Mather and Pitts Insurance, Inc.
Call Us: (800) 232-0674

Wooden Boat Coverage

What is so different about insuring a wooden boat?


The thought of insuring a wooden boat makes most insurance companies cringe. They see your prized possession as old, dried-out wood full of gasoline and oil. But we know differently. Not only are they valuable pieces of history, they might even be the love of your life.

Accidents happen. Isn't that why you buy insurance? And sure, price matters, but when your boat is damaged or destroyed, the only thing that really matters is that you receive every penny it will take to repair or replace it. Unfortunately, many owners don’t have sufficient coverage.

Because marine insurance is unregulated, there are few rules by which insurers must comply. We'll make sure you understand what kind of policy you’re buying and what kind of service you’ll get in the event of a claim.

When purchasing insurance, keep the following in mind:

What is Agreed Value?

This is the only kind of insurance policy that will fully protect a wooden boat in the event of a claim. It guarantees that your boat and inboard engines will not depreciate with a loss. Many marine policies do not offer Agreed Value for wooden boats and may lessen the coverage if the boat or engine is over 10 years old - hardly a help for wooden boats.

The bottom line: Buy an Agreed Value policy specifically designed to cover the full value of your wooden boat in Connecticut.

Isn't my boat covered by my homeowners policy?

This is a common and dangerous assumption. Most Connecticut homeowners policies can insure boats, but they are not designed for wooden boats. Many of these policies only cover wooden boats for certain types of usage or only when the boat is in storage.

The bottom line: Cover your wooden boat with a separate policy.

If I have a claim, who handles it?

Logically, the insurance agent who sold the policy should handle the claim, but this is generally not the case. Claims, even those from specialty wooden boat insurers, are usually turned over to a giant marine underwriter whose experience is with newer boats, not classic wooden boats.

The bottom line: Ask your CT insurance company about their experience handling wooden boat claims.

What should I do when my boat is under restoration?

Many people make the mistake of carrying no insurance while their wooden boat is undergoing restoration. Yet even the loose parts can be rare and valuable. People either assume that no one would insure their boat during a restoration or that the shop doing the work carries ample insurance to cover it if there was an accident.

The fact is, Port Risk Insurance is inexpensive and acts like comprehensive coverage for your car, fully covering your boat during restoration.

The bottom line: Keep your boat insured even while it's being restored.

Will l need a marine survey?

Insurance programs differ when it comes to survey requirements, but as a general rule, the bigger the boat, the more likely it is that a survey will be required. Often, it hinges on whether a boat has live-aboard capabilities, such as larger sailboats and cruisers.

For owners of these larger boats, a full value and condition survey is a good idea. A qualified marine surveyor can see things requiring maintenance that the typical owner might overlook. This shows the insurance company that you’re serious about maintenance.

The bottom line: If you own a larger sailboat or cruiser, a marine survey may be both necessary and a good idea. If you have a small wooden boat you probably won't need one.

Insure it.

The right coverage can make all the difference in the life of your boat. For more information on Connecticut wooden boat coverage, email us or call  800-232-0674.