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Aug 31, 2015

With upkeep, docking, and equipment, owning a boat is an enormous financial undertaking. When you invest in something as valuable as a boat, you need to protect yourself. Boaters insurance is a bit of a wild card for most boat owners, usually dropping to the bottom of their to-do list. But with a little research and a great insurance advisor, you can protect your boat at a price that you can afford. Take a look at the most important factors to consider when signing up for boaters insurance.

Choosing an Insurance Advisor

First and foremost, new boat owners will benefit greatly from talking to an insurance advisor. Boating insurance isn’t as straightforward as auto insurance. There are hundreds of different loopholes and categories to be aware of. An insurance advisor can help you find coverage based on your specific needs, namely where and how you intend to use your boat. You’ll be able to compare a range of different policies across dozens of providers.

Agreed Value or Market Value

When insuring your boat, you need to decide how much to insure it for. A boat’s value starts depreciating as soon as you get into the water. You can decide to insure it at an agreed value, the amount you originally paid for the boat, or at market value, the amount your boat is currently worth. Market value policies will save the policyholder money in the long run, but they will only insure the boat up to a specified value.

Coverage on Land

New boat owners might be asking themselves, is my boat covered when it’s not in the water? The answer may surprise you. Typically, when towing your boat, auto insurance will be your only line of defense. Car insurance will only protect your boat up to a certain point, usually damage to another vehicle or person. Likewise, if your boat becomes damaged while it’s on your property, homeowners insurance will only partially cover your boat. To best protect your boat while it’s not in use, invest in an umbrella policy, one that covers all of your assets.

Navigational Limits

Your boaters insurance will only cover certain geographical regions, usually inland waters or coastal waters in the US. If you plan on venturing into international waters, make sure that you’re still covered by insurance.

Discounts on Coverage

There are numerous ways to save money on your boaters insurance. Taking a boating class or a safety education course can save the policyholder money. Talk to your insurance provider to find out which courses apply. The type of boat that you own will greatly influence the cost of insurance. Be specific with the year and model of your boat to get the most accurate quote. You can also lower your premiums if you have certain safety precautions on board in the event of an emergency such as a fire extinguisher, a ship-to-shore radio, or a wireless auto tether.

Lay-Up Period

Most boat owners only use their boat during certain times of the year. A lay-up period will lower the cost of your premiums by limiting your coverage to a few months out of the year. Most lay-up periods last from October to April.

Two Article Comments


This is great advice for new boat owners. It’s important to be aware of all the different aspects of boat ownership. Thanks so much for sharing.

Steven Bernstein

Thank you Drew – we are pleased it was helpful :-))

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