat itself, there are also exclusions for any liability coverage stemming from the ownership or use of a watercraft over a certain length and/or horsepower. This exposure can be much bigger than the value of the boat itself, so be sure to check with your insurance professional if you own or plan on renting/borrowing a boat.
Many insurance companies do allow you to add coverage for a boat onto your homeowner's policy. This will allow you to state the type of boat and motor you have, along with its value right on the policy itself. This may eliminate many of the coverage concerns listed above, but it is our experience at HPM Insurance, that it is more cost effective (while providing better coverage) to have a separate boat policy.
Why the Best Way to Insure Your Boat Is To Have a NH Boat Insurance Policy:
A boat is not just something you own, but is a way of life. If you own a boat, perhaps you love to fish or tow the kids around on a tube. If you don't have the right coverage for these activities, you may find yourself high and dry.
If you insure your watercraft with a NH boat policy, you can customize your coverage to what you need like on-water towing, fishing equipment, water skiing, and fuel-spill coverage. You may also be able to insure your boat with an agreed value coverage and not actual cash value.
Not every boat is the same so take the time to figure out your needs and discuss them with an insurance professional like, HPM Insurance. You can then have the confidence to sail through the good weather knowing you have the right coverage.