How to Find the Best Sailboat Insurance Coverage for You
There are a few things to consider when looking for the best boat insurance coverage for you.
What Does the Boat Insurance Cover?
It's of great importance to know what will be covered by your preferred boat insurance company before taking your boat out on the water. Needless to say, insurance policies and contracts are always very complex, so taking your time and understanding everything is essential. To give you a head start, here are a few things that your boat insurance should cover.
- Damage to the boat or permanently attached equipment such as anchors
- Damage arising from fire, theft, vandalism, collision, and lightning
- Property damage liability, which is essentially the damage that your boat causes to someone else's property
- Bodily injury liability, which revolves around the expenses incurred when someone gets injured on your boat or by your boat
- Medical payments for expenses incurred by you and your passengers in the event of an accident
- Guest passenger liability, which revolves around the legal expenses incurred when something happens if another person was using the boat with your permission
- Mechanical Breakdown coverage, which pays for the repair of any part of the boat as long as it's not caused by wear and tear
Some of the things that are not included in the insurance include:
- Normal wear and tear
- Damage caused by sharks or other creatures
- Defective machinery
- Damage caused by mold and insects
Types of Boat Insurance Policy
It's essential to know the type of boat insurance policy that you want. The two common options include:
Agreed Value - This is the amount that is agreed between you as the boat owner and the insurance company. This boat insurance tends to be more expensive since your boat's depreciation isn't taken into consideration. So in case of an accident, the insurer can even end up paying more than the current value of the boat.
Actual Cash Value - This revolves around the insurer paying up to the current actual value of the boat if anything happens. These premiums tend to be lower since the insurer will calculate the depreciation value and pay depending on the actual value of the boat.
Important Things to Know
Here are some important things to know as far as boat insurance is concerned.
- Navigational Limits - These are limits that outline where you can navigate your boat and you may not be covered if you venture beyond the agreed territory. Needless to say, your premiums will be higher if your navigation limits are extensive.
- Marine Inspection - Most insurers will require your boat to be inspected by a certified marine surveyor to assess the condition for the boat and its market value.
- Layup Periods - These refer to periods when you take your boat out of the water such as during winter when you're not boating. Most insurers will give you credit but you may not be covered if you take the boat out for a ride during the layup periods and something happens.
- Underage Operators - Do not be tempted to offer your boat to an underage if he/she doesn't meet the age and license requirements in your area.
Best Sailboat Insurance Companies
As one of the leaders in the insurance industry, Progressive has been providing boat insurance for over 35 years. This company has insured over 1 million boats and has a network of independent agents across the country who are always willing to guide you through their policies.
Although Progressive is widely known for providing auto insurance, its boat insurance offerings revolve around covering small to medium-sized boats measuring not more than 50 feet in length with value not exceeding $500,000. Some of the coverage options to expect from this company include collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, bodily injury and property damage liability, medical payments, mechanical breakdown coverage, and many more.
Unlike most boat insurance companies, Progressive doesn't require boaters to provide a navigation plan. As long as your seafaring adventures are within 75 miles of the U.S. or Canadian coastlines, Progressive will offer a solid and reliable plan for your boat insurance. The company's customizable boat insurance is a cherry on the cake as it makes it a lot easier for boaters to bundle their policies and work within their budgets.
Allstate - Best for Budget
Consistently ranked among the best by various rating institutions in terms of financial strength and customer service, Allstate is one of the biggest providers of boat insurance in the country. With boat coverage options as low as $21 monthly, Allstate offers some of the most affordable coverage options in the boat insurance industry.
The company offers many types of boat insurance and pledge to keep their customers in good and safe hands. From your repair costs, trailer coverage, watercraft liability coverage to uninsured watercraft coverage, and many more, the average cost of boat insurance from Allstate is just about $20 a month.
Nationwide - Best Option for Bundling
Offering unique options for each boater's unique boating lifestyle, Nationwide is widely known for offering the best multi-policy options in the boat insurance industry. In other words, it can give you some of the best coverage options for your boat if you decide to combine your home, car, and boat insurance. With this, you'll get amazing extra perks such as rental reimbursement coverage, optional towing, and road assistance if your boat trailer is included in the coverage.
This is a company that will offer you amazing deals and discounts of up to 25% if you choose to bundle your boat insurance with at least one other policy provided by the company. What's more; they offer affordable packages for fishing equipment ($1,000), personal effects ($3,000), and towing ($500).
United States Power Squadron (USPS) Boat Insurance Program - Best for USPS Members
USPS is one of the few boat insurance companies that strictly offer insurance for boats. This may be quite disadvantageous for those looking for bundling options but it's great if you're looking for a company that puts its total focus on ensuring your safety and that of your vessel while out there on the water.
As such, this company offers automatic coverage for water skiing, hurricane safe harbor reimbursements, and personal effects coverage of up to $1,500. It also offers automatic fuel spill liability not exceeding $854,000. This is a company that offers among the most competitive packages for serious boaters out there. They offer online quotes, same-day coverage, and policy discounts if you pay premiums in bulk as well as round the clock claims processing.
Markel - Best for Anglers
If you're an angler looking for the best boat insurance for your vessel and fishing equipment, as well as other personal effects, look no further than Markel. With its professional fisherman policy, this company offers replacement cost coverage of up to $5,000 for fishing equipment and cost coverage of up to $10,000 for personal effects.
The company also offers discounts for operators aged 40 and above, accident-free discounts, and discounts for anglers or boaters with more than five years of experience. The best part is that you can save up to 35% on your boat insurance premium if you qualify for these discounts.
So whether you're a professional angler or just fishing for fun, Markel offers some of the best boat insurance coverage options for anglers. You'll be in safe hands with just $100 per year but this may depend on the coverage options that you need.
BoatUS - Best for Additional Benefits
Acquired by Geico in 2015, BoatUS has been offering boat insurance through its affiliation with the Boat Owners Association of the United States. It offers all types of coverage options including actual cash value coverage, liability-only coverage, and full coverage at an agreed value.
The best part for considering BoatUS for your boat insurance is that the company has some of the best additional benefits in the boat insurance industry. For example, all policies must include fuel spill liability coverage and supplemental medical coverage. This, therefore, means that the total costs of your insurance premiums will be reduced significantly thanks to these deductibles and additional benefits. You can also get discounts for good driving records and the completion of approved safety courses. For members, there are even more additional benefits.
State Farm - Best for Emergency Services Coverage
As one of the best-known names in the insurance industry in the country, State Farm might be your go-to-guys if you're looking for the best emergency services coverage. The company offers optional emergency services for up to $500 to service your boat, boat trailer, or motor in case of any damage as stipulated in your coverage contract. The company's optional wreck-removal coverage can also be ideal for you if you're looking for reasonable expenses if you're required by law to raise or remove your boat or wreckage.
The company also provides multi-policy discounts, which can be ideal for you if you want to cut down paperwork and combine your home, auto, and boat insurance. So whether you're a proud owner of a yacht or a modest kayak, State Farm can provide coverage options for your unique needs, especially in times of emergency.
Foremost - Best for Flexible Coverage Options
Known for offering affordable boat insurance coverage options across the country, Foremost can be a great option for you if you're looking for a boat insurance company that can offer coverage options that are suited for your unique insurance needs. Some of its unique coverage options include enhanced towing services, hurricane haul-out, additional pollution liability coverage, fishing tournament fee reimbursement, trip interruption service, pet coverage, and many more.
Most of these coverage options are flexibly tailored to lower your premiums and make boat insurance quite affordable. This company is widely known for insuring specialty risks and can easily offer good, better, and best coverage packages depending on how much you're willing to pay and the types of coverage options that you want.
Hagerty - Best for Classic Boats
Just like classic cars, we all know that classic boats are a rarity and you certainly want the best insurer for your unique an exotic classic boat. Of course, owners of classic boats have special needs that might not be the same as other boats, and this requires a company that offers these specialties. Well, Hagerty takes immense pride as one of the best boat insurers for classic boats.
The company not only offers personalized insurance services but also utilizes actual cash value to determine the right coverage limits for your boats. Its agents are also affiliated with well-known boating clubs whose members are generally proud owners of classic boats. So you can consider joining one of these boating clubs and you might be in for significant discounts on your insurance premiums for your classic boat.
United Marine Underwriters - Best for Personalized Customer Service
Having provided boat insurance across the United States except in New Mexico for nearly three decades, United Marine Underwriters takes immense pride in presenting itself as a specialty boat insurance company that puts a lot of emphasis on customer service, happiness, and safety.
This company offers liability limits of up to $1 million and you get various discounts if you meet certain thresholds. For example, you'll get substantial discounts if you complete one of the recognized boat safety courses that are approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Power Squadron. The company also assigns you a primary service person to take care of all your servicing needs, which is why it's widely known for its excellent customer service.
Legally speaking boat insurance is not a must in many states unless you come you're planning to boat in Utah, Hawaii, and Arkansas. However, the peace of mind that boat insurance gives you when out on the water can never be underestimated. And because your boat is probably one of your most prized possessions, it's essential to choose the best sailboat insurance option; something that covers all your needs.