Does boat insurance cover sinking? Guidelines on what to do in some sunk boat cases

Does boat insurance cover sinking? If you are the proud owner of a boat, you may have asked yourself whether or not your insurance policy covers damages due to sinking. After all, boating can be an expensive venture, and having proper insurance coverage. They can provide much-needed protection for your vessel in case of unexpected problems.

Does boat insurance cover sinking? Guidelines on what to do in some sunk boat cases

Does boat insurance cover sinking? Guidelines on what to do in some sunk boat cases

In this post, Scott Ewart will cover what is included when it comes to boat insurance policies regarding the sinking of vessels. Besides, we also give you information about guidelines on what to do in some sunk boat cases. Now, let’s start!

Does boat insurance cover sinking?

Does boat insurance cover sinking?

Does boat insurance cover sinking?

Yes, boat insurance generally covers sinking. There are certain policy restrictions, but boat insurance usually covers shipwrecks. If your boat sinks due to an insured peril, boat insurance may pay a salvage and disposal fee.

As a general rule, boat policies cover sinking; however, there may be some exclusions. Boat carriers are especially concerned about any negligence on your part when it comes to a sunken vessel. Should carelessness has been the cause of the sinking, you could personally liable for fixing it. So, what does boat insurance not cover? Read here to know more information.

Types of boat insurance about sinking boat

Types of boat insurance about sinking boat

Types of boat insurance about sinking boat

Comprehensive boat insurance

If your boat sinks because of one of the things listed in the policy, your insurance company should pay for all the costs to fix or replace it. Most insurance plans cover risks like fire, theft, damage done on purpose, and damage caused by bad weather.

Liability coverage

Any damage that occurs to your boat will not be compensated for. Although some of the costs associated with wreckage and removal may be covered by your insurance. Liability insurance isn’t meant to preserve the monetary value of your boat. Instead, it is intended to safeguard you monetarily from any harm or injury that you may cause to others while operating your vessel.

Liability insurance protects the State against third-party claims for bodily injury and property damage.


Exceptions that insurance doesn’t cover a sunk boat

Exceptions that insurance doesn't cover a sunk boat

Exceptions that insurance doesn’t cover a sunk boat


Most insurance policies have limitations on the sailing range they cover. Unless you specifically buy coverage, your yacht sinks beyond the “coastal and interior waterways of USA from Cape May, NJ, to Maine”. If so, any damage or loss won’t be compensated for.

Tropical storms and hurricanes

Any loss, damage, or claim caused by tropical storms and hurricanes may not be covered.

Acts of negligence or malice

Most policies don’t cover damages caused by acts of negligence or malice.

Acts of war and terrorism

Most boat insurance policies won’t cover you if your boat goes to a conflict zone or other high-risk area.


Chartering a boat is considered commercial use. most insurance companies exclude it from standard coverage.

Crew size and skills

A skipper with less experience might need a certain number of crew members or a certain amount of experience to cover the distance. Or, if there isn’t a licensed captain on board, the owner may have to be there. If you lose a boat and don’t meet these conditions, you may not be able to file a claim.

Not to follow survey guidelines

Before underwriting a policy, insurers normally demand a survey. Before coverage begins, the insurance provider may request boat repairs.


If a boat owner doesn’t follow basic safety rules, his or her insurance company might not pay for his or her losses. Negligence can include all parts of running and maintaining a boat.

Deliberate submergence of the boat

Cases of fraud or where a boat is intentionally abandoned or sunk without any direct threat to the safety of the crew will not be covered.

Utilization of the boat in a crime

Insurance companies won’t pay for a boat that goes missing while being used in a crime.

6 main reasons causing the boat to sink

6 main reasons causing the boat to sink

6 main reasons causing the boat to sink

Lack or neglect of maintenance

Does insurance cover boat sinking? If you fail to properly maintain your boat, trivial issues can quickly become devastating disasters. Don’t let negligence be your downfall; make sure your vessel is kept in tip-top condition. Corrosion is a major cause of sinking, and regular maintenance helps prevent it from happening.

Drain plug issues

Always check that your drain plug is in place before putting your boat back into the water; otherwise, you risk it filling with water and sinking. To avoid such a disaster, inspect the plug for any signs of wear or damage each time you take out your boat. If there are indications of breakage or missing pieces, replace it immediately.

Hitting something while at sea

Colliding with an immovable object, such as a rock, can wreak havoc on the hull of your boat and result in catastrophic damage. It’s possible that you could find yourself dealing with broken pieces, or even worse, sinking.

Severe weather

Boats can be affected by high winds, large waves, heavy rain, and storms. These weather conditions can cause hull damage or even flip a boat over.

In severe weather conditions, winds and rain can cause your boat to overturn in large waves. This is true whether you’re on the vessel or not. So no matter what, hazardous climates are never beneficial for your boat’s wellbeing. Pay attention to the ship after a storm passes, as any damage you let go unseen could lead to its eventual sinking. Search for cracks in the hull or openings that may have gone unnoticed and act quickly if found.

Improper operation of the vessel

This can be the cause of a boat’s sinking due to inadequate speed control, improper steering, or general operator error.

Overloading or poor loading

Overloading a vessel’s capacity can lead to instability and, eventually, sinking if not addressed in time. Improper loading can also include an unevenly loaded vessel which causes it to lean excessively. As a result, it compromises its weight distribution and increasing the chances of capsizing.

3 forms insurance covers sinking boat costs

3 forms insurance covers sinking boat costs

3 forms insurance covers sinking boat costs

Actual cash value

The best way to save money is to insure your yacht at its current market value. How much you paid for your boat determines how much it’s really worth, and that’s how much it should be insured for.

It’s important to note that when it comes to actual cash value, depreciation is not taken into account. As a result, the amount of coverage you have on your boat will decrease as it gets older.

Agreed-upon value

Besides, you can insure your boat’s value in terms of its hull. That way, if it ever drowns for any reason whatsoever, the insurer will cover up to the amount agreed upon with them, regardless of its age. Agreed-upon value insurance is often seen, though it tends to cost more than real cash value coverage.

Replacement value

The costliest option for new boats is likely to be full or guaranteed replacement cost coverage. If your coverage offers full replacement cost, you may be able to get a new boat of the same make and type up to two years old. Taking advantage of this option will ensure that you can replace any damaged boats quickly and easily.

After all, do you have to have boat insurance? Sometimes we unfortunately encounter unexpected accidents. So having insurance is essential. We will show you the best and reputable locations to buy boat insurance.

Costs of recovering sunken boats

Costs of recovering sunken boats

Costs of recovering sunken boats

If you’re lucky enough to have the right vessel insurance plan, your insurer may pay for some or all of salvaging a sunken boat. Depending on its length, this will likely incur expenses in excess of several thousand dollars at a minimum. However, with the proper coverage, it could be just what’s needed to help save you from costly strain.

You can safeguard your boat from various types of destruction with an all-inclusive contract. Some liability policies provide coverage for raising, removing, or demolishing a boat wreckage. Even if you are only covered by liability insurance. Moreover, it can provide financial assistance for the cleanup of fuel and oil spills. Even though your boat’s value may not be protected, you could potentially receive financial help for removing its wreckage.

Guidelines on what to do in some sunk boat cases

Guidelines on what to do in some sunk boat cases

Guidelines on what to do in some sunk boat cases

Boat sinks at the dock

When a boat sinks in the area where it’s moored or docked because of vandalism or bad weather, your insurance policy might pay for the damage. The number of these occurrences is significant and has caused much distress among boat owners.

However, if the sinking of your boat transpired because of negligence or poor maintenance. These are commonly seen in this type of situation. You may be able to recover. Unfortunately, your insurance carrier will not cover the damage costs.

Boats sink at other places

If your boat sinks, it is important to stay calm and take the necessary steps to ensure everyone’s safety. Here are some tips for what to do if your boat sinks:

In the event of your vessel sinking and all passengers being safe, don’t hesitate; contact your insurance provider right away. Don’t let time be wasted! Reduce the risk of harm by providing your provider with all pertinent details, including images. Doing so will expedite claims and keep everyone healthy and safe.

When the cost to fix your boat is more than what it’s worth, it’s called a “total loss.” Depending on the terms of your insurance policy, you could get the money back for the value of your boat if it were destroyed.

The notion of a constructive total loss has been applied to non-marine cases, for instance, where although the loss is serious but not complete, the assured is paid for a total loss by the underwriter who becomes entitled to whatever remains of the subject-matter insured.


The insurance company determines that your boat can still be salvaged and repaired. Then they will help to cover all related costs associated with reviving it. Additionally, local authorities might require that the vessel be moved elsewhere in such a case.

FAQs Does boat insurance cover sinking?

Who is accountable for a boat that has sunk?

Owners, lessees, and operators are mostly responsible for cleaning up wrecks. So, they can also ask the person or people who caused the disaster for money.

Is sinking a common occurrence among boats?

No, it is not common for boats to sink. Boats are built to be seaworthy, and the majority of boat owners take proper care of their vessels, which helps prevent them from sinking. However, boating accidents do occur due to a variety of factors, such as weather conditions and operator negligence.

Are larger boats more likely to sink?

If an excessive amount of weight is added, the ship will eventually have a density that is higher than that of the sea, causing it to sink. Either the surplus of goods would have to be thrown overboard quickly or it would be time to leave the ship.

What is the meaning of “sinking” in marine insurance?

If water from the surrounding body of water enters the boat, this is considered a sinking.


Does boat insurance cover sinking? Ultimately, this all depends on your personal insurance policy and the water risks that are covered therein. From weather-related damages to silly mistakes, insurance won’t cover expenses for you. If you want to learn more about this topic, you could talk to someone who knows a lot about boating or look up different policies online. Remember: knowledge is power, so keep informed! If you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate to ask at! We are willing to help you as soon as possible!

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