How Much Coverage Do You Need
With the exception of Arkansas, Utah, and Hawaii, where some type of liability coverage is required, boat owners dont need a minimum amount of boat insurance in most states. This means that finding the right policy for you will mainly depend on four factors: first, the type of boat you have, second, what you use it forfishing, sports, recreation with family or friends, etc., third, how protected you want your boat to be, and fourth, how much are you willing to pay.
If your intention is purchasing a well-rounded boat insurance policy, it should at least feature some type of liability coverage, collision, and medical payments. These three options will cover damages caused to property, physical damages to your boat, and medical expenses for you or passengers. Adding extra coverage to your policy such as towing and roadside assistance can also come in handy. Keep in mind that sometimes companies include services in their policies that others offer for an additional cost. In order to find the best policy and price, you should at least get three quotes from different companies and compare what coverage and services they feature in their policies.
The Type Of Policy Being Purchased
We recommend that you buy marine insurance designed to cover property and injury-related specifically to the boat.
However, your boat may be covered by different types of policies.
Here are 4 types of policies that may apply:
1) Homeowners Insurance
People who store their boat on their property may be able to use their homeowners insurance policy should the worst happen.
This is especially true if the boat is small and stored inside the house or the garage.
For example, a kayak stored in the basement of a persons house will be covered if the house burns down and the kayak is destroyed.
In fact, some homeowners insurance policies may protect the kayak even if it is chained up at the homes back dock. However, the same rule might not apply to a larger boat.
A homeowners insurance policy will often only cover up to $1,000.00. This means that if your $700.00 canoe is stolen, your insurance company may reimburse you.
However, it also means that if your $35,000.00 boat is stolen, youll only be reimbursed $1,000.00 for it.
For this reason, most people will get an additional insurance policy to help cover their boat.
On top of this, a homeowners insurance policy cannot cover a boat that is out on the water or out on the road. This means that a person will need to get another policy whenever they intend on using the boat.
Failure to do so will leave them out of luck should something happen.
2) Vehicle Insurance
Comparing Boat Insurance Providers
Owning a boat is a major expense and you should choose your boat insurance provider with care. Remember to research the company and check out its ratings and reviews. Some other things to keep in mind when comparing providers include:
- Coverage options: What type of coverage is offered? Make sure you understand the different plans and if things like running aground or hitting the dock are covered.
- Pricing: Know how much youre paying for coverage and what that includes. Also, keep due dates in mind and if a downpayment is required.
- Discounts: What discounts does the provider offer? Some things to ask about are bundling discounts, safe boater discounts, age-based discounts, and discounts for experienced boatmen
- Specializations: Know if the provider specializes in marine coverage and make sure the agents are knowledgeable because it is much different than auto insurance. Some companies specialize in recreational boating and others specialize in commercial boating and yachts.
- Coverage Exclusions: Research ahead of time what is not covered so you know before you choose a policy. Some providers wont insure boats that go above a certain amount of knots and others wont insure boats with aftermarket parts.
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Best For Professional Fishermen: Markel
- No. of Policy Types: One custom policy
- Coverage Limit: Contact for details
- Price: $100+/year
Policies tailored to your boating needs
Free online quotes
Need to contact company for policy details
Website could be updated
Not as well-known as other providers
The Markel Corporation is a specialty insurance company that offers specialized coverage for boats. They have an A rating from A.M. Best and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. The company has been in business since 1930 and offers comprehensive boat insurance policies for boats and personal watercraft . The Markel policy has an option to add coverage if youre a professional fisherman which provides replacement cost coverage for a preset agreed upon value of fishing equipment. Several discounts are available including an accident-free discount, operator over age 40 discount, and an experienced boater discount for boaters who have five years or more of boating experience. If you happen to qualify for all of the discounts available through Markel, you could save up to 35% on your boat insurance premium. Extra features also come standard without having to pay an additional premium.
Florida Boat Safety Equipment Laws
Florida’s boat safety equipment requirements may vary based upon your boat’s size and use, but the law typically requires:
- Fire extinguishers and backfire flame control
- Visual distress signals if you operate the boat on the ocean or in coastal waters
- A device that produces sound, to signal to other boats or in cases of distress, such as a horn
- A ventilation system
- Vessel lighting equipment
Florida boating law also requires you to carry at least one personal flotation device, such as a life jacket, per person on the boat. And if your boat is over 16 feet or longer, you will also need to have a throwable flotation device on hand.
If you have children under the age of 13 on your boat, and it’s being operated on open waters, they must wear their life jackets at all times unless inside a cabin or below deck. And children age five or younger need to wear a life jacket at all times if your boat is less than 26 feet long. Personal flotation devices must meet the requirements set by the U.S. Coast Guard.
In order to ride a PWC or jet ski, Florida law requires that you wear an approved life jacket at all times. The same applies to anyone being towed behind a boat.
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Our Boat Insurance Review Summed Up
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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.
Who Else May Require You To Carry Boat Insurance
If you intend to finance the purchase of a boat, your bank will require you to provide proof of insurance for the watercraft. Typically, the policy will need to cover the full value of the boat, and your bank may set minimum requirements for specific types of coverage. In addition, you will need to list the bank as a lienholder on the policy so that it will be included as a co-payee on any compensation in the event of a loss payment.
Most ports and marinas will require you to carry boat insurance in order to use their facilities.
For example, if you want to moor your boat at Port of Bellingham in Washington, you must carry a policy with at least $300,000 in general, legal and pollution liability with a policy term of no less than one year. As another example, the Hawaii Division of Boats and Ocean Recreation requires all vessels moored at its facilities to carry at least $500,000 in liability insurance.
Some marinas, such as the Hawaii Division of Boats and Ocean Recreation, may even require that the marina itself be listed as an “additional insured” or “additional interest” on the policy. You’ll normally need to provide proof of insurance before you can sign a contract for a slip or mooring.
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Do You Need A Boating License In Florida
You don’t need a boating license to operate a boat in Florida. But the state law does require anyone born after 1988 to complete an approved boating safety course and have a boating safety education identification card if they want to operate a boat with 10 or more horsepower. The boating safety ID card can be obtained from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and is valid for life, so you won’t need to get recertified.
In order to operate a PWC or jet ski in Florida, you also don’t need a license, and you would only need to have a boater safety card if youâre under the age of 22 according to state law. And you’re not allowed to operate a PWC or jet ski if you’re under the age of 14.
Liability Coverage For Boat Insurance: Why It Matters
Boat insurance can be purchased to cover physical damage and protect against liability. Liability coverage can be critical in cases of bodily injury or death. If you are sued by another party who claims that you are responsible for a personal injury or death, the cost of defending yourself against the compensation can be paid through your policy. assets, including pension funds, investment funds or the value of your property. You have worked to collect assets that could be lost in a lawsuit, and the liability protection for a non-motorized boat provides an essential form of protection.
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What Is The Best Type Of Boat Insurance
The best type of boat insurance is insurance coverage that adequately meets your legal and contractual obligations and allows you to feel comfortable about your exposure to risk. Because each individual situation is different, it is important that you determine what coverage factors matter most to you and your family. Spend time researching your options and speak with multiple insurance brokers or agencies. Allthingsboat.com has an excellent review of boat insurance providers.
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Boat And Watercraft Insurance In Douglasville Georgia
Consult with one of our professional agents at Thompson Insurance to make sure you have the right coverage at a competitive price. We can evaluate your boat or jet ski insurance needs to find special coverages you may need or any discounts you may qualify for. Some additional discounts and coverages may include:
- Accident forgiveness
What Does Boat Insurance Include
When you purchase boat insurance, standard insurance will typically cover the following:
- Bodily injury: If someone gets injured while on your boat, this will help cover legal and medical bills associated with the accident.
- Property damage: This coverage will protect you if you are at fault in an accident that caused damage to another boat or property.
- Collision: If youre in an accident, this will pay for the cost of repairing or replacing your boat. This coverage is usually optional however, a lender may require you to purchase it if youre leasing.
- Comprehensive: This coverage will pay for repair costs if your boat gets damaged from something other than a collision this includes floods, storms, fire, theft, and vandalism.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorists: If an uninsured or underinsured motorist causes damage to you or your boat, this coverage will help protect you.
- Medical payment coverage: If youre involved in an accident, this coverage will pay for the medical costs regardless of who is at fault. Some policies will even cover funeral expenses.
There are also additional options you can add to your coverage, such as:
Keep in mind your insurance should cover all operators.
Talk to your insurance provider and make sure you have all the appropriate options added to your plan for your specific situation and climate.
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What Types Of Watercraft Are Covered By Boat Insurance
All boats aren’t the same. You need to customize your boat insurance to meet your needs and provide your watercraft with the proper coverage. Here is a list of the most common types of watercrafts.
- Pontoon boats are one of the most popular inland water boats. They are a flattish boat that relies on floats to remain buoyant. Their wide and spacious area is great for many passengers to enjoy the ride.
- Personal watercraft are powered by a water jet pump and the rider generally sits, stands, or kneels on it. There are many types of PWCs which include WaveRunners, Sea-Doos and more.
- Fishing and bass boats are designed and equipped for fishing. Most are powered by an outboard motor and are equipped with power poles, trolling motors, etc.
- Powerboats are the most popular type of boat used for cruising, watersports, and so much more.
- Sailboats are propelled partly or entirely by sails.
If you don’t see your watercraft listed and are looking for more information on different types of boats, check out our boat FAQ page.
Shopping For Boat Insurance
Start with a little fact-finding. Ask your boating friends which company they use and how their claims have been handled. The way an insurer has handled claims in the past is a good indicator of the quality of service you can expect in the future.
State insurance regulatory agencies are also a good reference and can be found online.
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Boat Insurance Requirements By State
Generally speaking, you won’t be required by your state to purchase boat insurance. In fact, only a handful of states require boaters to purchase insurance, and the requirement is often limited to boats with engines rated to have at least 50 horsepower. The table below lists the insurance requirements for each state.
|Arkansas||Liability insurance with at least $50,000 in coverage is required for all boats powered by engines of more than 50 horsepower.|
|Hawaii||Only for boats parked in Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation facilities. Liability insurance with at least $500,000 in coverage is required for all boats parked in DOBOR facilities, including harbors and offshore moorings. The insurance policy must name the State of Hawaii, DOBOR as the “additional insured” or “additional interest”. The policy should cover salvage costs for grounded or sunken vessels, damage to docks, pollution containment and wreck removals.|
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Find Cheap Homeowners Insurance Quotes In Your Area
Most states don’t require boaters to purchase insurance for their watercraft. However, many marinas do require some form of insurance if you wish to use a slip or mooring. Additionally, your bank will require insurance if you are financing the purchase of a boat. Even if these requirements don’t apply in your situation, it’s still generally a good idea to get boat insurance.