Just like you want to be covered for any possible situation when you set out in your car, you want a similar sense of peace of mind when you’re taking your boat on the water. Getting a boat insurance policy can help you prepare for unexpected events that might happen when you’re sailing. While you have to pay for this coverage, the costs of an insurance premium are far less than covering the costs incurred by an accident at your own expense.
So how do you find the best insurance policy for your needs? Take a look at these tips below, then you’ll be ready to find insurance for your boat.
8 Keys to Finding the Best Price on Boat Insurance
1. Get a Survey Valuation of Your Boat Performed
Before shopping for insurance, it’s important to have a clear idea of the exact valuation of your vessel. A professional can perform a marine survey that will tell you the exact value of your boat, taking into account the current condition and the market value of the ship. This will help you provide accurate and up-to-date information to an insurance agent to help find the exact coverage you need.
It is recommended that you get this survey done within 30 days of when you’ll be shopping for insurance for your boat. It might be most convenient to have this survey taken care of next time you’re bringing your boat in for maintenance. After that, you’ll have the information you need to get the most suitable insurance policy for your particular situation.
2. Know Exactly What Coverage You Need
Now that you have a better idea of what your boat is worth, the next step is determining what exactly you need from a boat insurance policy. You don’t want to end up paying a higher premium just to get coverage that you won’t even be using. Working with an agent to determine the exact needs you have for your insurance coverage can help you reduce the cost you end up paying.
Insurance policies for your boat can be custom or partially-custom written to give you coverage that is tailored specifically to you. Come to your insurance agent with a clear idea of how often you use your boat, what type of sailing you do, and where you’ll be sailing. That will help cut out any parts of your policy that wouldn’t apply to your situation.
3. Prove Your Knowledge of Boating
Naturally, insurance companies will be more likely to give you a favorable rate if they know that you aren’t at high risk of an accident. You may face higher premiums if you have a history of incidents involving your boat in the past. Conversely, you can lower your premium by having a clean record and proving you’re a knowledgeable boat owner.
One of the best ways you can prove your knowledge and thus lower your premium is by taking a boating course. Showing you understand the skills taught at these courses will demonstrate to insurance agents that you’re less of a risk to insure, leading to lower premiums. Make sure to get proper documentation of your completion of the course so that it can be factored into your insurance policy.
4. Be a Responsible Boat Owner
There are other ways that you can lower your premium by proving you’re a responsible boat owner. One of the best ways would be to obtain your captain’s license or any other relevant license in your area. Your insurance agent can help you navigate the laws of your locality to make you aware of any relevant licenses you can obtain.
Making sure all the safety gear on your boat is up-to-date and well-stocked can also affect your insurance premium as it’s another way that you reduce your risk. Replace the life rafts, life jackets and other flotation device, fire extinguishers, signaling devices, extra bilge pipes, first aid kits, and more to demonstrate you’re ready for any potential hazard, subsequentially lowering your premium.
5. Determine if Additional Coverage Benefits You
In addition to the broad boat insurance policies that cover a wide range of incidents for your boat, there are additional policies you can get that target much more specific occurrences. These include salvage coverage, which provides you with insurance in the worst-case scenario of you needing to salvage your boat. There’s also uninsured boat coverage that will help you out in case you get in an accident involving another boat that isn’t covered under an insurance plan.
These additional coverage policies can often be very beneficial for you, but it is important that you consider your exact needs as a boat owner to see if you need them or not. For example, if your vessel has a fuel tank, it may be worthwhile to look into fuel spill insurance. Since federal law dictates that you are responsible for environmental damage caused by a leak in your tank, this insurance can save you from costly fines.
6. Consider How You Want Your Claims Paid
In the case of a total loss due to a mishap with your boat, there are two types of payout that your insurance policy might include. You might have a policy that gives you the actual cash value of your boat at the time of the damage. While this policy often comes with lower premiums, you also won’t get as much money in the event of an accident.
The other option is to be paid an agreed amount value, or replacement cash value. This will give you a payout for the value of the boat as it was agreed upon during a survey. This option often comes with higher premiums, but gives you more money when you need it. Balancing the risk and reward against your budget needs is key to getting the policy that’s right for you.
7. Shop Around for a Policy
Just like when you’re shopping for anything else, you want to make sure that you’re getting the best price possible for the insurance policy for your boat. Checking out the rates and coverage offered by different insurance providers can help you find the balance of coverage and premium cost that is best for your needs.
Your insurance agent can often provide a comparison service that includes plans offered by other providers. That will help you quickly assess your options at a glance to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money. Once you have coverage, you can still benefit from occasionally taking a look at current offers to see if you can find a better deal than what you already have.
8. Bundle Your Insurance Policies
You can often save money by having several of your different insurance policies all through the same provider. Bundle your boat insurance with home insurance, auto insurance, and business insurance policies to reduce the cost you pay on each one. Finding a provider who can cover all of your insurance needs can save you money in the long run.
Of course, the first step in finding the best insurance for your boat is finding an insurance provider that you can trust. Contact iInsure today to discuss all of your coverage options with our knowledgeable agents!