Insurance and Appraisal Reports

When you purchase a boat – whether bowrider, center console, sportfish, trawler or sailboat – it is ideal to have a pre-purchase survey performed before final price and financing is determined. If a purchase occurs without a survey, the new owner will often learn that an insurance and appraisal report is required to obtain insurance. 

Do I need an insurance appraisal report for my boat?

An insurance appraisal report includes the vessel condition and appraised market value including a replacement cost from a certified marine surveyor. If your new boat is financed in any way it is likely that a survey needs to be performed before money is lent or insurance is underwritten.

The insurance survey should not be confused with the pre-purchase survey.  While the pre-purchase survey is a comprehensive report of the vessels condition, the insurance survey is focused on the overall vessel condition with a focus on safety to help an underwriter assess risk.  An insurance survey will determine if the vessel is fit for the intended use and conditions of the new buyer, and will also include the fair market value and replacement cost.  Most insurance companies require an insurance survey every 3-5 years for recreational vessels while commercial vessels like lobster and commercial fishing boats require safety and insurance inspections more frequently.


Insurance appraisals after vessel improvement

As boat owners we are constantly looking for ways to improve and optimize our vessels, both for safety and enjoyment. After making an improvement to your vessel, boat owners should consider investing in an insurance survey. An insurance survey after boat improvement documents the work you have done, updates the fair market value of the boat, (which will increase significantly with such an improvement) and can be used to protect the value in case of a claim or loss.

If you don’t know whether you need an appraisal after a boat improvement, contact Dirigo Maritime today. We are boat owners and boat enthusiasts, and as such, we understand the importance of protecting your investment.


Chapman School of Seamanship
American Boat & Yacht Council
Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice