SuperMoney

Compare Boaters Insurance

Are you one of the 87 million U.S. adults who enjoy recreational boating? If so, you may be wondering how you can protect your investment and enjoy your time out on the water with peace of mind.

Unfortunately, thousands of accidents happen every year amounting to millions of dollars of property damage, thousands of injuries, and hundreds of deaths.

Surprisingly, only about 60% of boaters have insurance, according to Brent Jablonski of Allstate insurance. That means, if you are in an accident and the other person is at fault, there's a 40% chance they will not be insured, which could lead to some serious expenses.

To protect you, your passengers, and your boat, here's what you should know about boat insurance.

When does a boat owner need boat insurance?

Michael Barry, Head of Media and Public Affairs at the Insurance Information Institute (III) says, "In most instances, a boat owner is going to need boat insurance.

Homeowners insurance and renters insurance policies may offer some limited boat coverage, but those policies are generally not underwritten on the assumption that the homeowner or renter also owns a boat."

So, what is typically covered under a homeowners or renters insurance policy? Barry says, "Small boats (e.g., canoes, powerboats) may be covered under either a standard homeowners policy or renters insurance policy.

The size, type, and value of the boat will determine when a small boat owner needs more coverage, and that decision should be made after talking with an insurance professional."

He adds, "In addition, when it comes to boating-related claims, boat insurance policies generally provide broader liability protection than a homeowners or renters insurance policy."

So, if you have a canoe or a small boat with a small engine, the benefits of dedicated boat insurance may not outweigh the costs. However, owners of yachts, large sailboats, jet boats, jet skis, and other watercraft that go over 20 to 30 mph will typically see the benefits of coverage.

How to find the best homeowners insurance coverage.

What does boat insurance usually cover?

Here's what you should know about boat insurance coverage.

Coverage types

Boat insurance usually covers the following:

  • Physical loss or damage to the actual boat
  • Theft of the boat
  • Bodily injury to persons other than the boat owner or his or her family
  • Physical damage caused by the boat to someone else’s property
  • Guest passenger liability coverage—that is, any legal expenses incurred by someone using the boat with the owner’s permission
  • Medical payments for injuries to the boat owner and other

Additional coverage options available from many top boat insurance companies include:

  • On-water towing and labor
  • Available 24/7 by phone
  • Emergency service
  • Fuel spill liability
  • Wreck removal
  • Temporary repairs

Further, many offer additional riders such as:

  • Boat rental liability
  • Fishing tournament reimbursement fee
  • Uninsured/underinsured watercraft coverage
  • Boat rented to others
  • Boat rental reimbursement and liability
What is not covered by boat insurance?

There are a few things commonly not covered by boat insurance, including normal wear and tear, damage from defective machinery, and damage from mold, insects, sharks, and other creatures.

Does boat insurance cover a blown engine?

Under some circumstances (not wear-and-tear), a blown engine may be covered. It's best to check with the insurance company to find out the details.

Does boat insurance cover hurricanes?

Some boat insurance policies do cover hurricane damage, tornadoes, tropical storms, and windstorms, while others do not. Be sure to check with your potential insurers.

Replacement cost vs. actual cash value

When it comes to insurance companies paying for claims, a provider may offer the replacement cost or the actual cash value.

Here's what you should know about each:

  • Actual cash value: The insurance company pays you the depreciated value of your property at the time of loss.
  • Replacement cost: The insurance company pays you the cost required to replace your property. This can include two payments –– the first for the actual cash value of your property and the second for the difference between the actual cash value and the true replacement cost.

The replacement cost route provides you with more coverage as you will be able to have the full cost of your property replacement covered. Actual cash value may leave you with less than you need to replace or repair all of your property.

Coverage limits and deductibles

Each coverage type within an insurance plan will have coverage limits, which are the maximum amount a policy will pay out in an approved claim.

Before your insurance pays, you typically have to pay a deductible. Your insurer should provide you with coverage limit and deductible options when choosing your plan.

Note, you'll need coverage limits high enough to properly cover the type of boat you own (i.e., a speedboat should have more coverage than a cruising boat).

Perils

Each insurance company typically has a list of perils it will cover. For example, State Farm covers sinking, explosions, stranding, collision, capsizing, storms, theft, and fire.

If damage to your boat occurs from a peril that is not included in your policy, the losses won't be covered.

According to USCG Boating, the most common types of accidents are as follows:

[infogram id="_/YHNKOAKwUxrK77JU3XTp" prefix="Fb0" format="interactive" title="Most Common Boating Accidents"]

Being so, it's a good idea to look for these in potential policies.

Boat types

Many insurers will have restrictions on the types of boats they will cover. For example, State Farm insures kayaks, canoes, houseboats, jet skis, sailboats, bass boats, yachts, and sport boats.

Speak with the insurers you are interested in to confirm that they will cover your type of boat.

Which boat types have the most accidents?

[infogram id="_/cUgaz1bUxTENe4eQGoZs" prefix="xgA" format="interactive" title="Copy: Most Common Boating Accidents"]

Are you required to have insurance on a boat?

A few states require boat insurance. Only Utah and Arkansas have minimum requirements.

Utah requires bodily injury/death with limits of $25,000/$50,000 and property damage insurance. There is a limit of $15,000 if boats are powered by engines over 50 horsepower.

Arkansas requires liability coverage with a limit of at least $50,000 for boats with engines that have over 50 horsepower.

However, if you get a secured loan on a boat, the financing company may require that it is fully insured. Further, some harbors, facilities, and marinas require insurance if you dock your boat in them.

Learn how to get a boat loan

What happens if you are involved in a boating accident?

If you are involved in an accident while on your boat, the way your losses are covered will depend on the incident.

  • If your accident doesn't involve any other people or property, your insurance plan will cover eligible losses up to your plan limits.
  • When someone else causes the accident, their liability insurance will cover your losses up to their policy's limit.
  • If you cause an accident with someone else, your policy will cover your losses and the losses of the other person up to your limits.
  • When another person causes the accident and does not have insurance, you will need uninsured/underinsured coverage to cover your eligible losses.

The best way to ensure you have coverage is to have liability and uninsured/underinsured coverage, as well as your own insurance for property and medical damage.

How much does boat insurance cost per year?

It can vary. Progressive boat insurance starts at $100 per year. The average boat insurance price is about 1.5% of the value of your boat per year. So, if your boat is $30,000, you'd pay around $450 per year.

However, many factors influence the cost of boat insurance. These include:

  • your driving record
  • discounts
  • how you use your boat
  • the age of the boat
  • safety courses
  • the horsepower of a boat
  • your gender and age
  • the region you live in
  • and your credit score.

The best way to get an accurate idea of how much boat insurance will cost for your situation is to ask for a few quotes from trusted providers.

Also, be sure to look out for the discounts available. Most insurers provide savings for being claim free, insuring multiple watercraft, passing a safety course, and more.

What are the benefits of comparing boat insurance companies?

Using an insurance comparison tool allows you to how past customers have rated the insurer, the company's financial strength, and additional details about the coverage on offer. Shortlist your top picks and get quotes from those companies.

Be sure to compare coverage types, perils, deductibles, limits, exclusions, and customer reviews in addition to the premium cost. With that information, you will be able to find the best deal to insure your boat. Then, you can hit the water without worries.

Where can you get boat insurance?

Many of the nation's top insurance companies, such as State Farm, USAA, Allstate, Progressive, Nationwide, and more offer boat insurance.

How do you decide which is best for you? Use SupeMoney's boat insurance comparison tools below to see the pros and cons of each company side by side.

Compare Boaters Insurance

Are you one of the 87 million U.S. adults who enjoy recreational boating? If so, you may be wondering how you can protect your investment and enjoy your time out on the water with peace of mind.

Unfortunately, thousands of accidents happen every year amounting to millions of dollars of property damage, thousands of injuries, and hundreds of deaths.

Surprisingly, only about 60% of boaters have insurance, according to Brent Jablonski of Allstate insurance. That means, if you are in an accident and the other person is at fault, there's a 40% chance they will not be insured, which could lead to some serious expenses.

To protect you, your passengers, and your boat, here's what you should know about boat insurance.

When does a boat owner need boat insurance?

Michael Barry, Head of Media and Public Affairs at the Insurance Information Institute (III) says, "In most instances, a boat owner is going to need boat insurance.

Homeowners insurance and renters insurance policies may offer some limited boat coverage, but those policies are generally not underwritten on the assumption that the homeowner or renter also owns a boat."

So, what is typically covered under a homeowners or renters insurance policy? Barry says, "Small boats (e.g., canoes, powerboats) may be covered under either a standard homeowners policy or renters insurance policy.

The size, type, and value of the boat will determine when a small boat owner needs more coverage, and that decision should be made after talking with an insurance professional."

He adds, "In addition, when it comes to boating-related claims, boat insurance policies generally provide broader liability protection than a homeowners or renters insurance policy."

So, if you have a canoe or a small boat with a small engine, the benefits of dedicated boat insurance may not outweigh the costs. However, owners of yachts, large sailboats, jet boats, jet skis, and other watercraft that go over 20 to 30 mph will typically see the benefits of coverage.

How to find the best homeowners insurance coverage.

What does boat insurance usually cover?

Here's what you should know about boat insurance coverage.

Coverage types

Boat insurance usually covers the following:

  • Physical loss or damage to the actual boat
  • Theft of the boat
  • Bodily injury to persons other than the boat owner or his or her family
  • Physical damage caused by the boat to someone else’s property
  • Guest passenger liability coverage—that is, any legal expenses incurred by someone using the boat with the owner’s permission
  • Medical payments for injuries to the boat owner and other

Additional coverage options available from many top boat insurance companies include:

  • On-water towing and labor
  • Available 24/7 by phone
  • Emergency service
  • Fuel spill liability
  • Wreck removal
  • Temporary repairs

Further, many offer additional riders such as:

  • Boat rental liability
  • Fishing tournament reimbursement fee
  • Uninsured/underinsured watercraft coverage
  • Boat rented to others
  • Boat rental reimbursement and liability
What is not covered by boat insurance?

There are a few things commonly not covered by boat insurance, including normal wear and tear, damage from defective machinery, and damage from mold, insects, sharks, and other creatures.

Does boat insurance cover a blown engine?

Under some circumstances (not wear-and-tear), a blown engine may be covered. It's best to check with the insurance company to find out the details.

Does boat insurance cover hurricanes?

Some boat insurance policies do cover hurricane damage, tornadoes, tropical storms, and windstorms, while others do not. Be sure to check with your potential insurers.

Replacement cost vs. actual cash value

When it comes to insurance companies paying for claims, a provider may offer the replacement cost or the actual cash value.

Here's what you should know about each:

  • Actual cash value: The insurance company pays you the depreciated value of your property at the time of loss.
  • Replacement cost: The insurance company pays you the cost required to replace your property. This can include two payments –– the first for the actual cash value of your property and the second for the difference between the actual cash value and the true replacement cost.

The replacement cost route provides you with more coverage as you will be able to have the full cost of your property replacement covered. Actual cash value may leave you with less than you need to replace or repair all of your property.

Coverage limits and deductibles

Each coverage type within an insurance plan will have coverage limits, which are the maximum amount a policy will pay out in an approved claim.

Before your insurance pays, you typically have to pay a deductible. Your insurer should provide you with coverage limit and deductible options when choosing your plan.

Note, you'll need coverage limits high enough to properly cover the type of boat you own (i.e., a speedboat should have more coverage than a cruising boat).

Perils

Each insurance company typically has a list of perils it will cover. For example, State Farm covers sinking, explosions, stranding, collision, capsizing, storms, theft, and fire.

If damage to your boat occurs from a peril that is not included in your policy, the losses won't be covered.

According to USCG Boating, the most common types of accidents are as follows:

[infogram id="_/YHNKOAKwUxrK77JU3XTp" prefix="Fb0" format="interactive" title="Most Common Boating Accidents"]

Being so, it's a good idea to look for these in potential policies.

Boat types

Many insurers will have restrictions on the types of boats they will cover. For example, State Farm insures kayaks, canoes, houseboats, jet skis, sailboats, bass boats, yachts, and sport boats.

Speak with the insurers you are interested in to confirm that they will cover your type of boat.

Which boat types have the most accidents?

[infogram id="_/cUgaz1bUxTENe4eQGoZs" prefix="xgA" format="interactive" title="Copy: Most Common Boating Accidents"]

Are you required to have insurance on a boat?

A few states require boat insurance. Only Utah and Arkansas have minimum requirements.

Utah requires bodily injury/death with limits of $25,000/$50,000 and property damage insurance. There is a limit of $15,000 if boats are powered by engines over 50 horsepower.

Arkansas requires liability coverage with a limit of at least $50,000 for boats with engines that have over 50 horsepower.

However, if you get a secured loan on a boat, the financing company may require that it is fully insured. Further, some harbors, facilities, and marinas require insurance if you dock your boat in them.

Learn how to get a boat loan

What happens if you are involved in a boating accident?

If you are involved in an accident while on your boat, the way your losses are covered will depend on the incident.

  • If your accident doesn't involve any other people or property, your insurance plan will cover eligible losses up to your plan limits.
  • When someone else causes the accident, their liability insurance will cover your losses up to their policy's limit.
  • If you cause an accident with someone else, your policy will cover your losses and the losses of the other person up to your limits.
  • When another person causes the accident and does not have insurance, you will need uninsured/underinsured coverage to cover your eligible losses.

The best way to ensure you have coverage is to have liability and uninsured/underinsured coverage, as well as your own insurance for property and medical damage.

How much does boat insurance cost per year?

It can vary. Progressive boat insurance starts at $100 per year. The average boat insurance price is about 1.5% of the value of your boat per year. So, if your boat is $30,000, you'd pay around $450 per year.

However, many factors influence the cost of boat insurance. These include:

  • your driving record
  • discounts
  • how you use your boat
  • the age of the boat
  • safety courses
  • the horsepower of a boat
  • your gender and age
  • the region you live in
  • and your credit score.

The best way to get an accurate idea of how much boat insurance will cost for your situation is to ask for a few quotes from trusted providers.

Also, be sure to look out for the discounts available. Most insurers provide savings for being claim free, insuring multiple watercraft, passing a safety course, and more.

What are the benefits of comparing boat insurance companies?

Using an insurance comparison tool allows you to how past customers have rated the insurer, the company's financial strength, and additional details about the coverage on offer. Shortlist your top picks and get quotes from those companies.

Be sure to compare coverage types, perils, deductibles, limits, exclusions, and customer reviews in addition to the premium cost. With that information, you will be able to find the best deal to insure your boat. Then, you can hit the water without worries.

Where can you get boat insurance?

Many of the nation's top insurance companies, such as State Farm, USAA, Allstate, Progressive, Nationwide, and more offer boat insurance.

How do you decide which is best for you? Use SupeMoney's boat insurance comparison tools below to see the pros and cons of each company side by side.

Loading results...

Company

Reviews

Financial Strength Rating

Additional Details

Company Website

State Farm

State Farm

1
4
 
5 total votes
Financial Strength Rating
A+
Superior
  • Medical Payments
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Boat Liability
  • On-Water Towing and Labor
  • Available 24/7 by Phone
USAA

USAA

2
1
 
3 total votes
Financial Strength Rating
A+
Superior
  • Medical Payments
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Fuel Spill Liability
  • Total Loss Replacement
  • Boat Liability
  • On-Water Towing and Labor
  • Available 24/7 by Phone
Show More
Allstate

Allstate

2
3
3
8 total votes
Financial Strength Rating
A+
Superior
  • Medical Payments
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Fuel Spill Liability
  • Boat Liability
  • On-Water Towing and Labor
  • Available 24/7 by Phone
Show More
Progressive

Progressive

 
4
6
11 total votes
Financial Strength Rating
A+
Superior
  • Medical Payments
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Fuel Spill Liability
  • Total Loss Replacement
  • Boat Liability
  • On-Water Towing and Labor
  • Available 24/7 by Phone
Show More
Nationwide

Nationwide

1
 
2
3 total votes
Financial Strength Rating
A+
Superior
  • Medical Payments
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Total Loss Replacement
  • Boat Liability
  • On-Water Towing and Labor
Safeco

Safeco

 
2
2
4 total votes
Financial Strength Rating
A
Excellent
  • Medical Payments
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Fuel Spill Liability
  • Total Loss Replacement
  • Boat Liability
  • On-Water Towing and Labor
Show More
GEICO

GEICO

Be the first to rate

Financial Strength Rating
A+
Superior
  • Medical Payments
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Fuel Spill Liability
  • Total Loss Replacement
  • Boat Liability
  • On-Water Towing and Labor
  • Available 24/7 by Phone
Show More
21st Century Insurance

21st Century Insurance

Be the first to rate

Financial Strength Rating
A
Excellent
  • Medical Payments
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • On-Water Towing and Labor
  • Boat Liability
American Family

American Family

Be the first to rate

Financial Strength Rating
A
Excellent
  • Medical Payments
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Fuel Spill Liability
  • Total Loss Replacement
  • Boat Liability
  • On-Water Towing and Labor
  • Available 24/7 by Phone
Show More
Amco

Amco

Be the first to rate

Financial Strength Rating N/A Financial Strength Rating