You're eager to test out your new toy, a sleek, adventure-ready boat, on this picture-perfect summer day. You've slathered on the SPF and driven down to the docks, eager to spend a full day on the lake. You've been organizing this all week, whether your plans involve a cruise, water activities, or a tranquil afternoon of fishing.
But are you certain you have everything you need?
Over 5,200 watercraft accidents were recorded by the US Coast Guard in 2020, up 26.3 percent from the previous year. Over $62 million was spent on property damage.
Safe and prudent boating and pleasure depend on having the appropriate boat insurance coverage for your vessel. Don't let a boating tragedy ruin your finances!
What Does Boat Insurance Cover?
Before you set sail, it’s important to protect your boat. You wouldn’t intentionally put your boat in any danger, but even the most seasoned sailors experience accidents. Boat insurance can usually be applied to smaller vessels such as fishing boats, motorboats, and sailboats. There are, however, more specialized insurance policies for larger vessels such as houseboats and yachts.
The types of insurance coverage are almost as numerous as fish in the sea! It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the options.
Some types of insurance you may see for watercraft include:
- Property Coverage – Finances to repair damages or replace in case of land. Coverage typically applies whether the boat is in the water or on land, meaning if it’s in storage or on your trailer, it’s still covered. Property damage is usually broken into two types of coverage: Cash Value Coverage (based on an estimated value of the boat at the time of the accident/theft—taking into account value depreciation since it was bought) or Agreed Value Coverage (a set value agreed upon at the time of purchase). Property Coverage typically doesn’t cover general wear and tear.
- Liability Coverage – Covers you in case of damage to someone else’s property or person. If you end up in an accident that causes damage to someone else, liability coverage will make sure you’re financially covered.
- Uninsured Watercraft Coverage – If your boat or person is damaged or injured by someone else and they don’t have the proper coverage, Uninsured Watercraft Coverage will make sure you’re not paying out of pocket for their mistakes.
- Fuel Spills or Wreckage Removal – If you’re in a serious accident that leaves behind environmental damage like fuel or wreckage, this coverage will help cover the costs of cleanup.
- Consequential Damage – Want extra protection against general aging? Protection against wear and tear, rust, mold, etc. can be added with Consequential Damage Coverage.
- Cruising Extension – Most policies only cover you so long as you’re in the country. Cruising Extension Coverage can protect you if you choose to take your boat out of US waters.
- All Risk – A generalized insurance policy that includes any damage that isn’t on the policy’s exclusion list. Typical exclusions include wear and tear, dents, marring, damage caused by animals, design and manufacturer defects, or ice and freezing.
- Extra Coverage – Boat insurance in Arkansas is wildly customizable. You can often include extras in your policy such as insurance for your trailer, any boat accessories or specialized equipment, and coverage in case you break down or have an accident and need to be towed.
We know, it’s a lot. Figuring out exactly what boat insurance coverage you should get while staying within your budget can be a stressful endeavor. But G&G Independent Insurance specializes in finding you the best insurance policy for the best price. We’ll search over 50 different companies to help you find the perfect plan for you.
What Our Customers Say
Should I Bother with Boat Insurance?
In most states, boat insurance is optional. As of 2021, only Arkansas and Utah have watercraft insurance requirements based on the amount of horsepower your motor has. Depending on where you store and launch your boat, some marinas might have their own requirements.
If you’ve taken out a loan for your boat, or if your boat is a rental, boating insurance is almost always required as a part of the agreement.
Despite the fact that boat insurance isn’t necessarily a requirement, it’s always recommended. Boats are a large expense and boating always comes with a risk. It would be incredibly easy to lose your boat entirely, along with the money you put into it, all due to one accident.
Don’t risk all the work and money you put into your watercraft. Protect your property with insurance and no matter what happens, you’ll have smooth sailing.
What About in the Off-Season?
You may think that you can pause or temporarily cancel your insurance during the months that you’re not on the water. While you can it’s not advised. Boat insurance covers you for more than just damage while it’s in the water. Most policies protect against damage while in storage, and against theft.
If your boat was financed through a loan, it may be conditional upon year-round coverage, so be sure to make note of your loan contract.
Always speak with your insurance company to see if they have discounted rates for the off-season. You may be able to get a lower annual rate if your boat spends a good portion of the year in storage.
How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost?
We’re all trying to make our budgets go as far as possible, so the cost of watercraft insurance may be the main thing putting you off deciding on coverage. But the good news is, affordable boat insurance is easy to find! Typically, policies range from a mere $17 per month to $42. That’s only $200-$500 annually.
Of course, your quotes depend on many factors such as the type, size, age, and horsepower of your boat, how long it will be stored, where and how it will be stored, and the amount and types of coverage you choose.
Get affordable boat insurance rates in Arkansas with G&G Independent Insurance. We search multiple companies to find the best options for you. Call us today for a free quote and take the first step in protecting your boat. Click below to learn more.