As the weather gets warmer and it’s time to prepare for outdoor recreational activities, it doesn’t get much better than cruising in the water on a boat. Just like driving, it’s important to stay properly insured, and the cost of boat insurance is one of the top concerns for most owners. To point you in the right direction as a boat owner we at the Alexander Agency of St Charles put together this guide to assist you. There can be a good deal to know, but it is worth it when the cooler and tacklebox are stocked and it’s time to depart into the fun of a sun-drenched afternoon!
What is Your Average Boat Insurance Cost?
The cost you can expect, on average, per year ranges from about 200 to 500 dollars. This is a general estimate based on common needs for most types of boats, and some can thankfully cost less than $100 per year to properly insure. Here are some of the important factors that decide your cost:
Type of Boat:
The category of vessel you want to insure is one of the primary factors affecting marine insurance. Much like automobiles, the bigger and pricier the boat is, the more you can expect to pay for coverage. Powerboats with a thrilling amount of horsepower also can raise your cost. Here’s a list of the most common types of watercrafts to consider:
- Bass boats
- Fishing Boats
- Jet Boats
- Personal Watercraft and Jet Skis
- Pontoon boast
Your Craft’s Condition:
Your boat’s amount of wear and tear is also another factor considering your premium. Boats in better condition are much more valuable, and if your condition is poor, they may continue to decline.
You can choose your deductible for boat insurance much like you can for auto, which is the amount you’ll pay out of pocket for any repair. If you have less of a deductible, your premium will go up to be fully prepared for a claim.
Where you are Boating:
Deciding your premium also is based on where you are setting sail. The more distance you cover, the more you can expect to pay for coverage. Your insurer also may raise your costs significantly if you are sailing in an area prone to storms.
Your Docking Location:
If your boat is stored in an area that is prone to hurricanes or tornadoes, you may pay more for coverage. Here in Missouri, we are not quite as tornado prone as Oklahoma or Kansas, but it can prove to be a factor.
Many insurers will consider how much experience you have while calculating your premium. Older boat owners can sometimes secure a lower premium amount than younger ones, as experience can statistically prove to lower risk factor.
Boat Insurance Discounts:
Taking advantage of discounts is an excellent way to save money when dealing with boat insurance. Here are some of the common types that will help ease the pain in your pocketbook:
- Multi-Policy: you can bundle boat insurance just as you can with other products such as renters, auto, and homeowners’ coverage.
- Multi-Boat: numerous insurance providers will offer a discount if you are able to cover more than one vessel under the same policy. Jet Skis are sometimes not eligible for this benefit.
- Safety Course Completion: successfully finishing a state-approved boat safety course is one of the most common and beneficial ways to enjoy a discount on your policy.
- Pay in Full: It is possible to save heftily on boat coverage if you pay for your premium upfront rather than spread out across monthly payments.
- Periods Without Claims: Many insurance providers will offer discounts for boaters who can make it through a set amount of time without any incident or claim on record.
- Responsible Driver: Boaters who achieve a “zero-incident” period of coverage can earn a discount from many providers.
- Diesel Power: You can save on your premium with many insurers if you opt for diesel power instead of gasoline. This is because they are less likely to explode, and thereby considered less risky.
Types of Boat Insurance Coverage:
There are just as many types of insurance coverage for boats as there are in boat models themselves. You can choose liability-only policies that are the bare minimum or go for high-limit comprehensive coverage that adds specialized benefits. Here are some standard forms of coverage:
- Property damage liability: this covers damage to other parties’ boats as well as their property if you are at fault during an accident.
- Bodily Injury liability: this will cover other parties’ medical expenses, lost wages, and related costs in a boating accident if you are determined at fault.
- Collision insurance: Collision insurance will cover all damage to your boat, regardless of who is determined at fault.
- Comprehensive coverage: covers damage that occurs to your boat from incidents other than an accident, such as a fire, act of vandalism, or outright theft.
- Medical payments: cover medical expenses for your party: this is a standard form of coverage that boaters are so thankful for when the unthinkable happens, which can in a split second.
- Uninsured boater coverage: Covers property and injury expenses if the party at fault does damage while completely uninsured.
What Things Does Boat Insurance Not Cover?
You’re able to purchase marine coverage for many different scenarios. Here are some of the exclusions that are not covered if they occur:
- Animal-inflicted damage
- Damage under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Underage driver accidents
- Long-term deterioration
- Factory defects
- New renovations
- Periodic Maintenance
- Typical wear and tear
Even if your marina, state, or lender does not mandate that you need insurance, there are many great reasons to have it. Reach out to us at the Alexander insurance agency today to secure the “Summer you’ll love” on the water, and secure coverage for your favorite recreational hobby.