Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover Boat Accidents?

Are you planning on going on a friend’s boat and now you’re thinking about a possible accident and how you’d pay for your medical bills? After all, like car accidents, boating accidents are common events, especially considering how many people are operating boats while they’re under the influence of alcohol at the same time.

If you’re on a boat and it’s in the path of an impaired boater, the boat you’re in can be hit and you can be in a horrific boating accident. Even your friend, the boat’s owner, can make a mistake and cause an accident. But are you covered? Can your friend’s homeowners’ coverage cover the boat you were in?

The Policy May Cover Damage to the Boat

Let’s say your friend just got a new boat and he is going too fast on a turn and he loses control and crashes into another boat. Will his homeowners’ insurance policy cover your medical bills and pay for your other damages? While most homeowners’ policies will pay for damage to the policyholder’s boat up to a limited dollar amount, such policies do not include liability coverage.

For you to be covered if you’re injured on your friend’s boat, he will need to take out a separate boat policy to compensate you for your injuries and medical bills. His homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover any of his friends if they’re injured on his boat, even if the accident was all his fault.

Aside from liability coverage for injuries, there are three kinds of boat policies in Texas: 1) replacement cost which pays to repair or replace the policyholder’s boat, 2) actual cash value which pays to repair or replace the boat minus the boat’s depreciation, and 3) an agreed amount value that pays to repair a boat up to a certain value set forth in the policy.

Are you a boat owner? “Many insurance companies that sell homeowners insurance can also sell you a policy for your boat. Be sure to ask your agent about options. There are also insurance companies that specialize in boat policies,” according to the Texas Department of Insurance.

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