Monday, May 20, 2024

How To Buy Boat Insurance

Boat Insurance By Size

What You Need To Know Before Buying Boat Insurance

To determine coverage needs, insurers often look at the boats value, length and engine size, among other characteristics.

Small boats. If you own a small boat, for instance a Sunfish sailboat, your homeowners or renters insurance might cover it under the personal property portion of the policy. But check with your agent to see if your home insurance will extend to a small boat.

Boats. Pontoons, skiffs and other boats less than 26 feet long can generally be covered under standard boat insurance policies.

Yachts or larger boats. Vessels longer than 26 feet in length are generally considered yachts, and many insurance companies offer comprehensive policies for these vessels. There are also companies that specialize in coverage for yachts, including Chubb, Hagerty and Markel.

Common Risks Of Owning A Boat

Many risks are obvious because of the unpredictable nature of the weather and conditions on the seas. If boats capsize in a squall, operators can be tossed or fall overboard.

Other considerations of boat ownership are more opaque, such as the territorial limitations on where an insured policyholder can sail the vessel. If the operator wanders outside the stated navigational limitations in the policy and suffers an accident damaging the boat and/or resulting in injury or death to those on board the craft, the insurance may not absorb the related financial losses.

In addition, there are requirements that a boat be kept in a seaworthy condition. In the event of an accident, if the maintenance of the craft is deemed inferior or improper, the insurer may deny the claim. Insurance coverage may not be available if a vessel is determined to have damage from insects, mold, animals , zebra mussels, defective machinery and/or machinery damage. The same may be true if a watercraft was used in a race or if someone operated it other than the owner or listed operators.

If one owner or his crew pilots the watercraft beyond the insurance policys territorial limits and the boat capsizes and causes injury to passengers, the other owner may be liable for half the loss.

Few pastimes are as enjoyable as a day on the water. Knowing youre fully insured by Nationwide will enhance the fun.

Things To Consider When Buying Boat Insurance

We understand that, with summer right around the corner and water temperatures sure to be rising, you want to get back out on that water fast. While the draws of Glimmerglass and other bodies of water are many, your safety is nothing to be hasty about, and so here we provide 5 things to consider when buying boat insurance.

  • Your Boat is Not Covered by your Auto & Homeowners Insurance Policies
    • Auto & Homeowners Policies Limitations
    • While your auto insurance will cover your boat when you are traveling with it attached to your vehicle on land, it does not cover your boat when it is in the water.
    • Similarly, your homeowners insurance will cover your boat for damage done to it while it is on your property, but, when your boat is on the water, it will usually only cover a small boat or at most a boat with a small engine in certain waterways. It also often does not cover for salvage work, wreck removal, and pollution or environmental damage.
  • Similarities with the Other Policies:
  • As with homeowners insurance, your boat insurance covers you for injury to others while they are on your boat, and it also offers you replacement cost or cash value in the event of damages.
  • Differences from the Auto & Homeowners Policies:
  • Unlike these two other policies, your boat insurance policy can be suspended while your boat is not in use, which can save you some money.
  • Pick the Right Agent
  • Factors that Affect Policy Cost
  • Storm Plan
  • Agency
  • Things that may Qualify for Discounts:
  • You May Like: How To Get Mildew Off Boat Seats

    The Difference Between Great Insurance And Bare Bones Is Less Than The Cost Of A Tank Of Gas

    Are discounts available?

    Discounts are available after you have responsibly owned your boat for three to five years, for being claims free, and if you have taken courses at Canadian Power and Sail Squadron or Sail Canada. Discounts are not available for holding the required Pleasure Craft Operator Cardthats like asking for a discount because you have a drivers license.

    Is my boat insured even when Im not using it?

    Yes, when you buy a years policy, your boat is covered in storage, in transit, on the water and over the winter. The risks dont stop when youre not using your boat – its more likely to sink when you are not there, and more electrical fires start in the cold months.

    Can my insurance be voided?

    Yes, if you are involved in any criminal act such as drinking illegally on your boat – your insurance is void.

    What about my trailer?

    ICBC requires a license plate, and liability insurance. Physical damage can be added to your boat policy for Agreed Value.

    Take time to choose your insurance, Paul advises, to make sure you get everything you need.

    He asks, Whats peace of mind worth to you?

    Get The Right Amount Of Coverage

    PODCAST: How to Find Cheap Boat Insurance with Excellent ...

    A lot of new boat owners buy more coverage than theyll ever use. More coverage means higher premiums. Defining your coverage needs in advance can help you avoid paying too much.

    • Comprehensive/collision: These coverages protect your investment. Actual cash value coverage can save on your premiums.
    • Liability: This is an important component. But by getting an umbrella policy, which can offer liability coverage across several different kinds of insurance policies, you may be able to save some on your boat-specific liability insurance.
    • MedPay: If youre confident about your health insurance situation, you can save money by lowering or eliminating this coverage however, its best to keep this coverage if you have a high medical insurance deductible or a catastrophic medical plan.
    • Uninsured/underinsured: This coverage protects you when someone without insurance causes you property damage. Its nice to have this coverage when you need it, and its relatively affordable.
    • Personal property: This ones a judgment call depending on your boat and its valuables. You can spend thousands of dollars on navigation guides, fish finding gear, and other electronics. Protecting these investments makes sense. If you keep things simple on your boat, though, you may be able to save by lowering this coverage amount.

    Read Also: Boat Cover Repair Kits

    How Much Do I Need

    Similar to cars, boats lose value when in use. Thats why its important to remember these two terms: agreed value and. Insuring for market value factors in depreciation, and thus can be a money saver in terms of your premium. However, if you intend to replace your boat with something new in the event of a total loss, youll want to insure it for its agreed value, so you wont have to go out-of-pocket to purchase a replacement.

    What Other Factors Affect Your Boat Insurance Cost

    Besides where you live, several factors play into boat insurance rates, including:

    • Type of watercraft: Fishing boats, pontoon boats, sailboats, and other personal watercraft all have unique features that may affect the cost of your policy.
    • Safety measures:Completing a boating safety course may lower your rate.
    • Boats horsepower: Boats with stronger engines, like powerboats, often have higher rates.
    • Boat’s age: Newer boats are often more expensive to insure than older boats.
    • Boating history: More experienced boaters may receive lower insurance rates than newer boaters with less experience on the water.

    You may be able to lower the cost of boat insurance by qualifying for discounts, including multi-policy, multi-boat, and responsible driver. Learn more about boat insurance discounts at Progressive.

    Read Also: How To Prevent Mildew On Boat Seats

    Kinds Of Boat Insurance Policies

    • Boat
    • 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.

    What Types Of Watercraft Are Covered By Boat Insurance

    Boating Basics – Buying 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.

    Also Check: What Pitch Prop Do I Need

    Protection And Indemnity Vessel Policy Coverage

    P& I indemnifies someone for personal injury or property damage caused by your vessel or suffered while a passenger aboard your vessel. It also pays to defend against lawsuits brought against you due to the above, and in many cases the chief function is to pay for an out-of-court settlement to prevent expensive litigation and potentially more costly damage awards.

    What a plaintiff stands to gain in a lawsuit is limited by the circumstances and severity of the loss as well as the amount of the vessel owner’s assets.

    Courts commonly adjust awards downward to reflect contributory negligence or the degree to which the plaintiffs actions contributed to his or her injury or loss.

    The purpose of a Hull and Machinery policy is to get the boat back into operation as quickly as possible, and the purpose of P& I is to defend you in litigation, and to protect your assets in the event of a personal injury or damage award.

    What Kind Of Boat Insurance Do I Need

    Like many other insurance policies, boat insurance can typically be separated into a few types: liability, uninsured motorist, and collision/comprehensive coverages.

    Liability insurance is the minimum standard required by most states, banks, and marinas. The boat insurance professionals at recommend buying at least $1,000,000 in liability insurance. The recommended amount of liability coverage can be even higher if you have a fast, powerful boat that is both riskier and can cause more damage.

    With uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, the standard minimum is $10,000. Ensure that you take into account any potential injuries and damages you may need to cover if you or one of your passengers is injured or your vessel is badly damaged.

    The last type of boat insurance we will cover is collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. These types of coverages should be based specifically on the value of your boat. Check with your lender or your marina to see if there are insurance policies in place.

    Read Also: Oklahoma Boat Requirements

    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.

    Optional Boat Insurance Coverage

    Helpful resources to find the best boat insurance

    If you use special equipment while on the water, youll want to ensure its financially protected as well. Many insurance companies will let boat owners add coverage for items such as:

    • Trailers
    • Other boating accessories
    • Personal property brought on board

    Also, check to see if your policy covers fuel spills and wreckage removal in case your watercraft gets into an accident out on the water.

    Additionally, some insurance companies may offer boaters waterside or roadside assistance coverage. If your boat breaks down on the water or you need mechanical labor when youre stuck at the dock, roadside assistance can provide services to get your boat up and running once again.

    Read Also: Freedom Boat Club Johns Pass

    What Type Of Features Should I Look For In My Policy

    • The level of premium is obviously very important but it should not be the sole deciding factor: you must try and strike a harmonious balance between costs vs. benefits
    • All policies are different, so make sure the one you choose is going to provide the cover you want and need. Handy tip – assess the very expensive parts of your boat and check not only that your policy provides cover for damage to those parts, but also what deductions may apply in the event of a claim
    • Are any replacement costs issued on a new-for-old basis?
    • Exclusions – make sure you look out for any exclusions in your policy. All policies have them, so check your wording very carefully
    • Ensure that the policy covers any cruising grounds you wish to sail into
    • Finally do make sure the insurer is authorised and approved by the regulatory body of the country in which they are based here it is the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Red Deer Boat Insurance

    Can you add your boat onto our home insurance? Great question. While including your boat to another policy seems like a cost-effective way to purchase insurance, its not always the best plan. A stand-alone boat policy often offers you more flexibility and extended coverage you wont have with a combined policy.

    Is depreciation of your boat included in your coverage? How about an emergency tow? If youre not sure whats covered in either a stand-alone policy or your home insurance policy, consult one of our expert brokers today. Its never too late to change your policy or create a new one.

    Alpines expert staff proudly serves Red Deer and the following communities:

    • Redwood

    Read Also: Does Banana Boat Test On Animals

    Boat Insurance Coverage From Erie Insurance

    When something unexpected happens to your boat, ERIE offers coverage1 for:

    • Physical damage to your boat and boating equipment as well as the trailer or outboard motor, if its included in your policy. So if your boat is vandalized or it hits another boat, a rock, a log or a marine obstacle, insurance can help cover the damages.

    • Liability for injuries to other people or harm to property.

    • Medical costs for injuries to you, your family members and others.

    With ERIEs boat insurance coverage, weve also built in extras, such as coverage1 for:

    • Emergency services, including towing to the nearest marina if your boat motor breaks down, when youre stranded on the water2 or run out of fuel, oil or battery life.3
    • Certain personal effects in or on the boat, such as clothing or fishing equipment.4
    • Fire extinguisher recharge or replacement after its used to fight a covered fire.5

    Coverage For Your Boat While In Transit

    Boat Insurance Basics How to Get Cheap Boat Insurance with Great Coverage

    Youd been searching the craigslist boat ads for a while. Its become your biggest pastime in the last few weeks. And this morning, you were restless at 5:00am, finally got up at 6:00 , and checked craigslist again. And there it was: a brand new listing from midnight.

    The perfect boat. The perfect price. Exactly what you were looking for. Call anytime! You called, agreed to meet the seller at 8:00am, and hit the road.

    Now its 10:00 am and youre on the road home with your new boat.

    Suddenly, you hear a screech! Check the rearview mirror Darn! The boat looks lopsided. Crooked.

    Somethings weird. You slow down, start merging over to the shoulder, but then it happens. You hear metal scraping on the pavement and you watch as the trailer comes loose, spins out into the next lane, and come to a halt.

    A semi-truck swerves unsuccessfully to avoid impact, but both your boat and the semi are damaged in the collision.

    Now what?

    While in transit, the liability protection on the auto insurance policy of the towing vehicle will extend to cover damage or injury to others that is done by your towed boat and/or trailer, if you are negligent.

    This is a good reason to check your auto liability limits to make sure that they are adequate damage to a large semi-trailer can be hundreds of thousands of dollars!

    In the example, the damage to your boat and trailer would be covered by your Boat Insurance policy, if you had one.

    Also Check: Remove Mold From Vinyl Boat Seats

    What Does Boat Insurance Cover

    Boat insurance contains coverage types to help in different situations, much like car insurance:

    Property coverage. This protects the boat against theft and damage due to an accident or sinking. This coverage usually applies to the boat whether its on land or water.

    You may get a choice of actual cash value or replacement cost coverage in the event your boat is totaled or stolen:

    • With actual cash value coverage, if your boat is totaled your insurance claim will reflect the value of the boat at the time of the incident.
    • Replacement cost coverage doesnt factor in depreciation. It will reimburse you for the amount of money it would take to repair your boat back to the same condition before the accident or replace it with the same or similar boat model.

    Liability coverage. If your boat damages someone elses property, such as another boat, or injures someone during an accident, liability coverage pays their damages. It may also cover problems caused by your watercraft, such as a large wake. Liability insurance also covers your legal fees if youre sued over a problem covered by the policy, such as a boating accident.

    Medical payments coverage. If you or your passengers are injured in a boating accident, medical payments coverage pays for your medical bills.

    Uninsured watercraft coverage. If an uninsured boater strikes your boat, uninsured watercraft coverage pays your medical bills.

    Popular Articles
    Related news