When owning and operating watercraft, boat insurance coverage is pretty much a must-have. While boaters are not required to obtain insurance in most states, you won’t regret if you ever sustain a loss, regardless of whether you were at fault.
Still, your boat insurance policy shouldn’t drain your bank account. You should be able to save money while securing the coverage you need. There are plenty of discounts on boat insurance – from taking a boat safety course to being a safe driver both on land and on the water.
Here are some ways you may be able to cut costs on your boat insurance premium.
Maintaining a clean driving record can help keep insurance costs down, even when it comes to boat insurance coverage. If you’re a safe driver on land, that may extend to operating watercraft as well
» MORE: How to Save on Insurance Premiums
On the other hand, having multiple accidents and previous claims will increase your insurance rates. Some insurers will offer discounts to boaters with a loss-free boating history.
Lower Costs for Boaters With a Layup Period
If you do not use your boat during the winter, you may be eligible for a significant discount on your policy. Your boat is less at risk of sustaining damage when out of use and your premium should reflect this
» MORE: Winter Boat Tips and Insurance Coverage
Oftentimes, boaters are rewarded when bundling multiple policies. For example, if you’re an avid recreational boater and own a pontoon boat and a jet ski, you may qualify for a discount when insuring both vessels with the same company. Ask about “bundling” your policies and whether it would help to maximize savings.
Take a Boat Safety Course
If you’re new to boating, consider taking a certified boat safety course. These classes will teach you the essentials of operating watercraft safely. To participate, you can find a class near you and register online. Many courses can even be completed entirely online. There should also be options available through your local boating community or marina.
Ask About a Navigable Waters Discount
Some insurers may offer an additional discount for navigating in certain protected waters. For example, if you navigate exclusively on the Chesapeake Bay or never venture out of fresh water you may be eligible for a discount on your insurance.
How Much Does Insurance Cost?
Boat insurance costs are different for everyone. Rates depend on factors like location, the type of boat, and the amount of coverage. Other factors that may affect your boat insurance rate include your driving history and your prior boating experience.
Here are the main factors that will determine your premium:
- The value of your boat and other insured property - the more valuable, the more it will cost to insure.
- The specific coverage limits you request, the type of watercraft you own, and other factors like experience, location, and boating history.
- Whether or not you have a clean driving record. A record with numerous accidents or traffic violations could increase boat insurance rates.
- The number of claims you have will have a major influence on your insurance costs.
- If you’re a seasonal boater with your watercraft stored for a certain amount of time during the year, your insurance rates could decrease.