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.
How To Choose A Boat Insurance Provider
- Get a better rate with membership: boating organizations such as Boat U.S. or NBOA will help you find the best policy for your own circumstances, and youll also be able to take advantage of their extra perks and publications.
- Get quotes from several providers. Every insurer has its own formula for determining premiums, so it pays to get quotes from a variety of sources. We suggest starting with our four recommended companies and then looking at a few regional insurers as well.
- Choose between actual and an agreed-value policy. Actual cash value insurance will take the depreciation of your boat into account meaning you may net considerably less on a claim than you need to purchase a new watercraft. Agreed value is when you and your insurer agree on a permanent value for your boat, and depreciation is not taken into account when you make a claim.
- Know what boat insurance doesnt cover. You may be surprised at what your policy doesnt cover. For example, most policies wont payout for damage caused by wildlife, from sharks to zebra mussels. Hull corrosion is also rarely covered unless you have an additional rider that will cover salvage and replacement of your boat.
Who Offers The Best Boat Insurance Rates
Many insurance companies offer competitive boat insurance rates. Shop around to make sure you are getting the information you need to make an informed decision. Sites like allthingsboat.com and consumeraffairs.com provide reviews for many different insurance companies and are great places to begin your research. Speak with other boaters find out what features are important to them and why. Do your homework by researching different companiesâ offerings and you will be prepared to make the best decision for your needs.
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Does Liveaboard Sailboat Insurance Cost More
Yes, liveaboard insurance tends to cost more. This is because youâre on the boat constantly and engaged in activities like cooking, bathing, and electricity use. All of these activities carry risks, which must be considered.
Additionally, liveaboard insurance policies can cover more than typical comprehensive coverage. This includes assets inside the sailboat, such as furnishings, computers, equipment, and other possessions.
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?
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Specialized Or Custom Coverage
Specialized coverage varies most in price. This kind of coverage is determined by the owner and covers modifications and expensive equipment.
Letâs say a sailboat owner buys a basic new Catalina 315, then outfits it for offshore use. He installs solar panels, an autopilot, a Garmin radar set, and a costly set of automatic winches and hardware.
With a specialized insurance coverage plan, he can add the value of these very specific items to his repair and replacement plan in case the boat gets damaged or lost along the way.
Why Do I Need Boat Insurance
For many Canadians, boating is a chance to escape everyday life, relax, and have fun. Boat insurance lets you do all those activities with some added peace of mind. Depending on the level of coverage you choose, your boat insurance policy will offer protection against liability, collisions, fire, theft, and other unexpected accidents.
Boat insurance also safeguards you against risks that only present themselves when youre out on the water: sinking, capsizing, stranding even explosions. And with a good boat insurance policy, youll also get coverage for your marine equipment, which may include radios, GPS units, electric trolling motors, and tools.
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Choose A Sailboat With A Diesel Inboard Engine
So, how can having a diesel engine save you money on your insurance premiums? Unlike gasoline, diesel is usually not explosive, and its fumes don’t prevent as big of a fire hazard.
This applies only to vessels with an inboard engine. There aren’t any widely-available diesel outboard engines, and some sailboats have no engine at all. Explosions and gasoline fires are more common on boats than most people expect, and insurance companies are particularly risk-averse when it comes to fuel.
Never Sail Without It
Liability insurance covers your legal liabilities due to your negligence should you cause damage to third party property or cause injury to, or death of another person. The majority of, but by no means all, policies include liability to third parties with the hull insurance. There are a handful of insurance providers that will offer Third Party Liability insurance on its own. If separate from the Hull Insurance, claims on the one policy should not affect the premium or conditions on the other. Whilst not mandatory, almost all marinas require yachts to have Third Party Liability insurance.
In marine insurance, liability is not always easily determined. It is necessary to demonstrate negligence to the extent that a court of law would be able to attribute legal liability. Of course, this does not mean that all claims for liability would or should get to court! But it does mean that, even though someone elses boat or property may have been damaged, or someone may have been injured, in an accident involving your boat, it may not legally be your liability.
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How Does Boat Insurance Protect You
Boat insurance coverage depends on your state, your insurance company and the coverage options you choose, Shasha explains. Standard options typically include:
- Physical damage. This includes damage caused by collisions with another boat or a submerged object.
- Liability. If you cause an accident with your boat or someone is injured while aboard, the bodily injury or damage to the property of others is covered.
- Personal property. If the boat sinks, your items, such as phones, cameras and fishing gear may be covered.
- Towing and assistance. Per Shasha, this includes reimbursement for emergency transportation of your boat to the closest repair facility when its inoperable, gas delivery and roadside assistance reimbursement.
- Theft. Most boat insurance policies cover theft of the boat itself, but might not cover theft of items onboard.
Two areas that may or may not be covered, but are definitely worth asking about:
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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Cost Of A Boat Survey
A pre-purchase survey may be well worth doing before you purchase, you want peace of mind that the vessel is seaworthy and working efficiently, just as you’d want that level of satisfaction when buying a car or a house. Surveys are typically priced per foot so the size of the vessel you are looking to buy will determine the cost of the survey.
Whether you are buying new or used it is important to ensure that the vessel is up to standard. If the survey comes back positive you will have peace of mind as well as a condition report, which can be useful if applying for finance to purchase the boat. If the survey uncovers any problems it enables you to either amend the price, have work done on the vessel before making the purchase or even just walk away from the sale.
What Boat Insurance Will Pay For
You can typically buy liability insurance which pays for damage your boat does to others in amounts from $15,000 to $300,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Heres what else you can expect from a policy:
|What boat insurance typically covers||What it doesnt cover|
Check, too, about additional coverage for trailers and accessories, for towing and for damage caused by an uninsured boater.
You can buy two types of damage coverage for a boat:
- Actual cash value. This pays the value of your boat at the time of the damage. If your boat is destroyed, your insurance company determines its market value.
Some important things to know about boating and your policy:
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Policy Limits Affect Inland Marine Insurance Costs
The median policy limit for inland marine insurance is $5,000. The higher the coverage limit, the higher the premium. Professionals with expensive equipment choose higher limits and pay more for increased protection.
For example, landscapers, installation professionals, cleaning services, and contractors often choose a $5,000 limit which costs only about $170 annually. often opt for a limit of $86,000, and thus pay a higher median premium of about $580.
To see insurance costs for businesses in your industry, visit our industry-specific cost analyses:
How To Reduce The Cost Of Liveaboard Sailboat Insurance
Reducing the cost of liveaboard sailboat insurance can be quite easy, especially if you don’t plan to sail very often . The easiest way to reduce your premiums is to reduce your deductible. The same applies to car insurance, as most kinds of vehicle insurance work the same way here are a few more ways to reduce your sailboat insurance premiums.
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Does Your Driving Record Affect Average Sailboat Insurance Cost
Absolutely your driving record can have a dramatic effect on your ability to find favorable sailboat insurance rates. This is because insurance needs to consider you and the boatâand how risky you are to insure.
Car accidents, moving violations, citations, and DUIs are detrimental to insurance premiums on and off the water. And they will find out, regardless of what company you choose. Risky drivers are almost always risky boaters as well.
But your driving record can also work in your favor. You may be a new boater who hasnât had a chance to prove yourself yet. If sailboat insurance and auto insurance had no correlation, youâd be treated like a brand new driver for years, even if youâve had experience. A safe driving record can reduce your costs and increase coverage options.
Should You Purchase Boat Insurance Before You Purchase A Boat
If youre in the market to buy a boat, it is a good idea to think about shopping for insurance first prior to you signing your boat purchase documentation. Insurance rates may vary, so you might want to factor in the cost of your coverage as you establish which type of boat you can sensibly afford.
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Personal Property Or Personal Items
Personal property onboard your yacht is also protected under your insurance policy to a certain value limit that you and the insurer agree upon. This is usually called Personal Effects coverage and has a separate limit and deductible from the Hull insurance.
This property includes furniture, clothes, electronics, swimming or boating gear, and anything that isnt part of the yacht itself.
If you throw a party and one of your friends steals something like a wine glass or television youll be covered under your insurance after your deductible.
For example, if your deductible is $1,000 and someone steals $3,000 worth of stuff, or it burns or even if the whole boat sinks, youll only get $2,000 back from your insurance company in personal property value .
However, if someone steals your $10 wine glass, and you have a $1,000 deductible, you wont get any money back from the insurance company because your loss does not exceed that $1,000 requirement.
Very special or expensive personal property arent always covered under your policy and may need additional coverages or endorsements.
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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.
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What Is Expected Of You
There are several responsibilities that fall to you, as the boat owner, in the event of a claim. The two most important are: notification and mitigation.
Many policyholders fail to report a loss immediately to their insurance company. Early notification will allow your insurance provider to provide the most appropriate advice and if necessary, their approval before proceeding with repairs. It is also important to remember that you may have to report certain incidents, which may give rise to a claim, to the relevant government authority immediately.
You have an obligation to act as ‘a prudent uninsured person’, which means to behave as you would do if you did not have insurance in place, in order to avoid a loss occurring or to minimise the costs involved. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer damage, you have an obligation as a policy holder to ‘mitigate the loss’ which means to take reasonable necessary steps to prevent the damaged items from deteriorating administering first aid to an engine which had been immersed in salt water would be good example of this.
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What To Expect From Average Boat Insurance Prices
If theres one topic that always excites people when I bring it up at cookouts or dinner parties, its boat insurance.
And how much fun is it when you and your friends break out the pen and paper and start calculating the cost of the boat insurance you need to keep your family reliably covered.
Fun stuff, right?
Okay, so maybe talking about boat insurance isnt all that exciting, but it is important. Seriously.
Its important from a simple legal standpoint and to protect your familys financial future.
As a boat owner, boat insurance is an investment you really shouldnt skip. Thats my answer to one of the most common questions people ask. That question is: