How much is boat insurance? Aspects that influence boat insurance costs

Are you considering buying a boat and want to know, “How much is boat insurance?” Boat insurance is an important consideration and can largely depend on the nature of your vessel.
How much is boat insurance?

How much is boat insurance?

In this blog post, Scott Ewart will provide insight into how much boat insurance typically costs and why having it is essential. Read on to learn more about aspects that influence boat insurance costs, and other helpful information. Let’s dive into the topic right now!

How much is boat insurance?

How much is boat insurance?

How much is boat insurance?

The answer for the question “how much is a boat insurance” will vary depending on several factors. Generally speaking, a basic policy with just liability coverage could cost anywhere from $200 to $500 per year or more. If you have a large or expensive vessel, such as a yacht or sailboat, then insurance can cost around 1–5% of the value of your boat. For example:

The value of the boat

Annual cost of your boat insurance







$1 million boats


Buying boat insurance: necessary or not?

Buying boat insurance: necessary or not?

Buying boat insurance: necessary or not?

Case 1: The type of boat does not require boat insurance

Some people may be able to get away without buying boat insurance if they own:

  • Canoe
  • Kayak
  • Paddle boat
  • Small-engine boat
  • Craft with an engine power of less than 25 horsepower

These vessels are typically used for recreational purposes and not for any kind of commercial activity. Therefore, their exposure to risk is minimal. In this case, the owner may decide that the cost of boat insurance is more than their vessel is worth and opt not to purchase a policy.

Case 2: The kinds of boat need boat insurance

Some kinds of boat need to be insured. It will help protect boat owners from financial losses due to theft, damage and accidents. The types of boats that need insurance include:

Types of boat Reasons to have insurance
Charter Boats Your boat is your business, so you should invest in commercial insurance to protect it.
Fishing Boats They should be insured with a comprehensive policy covering risks like fire, and fancy offshore rigs,…
Houseboats Houseboats are typically considered motor vehicles. Therefore, they must be insured with a specialized boat policy.
Personal Watercrafts Jet Skis, Sea-Doos, and WaveRunners are all considered personal watercrafts. The reason for this is that they are all at risk.
Sailboats Activities like long-distance travel or racing require extra coverage. These types of sailboats will need a specific boat insurance policy.
Yachts Yachts are expensive vessels that require multiple coverages. Usually, a combination of boat and yacht insurance is necessary to adequately protect the craft and passengers.
Speedboat Speedboats should also have boat insurance in order to cover the risks associated with high speeds and big waves.
Pontoon Pontoon boats are used for both recreation and fishing. Therefore, the boat and its passengers need both liability and comprehensive coverage.
Inflatables Inflatable boats should be insured to cover your investment against risks like fire, theft, and more.

Aspects that influence the cost of boat insurance

Buying boat insurance: necessary or not?

Buying boat insurance: necessary or not?

There are a lot of factors that affect the boat insurance cost. Here are details about different aspects:

Type of Boat: The type of boat is one of the most important factors when it comes to boat insurance costs. Insurance rates can vary drastically depending on the size, power, and design of a boat. A small sailboat may be much cheaper to insure than a motorboat or yacht, for example.

Age of Boat: The age of the boat is another aspect that can affect its insurance cost. Generally, older boats are going to be cheaper to insure than newer ones. They’re more likely to have been repaired and maintained properly over time.

Engine: The size and type of engine on the boat can also affect its insurance rates. When calculating insurance premiums, insurers will consider the type of motorboat being insured. The reason is that higher-powered boats present more risk (including inboard or outboard, number of horsepower, and so on).

Location: The area where you keep your boat can have an effect on your insurance costs as well. If it’s in an area with a high risk of theft or natural disasters, the cost of your insurance may be higher. As your boat lacks modern safety features, you will be required to pay higher premiums.

Purpose of usage: How you plan to use your boat also plays a role in its insurance cost. If you’re going to be using it for commercial activities such as fishing charters or sightseeing tours, for example. The cost of insurance may be higher than if you’re just using it for recreational purposes.

Deductible: The deductible is another factor that can influence your boat insurance cost. The higher the deductible, the lower your premium will be, but this also means that you’ll have to pay more out of pocket if you ever need to make a claim.

Condition of a boat: The condition of a boat is an important factor when it comes to the cost of insurance. Boats that are in better condition tend to be less expensive to insure, while boats with signs of wear and tear or damage can increase the cost.

The frequency of using a boat: You are only an occasional sailor and don’t embark on the water every weekend. Chances are your boating costs will be lower.

The driver’s license: Most insurers require that the driver have a valid boating license in order to insure a boat. Having a driver’s license can also help reduce insurance costs as it is seen as an indicator of responsibility. Good drivers earn reduced rates (no accidents, injuries, or recent insurance claims in a boat).

What is covered by boat insurance?

Standard Boat Insurance Coverage

Standard Boat Insurance Coverage

Liability for property damage

In the event that you are liable for an accident, boat insurance can help protect your boats and third-party property from damages. It also may provide coverage for legal defense costs if the insured is sued for an accident.

Cover physical damage

Boat insurance can also provide coverage for physical damage to the boat and its parts due to an accident, theft, fire, or other covered loss. Coverage limits vary depending on the policy but may include components such as the hull, motor, trailer, sails, and equipment.

Agreed Value Policy

After a covered accident, your insurance company will pay you the maximum value of your boat, which you and the company determine. For example, a boat that originally cost $30,000 may be worth a fraction of its original purchase price. With this agreed value policy will agree to pay you the original $30,000.

Policy of actual cash value

This type of policy allows your insurance company to pay you the actual cash value (ACV) of the boat. For example, Your boat is only worth $14,000 at first, the company would pay you $14,000 for repair or replacement after that. It means if the value of this post is higher than the original cost, you still paid the original cost.

Medical payments coverage

People hurt in an accident involving your boat may also be able to get medical payment coverage from your boat insurance. This type of coverage pays for medical expenses, lost wages, or even death benefits if someone is injured while you are operating your boat.

Bodily injury liability

You are covered if you cause a boating accident and another party is injured. This insurance will cover their medical costs, lost wages, and any related expenses incurred due to the incident.

Additional coverages of boat insurance

Additional coverages of boat insurance

Additional coverages of boat insurance

When it comes to protecting your valuable asset, there are some boat insurance add-ons that you may want to consider. These added protections can help you feel more secure while out on the water.

Non-insured Watercraft

This coverage will protect you in the event of an incident involving another boat that is not insured.

Salvage insurance

This coverage helps pay for the cost of getting your boat out of a wreck or other situation where it has been damaged, sunk, or left stranded.

Collision Coverage

This coverage helps pay for any repairs to your boat that result from an accident, such as a collision with another boat or object. It may also cover the costs of any medical bills if someone is injured in the accident, and it can even help with towing costs.

Personal property coverage

This add-on covers the costs of any personal items like fishing rods, life jackets, and other accessories. This coverage can help you replace items that might have been stolen or damaged in transit.

Comprehensive coverage

It helps cover non-accident related losses such as vandalism, theft, and fire damage to your boat.

Cleanup of the wreckage and the fuel

If your boat is disabled and needs to be towed back to shore, this coverage helps cover the costs of fuel removal and wreckage removal.

Pet coverage

If your pet has an injury while on the water, this coverage will reimburse you for up to $1,000 of the costs associated with their veterinary care.

In short, do you have to have boat insurance? States do not require insurance, but buying insurance is a way to protect your property, the safety of you and others.

What is not covered by marine insurance?

What is not covered by marine insurance?

What is not covered by marine insurance?

In general, most policies won’t cover damage caused by normal wear and tear, mechanical failures, animals, or other causes.
You can find detailed information in What does boat insurance not cover? It is important to read through your policy carefully. Besides, you have to understand what types of risks are excluded before signing a contract with an insurance provider.

How to get the insurance discount?

How to get the insurance discount?

How to get the insurance discount?

Take a safety course: Completing an approved safety course can also reduce your insurance premium.

If you pay your annual premium all at once instead of in installments, the insurance company may give you a discount.

Use a diesel-powered engine: If you’re looking for an auto insurance discount, a diesel-powered engine can save you money. Insurers view diesels as safer and more efficient than gasoline engines.

Increase your deductible: Increasing your deductible will reduce the amount of money you pay out when filing a claim. This reduces your overall premium.

Good credit score: Insurers use your credit score as an indicator of how likely you are to file a claim. If having a good credit score, you can result in lower premiums.

Prepare required equipment: Equip your vessel with a ship-to-shore radio, Coast Guard-approved fire extinguishers and other essential safety equipment

Boaters with a clean sailing record can get a discount on their boat insurance premiums. This can be especially helpful for those who have been in the boating community for a long time and have avoided any major incidents or damages.

Bundling discounts: combine boat, house, and vehicle insurance.

Homeowners discount: Some insurance firms can give you a discount on your boat insurance simply for being a homeowner. The two policies are not held with the same company.

Avoid making a claim for two years.

Locations to buy boat insurance

Locations to buy boat insurance

Locations to buy boat insurance

Where should you buy insurance for your boat? You may want to consider shopping around and comparing different coverage options from a variety of sources. Your best bet would be to start with an independent agent that specializes in boat insurance. They will be able to provide you with quotes from multiple companies, so you can compare rates and coverage levels.

FAQs: How much is boat insurance?

What does insurance cost for a $200,000 boat?

Most of the time, the annual cost of boat insurance is about 1.5% of your boat’s value. For instance, boats that cost $20,000 cost about $300 a year to insure.

Is striking a rock covered by boat insurance?

If you have collision and comprehensive coverage on your policy, your boat insurance will pay if you hit a rock. Damages to your boat, on the other hand, will not be covered if you simply have liability coverage.

Can a 20-year-old boat be insured?

Every insurance provider enforces distinct regulations regarding the age of an owned vessel. While some insurers will reject boats over 40 years of age, others won’t hesitate to insure ones that are as young as 20 in any condition. This is often limited to a 30-year cap for most insurance companies. Furthermore, where a vessel is situated can impact its coverage and premiums.

What is the typical yacht insurance deductible?

Most boat insurance has a $250 deductible for personal items or fishing gear, but there is no deductible for towing and help.


How much is boat insurance? After reading this article, you should now have a good grasp on “how much is insurance for a boat”. The cost of your policy will depend on many factors mentioned above. So don’t wait; start protecting yourself today and go over the specifics of a boat insurance policy with an agent near you. Thank you for reading our post from!


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