The Cost of Boat Insurance

There are three factors that are most commonly used to determine the cost of boat insurance coverage.

One of the first questions that will be asked is the size of the boat. The agent is looking for the length, in feet, of the boat that you want to insure. The size is used in order to determine the basic starting premium. On average, the premium for, let's say, a 25 foot boat will be somewhere between $300 to $500 per year, depending upon where you live and depending upon the deductible that you choose to have. Of course, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium.

Then the age is taken into consideration. The cost above is for a new boat. When looking to insure an older boat, the premiums can be considerably less. It is also worth noting that some insurance policies will separate the motor from the boat and that mechanical issues will not be covered on a motor, just like it wouldn't be for your automobile. But, since motors can be newer than the boat, they are often insured separately, and the HP, as well as the age of the motor will also be taken into consideration.

Finally, the number of fixtures that you have on a boat will be assessed. Some yachts, for example, can have a ton of expensive accoutrements. Even a bass boat can have a quite expensive fish finder, live well, GPS and other accessories permanently affixed. A bimini top can set you back a good $500 to a couple of thousand, dependent upon the size of your boat and the coverage and quality of the top. You may have upgraded the seats or have added Tilt & Trim. All of these accessories can add to the total premium of your boat insurance.

Most boat insurance will also cover theft of the boat and may or may not cover the trailer. If you keep your boat in a slip and don't have a trailer to insure and are not transporting it to area lakes, then your policy could cost you considerably less.

You also want to keep in mind that sea-faring boats are going to cost more to insure as they are more at risk from unpredictable weather and wave damage. Lake-going boats are not considered to be at such risk. Restored antique boats will also fetch a high premium, as will personal watercraft due to the dangerous nature of the craft and the incidents of accidents and death as a result of personal watercraft usage.

Basically, each individual policy will differ, as it does for your car. Check first with your automobile company. A boat may qualify you for a multi-vehicle discount, but more than likely your auto insurance company will offer boat insurance through a partner that will not allow you to claim that discount. Also shop around. If you are completely happy with your auto company it may be worth it to pay a little higher premium, but in shopping for boat insurance you might find an auto policy with the same or better benefits for less.

As a final word though...it is not a good idea to skip over the coverage. Most states don't require proof of insurance in order to register your boat, but it is much better to be safe than sorry. Accidents do happen...even to you.

 
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