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Trustedchoice.com
March 25, 2021
Boat Insurance

How this quote will help me?

Your quote is based on several common factors to give you a clear picture of the cost you can expect, though an independent agent can shop around and maybe even improve your rate!


NOTE: This quote is not final, though we did work with professional actuaries to help get you a ballpark figure to get started.

Only a small handful of states actually require boat insurance, but there are a few situations where you may need it. First, if you dock your boat at a marina, they may require some form of coverage in order to protect their business. Second, if you finance your boat, nearly every lender will require coverage to protect their investment. 

Other than that, you should always have at least liability coverage on your boat to protect yourself against lawsuit costs if you cause bodily injury or property damage. Property coverage is optional, but again, the more comprehensive your coverage, the better it can protect you.

The cost of any boat policy all depends on a number of different factors, including: size, value, and even horsepower of your boat. As you can imagine, a mega yacht is going to be more expensive than a casual lake pontoon. Though typically, policies range somewhere in the hundreds annually, increasing with added risk and high cost.

Insuring your boat and all that go into it is always a smart idea. There are, however, a few ways of going about it. In many cases, you can simply add on trailer coverage to your boat policy. Otherwise, in some instances, your boat trailer will be protected by your home or car insurance policy. It's best to talk to your independent insurance agent about your boat, the trailer, and how you use it to talk through your best option in more detail.

Yes, if your policy includes medical payments, it will cover injuries to your passengers if you get into an accident. This is definitely one of the most important coverages because an injury to someone on your boat can rack up some pretty significant medical and legal bills. Having the right boat insurance will make sure you can help take care of anyone injured in an accident and get back to life on the waters as painlessly as possible. 

Typically, yes. But we always recommend checking with your independent agent to make sure your coverage includes theft. Every carrier and every policy is different, but the more you know about your own policy, the better it will help protect you. 

In most cases, yes, you will be covered in the event of a hurricane. But, as with any other natural disaster or unexpected event, you'll want to double-check your policy, but typically boat insurance does cover storm damage, including hurricanes.

No, boat insurance often excludes defective machinery or maintenance costs. Wear and tear is a natural outcome of use and not covered by your policy.

BOAT INSURANCE

BOAT INSURANCE

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The life of a boat owner can be exciting, no matter if you're docked off the East Coast or fishing the lakes of the Midwest. But at the same time, there's also a lot of precaution to worry about. The threat of fire, theft, and other unexpected disasters are always present. That’s why having the right boat insurance is so important. But in order to get the most out of your insurance you need to understand all the ins and outs as well as what is and isn’t covered.

Do I Need Boat Insurance?

Only a small handful of states actually require boat insurance, but there are a few situations where you may need it. First, if you dock your boat at a marina, they may require some form of coverage in order to protect their business. Second, if you financed your boat, nearly every lender will require coverage to protect their investment. 

Other than that, you should always have at least liability coverage on your boat to protect yourself against lawsuit costs if you cause bodily injury or property damage. Property coverage is optional, but again, the more comprehensive your coverage, the better it can protect you.

Despite all the fun to be had with a boat, accidents and disasters can happen. The easiest way to protect yourself and others, and get you back on the lake after a situation is with the right insurance.

Most common types of boating accidents

Most common types of boating accidents

What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

Boat insurance provides a lot of important protection, not only for your boat, but also for you, your passengers, and everything else on and around the water. Boat insurance typically includes the following four primary coverages.

Types of boat coverage
  • Personal property damage: Reimbursement for your boat, trailer, and engine if they're damaged by a covered peril like vandalism, accident, etc.
  • Medical payments: Reimbursement for treatment of injuries to you and your passengers who get hurt in some way by your boat or while on your boat.
  • Property damage liability: Reimbursement of property damage costs to any third-party damage caused by your boat.
  • Bodily injury liability: Reimbursement for injuries to anyone who is physically harmed by your boat.

On top of these coverages, many insurance companies also offer specialized boating protections that could include the following.

  • Uninsured/underinsured boaters: Covers injury expenses if the other boater is responsible but either doesn’t have any insurance or doesn’t have enough to cover your expenses. 
  • Fishing equipment: Sometimes included, you'll be reimbursed up to a certain limit, like $1,000. 
  • Water sports liability: With speed and excitement comes added risk. Some policies include water sports from your liability coverage and some don't. If you need coverage, your agent can help.
  • Emergency assistance on the water: Provides water towing and other assistance services through a maritime dispatch center. 
  • Roadside assistance for your boat and trailer: If you're stranded on the road without coverage, your regular roadside assistance is likely to leave your boat on the road. Adding it to your policy guarantees the towing company will take your vehicle, boat, and trailer to the nearest facility. 

As always, if you have questions or concerns based on your plans on the water, it's best to talk to your independent insurance agent. They can help you find and increase coverage so that it works best for you. 

Additional Coverages for Boats

Beyond the common coverages, it's always recommended to consider additional coverages that can help tailor the policy to your unique risks. Here are several optional boat insurance coverages worth considering.

  • Hurricane hauling services: Available with some companies, this covers the cost of moving your watercraft out of the county where it's docked in case of emergency . 
  • Personal property coverage: Personal property is usually covered under your homeowners policy, even when the boat isn't at your house. However, your deductible is often higher, so you can add personal property coverage on your boat policy to avoid a homeowners claim. 
  • Wreckage and fuel removal: Reimburses cost to recover or destroy wreckage and fuel if you get in an accident. 
  • Replacement cost or agreed value: Newer and more expensive boats can be insured for agreed value, which means you'll recover the full amount you paid for it, without depreciation. 
  • Pet coverage: If you boat with a pet onboard, this provides up to $1,000 towards veterinarian fees if they're injured on the boat. 

Do All Boats Require Insurance?

First off, it depends what kind of boat we're talking about. For example, a canoe or kayak shouldn't require any insurance, but a speed boat would. Beyond that, only a few states actually require any form of boat insurance. However, many circumstances do mandate insurance in order to provide protection on property or investment. A marina you dock at, for example, may require coverage. If you financed your boat, your lender will typically require coverage. In both cases, your insurance is important to help protect their investment.

Other than that, a minimum of liability coverage is recommended to help protect yourself against lawsuit costs if you cause bodily injury or property damage. Property coverage is optional, but again, the more comprehensive your coverage, the better it can protect you.

Commonly insured boats

  • Jet skis
  • Pontoons
  • Fishing boats
  • Ski and speed boats
  • Sailboats
  • Yachts
  • Utility boats

Some boats, however, are covered under your homeowners policy—though the coverage is limited. Typically, boats are only covered for liability under a homeowners policy include the following.

  • Inboard or inboard/outboard motorboats under 50 horsepower
  • Outboard motorboats under 25 horsepower
  • Sailboats smaller than 26 feet

All other types of watercraft have no automatic liability coverage under homeowners insurance. And your homeowners policy's property damage section might cover your small boat, but only up to $1,000.  

How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost?

You can expect to pay between $200 and $500 a year for boat insurance, though it all depends on the type and value of your boat. Similarly, if you just want liability on your boat, you’ll probably only pay the minimum premium of $75 to $100 a year. 

The cost of your boat insurance depends on the following factors

  • Type and value
  • Horsepower
  • Usage
  • Prior boating or driving claims
  • Your driving record
  • Your age and boating experience

You can always start with the insurance quote calculator on this page for a quick ballpark figure of insurance, but an independent agent can help you really dial in on a more accurate figure.

Finding Discounts and Savings on Boat Insurance

Fortunately, there are typically several discounts available for boat insurance. While your options vary by insurance company, here are some common discounts.

  • Diesel-powered boat
  • No prior claims
  • Bundling discounts (ie. boat and home bundled)
  • Safety course
  • Loyalty

An independent insurance agent is your greatest ally when it comes to finding discounts on boat insurance. They know your area and are experts on getting the exact coverage and cost for your needs.

Your Independent Insurance Agent Has Your Answers

Whatever you need, your agent has your back. With a brief intro into the terms, discounts and process of your boat insurance, you know the kinds of questions to be asking. Your agent will ask you all about your boat, its use and your goals, and help find the perfect blend of coverage at the right cost for you.

Best Boat Insurance Companies

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