As the fall months give you one last chance to get on the boat and enjoy the water and the changing leaves, making sure you have proper insurance coverage is paramount. There are many important factors at play when you sit down to decide which kind of boat coverage will be best for your needs. Here are some of the factors that your policy provider will take into consideration:

  • Age
  • Size
  • The boat’s monetary value
  • Top speed/ horsepower
  • Is the boat a primary residence?
  • What category is the boat? (Performance, fishing, saltwater, outboard, utility)
  • Is the boat purchased from a store or homemade?
  • How long has the boat been owned?
  • Operation location: rivers, Great Lakes, Ocean, inlets, or bays

What are the Different Types of Available Boat Insurance? The two most common forms of boat insurance found on the market are offered based on how much physical depreciation ends up being handled. 

An “Agreed Value” policy will cover the boat based on its value at the time the policy was provided. It may cost more out of pocket up front, but if you experience a total loss, there is no existent depreciation factor whatsoever. 

“Actual Cash” policies will not carry nearly the expense amount up front, but will factor in the necessary depreciation of said vessel. As your boat continues to rack up knots and miles, your policy provider could switch their preference to an actual cash value policy that offers substantial savings. 

What are the Various Policy Types I Can Instate? There are a wide variety of different policies, and they cover the many kinds of watercraft you’ll find. Here are the different types of policies available:

  • Personal Watercraft
  • Boat
  • Sailboat
  • Yacht – The yacht is usually a boat that is longer than 27’. Since a boat of this size can travel a further distance, it has the need for a policy that requires broad coverage.
  • Boat and PWC Rental – This type of rental insurance will help to cover damage the vessel undergoes, as well as the captain and passengers if applicable. 
  • Professional – (ProAngler, Charters, and Fishing Guides) – these policies can be written to take care of expenses like traveling to a particular contest, or the needed supplies to complete this task.

What Are Some of the Different Types of Boat Insurance Coverage? In addition to some of the basic ones above, these are some of the most common add-ons:

  • Specialized Coverage: This is coverage for a specific item on your boat like modern navigation or recreational props.
  • Salvage: This coverage pays to remove your boat from the water due after an accident or other misfortune.
  • Towing: When you don’t have gas or your boat has died, but you need to get your boat across a body of water safely, you may pay exorbitant rates without towing insurance.
  • Consequential Damage: This will cover a loss that was the result of age instead of a collision, such as rust, mold, and other forms of surface wear.
  • Cruising Extension: This coverage is important if you plan on setting sail in international waters.

What Are Some of the Factors That Affect Boat Insurance Cost? Much like auto insurance, several types of elements are deciding factors when it comes to your premium costs. Here are some of the most important traits to know before you set sail:

  • Size of the Area: Where you are boating and other types of recorded activity and traffic in the area.
  • Your Boater’s Education: The cost of your premium can be lowered by any safety classes or training that you take to help you become more aware and knowledgeable.
  • Your Ongoing Record: This is where both your past driving record and boating record are important, as they are strong and accurate indicators of how much of a risk you are on the water.
  • Liability Ceiling: The higher the limit of liability, the more you can expect to pay.
  • Deductible: Just as most health care policies dictate, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium.

Frequently Asked Questions About Boaters Insurance: 

What is the Optimal Coverage for a Small Boat? For a boat that is 29’ in length or less, an “All Risk” type will provide coverage for all types of losses except those that are defined as excluded in the policy. Wear and tear due to the elements, gradual deterioration, denting, scratching, marring, damage from critters, defects during assembly, and ice damage are all covered under this policy.

What is a Sensible Amount to Spend to Insure My Boat? The best rule of thumb here is to insure your boat for the amount that it would cost you to replace it with one of similar quality. Also known as “Agreed Value” or “Stated Value,” it will cover a total loss and pay the full insured amount. Some policies claim that they will provide “Actual Cash Value” coverage, which defines the replacement value of your boat less depreciation, but these policies should be closely scrutinized, as you may not always come out ahead as intended.

What Other Individuals are Allowed to Operate My Boat? As long as the individual has permission, they are allowed in broad terms to safely operate your boat. However, it is usually best to limit additional drivers to avoid a hefty increase in premium price.

Issues Regarding Breach of Warranty: This is the specific type of coverage that will protect any lienholder’s vested interest in your boat. The balance that is formally owed will be paid in its entirety, but if the policies in the warranties are breached, you will not get paid for the loss. Extending navigational boundaries or not using your boat during a lay-up period will assure that you are not stuck with payments on a boat that is rendered unworthy of use. 

There is nothing more relaxing than spending a full day or an entire weekend enjoying the water. All of us at Alexander Insurance Agency would be happy to get you the perfect policy that will assure your safety once you pull away from the dock!