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Boat Insurance FAQ

Policies

BoatUS has been providing an insurance program since 1966, over 55 years of service to boaters nationwide.

GEICO offers coverage in all 50 states to boat owners with a US address.

The cost of boat insurance can vary by underwriting company, but in general, it’s based on the type of boat, length, number of engines and horsepower, how you are going to use it (recreation, commercial charter, racing, etc.), and how/where it is stored. All of these factors, including the experience and claims record of the owner will factor into the cost. Completing boating safety courses and insuring multiple boats with the same company could also positively impact your premium.

Start your boat quote today.

The program offers liability limits of $100,000, $300,000, $500,000 and in some cases $1,000,000. If you have an umbrella or other excess liability policy, you should make sure the Liability limit selected meets your needs. You may also have a minimum liability limit for a slip rental or storage agreement.

The BoatUS 24-Hour Dispatch Hotline will give you immediate assistance in making the necessary arrangements to protect your property, such as dispatching salvage operators or sending out pollution control professionals. When there has been significant damage or injury, inspectors will be assigned. In catastrophe situations (hurricanes, major flood, etc.) the BoatUS "CAT" Team is flown into the area to expedite salvage and claims processing.

Policyholders have the option to add TowBoatUS Towing for the insured boat by endorsement with services provided by the nation's largest fleet. NOTE: If you have more than one boat, consider purchasing Unlimited Towing through Membership in BoatUS — the Association for service on all boats owned, borrowed or chartered. When you purchase insurance for your trailer, Roadside Assistance is included for breakdowns when trailering your boat.

When you purchase insurance for your trailer, Roadside Assistance is included for breakdowns when trailering your boat.

You will need a cruising extension when taking your boat to Mexican waters. However, this extension will only cover the physical damage to your boat. Also, all boats are required under Mexican Law to have liability insurance issued through a Mexican Insurance Company. Without it, you could face serious consequences including fines, impoundment and/or imprisonment. We work with a bona-fide Mexican insurer who can provide this liability coverage for both your boat and car online. See our Policy Pages for details.

Fast, fair, and with a focus on making sure you and your boat are handled with care. Policyholders can start the claims process quickly online using My Account at BoatUS.com/Account or through the BoatUS App. Policyholders may also call 800-937-1937 to speak one-on-one with experienced claims specialist 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Depending on the nature of the claim, the specialist will provide specific instructions about what steps to take from that point forward.

Quotes, Cost, and Discounts

There are many factors that go into determining the premium for your boat – the amount of coverage you want, your boat's location, use, size, age, power type along with your ownership and operating experience. For a free quote, visit our online application or call 800-283-2883 to speak with an underwriter.

We also offer extended payment plans. View All Payment Plans & Options.

While the amount you pay for insurance has to be a factor in the selection of your protection package, it is more important to consider the types of losses covered, how much you will collect in the event of a loss, what assistance is available in an emergency, and what level of service you will receive. The boat owner should select a carrier, agent, and policy that meets their specific needs. In most cases, this means not selecting a policy based on the price, but on what you get in return. Even large differences in premium will be made up quickly if you select an inadequate policy, an uninformed agent, or an indifferent carrier.

First and foremost, choose a policy that best fits your boating needs. Some factors that can influence your premium:

  • Boating safety education: You’ll receive an insurance discount if you complete a safety course that's been approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) or complete the BoatUS Safety Course online.
  • Liability limits: the higher the limit, the higher the cost.
  • The size of your deductible: The higher your deductible, the lower your premium.
  • Keeping your boat safe and secure: Maintain your boat in a particularly secure location — secure from extraordinary weather patterns such as hurricanes, tornados, floods, etc. and/or secure from theft or vandalism. Catastrophic loss from weather or thieves is a significant cost factor in boat insurance.

Yes! If you need a quote immediately call us at 800-283-2883 from 8:00am – 10:00pm, Monday – Friday EST, Saturday – Sunday 8:00am – 9:15pm EST, or visit our online application 24/7. In most cases, we will provide you with a firm, actionable quote — not a ballpark figure like some other insurance companies.

If you applied online, you will receive coverage options immediately or in some specific scenarios, by email. Simply click on the "BUY” icon and follow the instructions. You may also call our office at 800-283-2883 to start coverage. Premium payment or down payment can be made by credit card or check at the time of purchase.

No, you don't need to be a Member of BoatUS to get a quote. However, should you decide to bind coverage, we encourage you to join BoatUS for the discounts and savings on fuel, slips and boating equipment, and to receive our award-winning BoatUS Magazine. Also, to purchase Unlimited Towing for any boat you own, borrow or charter (separate from the single-boat endorsement offered with your policy) Membership is required. This can be arranged at the same time you initiate your insurance coverage and can be included in your premium.

Yes. The extended payment plan requires a down payment of 30%. The balance is billed in either three (3) or seven (7) equal monthly installments, depending on the premium. Each installment includes a $5.00 handling charge.

View All Payment Options.

While we cannot recommend an individual marine surveyor, please take a moment to check out this resource that can help to determine the best type of survey and surveyor for your needs.

GEICO wants to be your first choice for boat insurance. However, there are some types of vessels that are not eligible for a GEICO policy which are listed below. Other criteria may apply and will be reviewed by underwriters at the time of an application for boat insurance:

  • Boats over 50 feet in length
  • Houseboats that do not have motors
  • Floating homes
  • Homemade boats
  • Boat with more than 4 owners
  • Amphibious land boats or hovercraft
  • Watercraft previously deemed a constructive total loss
  • Boats valued over $2,500,000
  • Airboats

Mechanical Breakdown Coverage

Mechanical Breakdown Coverage is an optional coverage that pays to repair or replace the lower unit of an outboard motor, or the upper and lower units of a stern drive motor in the event of a mechanical breakdown. It does not cover any of the internal components of the engine itself.

Mechanical Breakdown Coverage is offered to boats equal to 10 years old or less, with an outboard or sterndrive motor.

Pricing is based on the age of the boat at the time the coverage is purchased. It increases over time as the boat ages and the risk of mechanical breakdown increases.

This endorsement must be in effect for 30 days before a mechanical breakdown loss will be covered. Any loss that occurs less than 30 days from the date the coverage starts, or any pre-existing condition, would not be covered.

Yes, the Mechanical Breakdown Coverage is only $250 per outboard or outdrive unit. If both outdrives or outboard lower units fail due to a mechanical breakdown, then the deductible is $250 for each unit.

Yes, this endorsement does provide coverage for wear and tear and mechanical breakdown for the parts specifically listed (see Mechanical Breakdown Coverage). It does not cover gradual diminishing performance of the unit. The loss must be sudden.

Wear and tear - deterioration that results from ordinary use over the course of time and the part suddenly ceases to function. For example, the teeth wear off of the prop shaft on an outboard motor and the propeller no longer turns. This is covered by Mechanical Breakdown Coverage.

Diminishing performance - a decline in the level of output of a certain part resulting in ineffective operation of the part. For example: If your propeller has an intermittent hesitation due to the prop shaft teeth starting to wear and causes vibrations affecting the efficiency and smoothness of the ride. The cost to have the prop shaft replaced at this time would not be covered under this endorsement. The propeller must fail to turn completely for the Mechanical Breakdown Coverage to take effect.

Any repair facility of your choice can perform repairs.

Yes, if a claim is paid you will forfeit your 10% no loss credit until you remain claims free for one policy period. This also applies to the diminishing deductible. If a claim is paid then the deductible will return to the deductible listed on the Declarations page of your first policy period with us, without regard to any diminishment.

No. Mechanical Breakdown Coverage is only available as an endorsement for the Agreed Hull Value (AHV) policy. Interested in adding the Mechanical Breakdown endorsement to your AHV policy? Call 800-283-2883.

All manufacturer's required maintenance must be made on the outdrive or outboard lower unit or this coverage doesn't apply.

Please note:

The above is meant as general information and as general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages. These descriptions do not refer to any specific contract of insurance and they do not modify any definitions, exclusions or any other provision expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. We encourage you to speak to your insurance representative and to read your policy contract to fully understand your coverages.

*Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states. Coverage is subject to the terms, limits and conditions of your policy contract.

For a quote, visit our Online Application or call 800-283-2883 for personal service.

All coverage is subject to terms, conditions, limits and exclusions of the policy. Not all policy options are available in all states. Boat and PWC policies are underwritten by GEICO Marine Insurance Company with administrative offices at 5323 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22151. GEICO Marine Insurance Company is domiciled in Omaha, NE, and coverage is offered in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to boat owners with a U.S. address. View the GEICO Marine Insurance Company Privacy Policy & Notice of Collection.