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Your Guide To Boat Insurance

By Nina Terenzi, Aug. 04, 2021
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On average, a boat can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to upwards of six figures, depending on the type of boat you purchase. Aside from the boat itself, owners will likely also have to pay for mooring fees, towing fees, gas, and storage during the winter months. With such a large investment, you’ll want to ensure you have the proper protection in the event of theft, damage, or an accident.

If you are considering buying a boat or simply want to explore your boat insurance options, below are some insights on what you can expect in terms of coverage and costs

Do you need boat insurance?

In short — yes. In recent years, there have been over 5,000 boating accidents annually, resulting in $62 million dollars of property damage. Boat insurance not only protects you in the event of an accident, but also allows you to have peace of mind as you travel away from the dock. Although some homeowner policies offer minimal coverage for boats, they often have size restrictions and limitations on horsepower and the amount of damage covered, typically capping at $1,000.

If you own or are thinking of buying a yacht, large sailboat, personal watercraft such as a WaveRunner, a jet boat or any boat that travels over 25 mph, you will need boat insurance. Kayaks, boats with small engines, and small sailboats may not require a separate boat insurance policy — but this is something you should confirm with your insurance agent.

What does boat insurance cover?

Most boat insurance policies can be customized to fit your unique needs. Your coverage needs will depend on the type of boat you have, but policies can be customized to offer anywhere from $15,000 to $300,000 of liability and personal property coverage depending on your unique situation. The type of incidents that may be covered under a boat insurance policy include:

  • Collision Insurance
  • Boat Liability Insurance
  • On-Craft Medical Coverage
  • Towing and Assistance Costs

Normal wear and tear, defective equipment, damage from sea life such as sharks and fish, or damage from mold and insects will likely not be covered under a policy. To learn more about your boat insurance coverage options and to receive a free quote from Eastern Insurance, please visit our website.

Additional coverage considerations

Navigational limits: some policies may limit how far you can travel outside a particular territory. If you do travel outside the limits, you may not have insurance coverage or would be responsible for a higher premium.

Layup periods: In New England, you are likely not using your boat year-round. Luckily, many insurance companies will offer a credit on your premium for the months you are not actively using your boat.

Marine inspections: For older boats, a marine inspection may be required to assess the current condition of the boat. This is typically to consider how safe the vessel is as well as its market value.

Teen operators: If you have children who plan to get a boating license to operate your watercraft, you may want to think twice. Oftentimes, insurance companies will raise premiums if you plan on having your teen drive the boat. You can learn more about your state’s legal boating operator age and regulations here.

How much does boat insurance cost?

The cost of your boat insurance will depend on the type of boat and coverage you need as well as where you plan to travel. Some insurance companies will offer discounts for diesel-powered boats, not having filed a previous boat claim, or taking boat safety courses. An Eastern Insurance agent can help you find the best coverage option for your specific needs.

To learn more about protecting the investment you have made with your boat, contact a member of the Eastern Insurance team by calling 800-333-7234 (Option 2),or visit us online.

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