Boats are some of the most popular vessels for helping humans explore the world.
Sure, we’ve scoured all corners of the planet on land and even in our non-native habitats. Humans have taken to the skies, and to the water. Small ponds, medium-sized lakes, and even vast oceans have been explored by countless individuals throughout the centuries.
Think about how many people use boats – there’s the fisherman who likes to go out and meet the fish halfway. There’s the family who throws parties on their yacht. There are those who like going on cruises and sailing through the deepest of waters.
Whether you own a small fishing boat, a medium-sized yacht, or a massive cruise liner, one thing is certain – there are benefits to having a great boat. But this technically means two things are certain, because wherever there are benefits, there are also risks.
We like to think of the great things we can do with a boat, because of the unique environment it can take us to. But this also means there are some unique dangers to be aware of. The best way to cover these dangers? Boat insurance – knowing boat insurance cost ranges and types of coverage is very helpful.
Why Is Boat Insurance So Important? Calculating Boat Insurance Cost
There’s a lot of things a person may want to buy to go with their boat. There are cleaning materials engineered specifically to help keep boats clean as they go up against all the hazards of an aquatic environment.
There are specially designed systems to enhance the boat’s engine, cooling system, and even stereo. But while all these things are great for making a boat look better or offer a more enjoyable experience, you also need something to help you balance the risk.
Insurance is simply selling your risk to someone else – you know you incur certain dangers when you or your loved ones get on a boat. Even if you’re a business owner who specializes in boating, your staff members and customers also need to be protected via a proper insurance policy.
There’s a very simple way to calculate average boat insurance cost. Take the value of your boat, and then multiply it by 0.015. Or in other words, your average boat insurance cost per year is about 1.5 percent the value of your boat.
If your boat costs, say, $15,000, that means you can expect to pay about $225 per year for your boat insurance. Granted the price of insurance can vary depending on the type of boat you have, the area where you buy insurance, and any liabilities you may present to the insurer.
Calculating the cost of boat insurance isn’t just about crunching numbers and memorizing formulas. When you understand the amount of risk you incur by not having boating insurance, you can see the value of opting for the right policy.
When there’s a boating crash due to equipment malfunction, a storm, an incident with aquatic life, or any other manner of the problem that can occur when you’re on your boat, having a policy that covers you is important.
Think of it this way – when you pack up your boat, you likely bring along emergency flares and life preservers. If the boat is big enough, you may even bring along a small lifeboat. You prepare for potential emergencies in that regard, so boat insurance can be thought of as an extension of that.
But now that we understand the value of boat insurance and the average cost, what types are available? Just like with any other type of insurance, getting the right policy is key for getting your money’s worth and guarding against the hazards you may face.
Which Type of Boat Insurance Is Right for You?
Boat insurance is the type of purchase that comes in many forms. When we shop for a car, home, or renter’s insurance, we understand the value in exploring our options. The same principle goes for boating insurance.
When you explore the types of boating insurance available to you, the key is to understand exactly what each kind does and doesn’t protect. There are a few common types of protection that exist, and different policy providers group these protections differently.
Protection for You and Your Boat
When you’re looking for insurance, the first option you usually think of is protection for yourself and for your own boat. This type of damage is covered by multiple boat policies, and usually covers damage to all major parts of the boat. These include the hulls, sails, and trailer, as well as the inner components such as motors or furnishings.
In some cases, insurance may cover replacement costs if a boat is damaged beyond repair or provide a full cash value for certain parts of the boat that can’t be fixed. Some policies may also cover unique types of dangers like full spill liabilities. Standard costs like wreck removal and salvaging costs are also common in boat policies, and some even cover medical costs of anyone injured on your boat.
Not all insurance policies for you and your boat will cover everything mentioned above, but it is a good baseline to think of, so you’ll know what is offered and what you should be looking for.
Protection for Others and Their Boats
Some insurance policies are focused on the individual buying them, but a lot of them also cover damages to other people and their property. Accidents happen – and while the lake or ocean may not be as busy as the roads, it is still possible collisions could occur.
Many boating insurance policies will cover the cost of damage you inflict on another boat or other properties. Whether you accidentally crash into another yacht or take out part of a dock, you can find policies that will cover the financial burden.
If you end up hurting or even killing another person in a boating accident, you can find insurance policies that will cover this. While you may think extreme situations like this are rare, once again, consider insurance like a life jacket of sorts – it’s better to have it and not need it than the alternative.
Additional Types of Insurance Coverage for Boats
While these types of coverage aren’t always packaged with a main policy, they can sometimes be added on to help provide that extra bit of coverage a person may need.
For example, sometimes you may need towing options whether you’re on water or on land. It is possible to get this type of protection added to your policy. You can even find some policies that will protect your fishing equipment, scuba gear, or other personal property that could become damaged on a boating trip.
You can even find coverage against the forces of nature, as some providers offer protection against ice and freeze damage, as well as the costs of hauling boats out of a hurricane. Now that’s thorough coverage!
Finally, you may be able to add on protection that will cover any injuries you occur at the hands of an insured boater. This is a valuable backup to have just in case you share the waters with people who don’t think ahead as much as you do.
Whether collision, property, bodily injury, or mixed, there are multiple areas of coverage boating insurance can span.
As you can see, there are plenty of types of boating insurance out there. Finding a company that offers the combination of protections you need may take some research, but it will be worth it. But there’s another question many people have – how can they get a cheaper price on coverage?
Finding Affordable Insurance: What Can Help You Save Money
Boat insurance can cover a lot. In some cases, it can cover between $100,000 or even $1 million.
We know what the approximate cost of a policy is, everyone likes to save. While saving on insurance isn’t as simple as clipping coupons or waiting for a big sale, there are a few strategies that have proven effective at saving boat owners money.
For starters, think about bundling your insurance costs. Many types of boat insurance can be bundled with your home or auto insurance – the result being a cheaper total price. If you’re looking to make yourself look a little safer to insurers in hopes of getting a better rate, try these tips:
There are other ways you can get discounts on your boating insurance. The first is to limit your boating activity exclusively to areas with lower costs. If you have a good driving record, both on water and land, you may also be able to gain a bit more bargaining power when you negotiate your rate.
These are just a few of the ways you can pursue a lower boat insurance cost. And like shopping around for your perfect policy, preparing to get your perfect price can be worth the effort it takes.
What to Look for in a Boat Insurance Company
We know how much boating insurance costs, how to lower that cost, and what type of coverage options typically exist. The next question a person may have is how to go about finding the right company.
Obviously, a good company will offer you the policy that fits your need for an affordable price. But there is still some decision making to be done at that point – there are a lot of policy providers out there and many of them will match one another in policy options and price.
Therefore, the experience they give you can make all the difference. If you’ve ever shopped for any type of insurance before, even if not for a boat, you know that not all providers are equal. Even if their pricing structures and policy options are similar, the way they treat their customers may be vastly different from one another.
The first thing to look for is customizable coverage. While many providers have understood that being flexible is the best way to get customers, some still don’t. So when you’re shopping for providers, look for ones that allow you to customize your policy to get the perfect level of coverage.
You should also look at the quality of the agents. Are they licensed? How much experience do they have? Are they especially knowledgeable about boating and the hazards that come with it? More knowledgeable associates mean you’re more likely to get a better deal, especially if you’re prepared – skilled agents will recognize when you present less liability.
When you’re working with agents that offer 24/7 coverage and support, you’ll never have to worry about uncertainties. No matter what happens to your boat or when you have questions regarding your policy, you’ll be able to get through to someone who is there to help.
In some cases, an insurance provider can provide discounts on other products or cash back for customers who go for a certain period without having to use their coverage. Ask about these options when you apply.
It’s Better to Have Boat Insurance Than Not
When we set sail on a boat, there are many things to consider. If you have a motor, do you have enough fuel? Are all the boat’s mechanical components working properly? Did you pack emergency supplies for the trip, just in case something goes wrong?
Thinking about these things ahead of time is smart – but why not take things a step further? What happens if you get into an accident? What if there is turbulent weather, or you need to have your boat towed? Are you prepared to cover those expenses?
This is the purpose of having boat insurance. Sure, it isn’t mandatory in every body of water around the world – but as a method of keeping yourself safe, it is better to have it than not. You’ll have a bit of research ahead of you as you calculate boat insurance cost options and policy choices on route to getting the best fit. However, the work will be worth it.
We could view that in terms of putting work into our boat – we polish it, maintain it, and clean it to make sure it looks the best. Why not put the same amount of work into finding the right policy? The effort can prove worthwhile, especially when you need your coverage.
Final Verdict: Boat Insurance Can Be Adapted to Your Needs
Everyone enjoys boating for different reasons. For some people, speeding around the lake is a thrilling and exhilarating experience. For others, a quiet day of fishing on a boat is a great way to unwind and make memories. From the casual sailor to the cruise advocate, boating appeals to many people from all walks of life.
Having boat insurance as an individual or business is very valuable. The best part is that boat insurance can be adapted to meet your needs. Once you find out exactly the type of protection you need, you can set out to find a policy for the right price.
The final verdict on boating insurance is that it is a smart investment, and there are plenty of ways to get the perfect combination of protection for you at a price you can afford.
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