Boats are the highlights of summer! The sensation of cool breeze and warm sun is matchless. But problems that your boat can face like fire, theft, storm, and collisions can bring a dark cloud over your boating adventures. That is why it’s better to pay some money for the boat insurance instead of hoping to get zero accidents.
If accidentally your boat gets damaged or someone gets hurt in the boat accident, boat insurance can help you to protect yourself financially. Boating without insurance is like driving without it, it can be very risky, and in some states, it is actually illegal, so it is best to get boat insurance right after buying it. If you are wondering how much it can cost, then in today’s article, we will cover why you need insurance and how much it costs?
On average, boat insurance can cost $200 to $500 a year or around 1-5 % of your boat’s value if you own a big, powerful and expensive boat. However, the insurance cost can vary depending on different factors that affect rates.
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What factors affect the boat insurance cost?
There are several factors that can affect the boat insurance cost. The first one can be your location. The area in which you live and owning a boat can be great factors affecting boat insurance costs. For example, if you live in Florida, annual boat insurance costs from $245 to $655.
However, in states with no coastal lines and shorter boating seasons, the boat insurance costs can be low.
Other factors that also affect the boat insurance cost include;
1) Boat type
Your boat type can affect the insurance rate; if you have a more valuable boat, then insuring it will also cost very high. For example, if you own a yacht, then the insurance cost will be higher as compared to a pontoon boat because the yacht is a more expansive boat.
Type of motor is another factor affecting the boat insurance cost because high-powered watercraft are riskier, so insurance companies look at the type of motor. However, slow and steady always win the race in order to get a low insurance rate.
3) Condition of boat
If your boat meets the U.S safeguard safety standards from the time when it was built, then it is considered a good condition boat, and the boat insurance cost will be less. However, if your boat is in bad condition, then obviously, you have to pay more because of your boat’s outdated safety features.
4) Age of the boat
Boat age is another important factor affecting the boat insurance cost; if your boat is older, then generally, it is cheaper to insure. Like the boat age, your age also matters; if you are between 25 and 60, you will get the insurance at cheaper rates because that’s when the insurer thinks you are the most responsible.
The location of your living also matters the most, like if you live in areas with hurricanes like on the ocean, squalls, or any other hazards. However, if you are living in areas with no coastal lines, then you don’t need to pay more.
Boating accidents are very common that often happen in the water. So if you use your boat occasionally, then you’ll pay less for the boat insurance, but if you take your boat into the water every weekend, then be ready to pay more. Moreover, the people who live in the northern areas will also pay less for boat insurance as the shorter boating season means less chance of getting boat accidents.
7) Use of boat
The purpose for which you use your boat will also affect the boat insurance cost; if you use your boat for risky activities like towing water skis or wakeboards, then the insurance company will charge you higher to make up for the accidents they expect you to may have in future.
8) Driving record
If your driving record is good, like with no accidents and injuries, you can get your boat insurance at a minimal cost. However, if you are a new, inexperienced teen with no good record, then you should expect to pay more.
How to get boat insurance discounts?
The good news is that you can also get discounts on boat insurance costs, saving a lot of your money. You can get discounts if you;
- Use a diesel-powered engine
- Bundle your boat, home, and auto insurance
- Pay your insurance yearly on time
- Having a certificate in boating safety classes
- Carry safety equipment on the board like coast guard approved fire extinguishers, ship-to-shore radios
- Don’t have claims for a couple of years.
What does boat insurance cover?
Boat insurance covers many costs of an accident like medical bills, medical repairs, etc. But one thing to remember is that just like home and any other auto insurance, boat insurance also does not cover every situation. So let’s look at some situations you can get by boat insurance.
If your boat has collided with other boats, docks, or floating debris; is damaged from wind lighting, hail, or any other weather condition; or is affected by fire, then the physical damage will cover the cost to repair or replace it.
If you get hurt in a boat accident, the boat insurance will pay the expenses of your medical payment. It will cover all sorts of injuries from the collision with another boat or even taking a nosedive on water skis.
Liability is the most important type of boat insurance that pays for another person’s repair and medical bills after an accident you cause.
Liability can also cover the repairs to docks or other objects you hit and clean-up costs for oils and other pollutants your boat released into the water.
If your boat becomes disabled on open water, you’ll need to get it towed back to land; this is what salvage insurance helps you to cover.
Moreover, there are also options to get the insurance that can help you to remove your boat from the water of its sinks.