If you’re still recuperating from a holiday spending binge, there are a few ways to get your finances back on track by building a budget and reducing future spending.
It’s no secret that overspending during the holiday season is quite easy. But once the new year hits, the reality of the situation begins to settle in. Even the most budget-aware consumer can stray from their spending goals when faced with a long lists of gifts and the generosity expected at this time of year.
Whether you’ve overspent or not, there’s never a bad time to plan for the future, start lowering expenses, and focus on your overall financial health. While credit card debt and other expenses are not in our wheelhouse, we can help to relieve some of the financial pressure with your boat insurance policy.
Here are 5 ways to save money on your boat insurance this year.
1. Drop the Coverage You Don’t Need
Read through your policy or speak with an insurance expert regarding your coverage. When it comes to bills, there’s nothing worse than paying for something you no longer use or need. Maybe things have changed since you’ve initially gotten your policy.
For example, you could have purchased a policy with the expectation that you would use the boat year-round. However, it may turn out that you use the vessel primarily in the spring, summer, and fall months. If this is the case, you should inquire about a winter layup discount.
Overall, check to see how your usage and circumstances have changed and if they call for changing your insurance policy.
2. Inquire About Discounts
You may qualify for a number of discounts, in addition to the winter layup option, on your boat insurance. Just as there are standard discounts for homeowners, renters, and auto insurance, there are similar advantages that go along with a recreational boat insurance policy.
Contact your insurance company to see which discounts you qualify for. Here are some of the common ones:
If you complete a qualified boating safety course, you should receive a discount that reduces your boat insurance premium.
Clean Driving Record
If you have no accidents and violations on your driving record, it may lower the cost of your boat insurance.
If you navigate your boat in a limited territory, such as inland lakes and waterways, you could save on insurance costs. It’s important to have a recreational boat insurance company that offers nationwide coverage to ensure this type of discount is offered.
If you do not use your boat for the winter, your premium could go down quite a bit. It’s important to double check that your boat will remain covered while in storage or on the trailer. It’s not worth the risk to waive coverage completely for a part of the year.
Insuring more than one watercraft should give you a significant discount. For example, if you have both a boat and a PWC, insuring both with the same insurer should qualify you for a multi-craft discount.
3. Boat Safely
Both smaller claims and bigger accidents will drive up your boat insurance premium. The most effective way to save on insurance and keep your costs down is to boat safely and avoid numerous claims.
If you encounter an accident or scenario where the cost of damage is low, consider paying these small out-of-pocket expenses rather than going through your insurance company. Multiple claims can result in a significantly higher premium.
To avoid this scenario entirely, practice safe and recommended boating protocols at all times. This will reduce the chance of an accident and ultimately a claim. Consider enrolling in a boat safety course. Completing a course like this will help you become a better educated and safer boater, and may also provide an additional discount on your premium.
4. Choose an Affordable Boat That Costs Less to Insure
Before you buy your first or next watercraft, compare boat insurance rates for the brand and model you’re considering. Higher-speed vessels, for example, will likely cost more to insure.
Essentially, the watercraft you operate will significantly drive your boat insurance premium. Safe and moderately priced vessels are typically cheaper to insure while high-speed, expensive boats will cost more to insure.
5. Increase the Deductible
You can end up saving money on coverage in the long-term by raising your deductible. The deductible is the amount you self-insure for damages to your watercraft, and above which the insurer pays, subject to any applicable limits on the policy.
For example, if the repair bill is $5,000 and you have a $2,000 deductible, the insurer will pay for the remaining balance of $3,000.
Increasing your deductible will likely result in a lower premium.