Factors That Affect Boat Insurance

Rising Number of Boat Owners:

The increasing number of boat owners can influence the cost of boat insurance because many people are new to boat ownership, and perhaps to driving a boat, and may be more likely to have claims. Large numbers of boat owners can also make it harder to find good marina space, or inland storage space if a hurricane is reported. On the positive side, having more boat owners in the market can increase the number of insurers and give consumers better prices because of competition.

Navigation Area

The navigation area refers to the area where a boat owner intends to use the boat. Some navigation areas are more dangerous than others, which can affect the cost of a boat insurance policy. A boat owner who plans to use the boat on a small inland lake will have a different risk profile than one who wants to boat on the open ocean, especially in international waters. Boats used on the ocean can be more prone to damage from storms, for example, or other incidents.

Storage Location

How and where the boat is stored can also influence the cost of insurance. Vessels that are securely locked up are less likely to be stolen, and those in dry dock are less likely to be damaged by winter storms. Some states are more prone to hurricanes and other storms that can damage boats, so the boats stored in those areas may be more expensive to insure. Often, boat owners can pay for an extra provision in their insurance policy that will move the boat to a safe location if a major storm is forecast.

Ownership Experience

Insurance companies tend to offer lower rates to boat owners with a proven track record of safety, whereas they might consider new owners to have a higher level of risk. Yet even consumers who have owned several boats may have difficulty finding an affordable insurance policy if they have a long history of claims.

Motor Vehicle Record

Factors That Affect Boat Insurance

Since insurance companies know that boat owners with a poor driving record are more likely to have a future claim on their policy, they charge such consumers accordingly. They must do this because many of the factors related to poor vehicle operation, such as DUI arrests, can also come into play while they are driving a boat. Therefore, insurance companies check the DMV records of consumers for information about their overall driving ability. Of course, people with a clean driving record get better deals on boat insurance.

Safety Equipment on Board

Boat owners may keep various safety equipment on board in order to minimize injury in the event of an accident. Safety equipment can range from simple flotation devices for passengers to high-end technology that warns boat drivers of impending hazards such as storms and reefs. Boat owners may also benefit from having fire alarms or a GPS on board the vessel. While certain types of safety equipment are required by law, others are not required but can lead to discounts on boat insurance policies.

Boating Education Course

Many insurance companies offer policy discounts to boat owners who have taken a boating education course, similar to those available to drivers who take safety training. The Coast Guard often provides boating education courses, but boat owners can also take them online. The type of course required and the amount of the discount will vary depending on the insurance company.

Boat Insurance Directory
Boat Insurance Directory

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