A Guide To Boat Insurance
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Over 300,000 boats are registered in Pennsylvania alone. Thats a lot of boats!
And while Pennsylvania does not require registered boats to carry insurance, boats are expensive!
A motorized bass boat or a speed boat will cost you around $20,000 used or $30,000 new on the low end. Thats a big investment.
So how can you protect that investment?
And, what would happen if your boat is involved in an accident where someone is injured?
If you are at fault, you are responsible for paying the injured partys medical expenses. If you dont have insurance coverage, youll need to cover those costs out-of-pocket.
With a boat insurance policy, you can know that you have medical coverage if youre in a boating accident, coverage for any damage you might cause to someone elses property, and even coverage for any damage done to your watercraft.
If youre in the market for a boat insurance policy, this article is for you.
In this short guide, I address the two most common questions I get about boat insurance.
Lets jump right in.
Consequences Of Operating A Boat Under The Influence
Alcohol use was the leading cause of fatal boat accidents in 2019, according to data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Like drinking and driving, operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in every state. Also, federal law prohibits boating under the influence , which the U.S. Coast Guard enforces. This law prohibits all boaters from operating vessels while under the influence, even foreign boats in U.S. waters.
Penalties for drunk boating vary by state and jurisdiction of the waters but can include:
- Large fines
- Suspension or revocation of boat operator privileges
- Suspension or revocation of drivers license
- Jail time
In addition to facing state and federal penalties, you may get severe consequences from your insurance company. For starters, if you get into an accident as a result of operating a boat under the influence, your insurance company might only pay out a liability claim against you. It might not cover damage to your own boat. Your insurer could also decide to cancel your boat insurance coverage after a drunk boating accident.
If youre convicted of BUI with no accident, your insurer could still drastically raise your boat insurance rates or, worse, cancel coverage. While you might be able to find other boat insurance coverage after a cancellation, youll likely have to pay significantly more for a new boat insurance policy.
Bodily Injury & Property Damage Liability
Bodily injury liability covers you if youre in a boat accident and liable for injuring others. Liability boat insurance also pays to repair or replace any watercraft, object or other property you damage while boating, plus legal expenses if youre sued.
Example: You crash your boat into the pier when trying to dock it, causing thousands in damage and injuring people on the pier. Liability will pay for the pier damage and peoples injuries up to your policys limits.
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Is My Boat Insured Even When Im Not Using It
Yes, when you buy a years policy, your boat is covered while it is in storage, in transit, on the water all seasons, year-round. Your risks do not stop when youre not using your boat. Interestingly, your boat is more likely to sink when you are not there, and electrical fires are more likely to start in the colder months.
Request A Boat Insurance Quote
Now that you know the ways well protect your boat from the unexpected, lets get you covered. Connect with an American Family Insurance agent to get a quote and compare rates for your boat or watercraft. Take a look at our boat safety tips before heading out on the water. Weve also got the 411 on winter boat insurance so you can ensure your boat is protected year-round.
* This coverage is required in Minnesota.
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What Boat Insurance Policies Cover
How and where you boat determines the type of coverage you need. An “all risk” policy will offer the best protection. However, an all risk policy does not cover every type of loss. In insurance terms all risk just means that any risk not specifically omitted in the policy is covered. Typical exclusions include wear and tear, marring, denting, animal damage, manufacturers defects, design defects, ice and freezing.
You may also be able to add extra coverage. Available options may include: medical payments, personal effects, uninsured boaters liability, and towing and assistance. Most policies will cover permanently attached equipment, as well as items like anchors, oars, trolling motors, tools, seat cushions, and life jackets. Be sure to discuss these options with your agent.
How To File An Insurance Claim For Boat Damage
To help get your life back on track quickly and as stress-free as possible, we try to make the claims process uncomplicated. If you need to file an insurance claim for boat damage, you have options:
1.File your claim with your agent, online, through My Account or give us a call at 1-800-MYAMFAM
2.Youll want to have this information on hand:
- The date and time of the event.
- A brief description of what happened.
3.After you file a boat insurance claim, our on-call team of experts will be on site as quickly as possible, inspecting the damage and making sure you have everything you need to keep your life moving forward.
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Optional Boat Insurance Endorsement Coverage For Extra Peace Of Mind
Because people have different boats, boat equipment and comfort levels, American Family offers optional boat insurance coverages so you can customize your policy . These boat insurance endorsements can enhance your current protection and your peace of mind and some may be subject to limitations.
All additional boat insurance coverages will incur an additional premium cost. Take a look the great watercraft insurance endorsements we offer:
Physical Damage Coverage For Your Boat
Physical damage coverage protects your watercraft on land and in the water. Whether its afloat, in transit or in storage, your watercraft is protected against most accidental damage or loss. And that usually includes coverage for your manufacturer-installed equipment and your outboard motor, too. If you own a sailboat, the policy also covers sails, spars and rigging.
Covered losses for physical damage to watercraft typically include:
- Collision with another boat or object
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Fishing Equipment Or Carry
You can get full replacement cost up to $10,000 for fishing equipment and up to $5,000 for personal property such as scuba gear, phones or other items that you carry on board and are lost or stolen.
Example: $5,000 worth of fishing equipment is stolen from your boat, but its a few years old and only worth $2,000. Progressive pays what it costs to buy brand new equipment . That could be $5,000 or even more.
Where Do I Get Boat Insurance
The easiest way to get boat insurance is to work with an independent auto or homeowners insurance agent.
Our network of Endorsed Local Providers will compare policies from multiple insurers to find the best one for your boat. And our agents will go a step further: Theyll teach you how to actually understand your boat insurance policy so you can be confident youre getting the insurance you needwithout costly extras.
About the author
Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.
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Optional Boat Insurance Coverages
On-water boat towing & labor
Covers towing expenses and other emergency services, up to selected limits, if your boat becomes disabled on the water.
Roadside Assistance for boats
May pay for on-site labor for your tow vehicle or boat trailer, or towing to the nearest qualified repair facility.
Fishing equipment insurance
Helps cover damage to fishing equipment while on an insured boat or while being carried on or off an insured boat.
Personal effects insurance
Potentially covers the replacement cost for loss or damage to your personal property while onboard, or while being carried on or off an insured boat.
Do I Need To Have Boat Insurance
Its generally a good idea to have boat insurance to protect you and your assets financially from any injuries or damage caused while boating. However, you are not legally obligated to have boat insurance in most states . Just be sure to check with the state where youll be boating.
If you finance your boat, youll likely be required to have insurance. Some ports, marinas, or storage facilities may also require boat insurance with specific requirements, so check with places you frequent or plan to visit with your boat.
If you have a homeowners policy, you might have some limited coverage for your boat already but there are typically coverage restrictions especially once you take it off your property and out on the water. Your homeowners policy may also have limits on watercraft size, location of any incidents, limits on liability coverage , and more. Check your policy and be sure to purchase any additional coverage you may need.
Regardless of where your mooring is, or whether youve financed your boat or not, youll want to be covered in the event of an accident. Boats and watercraft are special investments that should be protected. A boat insurance policy helps protect you and your boat from things like physical damage, fuel spill liability, medical coverage for you or passengers in your watercraft, damage to another craft or structure, and more.
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Is A Boat Covered Under Homeowners Insurance
Your homeowners policy typically includes some coverage for your watercraft, including their trailers, motors, equipment, parts and accessories. But the coverage for watercraft included on your home insurance policy isn’t meant for all types of boats. And just like a home or vehicle, boats come in all shapes and sizes with different equipment, enhancements and anything else you do to make it uniquely yours. So creating a customized boat insurance policy is key to keeping it protected from unexpected events.
Boat Insurance: Learning The Ropes
Boating is a great hobby. If you go boating frequently, you know to never leave the shore without the essentials such as fresh water and life jackets. However, theres one other thing you shouldnt set sail without: an insurance policy. Coverage can cost as little as $300 per year and could save you from large monetary loss due to damage or medical bills.
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What Determines My Boat Insurance Rate
The average cost of Boat Insurance is $300-500 per year, according to Trusted Choice. Thats only about $25-42 per month, which is not a lot extra to pay for better peace of mind.
Factors that may determine your Boat Insurance rate include:
- Boat Type
- Boat Year, Make and Model
- Driving Record
- Where You Use Your Boat
- Boat Value
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.
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Where Can I Get Boat Insurance
There are several ways to buy boat insurance. You can easily get quotes online that will help you find a policy you can afford. You may have questions, special circumstances, or a highly customized or top-dollar boat to insure, and in this case you may opt to speak directly to an independent agent.
To find the best rates available, contact a local independent insurance agent who knows the local insurance regulations in your area. Your independent agent can shop around, compare options and rates from numerous insurance companies and help you to make the most informed decision.
Save on Boat Insurance
Do I Need Boat Insurance When Its In Storage
Keeping your boat insured is a good idea, especially with comprehensive coverage. Your boat insurance will still cover theft, hail damage, and other hazards while its stored. Plus, you won’t have to worry about reactivating your policy once you’re ready to get back out on the water. However, some insurers will allow you to drop some coverages if youd prefer. For example, Progressive lets you adjust certain coverages while you’re not using your boat.
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I Need Boat Insurance What Are My Next Steps
If you have a boat or are in the process of buying a boat, you can line up your insurance by calling a local insurance agent.
Your agent will ask you a series of questions about the watercraft you are purchasing, how you intend to use it, where you will keep it, and who will be driving it.
After plugging in your information, they can quickly give you an estimate.
At Baily Insurance Agency, we sell insurance products for boat owners in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.
And as an independent insurance agency, we can provide you with multiple quotes from various boat insurance companies. When you give us a call, we can do the shopping around for you!
And if you already have homeowners or auto insurance with one of our insurance partners, we can often bundle your boat insurance with your other insurance products. And anytime you bundle, you can expect some discounts on your insurance policy.
If youre ready to get started with that quote, you can call us at 724-627-6121. Or, you can let us know your ready to right here on our website.
Does Boat Insurance Cover The Motor
Typically, your boat motor is covered by your policy, but again, it has to be a covered event. For instance, if your boat collides with another boat and takes out your engine, youll likely be covered. But it doesnt cover you if you simply dont maintain your motor and it breaks down.Your agent can help you better understand the specifics on how your coverage protects your boat from the unexpected.
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.
How Much Is Boat Insurance
Boat insurance cost depends on a variety of factors, including where you keep your watercraft, the value or cost of your watercraft, optional coverages you may want to add to your policy, and more.
The best way to find out exactly how much it will cost for your exact situation, is to get a boat insurance quote. Find a local agent to get started or call .
Whether youre looking to purchase boat insurance today or shopping around to compare boat insurance policies and price options, we can help you find what you need. When comparing boat insurance quotes from multiple providers, be sure to compare similar coverages, limits, and deductibles.
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