Does boat insurance cover hurricane and storm damage?

If your boat is damaged in a storm or hurricane, boat insurance can provide protection if you carry comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage can pay to repair or replace your watercraft if it's damaged due to a weather-related incident. Comprehensive coverage is optional, although your financing company may require it and collision coverage if you're financing your boat.

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How is my boat covered in a hurricane or storm?

In general, if you have comprehensive coverage, then your boat is covered for repairs or replacement if it's damaged due to a storm or hurricane (unless explicitly stated otherwise in your policy). If you have a liability-only boat insurance policy, any storm-related damage to your watercraft won't be covered.

There are other coverages you may find useful if you're concerned about storm damage:

  • Fuel spill coverage: Pays to remove and mitigate the environmental impact of fuel unintentionally spilled.

  • Full replacement cost: Restores your boat to its pre-damaged condition.

  • Wreckage removal: Pays to remove your boat if it sinks due to a covered event, such as a severe storm.

You should check your policy to see if you have these boat insurance coverages already, as they can provide additional protection from hurricanes and severe weather. Learn more about how comprehensive coverage for boats may apply to hurricane damage, or take a look at what else boat insurance can cover.

Example:During a thunderstorm, your boat crashes into a sea wall. Your boat insurance policy's comprehensive coverage can pay to repair your watercraft, minus your deductible.

Does boat insurance cover sinking?

Yes, your boat insurance policy may pay to remove your boat from the water if it sinks. Depending on your policy, in the event of a total loss your insurer may pay you the fair market value of your watercraft or the full replacement value (which doesn't factor in the depreciated value of your boat). Your boat insurer may also offer optional coverage for personal belongings lost or damaged in a boat accident.

Pro tip:

Note that your policy may restrict boating beyond a certain geographical area. If your boat sinks while out of the agreed upon range, your insurer may not pay for the removal or related damage. Check with your insurer to see how far from the shore your coverage applies.

How can I avoid storm damage to my boat?

If you're a new boat owner, learn how to protect your boat during hurricane season. Always check weather reports in advance and keep an eye on the horizon for unexpected weather. Check for flat clouds getting lower, a sudden drop in temperature, dark clouds to the west or southwest, and lightning.

Of course, one of the best ways to protect your vessel from storms and other types of damage is to buy boat insurance. With boat insurance, you're protected for injuries and property damage you cause while using your boat, as well as damage to your own boat when you buy physical damage coverage.

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