Common Insurance Questions From Boat Owners
Do I have to insure my boat?
Can I insure my boat under my home insurance policy?
Most home insurance policies will allow you to insure boats up to a certain length or horse power. This is generally limited to small aluminium boats with outboard motors. You may have no choice but to insure your boat under a stand-alone boat insurance policy.
Home insurance policies are not intended to cover marine risks and have limited coverage for boats where as a stand-alone boat insurance policy will offer all-risk coverage. The basis of loss settlement on a stand-alone boat insurance policy is Agreed Value which is the amount shown on the policy declaration page. On a home insurance policy, the basis of loss settlement is Actual Cash Value which is replacement cost less depreciation. You may save some money by adding your small boat to your home insurance policy but it could cost you thousands of dollars when a loss occurs, assuming you have coverage in the first place.
Lastly, if you insure your boat under your home insurance policy, a claim on your boat counts as a claim against your home insurance policy. Once you have a couple of claims, your insurance company may cancel your home insurance policy. If that happens, you will have to purchase a high risk policy at triple the premium you were paying before.
What is the difference between Agreed Value and Actual Cash Value?
Do I have coverage when towing my boat?
What is a survey and do I need one?
What discounts are available?
Is Boat Insurance Required
Some states require a boat to have liability coverage. Check with your ERIE agent to see if boat insurance is required in your state. Liability coverage can help pay for damages to someone elses boat, dock or other property.
Even if it isnt mandatory in your state, many marinas require you to have boat insurance to dock your boat there. Additionally, if you take a loan out on your boat, banks often request you buy boat insurance.
Do I Need To Insure My Boat During The Winter When Im Not Using It
If you own a boat, you are not alone if you are wondering why you need boat insurance year round when you are only using your boat in the warmer months. In fact, some boat owners cancel their boat insurance after every boating season to save on premiums. However, this can actually be more costly in the long run. The following are some good reasons to carry boat insurance all year long.
You May Be Required By Your Lender To Carry Boat Insurance
Boats are expensive to buy. If you financed your boat, as opposed to paying cash, it is probably a requirement of your lender that you carry boat insurance year round. Lenders need their investment protected, even in the off season. If you dock your boat, the marina may also require that the boat be insured.
Coverage For Your Boat Under Your Homeowners Insurance Is Limited
Your homeowners insurance policy will only cover damage to your boat that occurs while the boat is on your property. Also, the amount of coverage provided under a homeowners policy is substantially less than boat insurance provides. The typical boat insurance policy covers:
There Is No Off Season For Natural Disasters
Your boat is still vulnerable to damage while it is in storage. Depending on where you live, there may be a risk of damage from fire, flooding, or hurricanes. In the event of a natural disaster, having boat insurance could save you many thousands of dollars.
Fire, Theft, & Vandalism Can Happen All Year Round
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You Should Choose Your Boat Insurance Coverage Wisely
or at least with the help of an insurance agent to make sure you understand your options. An agent can help you understand what is and isnt covered in your policy, as well as understand the types of coverages offered by your policy. For example, youll like have the option for replacement cost or cash value in the event of total loss, much like your home insurance policy.
There are also many optional or add-on coverages to consider, but more on that later. If youre wondering whats included, excluded in your policy and how its covered, give one of our insurance advisors a call at . Theyre happy to walk you through your boat insurance policy language.
What Is Boat Insurance And Why Do You Need It
Warm sun. Cool breeze. If you have a boat, you get it: Theres nothing like being out on the water.
You cherish your boat, and the memories you make there are the reason your investment is worth every penny. Having the right insurance coverage for your boat can help you float on worry-free.
If youre ready to buy boat insurance, talk to a local professional like an Erie Insurance agent. He or she can talk you through your coverage options so you understand what fits your needs and budget.
For answers to common questions about boat insurance, keep reading.
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How To Compare Boat Trailer Insurance Quotes
You can meet face-to-face with an independent agent in our network to get information about available coverage in your area and compare quotes on boat trailer insurance. Your local agent can discuss your particular situation and help you determine if boat trailer insurance is right for you.
Agents in our network are independent, which means they can research quotes from a number of insurance companies to find the right fit for you. Find an independent agent near you and get started comparing boat trailer insurance today.
Do You Need Boat Insurance
Your home insurance policy covers your boat in some cases, but it doesnt go far. Homeowners policies typically cap boat coverage at $1,000 or 10% of your homes insured value. And liability coverage which pays for damage your boat does to others typically isnt included under home insurance. So a home insurance policy might help you only if your boat is small, slow and inexpensive.
At a glance: Do I need boat insurance?
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What Comes With A Standard Boating Insurance Policy
Although there are no one size fits all policies, a typical boat policy may include:
- Hull protection covers vessel damage and motor damage.
- Personal possessions this can be fishing gear, smart phones, computers, or anything that you take with you.
- Liability covers damage to other vessels.
- Medical payments to those injured in a boating incident.
- Clean up charges in case your vessel pollutes the waters with contaminants like oil, gasoline, and such, during the course of an accident. This can be a major expense.
- Vessel towing in case your boat is disabled on the water.
Types Of Boat Insurance
There are two basic types of boat insuranceagreed value and actual cash value. How depreciation is handled is what sets them apart.
An “agreed value” policy covers the boat based on its value when the policy was written. While it can cost more up front, there is no depreciation for a total loss of the boat .
“Actual cash value” policies cost less up front, but factor in depreciation. In other word, the policy will only pay up to the actual cash value of the boat at the time it is declared a total or partial loss. Eventually, as your boat ages, your insurer will likely insist on an actual cash value policyand if often gives a substantial savings.
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Boat Insurance In Minnesota
Having boat insurance in Minnesota can work for keeping your time on the water a relaxing and stress-free time. If you own a boat in Minnesota, then you can answer the question, Do I need boat insurance in Minnesota with a very strong yes. Yes, but its not necessary by law. You need it to be safe and cover you in a case of a covered loss or damage or an injury to one of your passengers. All boats in the state of Minnesota must be registered motorized or not motorized with few exceptions to the law. In order to register the boat, you will need proof of insurance. As an MN boat insurance agent can tell you, they can help you find the proper type of Minnesota boat insurance for your craft.
If you are concerned that you dont know how to choose the right kind of boat insurance in Minnesota, thats why it is vital for you to find an independent agent who sells this type of insurance who can clear up any questions you may have.
Does My Car Insurance Cover My Boat’s Trailer
I own a small boat but dont live on a lake. When I want to use my boat, I drive it to the public access. What happens if I get into an accident while Im driving with my trailer? Will my car insurance cover it?
Your car insurance will usually provide liability coverage for your boat trailer or any other trailer you might use. That means that if you cause damage to another person, or vehicle, or to property, your car insurance will pay for that damage.
However, car insurance rarely covers any damage done to your trailer. That means that if it gets damaged or stolen, if you dont have special boat insurance or trailer insurance, youll need to pay to repair or replace it yourself.
When Is Proof Of Insurance Required
Even though most states dont legally require you to carry boat insurance, other situations may require proof of insurance for your watercraft.
Docking your boat at a marina
If you plan on docking your boat at a marina, many will require you to show proof of insurance before signing the contract. That being so, make sure to read the fine print and understand the requirements before proceeding with any contractual agreement.
For example, marinas such as the Charleston City Marina in South Carolina and the Kemah Boardwalk Marina in Kemah, Texas require docked boats to have liability insurance of at least $300,000.
Marinas like Brickyard Cove in Pt. Richmond, CA require an endorsement on your policy as additional interest or additional insured to avoid claims of negligence.
Harbors will carry their own liability insurance so they can protect claims where they may be at fault.
Financing your boat purchase
If you have financed your boat, your bank may require you to carry boat insurance. If the bank is using the boat as collateral for the loan, they will require you to list them as payee for loss or damage of the boat.
Unlike home and auto coverage, some policies dont require you to carry year-round coverage. But if you have financed your boat, your lender will most likely ask you to carry coverage even when the boat is stored. Your vessel may still be exposed to risks, such as theft and storm damage, while in storage.
Who Needs Boat Insurance
Anyone who owns a boat needs MN boat insurance to cover them in a case of an accident, if it was stolen, if it is vandalized or if an uninsured or underinsured boat owner damages or destroys your boat or hurts your passengers. Do you need boat insurance in Minnesota? Yes, it is necessary to have it for any and all boats or other watercraft operated in the state.
You may own a small watercraft like a kayak or a canoe and figure you are covered for losses via your homeowners insurance, however, that may be true, but only up to a specific amount, which might not be enough if your craft is damaged or destroyed. So, you should speak with an agent to find out how much Minnesota boat insurance is needed and how much it cost.
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What States Require Boat Insurance
As of right now, only two states have boat insurance lawsâArkansas and Utah. In Arkansas, all motorboats powered by engines of more than 50 horsepower, and all PWC, must be covered by a liability insurance policy. The policy must provide at least $50,000 of liability coverage, and it is illegal to operate the PWC without the required insurance.
In Utah, all motorboats and PWC are required to carry ownerâs or operatorâs liability insurance when operated on Utah waters. Motorboats equipped with engines less than 50 horsepower and airboats are exempt. It is illegal to operate a PWC on Utah waters without the required insurance.
Utahâs boat insurance policy requires the following minimum coverage limits per occurrence:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person.
- $50,000 for total bodily injury if multiple people are hurt in the accident.
- $15,000 for property damage.
There are some instances of states requiring insurance for boats used in some state parks or kept in some state-operated marinasâcheck with your state marine board or alternative governing agency to see if you are impacted.
How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost
According to trustedchoice.com, the cost of boat insurance generally ranges from $300 to $500 per year, on average. Depending on the type of boat and your personal profile, your insurance costs may be significantly higher. âThe type of boat, its length, and the expected use of the boat 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.â Another insurance comparison resource tells us that a good approximation for your annual premiums is 1.5% the current market value of your boat.
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Premiums & Boat Discounts
What Boat Discounts Are Available, and How Can I Add Them to My Policy?
You may be eligible for discounts based on factors like:
- Your level of boating education.
- Your boats safety and security features.
- Your boat is a hybrid or electric.
- You insure more than one boat with Travelers.
- You have another policy, such as car, homeowners, renters, condo or umbrella insurance, with Travelers.
- How and when you pay your premium.
Ask your insurance representative about these and other incentives to ensure you are getting all the boat discounts for which you are eligible.
Can I Get a Discount on My Boat Policy if I Have Other Policies with Travelers?
Yes, we offer a discount of up to 10% for one other qualifying policy and up to 15% off for two or more qualifying policies. Ask your insurance representative about our multipolicy discount.
Can I Get a Discount if I Have Security and Safety Features Installed on My Boat or Its Storage Location?
In many cases, having a GPS unit, radar or other security and safety devices installed on your boat will qualify you for savings. Ask your representative for more information about this and other boat discounts for which you may be eligible.
What Coverage Options Are Available for Travelers Boat Insurance? What Is a Deductible and How Does It Affect My Boat Insurance Premium?
A deductible is the amount of money you must pay out of your own pocket before your boat insurance kicks in. Typically, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium.
Kinds Of Boat Insurance Policies
- Boat & PWC Rental – Although this is generally not required, rental insurance will help cover any damage the vessel, as well as the operator and passengers.
- Boat Clubs – covers all members of club while operating a boat.
- Professional – These policies are very customizable and can cover items like travel to a tournament, equipment and more.
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Free Or Cheap Options
Lets start with free and inexpensive options. Depending on where you live, you may find many or few opportunities.
Google boating safety courses in your town or state and see what comes up.
The US Power Squadron is a volunteer organization with chapters all over they country. Many offer free workshops both online and live. And dont be fooled by the name. Many of their workshops are quite relevant for sailors.
While online learning and land-based workshops are good, the next step will be to get on a boat.
Having boating friends is a great place to start. Go out with them as much as you can, ask lots of questions, and learn from watching experienced mariners. Maybe with time, they will let you drive!
If you dont know people who own boats, maybe you have a sailing club nearby. Check sailing club and yacht clubs. In smaller towns yacht clubs are open to all and welcome people interested in learning how to sail.
Some yacht clubs have a racing night where you can go down to the dock and volunteer to crew. At first, you may just sit on the rail, but youre sailing!
Boat shows are also another good place to learn. You will find sailing seminars and booths with charter companies and sailing instructors.
Also, consider joining Seven Seas Cruising Association. They offer GAMS where seminars are given. And you can meet sailors from all over the globe.
Facts About Boat Trailers
- A boat trailer should be approximately 2 feet longer than the boat you haul with it.
- Boats weigh significantly more when fully fueled you also need to consider the weight of anything else you carry on the boat.
- You may need a tandem-axle trailer if your boat is too heavy for a single-axle trailer.
- Boat trailers either come painted or galvanized. Painted trailers are susceptible to corrosion from saltwater and should only be used for boats in freshwater lakes or rivers.
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Reasons Boat Owners Should Carry Boat Insurance Year
If youre a boat owner, you may be asking yourself: why should I insure my boat year round, especially when I only get to use it for a few months? Its a good question, and one that all boat owners ask at some point. The main reason boat owners cancel their boat insurance after every season is to save money. The truth is, it can actually be more expensive in the long run. If youre considering only getting boat insurance during the boating season, here are five reasons to carry boat insurance year round.
Its most likely required.
Boats are expensive investments. Chances are youve financed yours instead of paying cash upfront. If thats the case, boat owners are usually required by lenders to carry insurance all year round. It makes sense, after all, since the lenders are making an investment as well. They need to protect that investment all year, not just during the boating off-season. Besides lenders, marinas may also require you to have boat insurance in order to dock at their facility.
Theres risk out of the water, too.
At a minimum, boat insurance should protect you from fire, theft and vandalism, which, unfortunately, happen all year round. Moreover, these unforeseen events are more likely to occur in the winter months, when boatyards are typically unattended.