Ships are the closest to dreams that hands have ever made.
– Robert N. Rose
Many people ask me if I was shipwrecked and could only have one book, what would it be? I always say ‘How to build a boat’
– Stephen Wright
Work like a captain, play like a pirate
People (read: men) love boats. We take care of our boats and cherish them almost as much as any member of the family. Most that have boats have boat insurance, but how much do you really pay for that insurance? If you said to yourself, “Too much…” while reading this article, then this article might be worth reading! We hope this “bakery dozen” boat insurance helps you save some money.
First, find out what your state requires. Different states have different requirements for good boat insurance. Most states require a minimum level of personal liability insurance. Property damage is also important if your boat is transported or stored anywhere other than your home. Remember that non-motorized watercraft do not require car insurance.
Put all watercraft on the same policy. In addition, check whether your car insurer can also insure your boat(s). Combining policies is a great way to save money and lower your interest rates.
Switching to liability can help you save. Only do this if you are comfortable with your insurance only covering damage you cause to OTHERS, not your own boat.
Make sure you know the limits of your liability insurance. Check with your liability insurer to make sure all events that can happen are covered. Not all policies are created equal.
Joining a group or organization is beneficial. Most insurers want their drivers to be trained in proper boating procedures. So much so that the majority will offer a discount if you take a reputable boating course. A good example is the US Power Squadrons course. Even if your insurance company doesn’t give you a discount, the knowledge you receive can definitely save you money!
Experience is important when it comes to your premiums. Make sure you have a more mature and experienced boat manager on your boat insurance. This way you avoid the extra costs of having young and/or inexperienced people on your policy.
Choose the right deductible for your income. Make sure that the deductible you pay is not more than you can afford in the event of an accident. Your deductible may also not be so low that you cannot pay the premiums.
Keep the boat safe both on the shore and on the water. It is vital to store your boat in a safe place. If you keep your boat in an insured building, you may be able to have the damage covered by your home insurance. A close examination of the terms of your home insurance policy will determine whether this is a possible option to save you some money.
Ask about discounts as listed below. Here are some examples of discounts offered by many insurers:
Is canceling my insurance during the low season a good option? It is never a good idea to cancel your boat insurance. Your boat insurance can be damaged during the low season and if you are not covered you will pay for the damage. This practice will also prevent you from saving through loyalty discounts such as vanishing deductibles. A safer way to save during the off-season is to remove all the benefits associated with the actual use of the boat, such as emergency towing or insurance for uninsured boaters. If you do this, make sure to restore your previous covers before getting back out on the water!
Think of “port risk” and what can be done with your boat on land. This policy may cover the storage of your boat, but none of the navigation cover. It is a reasonable option in conjunction with the above question.
Know the boat market and how it can fluctuate. In the boat market, your boat is constantly losing value. This equals a reduced premium! Check regularly with your insurer whether you qualify for a lower rate.
Join a club or organization. If you can find a safe driving course in your area, most insurers will give a discount comparable to taking a safe driving course.