Boat Insurance Cost: How to Keep Your Premiums Low

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Boat Insurance Cost: How to Keep Your Premiums Low

By: Boater's Choice Insurance
Boat Insurance Cost: How to Keep Your Premiums Low

Boat Insurance Cost: How to Keep Your Premiums Low

If you’re exploring boat ownership – or own one of the nearly 12 million registered boats in the U.S. – you already understand the importance of boat maintenance and a comprehensive boat insurance policy. You obviously don’t want to scrimp on either. But here are some strategies you can use to lower your boat insurance premiums.

Keep Boats in Secure Locations
When calculating premiums, insurers will consider where your boat is parked – both in between use and during the off-season. If your boat is docked at a slip, tied to a mooring ball, or parked on a lift,  it could lead to higher premiums.

However, in cases where your boat is docked or stored in a marina that's under 24-hour surveillance, your insurance payment may be lower. Keeping your boat on-shore when it’s not being used – especially tucked away in a stack where it’s also protected from storms, too – could improve your insurance rates, too.

Use a Real-Time Monitoring Unit
Insurance carriers typically offer a rate discount if a real-time monitoring device is installed on your boat and you subscribe to a monitoring plan. These smart systems are equipped with a GPS that tracks the boat’s position 24/7 and will alert you – via mobile app – whenever the vessel moves outside its designated location or geofence. Monitoring systems provide added peace of mind by notifying you if the bilge pumps are running excessively or failing, the boat’s batteries are running low, shorepower is disconnected, or if any engines are running.

While some boats come with a factory-installed monitoring unit, aftermarket systems are also available. Ultimately, in return for protecting your investment with a monitoring unit, most insurers will reward you with a lower boat premium.  

Opt for Inland Waterways
Boating on inland waterways instead of open water could be a viable way to pay less on your insurance. That’s because inland waterways typically have stricter speed limits, thereby decreasing the chance of an accident. If an insurer factors that into their rate formula, they may decrease your premium.

Choose a Boat That Suits Your Experience
Depending on the boat you operate and your level of boating experience, insurance carriers will either increase or lower your premiums. If you're a new boat owner, insurers will likely view that as a risk and factor it into your rate. Even if you have some experience, buying a boat that requires a lot of know-how and expertise could lead to higher premiums. So, choosing a boat that aligns with your experience level might be a sound move.

Keep Tabs on Your Boat’s Value
Like other vehicles, boat values typically decrease over time. That's not to suggest your boat will become worthless in a decade. But it's a good idea to update your insurer about the age and condition of your vessel every year, including the engine hours. If they haven’t done so already, your carrier should reduce your premiums to reflect the overall market value of your boat.

Review Your Coverage
Always review the available endorsements and coverages in your boat policy to make sure it truly meets your needs. This is where a trusted advisor can play a crucial role in the process by helping you understand the policy details. Plus, you can share that annual update on your boat’s age and condition with your insurance carrier – along with any other circumstances that have changed.  

Get a Second Opinion from an Insurance Broker
Are you still wondering if you’re getting the right insurance at a competitive rate? Get a second opinion from a broker. Most will shop around among insurance carriers to find you an outstanding value. Start saving by getting a quick quote from the boating specialists today.