How Much Is Boat Insurance? [10 Cost Factors]

How much is boat insurance? Just like car insurance, the cost of boat insurance varies depending on a number of factors. In this article, I will describe how much boat insurance costs (in the U.S.) and the factors affecting its rate.

How much does boat insurance cost? On average, the cost of boat insurance ranges between US$200 and US$500 per year. However, it can reach over a thousand dollars too.

The cost of boat insurance all depends on several factors, including the following:

  1. The Purpose of Your Boat
  2. Your Record as a Motor Vehicle Driver
  3. Your Past Boat Insurance Claims
  4. The Motor Vehicle Driving Record of Others Who Will Drive Your Boat
  5. The Existing Safety Measures You Practice in the Boat
  6. The Boat’s Horsepower
  7. Personal Information Including Gender and Age
  8. The Specs of Your Boat
  9. The Location
  10. Your Latest Credit Score

Read on to learn more about how much boat insurance is per month and tips for getting the best rate.

How Much Is Boat Insurance?

Getting boat insurance is similar to getting car insurance. How much you pay per month varies based on the specs of the boat, your history, and many other factors.

When you get boat insurance, you will be asked a number of questions to determine your rate. The factors that determine your boat insurance cost are as follows.

1. The Purpose of Your Boat

If you use your boat every day for fishing, the chances are that you will pay higher insurance than if you only use it for occasional fishing trips. If your boat tows parasails, wakeboarders, water skiers, and the like, you will most likely pay a high insurance rate too. This is basically because the riskier the activity, the higher the cost of the insurance will be.

The same goes for many other types of insurance. The insurance will cost more if you are partaking in riskier activities. Some people might not even be eligible for boat insurance because they are categorized as high-risk individuals.

2. Your Record as a Motor Vehicle Driver

Even though we are talking about boat insurance here, your record as a driver of any motor vehicle has an impact on the cost of your boat insurance.

When it comes to your driving record, underwriters don’t take this lightly. They strictly determine whether, as a motor vehicle driver, you are a 100-percent law-abiding citizen or not.

This means that if you are a cautious automobile driver, you are also likely a cautious boat driver. So any record of road violations will most likely affect your boat insurance rates.

3. Your Past Boat Insurance Claims

The number of times you have filed insurance claims in the past also impacts your boat insurance rate. Suffice it to say, if you have previously filed insurance claims on an annual basis, it could give the impression that you are not a cautious boat driver. Thus, there is a big chance that you’ll be asked to pay a higher rate.

how much does boat insurance cost

4. The Motor Vehicle Driving Record of Others Who Will Drive Your Boat

When getting boat insurance, the underwriter doesn’t only evaluate you as the owner and driver. Aside from you, he evaluates other people who are most likely to drive your boat too. For instance, your brother, your son, or your spouse, among others.

If any of them has a bad driving record, the chances are that your boat insurance rate will be high. Their age is a factor too. Teenagers or senior citizens are considered riskier than middle-aged people.

How much does boat insurance cost? As mentioned earlier, the cost of boat insurance is about $200 to $500 per month. This rate will be higher if you have a poor motor vehicle driving record. This rate will be lower if you have a good driving record.

5. The Existing Safety Measures You Practice in the Boat

The insurance underwriter will check if you have safety measures in place as a boat owner and driver. Here are some of the questions you have to answer:

  • Do you have fire extinguishers in place?
  • Do you have radios so you can get in touch with the mainland in case of an emergency?
  • Are these devices, and more, approved by the U.S. Coast Guard?

If your answer is three yes’, you can end up with a lower boat insurance premium.

It is advantageous if you have taken a boat safety course and have a certificate to prove that. The underwrite would surely take note of this when computing your premium rate.

6. The Boat’s Horsepower

If your boat features a high horsepower, the chances are that your insurance premium rate will be higher too. This is so because a boat with a high horsepower means that your boat is more costly than those with lower horsepower. That way, if the time comes that you need to file an insurance claim to fix or replace your boat’s engine, then your insurance coverage will be enough to do so.

The same reasoning applies when availing insurance for other types of motor vehicles.

7. Personal Information

The next factor for determining how much is boat insurance is your personal information. Let me give you two scenarios:

In scenario A, two people of the same age have boats with the same specs. They also have similar driving history records. Thus, their computed insurance premium rates are more or less the same.

In scenario B, two people of the same age have boats with the same specs. They also have similar driving history records. But after computing their insurance premium rates, one person’s rate is lower than that of the person’s.

The reason why one person’s boat insurance rate is higher might be due to their history. They might have had a number of accidents in the past, or maybe they have just recently got their driver’s license. Some reasons are taken into account for why one person pays a higher boat insurance cost than another.

8. The Specs of Your Boat

Earlier, we have mentioned that the boat’s horsepower impacts the computation of the insurance premium. Well, all the other specs of your boat have an impact on the cost of boat insurance.

The year, model, and make of your boat, among others, are some of the most important factors that underwriters consider when computing premium rates. If your boat is brand new, you will most likely pay a higher premium rate than those who own older boats.

However, not all old boats have low premium rates. An overhauled boat with brand new — and high quality — parts and accessories may be charged with high premium rates. In fact, the same rule applies to other types of motor vehicles.

9. Your Location

The location where you will use your boat plays a big role in computing your insurance premium rate. The underwriters have to determine if you will take your boat to a safe area. In which case, you might only be asked to pay a low insurance premium.

boat insurance cost

Underwriters have to identify if you will drive your boat in areas where natural disasters frequently occur. If so, how intense are natural disasters in your area? These are important information in computing your premium.

10. Your Latest Credit Score

For insurance companies, a person with a low credit score is more prone to accidents than a person with a high credit score. In fact, there is a study that supports this information.

Meaning, those with lower credit scores will most likely pay higher boat insurance cost than those with high credit scores.

Now that we’ve answered the question, “How much does boat insurance cost?” let’s look at whether you need boat insurance or not.

Do You Need Boat Insurance?

In general, boat owners in the U.S. are not required by law to get insurance for their boats. However, there are marinas and inland waterways that require this, especially if you are using a slip or mooring.

If your boat is under a bank or a lending institution’s financing scheme, you will be strictly required to get boat insurance. This shall be a requirement until you have paid the bank in full. Suffice to say, if you buy your boat in cash, you will not be required to get it.

There are no strict boat insurance laws in the U.S. except in Arkansas and Utah, where they have specific boat insurance laws. Does this mean it is not important to get boat insurance except if your boat is under a financing scheme?

Well, if you want a worry-free boating experience, I advise that you get boat insurance. Your reason for getting it is basically the same as your reason for getting life insurance, car insurance, or property insurance, among others.

In general, the coverage for boat insurance includes the following:

  • Injury to others
  • Damage to the property of others
  • Loss of personal property on your boat
  • Damage to personal property on your boat
  • Unexpected damage to your boat resulting from an accident
  • Recovery costs if your boat sinks, among others

Of course, the best way to know all the specific details is by contacting a boat insurance agent. He can provide the best insurance coverage for you. In fact, if you are not satisfied with the coverage, you may have the right to upgrade the insurance coverage.

However, if you opt for more comprehensive insurance coverage, it follows that your insurance premium will also be higher. But then again, if it is going to give you peace of mind, I don’t think you would still mind getting expensive boat insurance anyway.

Conclusion – How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost?

How much is boat insurance? Generally speaking, boat insurance premium rates range between US$200 and US$500 per annum. But there are premium rates that cost over a thousand dollars too. There are factors to consider when computing boat insurance premium rates. These include the boat type, boat length, and its purpose, among many others.

Here are the factors that affect the cost of your boat insurance:

  1. The Purpose of Your Boat
  2. Your Record as a Motor Vehicle Driver
  3. Your Past Boat Insurance Claims
  4. The Motor Vehicle Driving Record of Others Who Will Drive Your Boat
  5. The Existing Safety Measures You Practice in the Boat
  6. The Boat’s Horsepower
  7. Personal Information Including Gender and Age
  8. The Specs of Your Boat
  9. The Location
  10. Your Latest Credit Score

In terms of coverage, the general features of boat insurance are the following:

  • Injury to others
  • Damage to the property of others
  • Loss of personal property on your boat
  • Damage to personal property on your boat
  • Unexpected damage to your boat resulting from an accident; and
  • Recovery costs if your boat sinks, among others.

Should you want the coverage to be more comprehensive, ask your insurance agent to do so. For sure, he will be more than willing to come up with an upgraded quotation for you. This, however, means that the premium rate will be higher too.

In the United States, only Arkansas and Utah have existing boat insurance laws. This, however, does not mean that if you are from another state, you will not need it anymore. In fact, you might have to because boat insurance is required in marinas and inland waterways.

Now that you have an idea of how much boat insurance costs, and the factors that determine its cost, you will have an easier time getting insurance for your boat.