Boat insurance protects your investment and gives you peace of mind while boating.
While most people understand the importance of insuring their car or home, many don’t realize that their boat also needs to be insured. As with any other type of insurance, boat insurance helps to protect you financially in the event of an accident.
There are a few things to remember when shopping for boat insurance, including what type of coverage you need and how much coverage you need. Keep reading to learn more about insuring your lake boat.
What is boat insurance?
Boat insurance is an insurance policy that helps to protect the owner and their boat from risks such as theft, collision, or storm damage and covers both when the boat is on the water or on land. It pays for loss or damage to the boat and for any related damages or injuries to others caused by the boat. Boat insurance provides peace of mind, knowing that there is coverage should the unexpected occur, and is one of the earliest known forms of insurance. There are various types of coverage available such as comprehensive and collision, as well as potential discounts for safe boaters. Although it is not always required, it is a good idea to have boat insurance to protect against the risks of a life at sea and to meet legal and contractual obligations.
How do I insure my lake boat?
Determine your coverage needs
Examine the types of coverage provided by the standard policy and consider any other optional coverages you might want to add. Speak with an independent agent about your insurance requirements and receive a quote.
Think about your personal finances and determine what limits you are comfortable with. The limit is the maximum amount the insurer will pay for a covered claim. Research your options and speak to multiple insurance brokers or agencies about which type of boat insurance best suits your needs.
To determine the appropriate amount of coverage, consider your personal assets, risk tolerance, and budget. When gathering quotes from multiple companies, use the same coverages, limits, and deductibles for each quote.
Get quotes from multiple insurance companies
To get boat insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies, start by contacting your current auto or homeowners insurance company to see if they offer boat insurance and what kind of bundling discounts you may qualify for.
Compare rates from different insurance companies. Research companies online at sites like AllThingsBoat.com and ConsumerAffairs.com, and ask your boating friends what companies they use and how their claims have been handled. You can also contact an independent agent who can provide quotes from multiple insurance companies.
Read the policy details carefully
When considering insuring a lake boat, it is essential to understand the policy details. Most standard policies will cover physical damage to the boat and its equipment, liability, medical payments, and uninsured/underinsured boaters. Depending on the provider, additional optional coverages such as towing and labor, navigational area limits, and personal effects are available to be added to your policy.
When selecting a policy limit, make sure you are taking into account your finances. You should also be aware that each policy has coverage limits, deductibles, and other details that will apply. It is wise to consult with a local insurance agent to discuss these details and determine if you can adjust them to fit your needs.
In the event that a claim needs to be made, it is important to be prepared. Keep claim information handy in case of an emergency. Research the claim process before selecting a policy and ensure it is quick and easy. A good provider will also offer assistance with any additional needs after the claim, such as towing and salvage.
Ask about discounts
When shopping for boat insurance, it is a good idea to ask about discounts that may be available to you. Companies often offer discounts for things like previous ownership, safety course completion, off-season storage, and bundling multiple policies. There may also be discounts for having diesel-powered engines, ship-to-shore radios, and fire extinguishers, completing boater safety courses, having claims-free years, and having multiple boats on one policy. Researching different companies and their offerings and speaking with other boaters can also help you save on boat insurance premiums.
Choose a reputable insurance company
Choosing a reputable insurance company is crucial in protecting yourself and your boat. When looking for the best boat insurance policy, you must do your due diligence and research a few companies before deciding. Start with a bit of fact-finding. Ask your boating friends which company they use and how their claims have been handled. State insurance regulatory agencies are also a good reference and can be found online. You should look for companies that offer a comprehensive selection of insurance packages, coverage add-ons, and policy discounts and that receive mostly positive feedback on review sites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and customer satisfaction studies by J.D. Power.
Purchase the policy
Once you have decided on an insurance company, you will need to purchase a boat insurance policy. The best way to do this is to contact the insurance company directly or speak to a broker or agent. Be sure to have all the information you need, including the make and model of your boat, your age, where the boat will be stored, and any other pertinent details. You may also need to provide information about your vessel’s safety features. Before purchasing the policy, ensure the coverage meets your legal and contractual obligations. You can also look for discounts, such as bundling discounts for having multiple policies with the same company or for completing a boater safety course.
Keep your policy current
Frequency-wise, you should review your policy annually to ensure it still meets your needs and provides adequate coverage. Be sure to consider any changes in the value of your boat, any upgrades you’ve made to it, the time of year you’re boating, and any other changes in your circumstances that could affect your premium amount. Also, don’t forget to ask about discounts for good driving records and boater education classes, bundling your policy with other policies you have with the company, and winter lay-up periods.
What are some of the benefits of boat insurance?
Boat insurance provides financial protection from damages to your vessel, as well as paying medical expenses to you or your passengers and covering other liability claims. It can cover theft, accidents, and damage caused by covered perils such as fire or lightning. It can also help protect you if you injure or damage someone else’s property with your boat. Some of the benefits of boat insurance include peace of mind, financial protection, and coverage for medical expenses. It can also provide coverage for uninsured or underinsured boaters and property coverage to help pay for repairs or replacement of your boat.
How do I know if I need boat liability insurance?
Liability insurance can help protect your financial well-being in the event of an accident, and it may be mandated by state law or your lender. If you have a motorized watercraft, you may need boat liability insurance to cover any damages to your boat and liability for injuries or damage caused by your boat.
Additionally, if you are financing your boat, your lender may require you to carry comprehensive and collision coverage. Similarly, if you are storing your boat at a marina or other privately owned location, you may be required to show proof of liability coverage. Even if you have a non-motorized vessel such as a canoe or kayak, it’s wise to add it to an existing homeowner’s policy, as it can provide coverage if someone is injured or damage is caused while using the boat.
How can I get a discount on my boat insurance?
If you want to get a discount on your boat insurance, there are a few ways to do so. You may be eligible for a lay-up discount if you do not use the boat all year, or you can get a discount for boating in fresh water instead of salt water. Additionally, you might get a discount by taking boating safety classes, using a diesel-powered engine, carrying safety equipment such as ship-to-shore radios and Coast Guard-approved fire extinguishers, bundling your boat, home, and auto insurance, paying your insurance yearly, or choosing a high deductible. You could also get a discount if you don’t have any claims for two years or more or if you have multiple watercraft on your policy. Before you buy your new vessel, it’s best to determine your insurance costs based on your needs and get multiple boat insurance quotes online.
How much is the deductible for boat insurance?
When considering boat insurance, it is essential to understand the range of available deductibles. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the typical policy has deductibles of $250 for property damage, $500 for theft, and $1,000 for medical payments. Depending on your boat’s size, horsepower, type, and value, deductibles can range from $250 to $1,000, so it is essential to compare prices to find the best coverage for your boat.
What is included in a boat insurance policy?
A boat insurance policy typically includes the following:
Physical damage coverage.
Personal property coverage.
Towing and assistance coverage.
Uninsured boater coverage.
Potentially hurricane coverage.
These policies protect motorboats, sailboats, personal watercraft, fishing and bass boats, pontoon boats, power boats, sailboats, and yachts (limits on size and value may apply). Boat Insurance coverage may help pay to repair or replace your boat if it has been involved in a covered incident, such as vandalism, theft, fire, storm damage, a boating accident, and more. Additionally, it may cover permanently attached equipment and items like anchors, oars, trolling motors, tools, seat cushions, and life jackets.
What factors should I consider when buying boat insurance?
When considering boat insurance, there are many factors to take into account. These include the boat’s age, motor size and value, lender and marina requirements, state requirements, and intended use. When deciding on a coverage amount, consider your personal assets, risk tolerance, and budget. The type and size of the boat, where it will be used and stored, as well as discounts for taking a boating safety class or having multiple policies with the same insurer, are all essential factors to consider. The cost of boat insurance is also affected by the coverages, coverage limits, and deductibles included in the policy, the age and condition of the boat, and the type of boat.