When you think about houseboats, danger may not come to mind. The fact is, houseboat accidents can lead to damage or injury out on the water. According to the the U.S. Coast Guard:
Accidents can happen anywhere and any time. You are best protected by an insurance policy that meets your needs and budget.
When you walk through a marina, you may see a variety of houseboats moored there. Newer models can be as long as 150 feet and cost well over $1 million. Other varieties of houseboats range in value. It follows that insurance for a houseboat is unique to the boat and the owner; your insurance agent will give you more insight into your insurance needs.
You will certainly need liability coverage for your houseboat. Liability coverage would provide financial protection in case you are at fault for bodily injury or property damage while using your boat. It may also be a good idea to buy coverage that will protect your investment in your houseboat if someone else is at fault for your property damage and does not have sufficient insurance to pay your costs.
Houseboat insurance comes at a price. If your boat is older than ten years, the insurer will conduct a survey first. The cost of the survey will depend on the value and the size of the boat. For each foot of the houseboat’s length, the cost of a marine survey will be $10 to $30.Thus, the survey fee for a 30-year old houseboat valued at $50,000 will be approximately $750.
This survey will assess your houseboat in several ways, and will state:
If you decide to sell, insure or finance your houseboat, the survey can be very important. The findings of the survey will help assign a value to your houseboat, making it considerably easier to find a buyer or a lender.
Houseboat insurance policies usually provide two types of coverage. They include:
Because a houseboat faces the same risks as any other vessel on the water, insurers treat them as boats, not houses. Some insurers might not provide insurance coverage if you live solely on your houseboat. Be sure to verify that you have the adequate coverage for your houseboat before listing it as your primary residence.
Having adequate houseboat insurance is important. Your houseboat insurance should include coverage that will protect you financially, and will cover your liability for accidents on your boat or damage that you could cause to another person or property. Coverage options include, but are not limited to:
These are just some of the options you may have when you go to purchase houseboat insurance. Your options may be different depending on the insurer you choose, the state you live in, and the length of time you plan to be on your boat. Those who live full-time on a house boat may have different insurance needs than those who rent houseboats to customers, for example. Be sure to talk with your agent and make sure you're getting the coverage you need to protect your finances.
Insurers decide the amount your premium will be based on the value of its hull and other factors, including the horsepower, age, length and the current condition of the houseboat. Usually, the liability limits on houseboat insurance policies range from $100,000 to $1,000,000.
How you use your houseboat will also have a bearing on your premium. Your premium could vary depending on the following factors:
When searching for houseboat insurance, gather some information on the coverage provided. This could help you find out your rights as an insured customer. It will also help you understand the limitations of your policy. Things to pay particularly close attention to are:
An insurance policy that provides you with the coverage you need for your houseboat is important. It will ensure that you are covered when an incident happens that can jeopardize your livelihood.