Although boat insurance can protect your finances in the event of a disaster such as an accident, the monthly premiums can sometimes be expensive. If you're looking for ways to make you boat insurance more affordable, here are three things you can do to reduce how much you have to pay every month.
Increase Your Safety Rating
Boats represent a significant risk to insurers, sometimes even more so than road vehicles depending on where you live. Thus, anything you can do to reduce the risk associated with insuring your boat can result in a reduction of your policy premiums. One way to do this is to install equipment that increases the boat's safety and security.
For instance, putting in a fire suppression system, GPS, depth finders, and radars can make it safer to navigate and handle emergencies that may arise while you're out on the water. As a reward for helping to mitigate losses you may sustain in an incident—thus reducing the amount of your claim in the process—the insurance company will typically give you a discount on your premiums.
You can take your discount even further by enrolling in a boating safety course. Although you may be a seasoned sailor, passing the course will prove to the insurance company you have the skills needed to operate the boat safely and will further reduce your rate once you furnish proof you participated in a certified class.
The safety and security features that insurance companies will give discounts for will vary from company to company, so it's a good idea to contact your provider to see what you need to do to qualify for this type of rate reduction with them.
Be a Safe Driver
Because states typically require boaters to obtain licenses to operate their watercraft, many people don't realize insurance companies factor in their driving records when determining how much to charge for boat insurance. They think the companies have a separate database they use strictly for accidents and incidents that occur on the water.
In reality, boating incidents—such as DUIs and violations—actually end up on your regular driving record, and this is where insurers look to see how responsible you are on and off the water. So even if you've never had an issue when operating your craft on the water, you may still be hit with high premiums if you have a lot of speeding tickets or DUIs on your DMV record because this typically indicates you are a high-risk user.
Keeping your boating premiums low, then, requires you to avoid racking up violations on the roads. If you do get tickets, it may be worth fighting them in the court to prevent the insurance premiums for all your vehicles from going up. Additionally, don't be afraid to bring your good driving record to the attention of your boat insurance company if you don't think they factored it into your premiums. The worst that can happen is they deny you the discount, and if that happens, that may be a good opportunity to find an insurance company who will honor your efforts.
Get a Boat with Lower Max Speeds
Speeding was the cause of approximately 26 percent of fatal crashes in 2017, according to the NHTSA. It is a proven fact that vehicles become more difficult to control at higher speeds and it's harder to react in time to things that may come up while you're driving on the road or water. So, it's not surprising that many boat insurance companies will actually charge more for boats that are capable of high maximum speeds.
Thus, another way to save money on your insurance premiums is to purchase a boat with lower max speeds. The limit where the discount kicks in will vary depending on the insurer, so it's best to call your provider to determine what they consider safe speeds before you start shopping for a new boat.
For more information on boat insurance discounts or to get a policy for your watercraft, contact a provider or insurance company, such as Veronica's Auto Insurance.