Small Boat Insurance Coverage

Anchor Marine Insurance Underwriters, Small boats


Insuring your boat is an important matter and often comparing polices can become confusing, especially when two policies look identical on the surface.

The term “yacht” typically refers to vessels 26’ and up while the term “boat” refers to vessels 26’ and down, however; when discussing marine insurance these terms are used to describe the type of policy and have nothing to do with the size of the vessel.

Anchor Marine specializes in writing a broad “yacht” policy form on all boats it insures.

Typically, the policy offered through most auto or homeowners companies is considered a “boat” insurance policy.

On the surface, the coverage will look similar, but it is in the underlying coverage where the differences surface.

Only when a claim occurs, do you discover that the policy may not be everything it appeared to be. The following will point out a few of the differences that are most common between Yacht policies and most small boat insurance policies.

Policy Form

Yachtcoverage is written on a broad “All Risk” basis, meaning if the coverage is not excluded in the policy, then you have coverage. Typical exclusions are very few and may include: Wear & Tear; Gradual Deterioration, Weathering, Osmosis or Blistering, Manufacture’s Defects and a few others.

Boatcoverage is written on a very limited “Named Peril” basis, meaning if the policy form does not state that you have coverage for something, then you do not have it. Typically the policy will state that you have coverage for Fire, Sinking, Stranding & Collision. Since anything that does not fall under one of these types of risks, is not covered. Examples: Wind, Ice & Freezing, Water in your fuel, etc.

Machinery Coverage

YachtCovers mechanical breakdown for anything sudden or accidental and typically covers consequential damage even if the mechanical portion is not covered.

BoatMay not offer mechanical coverage.

Total Loss

YachtAgreed Value Total Loss = Agreed Value means what you have the vessel insured for is what you are paid in the event of a total loss, no depreciation.

Boat – *Paid on an Actual Cash Value (ACV) basis – depreciation is applied.

Partial Loss

YachtMost partial losses are paid on a replacement basis, all you pay is the deductible. Items such as mechanical and canvas are depreciated over time on partial losses.

BoatAll partial losses are typically paid on an ACV basis.


YachtLiability is extended to include anyone on the boat, using the boat, or working on the boat. This gives your permissive use, like with your car. If you have family member or friend that you know is capable of handling the boat and you want to let them drive or take out themselves, they are covered.

Other Coverages

Yacht -always includes: Uninsured Boater, Personal Effects, Towing, Pollution Liability, Medical Payments and Salvage.

Boat –May includes some of these, but almost never includes Pollution Liability or Salvage.

In addition, for boats 26’ and under the policy will often include coverage for a trailer and provide coverage throughout the United States and Canada.

Anchor Marine represents several companies that write the yacht coverage form on boats 26’ and under.

Often times our customers are surprised to learn that although the coverage is much broader the premium will be similar or sometimes even less than what they were quoted for a lesser marine boat insurance policy.

Boats we typically insure:

  • Bass Boats
  • Classic Boats
  • Cruisers
  • Fishing Boats
  • Jet Boats
  • Pontoon Boats
  • Runabouts
  • Sailboats
  • Tournament Ski Boats