Moreover, you may choose to voluntarily purchase an insurance policy for your boat, even if you are not required to do so, as part of boat maintenance as an owner. Not only does a watercraft insurance policy protect you from financial responsibility in the event of an accident or natural disaster, but it also protects your passengers. To learn more about these requirements and to explore the different types of policies that may be available to you, review the information below.
Boat Insurance Requirements by State
If you are thinking about purchasing a Progressive boat insurance policy or another type of insurance for your watercraft, it is important to familiarize yourself with your state’s requirements, as well as the requirements of your lender, if you financed the purchase of the boat.
Currently, only several states require you to purchase an insurance policy for your watercraft, including Arkansas, Hawaii and Utah. These requirements include:
- In Arkansas, you must purchase liability insurance for all personal motorboats and watercrafts with 50-horsepower engines or higher. The policy must include at least $50,000 in liability insurance coverage.
- In Hawaii, you must purchase at least $500,000 in liability coverage if you park your watercraft in a Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Recreation (DOBOR) facility. The boat or yacht insurance policy must cover damages to docks, wreck removals and salvage expenses for sunken or grounded watercrafts.
- In Utah, insurance is mandatory in the amounts of $25,000/$50,000/$15,000 (or a combined amount of $65,000 per accident), unless the boat is powered by an engine of less than 50 horsepower. These requirements pertain to all personal watercrafts and motorboats in the state.
If you reside in a state that requires you to purchase insurance for your personal motorboat or watercraft, remember to keep proof of the insurance policy on you whenever you operate the vessel. While specific watercraft insurance requirements may vary by state, acceptable proof typically includes insurance cards and binder or renewal notices for your policy.
Where to Get a Boat Insurance Quote
Only licensed auto, home and boat insurance companies can sell insurance coverage for your personal motorboat, sailboat or any other type of vessel. Licensed companies that sell this type of insurance include GEICO, Progressive, Nationwide, Allstate, State Farm and USAA. In some cases, however, you may be able to insure your boat and automobile through the same company, as this option may provide you with the lowest rate.
If you wish to insure your watercraft or motorboat, contact your current insurance provider to obtain a quote. Then, obtain quotes from several additional companies before selecting an insurance provider, as this will help you to secure the best deal.
How to Get Watercraft Insurance Quotes
When obtaining boat insurance quotes, it is also important to provide each company with accurate information about yourself, and any other primary vehicle operators. When obtaining a GEICO boat insurance quote, for instance, you must provide the following information:
- Your first and last name
- Your email address
- Your mailing address and ZIP code
- Your gender and marital status
- Whether you are the primary operator of the boat you wish to insure
- Whether you wish to add another vehicle owner or operator to the insurance policy
When obtaining a quote for GEICO marine insurance, you must also provide accurate information about the specific type of watercraft you wish to insure. Typically, you will need to provide the boat’s model year and type, overall length and name of the manufacturer. You may also need to provide:
- The boat type. Different types of vessels include pontoons, trawlers, personal watercrafts and fishing boats.
- The hull material. Available options may include fiberglass, aluminum, wood or steel.
- Acquisition information. When obtaining a quote, you may need to provide the date on which you acquired the watercraft. You may also need to specify whether you purchased the boat, inherited it or received it as a gift.
- Engine information. When obtaining a GEICO or BoatUS Insurance quote, you must provide the watercraft’s engine type, engine year, total horsepower and number of engines.
How to Lower Your Insurance Premiums
While the average boat insurance cost is about $429 per year ($36 per month), the cost of purchasing an insurance policy for your personal motorboat or watercraft will vary, depending on several factors, including the state in which you live. For instance, the average cost of insuring a boat in Florida is about $611 per year, compared to an annual rate of just $282 in Alabama. However, you may be able to reduce the cost of insuring a boat if you qualify for one or more discounts or agree to pass a boating education course. For instance, USAA boat insurance offers discounts to those who:
- Pass a boating safety course.
- Insure multiple watercrafts under the same policy.
- Remain claims free for a specific amount of time.
Depending on the boat insurance company with which you choose to work, as well as the state where you reside, other possible discounts may be available to you if your watercraft is diesel-powered or equips a fire extinguisher that has been approved by the Coast Guard. When obtaining boat insurance quotes, remember to ask your provider about any discounts that may be available to you. In some cases, you may be able to increase your deductible, as this will also help to lower the amount of your insurance premium.
Moreover, you will also save money on your boat insurance rates if you store your watercraft in a safe location to protect it from sinking, hurricane damage and other floating objects in the water. Additionally, practicing boating safety throughout the year will reduce your risk of damaging the boat, harming you or your other passengers and filing new insurance claims.