Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The best boat insurance companies are those companies that offer the best coverage and the most claims paid on the policies they write. There are many different insurance companies that sell boat insurance, but some of the highest rated companies, according to A.M. Best, are Progressive, Global Marine Insurance Agency, and National Marine.

Get online insurance quotes from these providers and others with your zip code and the free tool now!

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t more excellent options; it simply means that they consistently do well financially and pay the appropriate claims to their policy holders.

There are a couple of options available to you for your boat insurance. There are also some questions you need to ask to determine what policy is right for you. Read on to learn about your boat insurance options, what you need to know before purchasing your boat insurance and how to save money on your boat insurance.

Your Boat Insurance Options

There are two options when it comes to purchasing your initial boat insurance policy:

The bottom line is that if you add your boat to an existing insurance policy, you are going to find this option to be far more affordable than if you choose a policy exclusively for your boat. In fact, many boat owners choose this option for just that reason.

The benefit to choosing an add on to your home or auto policy is that you get equivalent coverage for both of the things that you own. For example, if you choose to add your boat to your homeowners insurance policy and you have $100K liability coverage, then that is the amount of liability that you will have on your boat as well. Deciding what your boat insurance will cover is important.

In addition, this coverage allows for coverage for the loss or damage of your boat in an accident. The amount of this coverage will actually be based on your policy. For many people, this represents all of the coverage that they think they will need.

The downside to attaching your boat to an existing policy is that you will find that most water based incidents aren’t covered under this type of policy. In addition, this basic policy does not cover the loss of equipment, aftermarket additions such as depth finder, GPS systems and so on.

An independent policy takes into account your needs when you are on the water. For example, it will cover towing your boat if you break down on the water. This is something an attached policy doesn’t cover. In addition, this type of policy offers protection for your valuables on your boat. If you have an accident on the water, or even on land, there is a large chance that you will lose the items on your boat.

You can choose a policy that will cover ski equipment, fishing equipment, inner tubes and so on. Much like a homeowners policy, you will have to have an inventory of things that you have on your boat as well as picture or written documentation as proof of ownership.

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Actual Cash Value and Agreed Upon Value

There are two options when it comes to determining how much you get if your boat is totaled in an accident. You can choose between actual cash value or agreed upon value for your boat.

  • Actual cash value is the value of your boat in its current condition in the current market. Basically, a depreciation code is used based on the age of your boat and the condition of your boat. This is what determines what your payout will be if your boat is a total loss.
  • Agreed upon value is a value you attribute to your boat at the time you purchase your boat insurance policy. In most cases, you would assign this value to be the purchase price of your boat. Once the value is assigned it cannot be changed unless you let your policy expire.

As you can imagine, the cost of a boat insurance policy with an agreed upon value is higher than that of the actual cash value. This is, in part, because the depreciation on boats is much higher than it is on any other type of vehicle.

A few things should determine which type of policy you choose:

  • What are you using your boat for
  • Where are you taking your boat (lake, river or ocean)
  • What is the value of your boat and your possessions in your boat
  • How often will you be using your boat

What You Should Know About Boat Insurance

Boat insurance is a bit different from other types of insurance. That is because there are completely different risk factors considered when an insurance company writes a policy for a boat. The insurance company will have to consider any marine related risks such as hitting underwater objects, getting lost in the ocean, losing mobility while on the water, explosion and so on.

The truth is, boats are a higher risk than other vehicles, even though there are fewer boats on the water than there are cars on the road. Often a disabled or wrecked boat takes days to find due to the lack of traffic in specific areas in the water. This means that if you purchase dedicated policy for your boat, it can be a bit expensive.

In addition, the insurance company will consider what type of boat you own. Much like auto insurance, if you have a speedboat then you will face higher rates than if you have a fishing boat. There is also the assumption that if you have a speedboat that you will be using skis or other attached recreation with the boat. This will require you to purchase more liability coverage.

They will also consider your navigation limits, which is the agreed upon territory where you can take your boat and still be covered. The smaller the limit the lower your costs will be.

Saving Money on Your Boat Insurance

As with any type of insurance, you can save money by doing a few things. Your insurance company will offer you a discount if you take a safety course in boating. In most cases the course will have to be approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

If you have a good driving record, this will positively affect your rates, as insurance companies believe that if you are a cautious driver that you will be a cautious boater. You will also find that many of the discounts you get for your auto insurance will apply to your boat insurance.

Don’t forget that many companies offer deep discounts for individuals who carry multiple policies with their company. Before you purchase a policy from your existing company, however, get a quote and then compare their rates to other companies.

If you want a fast and effective way to compare rates, then you are in the right place. Right here on this page, you will find a link that will take you to our free quote tool. This tool will help you find the best rates by allowing you to see quotes from multiple companies on a single page.

All you need to do is click the link, enter your zip code and then answer the questions on the page the quote tool link directs you to. Once you are done, you will instantly receive several quotes from reputable companies. Start with your zip code an compare online boat insurance quotes now!