Kayaks, easy to tow and launch are a wonderful way to see American waterways. Ranging from 8 to almost 20 feet long, the explosion of plastic and synthetic technologies has allowed millions of Kayaks to be sold across the U.S. over the last few decades. These range from ocean going kayaks for long distances up in Alaska, river racing kayaks designed for the Rockies, and for most of us, cruiser kayaks to enjoy small slow moving rivers and lakes. As with any activity on the water, Kayaking comes with some inherent risks, and as with all risks one should consider how you are covered financially for them. Whether the risk you are afraid of most is tipping and loosing your gear, getting injured or having your kayak stolen, there are policies that exist for you.
The first question that many users ask, “Can you insure a Kayak?”?
The answer to this is YES, but the real question is should you. For those with homeowners insurance there is a high likelihood that your existing policy will cover your kayak for the first $1,000-$1,500, assuming you do not have an engine on it (hey, we’ve seen some recently with HEAVY modifications). While this typically does not cover gear that you are bringing on board (cell phones, fishing rods etc.) there is some discussion that it may include installed hardware, though it is worth reviewing.
Should I use my home insurance for my Kayak?
This is a tough question, because everyone views their insurance policies differently. Many chose to insure their Kayaks through their home policies because its easy, does not cost anything extra, and after 5 years their Kayaks are not work nearly enough to justify their own policy. Furthermore, for home owners with very low deductibles and no history of making claims, they are more flexible in requesting the $1,000 or $1,500 from their insurance companies. On the other side, over time making claims to your insurance company will increase your rates, resulting in greater payments than the Kayak itself may be worth.
How much should I insure my Kayak for?
For those with new Kayaks it is important to have your Kayak fully covered. Whether it is theft or a freak accident, the first few years of a Kayaks life are where the greatest loss (net depreciation) can occur. Furthermore, for those with substantial added equipment, it is important to include those items in your policy as explicitly as possible. Remember, while the Kayak itself may not depreciate in many policies (when not associated with home policies) items you are carrying with you almost certainly will. That $500 rod/reel combo, probably will look close to $250 or $300 after its first season.
How much does Kayak insurance cost?
Depending on your policy, principally the value of your kayak and its deductible, we have seen many policies range from $100 -$150 per year. This figure cover loss or theft of the kayak and typically some level of lost gear for those onboard. Deductibles vary, but are typically 1% for the kayak and 10-15% for items onboard. Again, your Kayak may be worth a lot more (or less) and this may move the needle either way.
Does Kayak insurance cover theft?
While this might sound like a silly question at first (the answer is yes, your policy will cover it) it is worth while asking. Due to greater adoption of Kayaks in boating areas, and the massive increase in the cost of new Kayaks, Kayak theft is increasingly something owners have to consider. All policies we have seen include coverage for theft, though home policies may not provide any coverage if you are using your Kayak at your second home or property.