What's the Difference Between Yacht and Boat Insurance?

Barry Hinckley, Owner / Agent

Hinckey 34 Picnic Boat as seen off SWH, Maine

Barry Hinckley Grew up in the Hinckley Yachts Family and has been involved with the Marine Trades his entire life. Barry is a Fl. licensed Yacht and Ship Broker as well as licensed Fl. Property Casualty Insurance Agent, specializing in Marine.

Call Hinckley Insurance: 561-220-5974 to inquire about your yacht or boat insurance.

In Florida, as in many other places, there are distinct differences between a yacht insurance policy and a boater's insurance policy. These differences mainly arise from the type and size of the watercraft being insured, as well as the coverage needs of the policyholder. Here are the key distinctions:

Type of Watercraft:

Yacht Policy: A yacht policy is typically designed to cover larger and more luxurious vessels. Yachts are generally larger boats, defined as over 26 feet in length, and can range from mid-sized cruisers to super-yachts. Yacht policies are tailored to the unique needs of these high-value and often more complex vessels.

Boater's Policy: A boater's policy, on the other hand, is designed for a broader range of smaller watercraft, including motorboats, sailboats, personal watercraft (such as jet skis), and fishing boats. Boater's policies are more suitable for recreational boaters who own smaller boats. Boats and personal watercraft under 26 feet can often be affordably added under an existing homeowners policy as an endorsement, at an additional cost.

Coverage Options:

Yacht Policy: Yacht policies typically offer comprehensive coverage that addresses the specific risks associated with larger and more valuable vessels. This can include coverage for hull damage, liability protection, personal property on board, crew coverage, and additional amenities like fine art and navigation equipment coverage.

Boater's Policy: Boater's policies offer more basic coverage tailored to the needs of smaller, recreational watercraft. Common coverage elements include liability protection (to cover damages to others), medical payments, coverage for personal property on board, and, in some cases, coverage for towing and emergency assistance.


Yacht Policy: Yacht insurance tends to be more expensive than boater's insurance due to the higher value of the vessels being insured and the greater risks associated with larger yachts.

Boater's Policy: Boater's insurance is generally more affordable, as it is intended for smaller, less expensive boats and often offers less extensive coverage options.Requirements:

Yacht Policy: If you have a yacht, insurance may be required by marinas, yacht clubs, or lenders if you financed the purchase of the yacht. Additionally, you may choose to insure your yacht to protect your investment.

Boater's Policy: While boater's insurance is not legally required for all watercraft in Florida, it is recommended for all boat owners to protect themselves and others in the event of an accident or liability claim.

In summary, the primary differences between a yacht policy and a boater's policy in Florida revolve around the type and size of the watercraft being insured, the extent of coverage offered, and the associated costs. Yacht policies are geared towards larger, more valuable vessels with more comprehensive coverage needs, while boater's policies cater to a wider range of smaller watercraft used for recreational purposes. Regardless of the type of watercraft you own, it's essential to carefully consider your insurance needs and select a policy that provides adequate protection.

Call Barry at Hinckley Insurance to Explore your Options 561-220-5974