Watercraft & Boat Insurance
Watercraft & Boat Insurance Information
Why do you need insurance for your boat or personal watercraft?
While most states, including all states in New England, do not require insurance for boats, your bank or marina may require proof of insurance.
Even if you're not obligated to insure your boat, if you're risk adverse, you should purchase insurance. You'll enjoy the water even more when you're not worried about the safety of yourself, your passengers, or your investment. Here are a few things to consider:
- If you're in an accident or your watercraft is stolen, it costs money, often a lot of money, to fix or replace it.
- If you or any passengers are injured in an accident, medical costs can be extremely expensive.
- If your watercraft is responsible for damage or injury to others, you may be sued for much more than you're worth.
- Your watercraft also needs protection when it's on land. Accidents can happen while towing a watercraft!
What does a personal watercraft policy cover?
A personal watercraft policy can cover:
- bodily injury
- property damage
- guest passenger liability
- medical payments
Liability limits start at $15,000 but can be increased. Typical policies include deductibles of $250 for property damage, $500 for theft and $1,000 for medical payments. Additional coverage can also be purchased for trailers and other accessories.
What affects insurance cost and how much insurance do I really need?
The type and amount of coverage you have and how much insurance is going to cost you will depend on multiple factors, including the amount of risk you're willing to take, the value of your boat, the type of your boat, its age, and so forth. More expensive boats are generally more expensive to protect. The amount of damage your boat could do also affects the price of your insurance. The cost of insurance depends on where you use your boat, the age of your watercraft, how your boat is powered, whether you use your boat on inland waters or in the ocean, your credit score, and whether or not you've had any recent accidents.
If you're looking to lower your costs and are willing to take the risk, you could only purchase liability coverage and skip collision damage, meaning if you are in an accident with another boat, the damages to the other boat will be covered, but any damages to your own boat would not. If your boat costs a lot to repair or replace, skipping collision coverage is not recommended, but if your boat has a very low value, then this may be a wise way of saving money.
Ultimately, the decision about how much insurance to buy and what type depends on the types of risks you're exposed to and the risks you're willing to take.
What discounts are available?
Your insurance company may offer a discount for:
- taking a state approved boater safety course
- having additional safety equipment onboard
- insuring your home, vehicles, and your boat with the same insurance company
- insuring multiple boats
- having no accidents on your boat and motor vehicle for the past three years
You may also be able to save money by opting for market value rather than agreed value. Market value is the amount of money required to replace the current value of your boat. If you purchased a brand new boat in 2010 and it is completely destroyed, your insurance company is going to give you enough money to purchase a 2010 model. This can often be a lot less than if you chose agreed value, which is when you and the insurance company agree upon the value of your boat and that is the amount of money you will receive should anything happen.
Laying up your boat for a longer period of time is another way of saving money. If you're not using your boat from September-April, your insurance company will often reduce the amount of your premium while it is out of the water.
Things to consider and questions to ask your agent
Here are a few things to consider as you prepare for the discussion:
- How much can you afford to pay if your boat or personal watercraft is in an accident, damaged or stolen?
- Is my boat or watercraft covered for use year-round?
- What discounts and programs are available?
- How much medical insurance and liability coverage is enough?
- Do I have coverage if I need to have my boat towed in an emergency?
- What's the process for filing and settling a claim?
- Does the insurance company have a good reputation for customer service? Is it known for paying claims fairly and promptly?
Home and auto insurance policies may provide limited coverage for personal watercraft. Talk to your insurance representative about coverage limits. You may want to consider purchasing a personal watercraft policy to protect yourself and your water vehicle in the event of an accident.
Watercraft & Boat Insurance Quote Forms
Looking for coverage? Get a free quote using our online forms no matter the day or time. Click any of the following links for quick, accurate, and affordable rates. Once you have entered the required information, our experienced agents will take it from there. We promise that there are no strings attached. If you have any questions about these forms or coverage in general, please get in touch with us. We are more than happy to help.
Unable to find the exact type of policy you are looking for below? Contact our office anyways! We will do our best to assist you and point you in the right direction.
Watercraft & Boat Insurance Customer Service Options
Self policy service any time of the day, directly from our website. To request a policy change on your account, click any of the following policy service options below.