Find the Best Boat Insurance Companies
Compare Reviews for Top Boat Insurance Companies
|Geico Boat Insurance||Read 27 Reviews|
From its beginnings in 1936, GEICO has expanded to become one of the United States’ largest insurance providers. Selling boat insurance alongside other options lets consumers bundle their insurance packages to save money.
|Progressive Boat Insurance||Read 35 Reviews|
Progressive has been in the insurance business for over 75 years. Progressive’s customizable boat insurance makes it easy for consumers to bundle their policies and find the policies they need at the prices they want.
|Allstate Boat Insurance||Read Author Review|
Allstate was founded in 1931 as part of Sears, Roebuck and Co., and it became a publicly traded company in 1993. Allstate offers many different types of insurance, pledging to keep their consumers “in good hands.”
|BoatUS||Read Author Review|
Boat Owners Association of the United States, or BoatUS, has been helping its members and community with services like insurance, loans and support for 50 years. Their host of services offers savings and community for consumers.
|Chubb Commercial Marine Insurance||Read Author Review|
Operating in 54 countries, Chubb is a worldwide insurer of commercial and personal property, including boats. Chubb’s boat insurance options include small boat, fishing, commercial shipping and yacht coverage.
|Farmers Boat Insurance||Read Author Review|
Farmers began with a goal of insuring vehicles for rural farmers. Since its beginning in 1928, Farmers has grown to offer different types of insurance solutions to consumers across the United States.
|Nationwide Boat Insurance||Read Author Review|
Nationwide has been selling insurance to consumers in the United States for more than 85 years. Nationwide is a Fortune 100 company that provides a full range of financial services and insurance policies, including boat coverage.
|NBOA Boat Insurance||Read Author Review|
For more than 25 years, NBOA has helped boaters find insurance to fit their needs. NBOA’s membership benefits include access to discounts, towing services and more to help boaters get the most out of their service.
|Shelter Insurance Boat Insurance||Read Author Review|
Shelter Insurance opened their doors in 1964 and has since become a leader in the regional insurance industry. Though Shelter started by only serving areas in Missouri, they now sell insurance in 14 states.
|SkiSafe||Read Author Review|
SkiSafe is a premier specialty insurance provider of boat insurance to consumers in the United States. With a team focused purely on boat insurance, SkiSafe’s narrow focus allows for custom tailored policies to fit consumer needs.
What to look for before you buy boat insurance
Type of insurance companies
Before purchasing a policy, you should first ask yourself if you want to buy from a company that sells multiple types of insurance or one that specializes in boat insurance. Both have their advantages.
- Large insurance companies: Larger insurers that offer more than boat insurance can usually keep expenses down and thus offer lower rates, especially if you already have a policy with that company.
- Marine insurance companies: Companies that specialize in boat and marine insurance usually have an intimate understanding of the boating world. They often have extra resources or membership perks for consumers.
Type of coverage
Choosing your carrier may depend on which sort of policy you want. Though names of these policies may vary among insurers, policies usually fall under these types.
- All-risk coverage: An all-risk coverage policy takes care of your boat and trailer from almost all physical damage, including fire, collision (with another boat or a submerged object), storm damage, theft and more.
- Named perils policy: A named perils policy is a policy in which the insurer outlines the policy’s coverage and its limits. Named perils policies can sometimes leave out certain more uncommon losses, though they made be covered if you are willing to pay extra.
- Agreed Cash Value coverage: Some insurers have the option to offer agreed cash value coverage. This type of coverage is set when you first sign a policy with your insurer. The agreed value of your boat will be paid to you in case of damage that leaves the boat beyond repair; the agreed value cannot depreciate over time.
- Actual Cash Value coverage: Actual Cash Value coverage pays out what the boat is worth at the time of its accident. Though this type of coverage is generally cheaper than an agreed upon value, it is subject to depreciation.
Featured standard services
Different insurers will, of course, have different coverage options, but there are a few staple features in most policies. Make sure your policy covers these incidents at the absolute minimum.
- Liability: The most basic type of insurance is liability insurance. In the case of an accident for which you are at fault, liability coverage helps settle legal fees or pay for damaged property.
- Salvage: Wrecks on the water that leave your boat totaled may put you in need of salvage assistance. Salvage coverage pays for the full cost of salvage, usually without a deductible, up to the insured value of your boat.
- Medical: Medical coverage helps pay for medical bills that result from an injury incurred on board the insured vessel. This coverage usually extends to the insured and her or his family, though some policies may extend to all passengers.
- Fuel spill liability: A leaky fuel tank can lead to some environmental damage in the water. Fuel spill liability protects you from claims for clean-up or third-party damage due to accidental discharge of fuel or oil. This coverage has only become more important now that federal and state laws hold boaters liable for containment, cleanup and environmental damage.
- Uninsured protection: Additional coverage for injuries that result from a hit-and-run or a collision with an uninsured boater is highly recommended, especially if you plan on boating in areas with a lot of water traffic.
Extra policy options
Basic services are included in most insurance policies, but depending on your particular interests, you may want to augment your policy with a few choice upgrades.
- Towing: A breakdown on the water can often leave you stranded and paying for an expensive tow back to land. Having a towing option on your boat insurance policy keeps emergency towing expenses down.
- Fuel delivery: Running out of fuel due to a leak, broken meter or forgetting to top off your tank can be a major inconvenience, especially if you have to call and pay for a fuel delivery. Fueling protection safeguards against this problem by footing the bill for any refueling service you may need.
- Hauling protection: If you plan on hauling your boat to shows or to watercraft events, you may want to look into hauling protection. These plans usually cover trailer or on-road towing problems.
- Mechanical breakdown coverage: Most policies will not cover every day wear-and-tear on your boat’s motor. Extra coverage to replace lower units of a motor may be worth considering, depending on how often you use your boat.
- Equipment coverage: If you plan on fishing, scuba diving or any other activity that requires equipment, you may want to consider a policy that covers that equipment in the event of theft or damage.
Ways to save
While the need for good coverage may outweigh the expense, saving money where you can is always worth the time and considerations. Some insurers offer money-saving plans that could fit your wallet as well as your needs.
- Diminishing deductibles: Some policies may offer diminishing deductible, which means that for every year you do not settle a claim, the deductible decreases.
- Boater’s safety course: Most insurance companies offer a discount if you complete a boater’s safety course. These can vary across states, so you will want to make sure you are taking a test that your insurance company accepts.
- Insurance packages: Insurers often list insurance deals in packaged tiers with each package containing different benefits at different levels. These are often cheaper than building a custom policy, so you should review them carefully before deciding on a policy.
- Bundles: Large insurance companies often offer deals to current clients who want multiple policies. If you already have an insurer that also offers boat insurance, you may want to see if their policy is right for you because bundling it with your existing insurance may save you money.
- Specialty program: Some insurers work closely with certain boat manufacturers to offer insurance deals. If your boat manufacturer is partnered with your insurance company, you may be able to save money or access special services.
In the unfortunate event of a crash, a breakdown, a storm or any other sort of disaster, you will want to know that you have someone to take care of your claim quickly and professionally. Likewise, when you’re shopping, you will want information to be as clear and helpful as possible. Claim and quote options may vary among insurers.
- Online claims: Now, many claims can be handled online. Filing a report with your insurer can be as easy as filling out an online form and sending it right to your insurer’s inbox.
- Mobile support: Sometimes it’s simply better to talk to someone directly. A few insurance companies offer 24-hour phone support for their customers. Some companies also have mobile apps to help you file claims or check your policy on the go.
- Customer resources: Many insurance providers have online resources like blogs, maintenance guides and boating tips. These types of resources are especially helpful if you are buying boat insurance for the first time or if you are new to boating in general.
- Association memberships: Some insurers are affiliated with various boating associations. Becoming a member of these associations often nets bonuses like discounts at boating stores, enhanced customer support or access to boating publications.
- Free instant quotes: Insurers often give you the opportunity to get a free instant quote by filling out a short form on the company’s website.
What types of boats need insurance?
Boats smaller than yachts, houseboats or commercial freighters are usually classified as small boats. These boats tend to be the most common type of watercraft that needs insurance.
Fishing boats that store a lot of equipment can benefit from extra specialized insurance policies that can cover that equipment in case of damage or theft.
Yachts and mega yachts
Yachts and mega yachts are expensive ships that should be protected. Specialty yacht insurance plans can cover captains, crews and the boat’s many amenities.
Personal water craft
A personal water craft, or PWC, is a single- or dual-person recreational watercraft that riders stand or sit on rather than sit in like a boat. Many boat insurers also insure PWCs.
Commercial ships and cargo transports may require specialized insurance policies that cover their cargo as well as the actual boat and operating team.
Antiques, runabouts and sailboats
Antique boats, runabouts and sailboats may need special considerations regarding insurance as their hulls (or sails) are more susceptible to damage than most fiberglass boats.
Who needs boat insurance?
Anyone who has a boat needs insurance. Casual boaters will want to have their boats insured in case of accidents.
Women and men who use their boats for fishing will need insurance, especially if fishing is their occupation. Fishing boats may require special insurance to cover fishing gear.
Yacht owners and Crews
Yachts and mega yachts often require specialty insurance. Yacht insurance may also need to cover its captain and crew.
Consumers with speedboats or PWCs should insure their watercraft in case of injury or crashes on the water.
Commercial transports can use boat insurance to cover their vessels as well as the cargo being transported for clients.
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Compare Reviews for Top Boat Insurance Companies
|State Farm Boat Insurance||Read Author Review|
State Farm has been providing insurance and financial services to consumers since 1922. One of the largest insurance companies in the United States, State Farm’s mission to be a good neighbor means they put customer service first.
|Travelers Boat Insurance||Read Author Review|
The Travelers Companies traces its legacy back to 1853 when it was the Saint Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. Today, Travelers is still based in the United States with partnerships and operations across the globe.
|United Marine Underwriters||Read Author Review|
United Marine Underwriters started selling boat insurance in 1990. As specialists in the field, United Marine Underwriters devote their efforts on boat insurance and boat-related consumer support.
|USAA Boat Insurance||Read Author Review|
USAA was founded in 1922 when 25 army officers agreed to insure each other’s vehicles. Since then, USAA pledges to offer insurance solutions to members who have served in the military at affordable prices.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.