What You Should Know About Boat Insurance

Whether you own a boat or are thinking about getting a boat, we will share helpful information with you to help you navigate boat insurance. Boat insurance is not currently required in New York, however, like your car it’s recommended to get insurance in case you need to fix or replace a damaged vessel.

Cost of Boat Insurance

Boat insurance is pleasantly inexpensive. Covering your boat and your family onboard can cost on average only around $20 per month. However, there a several discounts available that may make it even more less expensive!If you package your boat insurance with your home and auto insurance, pay the full-year rate upon signing up for insurance, or taking a boaters safety class which can save 5%-- are a few ways to drop your insurance rate.

Discounts for Boat Insurance

It is possible your boat may qualify for a discount. Ask your agent about the following that may help you discover some cost-savings:

  • Is your boat diesel powered? This is considered less dangerous than gasoline powered because of the risk of explosions.
  • Do you have Coast Guard approved fire extinguishers or ship-to-shore radios?
  • Have you passed a Boater’s Safety Course?
  • Consider packaging your home and auto with boat for discounts.
  • Do you use your boat only in the summer months and winterize your boat in a secure established boat storage facility? This is often referred to as a “lay-up” discount versus it being in the water year-round.
  • Does your boat have anti-theft alarm systems, GPS, CO2 detector, depth finders or radar?
  • Do you have many years of boating experience with a high-performance boat?
  • Is your boat newer? Some newer boats have added safety features that give you a discount.
  • Do you have a safe boating record? That helps!
  • Are you boating in fresh water that’s safer, compared to bodies of salt water or an area known for severe weather? Limiting your radius of use can keep our rates low.

What Affects the Cost of Boat Insurance?

The size of your boat, motor size or top speed of the boat, style, and value all are considered when an insurance agent shops for your boat insurance coverage.

What is typically covered?

Boat insurance covers physical damage to your boat. It will also cover theft or medical bills including bodily injury to passengers and other boaters.

It is possible it may not cover normal wear and tear, gradual deterioration, insect damage, marring, denting, mold, animals like sharks or zebra mussels, scratches, manufacturer’s defects, ice, or damaged machinery.

Talk with our specialist and they’ll be able to tell you what coverage is available and match them with what your needs are.

Types of Boat Insurance

There are two kinds of coverage available, an actual cash value and an agreed amount value. How depreciation is handled is what differentiates them.

  • An Actual Cash Value covers replacement cost minus depreciation at the time of loss. If there is a total loss of your boat, used boat pricing guides are used to decide your boat’s market value. Partial losses are taken care of by calculating the total repair costs minus depreciation. This coverage may cost less but you must consider depreciation.
  • An Agreed Amount Value is calculated on an appraisal of your boat that both you and your insurer agree on. If you have a total loss of you boat, that agreed upon amount is what you will get back. These policies also replace old items with brand new items in a partial loss, without depreciation coming into play.

Who can operate your boat?

Most of the boat insurance policies will allow anyone you give permission to operate your boat.If you have a high-performance boat or personal watercraft, there may be exceptions to this so be sure to discuss this with a knowledgeable agent. To add more drivers to your policy may increase your premium.

Common Boat Insurance Add-On Policies

Depending on what type of policy you go with, you may want to consider some of the most popular add-on coverages.

  • Specialized Coverage-this covers something specific and more expensive on your boat, for example navigation equipment.
  • Salvage-this covers the expense of moving your boat after it was damaged.
  • Consequential Damage-covers wear and tear due to rot, mold, and corrosion.
  • Towing-It can be very costly to tow your boat safely across water and this pays for that cost.
  • Cruising Extension-this is a temporary policy if you are leaving the United States.
  • Guest Passenger Liability-if a guest takes over control of your boat and there’s an accident.

In conclusion, the cost of your boat insurance depends on the coverage, limits, and deductibles you choose, the type and size of boat, and where you will use and store your boat.Contact Simco for a free quote for what watercraft you need coverage for and consider bundling your home and auto and save money.