Iowa Boat Insurance

Get a full analysis of Iowa boat insurance costs, coverage, and companies.

Ann Herro, Insurance Expert Written by Ann Herro
Ann Herro, Insurance Expert
Written by Ann Herro

Ann Herro has been writing about insurance and employee benefits for over 15 years. She has covered topics as easy as insuring a car, and as difficult as transparency in healthcare costs.

Friends enjoying on the boat on summer sunset. Find Iowa Boat Insurance.

Find the Best Boat Insurance Options in Iowa

Boating is a popular recreational activity on Iowa’s many inland lakes. 

In order to protect your assets while you enjoy time on your boat, it’s important to be an educated boat operator, follow proper safety guidelines, and secure a suitable Iowa boat insurance policy.

A local independent insurance agent can help you learn more about Iowa boat insurance and find you a policy that meets your needs and budget. 

Best Boat Insurance Companies in Iowa

We selected the following carriers as some of the best boat insurance companies in Iowa. They are highly rated for their mix of valuable coverage offerings and competitive pricing. 

  • Progressive: Progressive is based in Ohio and offers personal insurance, including boat insurance. Iowa residents can look to Progressive for most of their personal insurance needs. 
  • Safeco Insurance: Safeco has been protecting individuals and families with personal insurance coverage since 1923. With a comprehensive range of insurance coverage, including boat insurance, Safeco helps Iowa boat owners protect what’s important. 
  • Foremost Insurance Company: Foremost was founded in 1952 and offers a wide range of coverage, including boat insurance, in 50 states. 
  • Travelers: Travelers offers highly-rated boat insurance in Iowa. The company provides a variety of other personal insurance options, including auto, home, and renters insurance.
  • Nationwide: Nationwide provides boat insurance and other popular types of personal insurance coverage in Iowa. The company is headquartered in Columbus, OH, and is represented by independent insurance agents in 50 states, including Iowa.

An independent insurance agent in your area can help you learn more about these and other Iowa boat insurance companies and can get you competitive quotes for the coverage that fits your needs.

Iowa Boat Insurance Requirements

Boat insurance is not required by law in Iowa, but there are a few cases where you might be required to purchase boat insurance by some other entity:

  • If you finance your boat purchase, your lender is likely to require you to carry insurance for the duration of your loan. Once you own the boat outright, however, insurance coverage is legally optional. 
  • If you are using your boat as collateral for a loan, the bank may require you to insure it.
  • You may be required to carry insurance if you dock your boat or yacht in certain harbors or marinas.

Many boat owners believe that their homeowners insurance offers liability coverage for losses caused by the negligent operation of their boat. While there may be some coverage in limited situations, it’s not likely to be enough to really help you if you’re at fault for a serious accident.

Homeowners insurance does provide some physical damage coverage for certain small boats (e.g., rafts, canoes, or kayaks) while they’re on your property (not in the water). This coverage usually has a small limit, such as $1,000.

You’ll need to purchase boat insurance in Iowa if you want physical damage coverage for a larger motorized boat.

Your independent insurance agent can help you learn more about the requirements for boat insurance in Iowa and find a policy that fits your needs. 

What Boat Insurance Covers in Iowa

Boat insurance in Iowa works much like car insurance. It covers bodily injury and property damage that you cause while operating your boat. Depending on the coverage you select, it can also cover physical damage to your boat and your property inside the boat. You can tailor your coverage depending on the type of boat you have, how and where you use it, and the types of items you keep onboard. 

A basic Iowa boat insurance policy provides you with liability coverage:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: Covers the medical costs associated with injuries sustained by other boaters or by guests and visitors while aboard if you’re at fault for an accident.
  • Property damage liability coverage: Covers damage to other people’s property, such as docks, marinas, and other boats, if you’re at fault for an accident. 

You can also obtain coverage for physical damage to your own watercraft:

  • Collision coverage: Covers repairs to or replacement of your own boat, motor, trolling motor, or any permanent boating equipment due to damage caused by a collision with another boat or an object while on the water.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This covers repairs to or replacement of your own boat, motor, trolling motor, or permanent boating equipment due to damage or loss caused by anything other than a collision, such as theft, vandalism, fire, or a storm.

Some additional coverage options include the following: 

  • Personal property coverage for equipment such as tools, life preservers, anchors, and oars
  • Coverage for fishing equipment like rods, lures, nets, and tackle
  • On-water towing and labor coverage for a disabled vessel
  • Medical payments coverage for hospital and funeral expenses for you or your passengers
  • Uninsured/underinsured boaters coverage for an accident with another boater who has insufficient or no boat insurance

Your local independent insurance agent in Iowa can help you determine which coverage types may be beneficial for your unique needs. 


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Average Cost of Boat Insurance in Iowa

Many factors determine the cost of boat insurance in Iowa, including: 

  • Make, model, and year of the boat: Insuring larger, older, or more expensive boats often leads to higher premiums.
  • Boating experience: More experienced boaters may pay less for boat insurance than newer boaters.
  • Claims history: This may include both at-fault and not-at-fault claims.
  • Horsepower: Boats with stronger engines may cost more to insure.

The amount of coverage and deductibles you choose, where you typically use your boat, and even your credit score will also impact your boat insurance cost in Iowa. 

You may be eligible for certain discounts on your Iowa boat insurance policy. Some insurers offer a layup discount, as well as a discount for successfully completing a boating safety course. What’s more, you will likely be eligible for a discount if you bundle your Iowa boat insurance policy with your homeowners and auto insurance. 

How to Find the Best Boat Insurance Quote in Iowa

It’s important to comparison shop to find the best boat insurance policy for your needs. Unfortunately, the process of acquiring and comparing insurance quotes can be time-consuming and even frustrating. 

An independent insurance agent simplifies the process. A local agent can help you assess your coverage needs and provide you with quotes from multiple insurance companies, allowing you to make the best choice. 

Working with a local agent is the best way to get knowledgeable, superior service from someone who understands the needs of boat owners in Iowa. 

Iowa Boat Insurance FAQs

While boat insurance is not required by law in Iowa, purchasing a boat insurance policy is a good idea. Boat insurance helps to protect your investment in your boat and your overall finances if you’re responsible for an accident. After all, boating accidents can happen even to the most careful and experienced boaters, and a serious accident can result in insurmountable costs for the at-fault boat driver. 

Even if your boat is not in use, it is subject to falling objects, severe weather damage, theft, and vandalism. While your homeowners insurance may cover a portion of your losses in certain circumstances, do not rely on it to cover the entirety of your claim. Any boat coverage offered by your home insurance policy will be very limited and won’t cover many of the hazards that an Iowa boat insurance policy can.

No, boat insurance is not required by law in Iowa. However, if you’ve financed your boat purchase, the lender may require that you purchase boat insurance. In addition, a marina or harbor where you dock your boat may require you to have boat insurance.

Boat insurance in Iowa typically provides liability coverage and physical damage coverage. Liability coverage helps you pay for medical expenses and property repair costs for other parties when you injure someone or damage someone else’s property while operating your boat. 

Physical damage coverage, such as comprehensive and collision coverage, helps you pay for damage to your boat in various circumstances.  

You can also add on the following types of optional coverage, depending on your needs: 

  • Personal property coverage 
  • Fishing equipment coverage 
  • On-water towing and labor coverage 
  • Medical payments coverage 
  • Uninsured/underinsured boaters coverage

 Boat insurance is recommended for most watercraft with motors, including fishing boats, pontoon boats, speed boats, leisure crafts, and yachts. Boat insurance generally does not cover canoes, kayaks, or personal watercraft. 

Every type of boat has the potential to be stolen, damaged, or involved in an incident that results in harm to another person or another person’s property. Even if your boat is docked or stored in your garage, it can be vandalized, damaged in a fire or storm, or stolen. Boat insurance can help you in all of these situations.

The cost of boat insurance in Iowa is likely to vary significantly from one person to the next. When you request a boat insurance quote, your rates will be calculated to reflect a number of factors including, but not limited to:

The type of boat you own

  • How frequently you use it
  • The amount of coverage you are requesting
  • The size of your chosen deductible
  • Your personal driving record
  • Your claims history and credit score

You may be able to lower your costs by qualifying for discounts on your policy. Many insurance companies will offer discounts for completing a boating safety course, having multiple policies with the same insurer, and opting for electronic monthly payments on your premiums. Be sure to ask about possible discounts when requesting boat insurance quotes.

TravelersProgressiveSafecoForemost Insurance Company, and Nationwide are some of the best boat insurance companies in Iowa. They are highly rated for offering broad coverage, top-notch customer service, and a variety of affordable options for boat owners.

A local independent insurance agent can help you find a competitively priced boat insurance policy that meets your needs. Independent agents aren’t tied down to one carrier. They can get quotes from multiple insurance companies so you can choose the Iowa boat insurance policy that best fits your needs and budget. 

An independent agent can also help you find other types of personal insurance, such as auto, home, or renters insurance.

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