When you purchase boat or PWC insurance, you’re getting a policy that offers a set amount of coverage over the life of the policy term. Policies typically last 1 year. After that, your policy is up for renewal.
Here’s what you need to know about the renewal process.
When Does an Insurance Policy Renew?
The renewal date will depend on the date your policy took effect and the length of the policy period. Most policies will renew either annually or semi-annually.
Your insurance company should notify you of a renewal offer by mail or email. Renewal information is typically sent sent at least 30 to 45 days in advance of the policy’s expiration date. You should receive a declaration page, a statement for the pending renewal and information on any coverage changes.
You may be presented with slightly different terms and/or rates. Additionally, you may be required to verify certain information on your policy (i.e., name, location, contact information, etc.). This can likely be done online and should be completed while your current policy is in force to avoid any gaps in coverage.
How Do Automatic Renewals Work?
Many policies will auto-renew, meaning there’s nothing to do but make your payments on time and in full. If your boat insurance payments are automatic, they’ll probably just continue into your new policy term. That way you don’t have to worry about stopping and starting payments again.
What Should I Do When My Insurance Renews?
Your renewal presents an excellent opportunity to review your policy and revisit coverage. It’s always a good idea to review your coverage terms and limits. Verify your boat insurance discounts and make changes to coverage as needed.
Why Did My Rates Go Up?
Because boat insurance rates are calculated based on various factors. Your renewal premium may be impacted by events that occur over the course of your policy term.
Here are the main factors that may impact 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 including 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 previous claims you have.
When you receive the notice of renewal, you could also get a new insurance premium. If the rate increases, there are multiple reasons why this could have happened.
Here are some common reasons rates go up:
- You filed a claim or had a claim filed against you.
- You moved and your navigational territory has changed.
- Overall experience in the insurance industry.
Common Boat Insurance Discounts
If your premium increases at renewal, there are several boat insurance discounts that could save you money. At the end of the day, you should be able to secure the coverage you need without draining your bank account.
Here are some ways you may be able to cut costs on your boat insurance premium.
- Boating Education: You may be eligible to save on your policy after passing certain safe boating courses, including those offered by the U.S. Power Squadron and the U.S. Coast Guard. Many courses can be completed entirely online. There may also be options available through your local boating community or marina.
- Layup Period: If you do not use your boat for four consecutive months, you may be eligible for a winter layup discount on your policy. Since your boat is less at risk of sustaining damage when out of use, your premium could go down.
- Navigable Waters: You could get an additional discount for navigating in certain protected waters, like the Chesapeake Bay or Long Island Sound.
- Multi-Policy Discounts: You may qualify for a discount when insuring multiple vessels with the same company. You can bundle your policies and maximize savings in the process.