Understanding three key drivers in your boat insurance costs
The best time to shop for boat insurance isn’t after you get the keys, paint your name on the hull, find a convenient dock space, or take it for an inaugural sail. The ideal time is before you buy the boat.
An insurance estimate gives you an idea of how different types of boats will impact your premium. With a better understanding of your boat ownership costs, you’ll have a clearer picture of how much boat you can afford.
Boat insurance certainly makes sense given the facts. Boating accidents in 2011 cost, on average, over $11,000 per event. Typically, insurance costs range from $300 to $500 per year. In some cases, the premium can exceed $1,000.
With this wide range of costs, how do you know what to expect for your boat? Keep in mind that the rate fluctuates based on several factors. Below are three key drivers in your boat insurance cost.
1. Boat make and model
Different boat lengths, horsepower, and types of boats impact your premium. For example, a fishing boat, a speedboat, and a yacht owner should expect different rates. Just like car insurance, the driver of a 10-year-old Honda Civic would expect to pay less than the owner of a current-year Ferrari.
2. Driver profile
The person behind the wheel drives not only the boat, but also a portion of the boat insurance cost. Consider age, gender, and experience. Insuring a teen driver or someone without boat experience will cost you more. Does your teen son need to be covered or will an adult parent be the sole driver?
In addition, your motor vehicle driving record, credit score, and history of past boat insurance claims can weigh positively or negatively against you. An excellent driving record on the road and a history of no claims are favorable on the water.
Also, you may want to consider education and safety courses. Drivers who complete boater safety instruction account for only 11 percent of deaths due to boating accidents.¹ It makes sense that training certifications and safety accessories, such as approved fire extinguishers and reliable radios, could reduce your boat insurance cost.
3. Intended use
All boat owners have a different idea of fun. Recreational use can vary from an occasional father and son, low-key fishing weekend to high-speed water skiing and parasailing all season long. Frequent and riskier activities will drive your insurance cost up.
While some variables are out of your control, you can optimize other factors to keep your insurance cost down. A full-service dealer will provide an extensive list of marine insurance products. Available policies range from tire and wheel to towing and engine to Jet Ski protection. An insurance agent will help you select the appropriate amount of coverage and the type of policy that’s best for you. With peace of mind from having boat insurance, you can truly enjoy the water.