AAIS Revises Watercraft Coverage Programs, Offers 2-for-1

Property/casualty insurers now have access to two standardized watercraft coverage programs for the cost of one.

The American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS) has released revised forms and new manual rules and loss cost rating information for insuring privately owned yachts and similar craft.

The new AAIS Yacht Program and the existing AAIS Boatowners Program will be available for no additional charge to companies with paid AAIS affiliations for use of either of them. Boatowners affiliates will automatically have access to the Yacht Program, and vice versa.

Under both of these programs, insurers can write property and/or liability coverage on eligible watercraft, either as a stand-alone policy or as an endorsement to a personal lines policy.

Features

The Yacht Program is designed to insure craft at least 26 feet long and $50,000 in value; the Boatowners Program is designed to cover craft that are no more than 30 feet in length and not greater than $75,000 in value. Both programs allow insurers to insure watercraft for property only, liability only, or property and liability.
Under the base forms, property coverage for declared watercraft and trailers is provided on an open perils basis, and extends to newly acquired boats or yachts up to 30 days after acquisition.

Liability coverage is provided for bodily injury, property damage, and medical payments. When liability coverage is selected, uninsured boaters coverage is provided to cover bodily injury to passengers of an insured craft caused by another boater who is uninsured for the loss, has exhausted his or her insurance limits, or whose insurer cannot pay because of insolvency.

Each program includes a multistate manual with rules and rating information for 11 navigational territories encompassing all inland and coastal waters of the United States, including those off of Hawaii and Puerto Rico, plus the Canadian areas of the Great Lakes.

“A single policyholder could own several watercraft that would be appropriately insured under different AAIS-based policies,” says Pam Nykaza, AAIS senior product development specialist for inland marine, and the principal developer of AAIS’s current watercraft programs. “If a carrier uses AAIS forms, agents and policyholders will see consistency in policy structure, coverages, exclusions, limitations, and other conditions.”

For carriers, a key benefit to using these programs is in the consistency of the manual rules and loss cost rating information,” Nykaza adds. “This is especially beneficial to companies writing watercraft as an accommodation for their personal lines accounts.”