Nine Factors that Influence Your Boat Insurance Rates

Just like a home or car, a watercraft is an investment that should be protected with insurance. Understanding what factors impact your boat insurance rates is helpful to ensure you get the most comprehensive coverage and the best deals. Keep in mind that the points outlined below vary depending on the provider, and it is always best to speak with them to see which variables they consider when determining your premiums.

Why Do I Need Boat Insurance?

While you do not require boat insurance by law in Canada, there are many reasons to have a policy. The main reason is to have peace of mind. Most people don’t have the resources to pay for a multi-million dollar claim out of pocket. Boat insurance ensures protection in a liability claim and coverage for your investment in unforeseen circumstances, such as theft, fire, vermin, vandalism, and collision. Additionally, marinas may require proof of insurance if you intend to store your vessel there. Lenders also often need this if you finance your watercraft. 

Factors that Affect Your Boat Insurance Rates

The Type of Vessel You Have

There are many types of boats out there, including the following:

  • Rowboats
  • Sailboats
  • Cuddy Cruisers
  • Express Cruisers
  • Fishing Boats
  • Jet boats
  • Bass Boats
  • Pontoons
  • Yachts
  • Personal Watercrafts 

The type of boat you have can impact your premiums. Small cuddy cruisers, for example, are less expensive to insure than yachts because they are less complex and have a lower risk profile. Your vessel’s make, model, year, and horsepower also affect your rates. 

Additional Features on Board

Extra features like GPS systems, emergency locator beacons, depth finders, radars, and alarm systems can lower your premiums. At Portside Marine Insurance, we offer a 10% discount for all boats with a GPS tracking device.

Your Experience and Age

If you have years of boating experience, especially with the particular vessel you want to insure, this can pay off when it comes to finding the best deals on marine policies. On the other hand, you may face higher prices if you are newer to boating with limited experience.

How You Use Your Boat

Do you intend on zipping around in a speedboat, taking your family out for fishing adventures, going for a casual cruise on the lake, or using your vessel for commercial purposes? How you intend to use your watercraft influences your insurance costs. Each circumstance is unique, but as a general rule of thumb, the less risky your intentions, like a calm leisure day out on the lake, make your boat less expensive to insure than worldly expeditions.

The Value of Your Watercraft

The amount your boat is worth impacts the price of your coverage. An expensive million-dollar yacht, for example, will likely cost more to insure than a small Seadoo or Kawasaki jet ski.

Education and Training

Some insurance companies may provide discounts if you complete specific training courses. The intention here is to ensure you have the proper knowledge to operate your watercraft which, in theory, reduces the likelihood of claims. Check with your provider to see which approved courses may qualify, but remember that not everyone will offer these deals.

Your Choice of Coverage

The most basic policies usually have lower boat insurance rates. You can get add-ons for your accessories, special equipment, personal belongings, and towing for more comprehensive coverage if not already included. 

Previous Claims

Numerous claims on a watercraft in the past may affect your rates, just like with your car insurance. Brokers like to see a claims-free history because this can predict the lower likelihood and frequency of incidents in the future.

The Deductible

A deductible is an amount you are responsible for paying in the event of a claim before your insurance covers the rest. Agreeing on a higher deductible can lower your rates. Keep in mind that if you do this, while you may save money each month on premiums, you could face higher costs out of pocket in the event your vessel sustains any kind of damage.

Finding the Right Policy for You

When finding the right policy, it is important to understand the different types of coverage and what you need for your unique circumstances. The above factors can help you determine which variables are most relevant to you, so you know what to discuss with your insurance provider. 

Additionally, shop around to ensure you get the best prices and speak directly with providers specializing in watercraft policies. They understand the details that are relevant to insuring these vessels and can provide you added peace of mind.
Portside Marine Insurance offers boat policies suitable for your distinct needs. Contact us to learn more about how you can get the best rates and the most comprehensive coverage with us.

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