What Kind of Boat Insurance Do I Need?

Anyone who has ever purchased a powerboat or sailboat can tell you that there are few things as enjoyable as spending a warm afternoon on the open waters. If you're in the process of purchasing one of these watercraft for yourself, the chances are high that you've already begun researching the various insurance options that are available. By now, you've also probably begun to feel a little overwhelmed with the wide range of different options that are available to you.

It's natural to have a few questions - this is an important decision, after all. But thankfully, the situation isn't nearly as complicated as you may think. In this article, we'll break down the concept of boat insurance and outline how Arnold Insurance can help you make the best decision possible given your situation.

What is Boat Insurance?

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Similar in concept to car insurance or even homeowner's insurance, boat insurance offers a level of financial protection should any damage occur to your new boat. It also extends compensation if you or a passenger becomes injured if you end up injuring someone else and similar situations.

You can always fail a claim with your boat insurance provider to recover any damages that occur. The policy itself will pay for losses or injuries up to the limits of your coverage. This is provided that the incident in question is covered by the policy in the first place.

In other words, boat insurance policies are designed to protect you and those around you financially and physically.




Do I Need Boat Insurance?

As of 2022, the only states that require boat insurance are Arkansas and Utah. In most other situations, boat insurance will not be mandatory. But does that mean you should skip on coverage just to save a few dollars?

In a word, "no."

Keep in mind that the whole reason you bought a boat was so that you could relax, unwind and make incredible memories with your friends and family members. It's hard to do that if you're constantly worried about how you're going to pay if something goes wrong. 

When searching for a policy, you need to determine which coverage factors are the most important and relevant to you based on your unique situation. To get more information on how to make this determination, please feel free to contact Arnold Insurance today so that we can go over which options are available to you. 

What Does Boat Insurance Cover? 

As is true with most other forms of insurance, what boat insurance actually covers will vary depending on the policy. This is why it's always important to read your policy carefully to make sure it will be there for the things you're most worried about.

Typically, boat insurance policies will offer coverage for both physical damages to your boat and any injuries (or property damages) that happen while you're on the water. There are many different types of coverage available on a boating insurance policy, including but not limited to ones like:

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  • Coverage for any damage or destruction that may result from a collision, a fire, a lightning strike, vandalism, or even theft.
  • Coverage for any damage to your boat, along with permanent equipment coverage.
  • Liability coverage for any bodily injury that may take place in the event that someone else aboard your boat gets hurt.
  • Guest passenger liability coverage, which will extend money towards any legal expenses if someone drives your boat and gets into an accident. Note that this is relevant even if you've given them permission to do so.
  • Coverage for medical payments for both you and your passengers.
  • Hull insurance, will cover any physical damage to the hull of your boat. Some policies also extend this to trailers, equipment, motors, and other types of accessories.
  • Liability coverage for the event of a fuel spill is available, but only as a separate policy. It covers any fines that you may get as the result of an accident involving fuel.

Note that there are a few things boating insurance does not cover:

  • Any normal wear and tear, which is always to be expected.
  • Faulty machinery.
  • Any damage caused by animals.
  • Any infestations of pests or rodents that may occur.
  • Damage that is the direct result of improper storage or transportation.
  • Damage caused by operators who are either underage or unnamed on the policy.

How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost?

Similar to something like homeowner's insurance, the rate you'll pay for boat insurance will vary depending on a number of factors. Some of these are in your control and others are not. Sailing on a lake with a high claim rate, for just one example, will increase the cost of your coverage as opposed to sailing on a lake with fewer claims.

Other elements that will impact your rate include ones like:

  • The type of boat you own.
  • The way you use your boat.
  • The condition of the boat.
  • Your motor vehicle driving record.
  • Your record of previous boat insurance claims.
  • The horsepower of the boat.
  • Your gender and your age.
  • The overall technical specification sofa the boat.
  • The region of the country you live and use the boat in. 

In the End

Never forget that a boat is a significant investment - and it's one that deserves to be protected. If you wouldn't even think about leaving your car uninsured, you shouldn't leave your boat uninsured either. Therefore, understanding the ins and outs of boat insurance is the key to making the best decision possible in terms of a policy that will offer you the protection you need when you need it the most.

To find out more information about boating insurance, contact Arnold Insurance today. 


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