How to Choose a Boat Insurance Policy

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Boat insurance protects boat owners from expenses relating to qualifying incidents resulting in damage or loss. While the concept of boat insurance is simple, choosing an insurer can be surprisingly tricky. There are dozens of options available, making it hard to thoroughly review them all. If you need to choose a boat insurance policy, the information below can help you get started.

Comparing and Contrasting Insurers

When you need to choose a boat insurance policy, you typically want to compare and contrast insurers operating in your area. Not all insurers are approved in every state, so begin by finding companies that serve your region.

After that, you want to factor in reputation. Check reviews and solicit recommendations from other boat owners you know. By doing so, you can find out which companies are known for exceptional service, which can reduce headaches if you need to make a claim.

Once you narrow down your list, it’s time to secure quotes. In a boat insurance quote, you’ll see not only the price of the premium and any associated deductible but also the coverage levels and limitations. Each policy is unique. Some companies may offer services in their base policies that others charge additional for as riders or endorsements. As a result, you’ll want to compare every point across several providers to see what’s included, the size of any relevant caps, and similar details.

Is a Specialized Marine Insurance Company Necessary?

Technically, you don’t need to use a specialized marine insurance company. Many insurers that offer policies for cars and other land vehicles may have policies for boats as well. Check with your vehicle insurance provider to see if it offers plans for watercraft.

Another benefit of using a non-marine specialized insurance company is potential access to multi-policy discounts. Some insurers offer lower rates if you bundle several types of insurance policies from the company, such as vehicle and boat, together. As a result, you might get competitive coverage at a better rate by going this route.

However, if your vehicle is particularly large or requires less widely used insurance, turning to a specialized marine insurance company may be necessary to get the coverage you require. However, this is rare for smaller boats that are commonly used for recreation.

Key Questions to Ask Insurance Companies

When you’re getting boat insurance policy quotes, it’s wise to ask specific questions. Here are some that you should bring up during the discussion:

  • What are the annual premium and deductible amounts?
  • Is this an agreed-value policy or an actual cash value policy?
  • What incidents are covered, and what are not covered?
  • How much liability and medical payments coverage is included?
  • Are there caps for covered equipment?
  • What boat insurance add-ons do you offer?
  • Can you outline the claims process?
  • Are there fees for contacting your company over the phone?
  • Is there a discount for paying an entire year upfront?
  • Do you offer discounts for safety equipment?
  • Is there a boat safety course discount?
  • Are claims-free discounts available?

Ultimately, questions like these help you understand the policy. In turn, it’s easier to choose a boat insurance policy that’s right for your needs.