Does Car Insurance Cover Towing a Boat?

Most people understand that when you are driving a car, you should have auto insurance to take care of you. The same can be said when you are out in the water. If you are on a boat, or if you own a boat, then you should have boat insurance to take care of you. Well, how about the in-between?

Does your car insurance cover towing a boat? For some, this may be an odd question but for those people who trailer their boat to their vehicle, it is a very important question.

Does Car Insurance Cover Towing a Boat?

The short answer to this is: yes, some auto insurance does cover towing a boat. The long answer is not as simple, however. How much your car insurance cover depends on what type of auto insurance you have.

Also, it is important to note that just because you have great coverage on your auto insurance does not mean that that great coverage will spill over to your boat insurance.

To better understand the situation, let’s answer some frequently asked questions on boat towing and auto insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions on Car Insurance and Boat Towing

1.    Does Car Insurance Provide Liability Coverage While Towing the Boat?

  • Because boat insurance is not mandatory in many states, most people do not think to get boat insurance for their boat.
  • One of the reasons why many states have not made boat insurance mandatory is because most auto insurance provides liability for the boat while it is in transit/being towed.
  • When you are towing a boat to your car, you are still operating the covered auto insurance.

2.    Do I need to get Boat Insurance for My Boat if My Car Insurance Covers Damages?

  • In short: yes, you should. This is because if you own a newer boat or one that costs a lot of money, then you would want to look into buying a separate boat policy that will cover damage done to your boat.
  • This is because car auto insurance policies only provide liability coverage. However, any physical damage covered under the PAP (Personal Auto Policy) will not extend to a boat or trailer.
  • For this reason, there is property insurance that was created specifically to protect your boat while it is in transit.
  • The same rules apply whether your boat is in storage or water.

3.    Does My Car Insurance Cover Boat Damages while My Boat is in the Water?

  • Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no.
  • You do have liability coverage for your boat once it is in transit. However, your auto insurance does not protect you when your boat is damaged in the water. This also goes whether it is your fault or another party’s fault.
  • To get your boat protected while in the water, you will need boat insurance with separate personal liabilities.
  • Boat insurance will also give you peace of mind while you are taking your boat out in the water, whether it be a lake or out in the big sea.
  • For those who are interested in more protection, do consider looking into a Personal Umbrella Policy.
  • The Personal Umbrella Policy is great and it will give you a “blanket liability” protection.

4.    What is the Difference Between Boating Insurance and Auto Insurance?

  • The easiest way and most simple way to explain the difference between boating insurance and auto insurance is this: if you are driving then you are covered by car insurance but if you are in the water then you are covered by boating/boat insurance.
  • Here is where it gets more complicated though: if your boat hits another car, then your liability coverage will most likely cover it. We say most likely because it truly depends on what type of car insurance you have.
  • However, if you are driving and your boat hits another car because the trailer was detached then that is a different problem.
  • In both of these scenarios, however, any damage to your boat will not be covered.
  • In order to protect your boat against any damages, you could try adding a trailer or towing coverage to your car insurance.
  • Before you do this, please make sure that your car insurance actually covers trailers first.

5.    Does Progressive Auto Insurance Have Boat Liability?

  • Progressive Auto Insurance is one of the most well known and well-used auto insurance policies so it is no wonder so many people want to know if they also have boat liability.
  • If you have Progressive Auto Insurance for your car already or if you are looking into singing with Progressive Auto Insurance, it is best to contact them directly for a quote.
  • For more information about Progressive Auto Insurance and their stand on boat liability and insurance, please click here for more information.

6.    Does My Auto Insurance Protect my Boat and Trailer the same way it Does My Car?

  • The short answer to this is no, your auto insurance does not protect your boat and trailer the same way it does your car.
  • It is important to note that even though your boat and trailer are attached to your vehicle, it does not mean that it is covered in the same way as your car. If your car gets damaged then your auto insurance will cover it, but the same cannot be said for your boat and trailer.
  • For example, if you are driving and your boat causes damage or another vehicle while it is still attached to your car then you alone are responsible for the damages. However, the damages that you are responsible for could be covered by the limits of your liability policy.
  • Another thing to note: if another car damages your boat in a car accident, then your car insurance does not apply the damage to the boat itself.
  • Also, if your boat ever detached itself from the trailer (whether it be on accident or whether it be due to an accident), your car insurance might not cover those damages either.

7.    What Else Should I Know About Car Insurance and Boat Towing?

  • The bottom line is, some car insurance does cover a bit of boat insurance but it does not the way you would want it to. As in, the insurance for your car may be great but that same insurance might not be so great for your boat.
  • If you are looking into insurance for your boat then it shows that you do care about your boat, so it is best to just look into boat insurance.
  • Boat insurance might be a hassle because, on top of car insurance and property insurance, you have something else to deal with. However, it will be worth it if you ever do get in an accident, whether it be because of you or because of someone else.

In Conclusion| Boat Insurance or Car Insurance?

It is understandable why some boat owners do not think they need boat insurance. It is because most states do not require it and they believe their car insurance will cover it. While that is true, be sure to read over the policy fully to make sure that your boat and trailer are being fully covered.

If you are towing your boat often, you should look into boat insurance. That way, both you and your boat will be covered in case there is an accident.

Kern Campbell

Kern is a life long boater who finds great happiness sitting at the helm of a boat running on the open water. When he's not running the boat, he's likely anchored up along the beach with his wife, kids and good friends enjoying a great day at the coast.

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