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Watercraft Insurance Brokers

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Spotlight on: Personal Watercraft Insurance

Sail smoothly on every adventure with personalized coverage.

At Higginbotham, we understand the thrill and joy that can come with owning a water vehicle. Whether you have a boat, jet ski or yacht, we recognize the importance of protecting your investment on the water and during the off season. That’s why we offer comprehensive personal insurance solutions tailored to your needs. With our expertise in insurance for personal watercraft and boats, you can navigate the open waters with peace of mind.

What is watercraft insurance?

Watercraft insurance is an umbrella term for coverage for boats, yachts and personal watercraft, helping to safeguard you and your passengers from the cost of accidents, damage, vandalism and liability while on the water.

Some essential coverages for personal watercraft insurance include liability coverage, physical damage coverage and medical payments coverage. For watercraft owners seeking additional protection, optional coverages include uninsured boater coverage, personal belongings insurance and on-water towing.

Agreed Value vs. Actual Cash Value

Watercraft can vary widely in price and value. If a loss occurs, the type of policy you have can impact the amount that the insurance carrier will pay.

  • Agreed value refers to an amount that is agreed upon by the policyholder and the insurance carrier. In the case of a total loss, the insurance company will pay the value listed on the policy, while more minor losses will likely be paid for on a replacement cost basis by the insurer.
  • Actual cash value refers to the current market value of the watercraft at the time of the loss. While premiums are often lower with this kind of policy, out of pocket costs could be higher if a loss occurs.

Types of Watercraft Covered

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Boat Insurance

Boat insurance provides coverage for various types of boats, such as powerboats, fishing boats, sailboats and pontoons. While most states don’t require boat insurance, securing comprehensive coverage for your vessel can help protect your investment in the case of an unforeseen event like a crash or natural disaster.

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Personal Watercraft Insurance

Personal watercraft (PWC) insurance provides coverage for vehicles like Jet Skis, WaveRunners and Sea-Doos, helping to safeguard against accidents, theft, vandalism and liability costs. Generally, Jet Skis are not covered under homeowners’ insurance, so securing an additional insurance policy is usually needed in order to protect your personal watercraft.

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Yacht Insurance

Yacht insurance offers specialized coverage for larger, more valuable vessels, including luxury yachts and mega yachts. This coverage includes accidental losses or damages to the yacht’s body, machinery, sails and other components, as well as indemnification liability coverage for damage caused to the yacht.

Essential Coverages for Your Watercraft

While there are various types of watercraft insurance, there are three essential insurance coverages to consider: liability; physical damage; and medical payments.

Liability Insurance

Liability coverage, including watercraft liability, is crucial in protecting you against financial losses if you’re found responsible for injuries or property damage caused by your boat or watercraft. This coverage usually encompasses bodily injury and property damage, as well as legal fees and other expenses related to a lawsuit.

Keep in mind, liability coverage usually does not cover damages to your own watercraft, personal injuries or damages caused by an uninsured boater. With the help of a seasoned marine insurance broker like Higginbotham, you have specialized assistance in choosing the coverage that’s right for you.

Physical Damage Coverage

Physical damage insurance can cover damage to your watercraft resulting from an accident, theft, fire and other covered events, making this type of coverage especially important in safeguarding your watercraft from unforeseen circumstances and in preventing expensive repair or replacement costs that could arise due to a covered event. Typically, physical damage insurance excludes damage caused by regular wear and tear, mechanical failures or operator oversight.

Physical damage coverage often has two parts: collision and comprehensive. Collision coverage applies when your watercraft collides with another vessel or object, while comprehensive coverage is, as the name suggests, more broad, and can help cover damage due to events like vandalism or severe weather.

Medical Payments Coverage

Medical payments coverage can ease your financial burden by offsetting medical expenses related to injuries sustained by you or your passengers in an accident involving your watercraft.

This type of coverage can encompass injuries to you, your family and your friends if they are injured on your PWC or boat, regardless of fault, and offers valuable financial protection if you’re involved in an accident on the water.

Optional Coverages to Consider

In addition to liability, physical damage and medical coverage, there are several optional insurance coverages to consider if you’re looking for extra protection for your watercraft.

Uninsured Boater Coverage

Uninsured boater coverage is a valuable addition to any watercraft insurance policy, helping with costs associated with an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured boater. Uninsured or underinsured boater coverage can help reimburse your medical expenses or repair costs if an accident is caused by an owner or operator who possesses insufficient liability insurance, which can help prevent you from paying these costs out of pocket.

On-Water Towing and Assistance

Boat towing coverage offers valuable support in the event of a breakdown or accident involving your watercraft. These services typically encompass towing, fuel delivery and battery jumpstarts, offering you greater peace of mind on the water.

Personal Property Coverage

Personal belongings coverage is an optional addition to your watercraft insurance policy that safeguards your personal items on board. This coverage generally covers items like apparel, electronic devices and unattached fishing equipment, but may exclude jewelry, cash and firearms.

Choosing the Best Watercraft Insurance Policy

When looking for insurance coverage for your boat, Jet Ski, yacht or personal watercraft, there’s many factors to consider, such as:

Policy Limits

Are your policy limits high enough? Ideally, you want enough coverage to cover the replacement value of your boat or personal watercraft.


Keep in mind that, if you file a claim, you’ll need to pay any deductibles out of pocket.

Coverage Gaps

Adding on coverages like personal belongings insurance or on-water towing can fill in coverage gaps that a typical watercraft insurance policy may not cover.

Type of Policy

Your boat insurance policy could be based on replacement cost, actual cash value or agreed amount value. Talk to your insurance broker to determine which form of coverage is best for you.


Don’t pay more than you have to for watercraft insurance. See if bundling your boat insurance with another policy, such as homeowners’ or auto, is an option. Or, work with a reputable insurance broker like Higginbotham to get competitive rates from national insurance carriers.

State Requirements

Check your state’s laws concerning watercraft insurance. You may have coverage requirements depending on your PWC’s or boat’s specifications.

Why Higginbotham?

As one of the nation’s largest independent insurance, financial and HR services firms, at Higginbotham, our know-how knows. Our experienced marine insurance brokers learn your priorities and your needs, then use their industry knowledge and carrier relationships to find you the best insurance policy possible. Our experienced team will guide you through the process of securing the best watercraft insurance policy for your needs, allowing you to set sail with confidence.

Talk to a Personal Watercraft Insurance Specialist

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