Boat Towing Insurance

(Here's what you need to know about your coverage) Author Icon Written by Trusted Choice Author Icon
Written by Trusted Choice

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Getting out on the water is one of the great highlights of the warmer months for many people. When engine trouble threatens to put a damper on your fun, it’s smart to have boat towing insurance in place so you can get back out on the water as quickly as possible.

To get all of the information you need about boat towing insurance, contact a local, independent agent in our network. Your agent can provide options and pricing from several different insurance companies, and will help you make an informed decision about on the water and on land coverage.


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When Do You Need Boat Towing?

  • An on-road wreck with another vehicle that destroys your trailer
  • When your boat is disabled on the water due to mechanical or electrical failure, or is out of fuel
  • If you have a collision with another boat on the water and need your boat towed to shore

What Is Boat Towing Insurance?

Boat towing insurance is an add-on policy to your boat coverage that will cover you for various scenarios when your boat needs to be transported.

There are two types of boat towing insurance:

  • On-road towing: This covers the costs of towing, up to your policy limit, if you have a problem while trailering your boat on the road and need it towed. On-road towing is sometimes covered in a standard auto insurance policy, but it is a good idea to check the fine print of your policy to make sure. If your auto insurance doesn’t cover boat towing and you’re involved in an accident while your boat is hitched up, you could face some major costs to have another company move your vessel.
  • On-water towing: This will cover the costs of towing, up to your policy limit, if you have a problem on the water and need your boat towed in to shore. On-water towing will cover the hauling of your boat to a service area if it is stuck or stalled, runs out of gas or is in an accident. Because on-water towing professionals risk their boats and lives to bring you safely to shore, the price you'll pay is likely going to be high; an uninsured boat towing incident can cost $500 to $1,000 or more. If your boat is disabled due to an accident, the tow can be far pricier. By contrast, boat-towing insurance is typically very reasonable at about $100 to $150 per year, depending on the company you work with.

I’m a Safe Boater. Why Would I Need Towing Insurance?

You may be a good boater without past incidents on the water.  Maybe you've even taken a Coast Guard-approved boating safety course. However, there are many others on the water who aren’t as safe as you. 

Boats don’t always run perfectly, either. They run out of gas, they have mechanical problems, or the engine can break down. You could find yourself navigating unfamiliar waters where you’re not aware of the locations of rocks and sandbars.

The primary reason to consider additional coverage such as towing service is that it’s never safe to be stranded in the middle of a waterway with a disabled boat. With boat towing potentially exceeding $1,000, you could take a big financial hit that would really dampen your fun on the water.

A local independent agent in our network can sit down with you and assess your boat insurance needs. If you have a boat that seems to have a greater risk of breakdown, or you just want the peace of mind on the water, your agent can help you get the right coverage in place to ensure you can get your boat safely towed after an incident.

How Does Boat Towing Insurance Work?

Boat towing insurance covers the cost of a towboat going out to bring your vessel back to shore. Depending on the insurance company, you can typically buy basic coverage, or increase your coverage for greater distances.

When you have an incident on the water – whether you run out of fuel, you have a mechanical malfunction, or you have a collision of some kind – you can place a call to a boat towing service. 

It is important to know that the towing service meter starts as soon as the tow operator is dispatched. So if you are a little ways off shore, a basic amount of insurance should cover it. 

If you tend to go further out, you may want additional coverage to make sure your insurance will pay for you to be towed all the way back to shore.

With some types of coverage you will be supplied with gas if you run out, or a jumpstart if your battery dies, which can save you some towing costs. Check with an agent to find out what types of coverage are available.

What Is the Difference Between Towing and Salvage?

If your battery dies, you run out of gas or your motor fails while on the water, you may need a tow. If your boat is involved in an accident and there is extensive damage that leaves it un-seaworthy, then you will need salvage services.

Damaged boats are more fragile and prone to sinking, so salvage is a more involved towing process that ensures your boat is handled carefully and can get to shore without sinking, capsizing or suffering further damage. 

Because salvage is a special towing service, prices on a salvage operation can be extremely high – so checking for a salvage provision in your boat towing coverage is wise.


Save on Boat Insurance

Our independent agents shop around to find you the best coverage.

Find Low-Cost, Quality Boat Towing Insurance Quotes

Boat towing insurance, compared to the potential cost of an uncovered tow, is quite inexpensive. You may be able to find a boat towing policy for $150 per year or less. 

Some boaters also become members of Sea Tow or some other similar organization for those times they take their boat to unfamiliar waters.

One of the best ways to review all of your options for towing and salvage is to contact a local, independent agent in our network. A member agent will do the research needed to find the right coverage to meet your needs. 

Your agent can provide you with quotes from several companies and help you make an informed choice. Your agent will also be your point person in case you need to file a claim. Find a local agent in your area to get started today.

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