What are Navigation Limits in an Insurance Policy?

What are Navigation Limits in an Insurance Policy?

Congratulations on your watercraft! Perhaps you’d like to set sail from the shores of St. Petersburg, Florida to where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Atlantic Ocean or the beautiful Bahamas. But wait a minute, what about your insurance policy? Navigation limits define where you can embark with your boat and in which seasons in order to be covered. 

If you do decide to undertake the Bahamas, for example, you are ready to embark on your journey once you’ve checked your marine coverage. That holds true for any other extended trip as well. It makes sense to purchase specialized marine coverage with precise navigation limits that meet your needs.  You don’t want to jeopardize an unpaid claim because you navigated outside the navigation limits stated in your insurance policy . 

Let’s examine some of the nuances of navigation limits. You will need to decide the right navigation limits for you and your family, and request a marine insurance quote that is personalized for the voyages that you plan to make, and not those you do not.  For extended cruising, an insurance company may require a vessel itinerary with planned dates and locations outlined.

What Are Navigation Limits?

Navigation limits dictate where you can take your boat and still be covered. Picture the uncertainty that comes with each year’s hurricane season, and a major reason for navigation limits becomes obvious. For example, an insurance carrier may require a higher premium for boats moored in New Orleans or in certain areas of Florida.  Where you keep your vessel and plan to navigate may impact the premium as well.  Let’s not forget  Hurricane Ian’s wrath caused upwards of $1 billion of damages to watercrafts. 

If you are planning on having your boat in a hurricane-prone area, you may pay extra for additional coverage to extend your navigation limits. Before embarking on a voyage outside the realm of your usual itinerary, check your navigation limits. If your navigation limits do not offer coverage for your planned adventure, an endorsement may be added to your existing policy by your insurance advisor.  Or, your boat policy may have to be replaced with an insurance carrier that is willing to offer the navigation you’re seeking.

How Are Navigation Limits Determined For A Marine Insurance Policy?

Navigation limits for a marine insurance policy are going to be decided by the carrier, but many of them are far beyond what the everyday boater attempts. This is why it’s best to enlist the assistance of an experienced marine insurance advisor. 

For example, a common navigation limit is U.S. waters up to 75 miles offshore. Navigating to the Bahamas in this instance would NOT be covered without an extended navigation endorsement.  Notice the navigation limit specifically states U.S. waters. The insurance carrier determines the limits of the navigation on your policy; by being an informed consumer, you will be able to understand where you are allowed to go on the water.  Sometime the navigation limits will have stated maximum mileage offshore or specified coordinates.   

What happens if you travel outside your navigation limits?  Hope that you do not suffer a loss, as the policy will not respond for any coverages. Navigation limits are in place for a reason, and if you plan to exceed them, you will need to gain an endorsement or secure a new policy, before making your journey, in order to be covered. 

Do not travel outside your navigation limits. There is a reason these specific limits exist. Think of it this way: You’ve already paid for the marine insurance policy. Why render it useless by traveling outside of your navigation limits?

For answers to additional questions about navigation limits and to request a marine insurance quote, contact the W3 marine advisor team today.

Trust A Team That Understands Navigation Limits

At Wallace, Welch, and Willingham, we know marine insurance. With over 90 years in the field of insurance and risk management, we’re the marine team you need to answer all of your marine insurance coverage questions. Reach out to us for a consultation before you set sail!