If having fun on the water appeals to you, then you might find yourself in the market to buy a boat. You could purchase a boat for fishing, speed boating or sailing, or a pontoon to float around casually. Just as you insure your car and your home, it's a good idea to get adequate insurance coverage for your boat.
As you research your options for boat insurance, you might have some questions about the cost, what kind of coverage you should purchase, and what insurance company carries the best policies for your dollar.
An independent insurance agent can help answer your insurance questions and get you on the right track for saving on your boat policy. Contact an independent agent today to get started.
The Cost of Boating Accidents
Take a look at some statistics from the Coast Guard for 2019 about boating accidents:
- 4,168 accidents involving recreational boats resulted in $55 million in property damage.
- 556 deaths and more than 2,559 injuries were due to boating accidents.
- 70% of boating deaths were drownings.
- 33% of deaths occurred when the driver had no boater safety instruction.
- Open motorboats were listed in 47% of all boating accidents.
- Alcohol was deemed the leading factor in fatal boating accidents.
How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost?
The average annual cost of boat insurance is a few hundred dollars, though it can run over $1,000 per year, depending on the type of boat and your personal profile.
The type of boat, its length, and its expected use will largely dictate your boat insurance rates. Whether you have a speed boat, a small fishing boat, or a yacht will make a big difference in what you pay.
In general, boat insurance costs typically range from $200 to $500 per year, on average.
What Factors Affect Your Boat Insurance Cost?
A number of factors, some in your control and some not, can have an impact on your boat insurance rates. If you sail on a lake that has a high rate of claims, the cost of your coverage will be higher than for a lake where there are far fewer claims.
Additional factors that affect your boat insurance rates include:
- Your use of the boat: If you only take your boat on occasional fishing trips, your rates will typically be lower than if you tow water skiers, wake boarders, or parasails.
- Your motor vehicle driving record: Good automobile drivers tend to be good boat drivers.
- Your record of boat insurance claims: You may have to pay more if you’ve filed many claims in the past.
- The boating experience of others who will be driving the boat: Adding your teenage son as a driver on your policy may increase your rates.
- Safety measures: Have you had a certified safety course? Do you have Coast Guard approved fire extinguishers and radios to communicate with the mainland?
- Horsepower of the boat: Often, boats with higher horsepower engines will have higher insurance premiums assigned to them.
- Your gender and age: Studies have found that women over the age of 27 tend to be quoted better rates than men of the same age, even with equal driving records.
- Specs of your boat: The year, make and model of the boat and motor, and whether you have an inboard or outboard motor, come into play when determining rates.
- Region of the country: This is to determine if you will be using the boat in areas where there are natural hazards like hurricanes.
- Your credit score: Believe it or not, insurance companies have found that a person with a lower credit score is statistically more prone to boating accidents. If your credit score is low, you may be charged more for your boat insurance than someone with a higher credit rating.
Which Comes First: The Boat or the Boat Insurance?
If you are in the market for a boat, it's a good idea to consider shopping for insurance first before signing your boat purchase paperwork. Insurance rates can vary, so you may want to factor in the cost of your coverage as you determine which boat you can reasonably afford.
Try narrowing your purchase choices down to two or three boats, and then take information about their specifications to a local independent agent.
Your agent will get quotes from several insurance companies for you on your potential purchases. You can then determine for yourself which boat will ultimately be better for your needs and budget.
An independent agent in your area can help you evaluate boat insurance rates and options so you can enjoy the water and have peace of mind. If you’re thinking about getting a boat, contact a local agent today and get the vital information you need for your best protection.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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American Boating Association June 30th 2019
Us Coast guard recreational boating statistics 2019