So, you’re looking for 10 great ways to save on boat insurance? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Whether you’ve just purchased your boat or had your yacht for dozens of years, it’s never too late to ensure you’re making smart choices when it comes to your marine coverage. To help you along in that process, we’ve compiled 10 money-saving tips. As you read along, think about how you can proactively reduce your costs and benefit from healthy, strategic insurance savings.
Consolidate Insurance Policies
Our first tip for saving on your boat insurance is to bundle its coverage. Consider this: by having one policy that inclusively covers your boat and automobile, your insurance provider may reward you with discounts. To get a firm understanding on how to bundle insurance coverage, the options you have available, and the discounts that will apply, make an appointment to speak directly with an insurance agent you currently work with. Be sure to gather enough information from your discussion to strategically weigh all of your options and make the decision that works best for you and your wallet.
Compare Marine Insurance Policies across Providers
In alignment with our previous tip, it is hugely important that you proactively compare quotes and levels of coverage across insurance companies in your quest for great savings. While you may feel loyal to your current insurer and may even get a great discount for consolidating boat coverage under a single policy, you still want to shop around for quotes and assess what competitors are offering. You should target anywhere from four to seven companies and consider factors like customer service and customer reviews when making your final decision.
Increase Your Deductible
While it may seem counterintuitive, an increase in your deductible — or the amount you are responsible for when you file a claim — can actually help you save! Think about it. Aside from getting insurance to fulfill legal obligations, you primarily get insurance to cover yourself in the case of an injury or property damage. The goal, then, is to minimize your premium – or the payments you make periodically to maintain active coverage – and still receive adequate support in the case of an accident. While this process can be complex, it is significantly worthwhile. Ask an agent to help you!
Establish Good Credit
Insurers use a myriad of data points when determining how risky a potential client is. Whether fairly or unfairly, your credit score can be one data point they use and it can, ultimately, have a significant impact on your premium, deductible, and coverage. Here’s the thinking: a person with a good credit score is probably very conscious of themselves, is more likely to consider the effects of their actions, and is less likely to file a claim in the future. Insurance underwriters are in the business of limiting their costs, so they actively avoid risky people with risky behavior. That said, it’s important that you are aware of the impact your credit rating has and take the steps necessary to improve it in the long-term.
Be a Responsible Automobile Driver
In addition to your credit rating, insurers may also use your driving record as an indicator of how much of a risk you present as a potential client. From their prospective: a driver who maintains safe habits on the road will likely take that same attitude when out on the water. As mentioned before, insurers want to minimize the probability of accidents and claims; therefore, they actively seek to mitigate risk. That said, when on the road, drive safely, obey speed limits, and avoid moving violations at all costs. Taking these steps are a great way to improve your driving record and, in the long run, save on boat insurance.
Make Sure Your Coverage Plan Matches Your Needs
A critical step in saving on boat insurance is identifying a coverage plan that realistically aligns with your habits and needs. In order to minimize costs, it is important to select a plan that fits your lifestyle and does not include unnecessary or redundant expenses. Before settling on a policy, have a frank talk with an agent who specializes in marine insurance and other boat owners. Also, once you have a policy, read it carefully, and periodically evaluate if you actually need everything it covers.
Be Strategic About Your Lay-Up Period
Marine insurers routinely account for the lay-up period when developing a customized insurance plan. The lay-up period is a periodic span of time during which a boat will remain docked and unused. By taking advantage of suspended coverage or reduced premiums for the specified days or months, insurance policy holder can get valuable savings. The trick is to be realistic about when your lay-up period should be and to adhere to it. There will be significant consequences if the boat is used and undocked – in most cases, erasing any benefit or savings.
Talk to an Actual Person
While the Internet allows you the convenience of shopping for insurance quotes quickly and conveniently, it is important that you don’t solely rely on automated quotes when deciding on an insurer or policy. Considering that the quotes are generated based on limited information and — in some respects — a generic calculation, the result you get may be flawed or incomplete. The most effective approach is to talk to an actual agent, who specializes in boat insurance, to get a more accurate estimate of your premium, deductible, and coverage.
Complete a Formal Training Course for Boaters
A significant risk that boat insurers consider is operator error. From their perspective, to minimize the chance of accidents, property damage, and bodily harm, it is important that boaters know how to safely maneuver a vessel, obey safety rules, and ensure all passengers are aware of safety procedures. As a result, a client’s boating experience is a major factor of consideration. One way to save on boat insurance is to take a formal course; ideally, you should find out from insurers which seamanship courses in your area qualify. By having proof that you have been formally trained to manage and maneuver your boat, you pose as a less-risky proposition to the insurance company and you will be rewarded with savings.
Stock Safety Supplies on Your Boat
Our final tip for saving on your boater’s insurance is to use equipment and tools that will help you protect yourself, your passengers, and your investment in the long run. Theft deterrents, fire-extinguishers, and gear to rescue passengers who go overboard will show that you are serious about keeping your vessel and its passengers safe. Taking rational precautions and making your boat insurer aware of it can translate into major savings.
By strategically shopping around for the most appropriate coverage, mindfully increasing your deductible, engaging people and agents knowledgeable about marine insurance, and presenting yourself as a safe, reliable client, you can go a long way in reducing the cost of insurance for your boat. The key is to not necessarily look for the cheapest option but to look for the best way to cover what you need and ensure your underwriter that are a safe bet. Now that you have 10 great ways to save on boat insurance, what are your next steps?
See also: Compare Boat Insurance Rates