Can You Get Boat Insurance??

by Steve Wilson on May 29, 2012 · 0 comments

in Boat

Boat Insurance?

Owning a boat is the cherished dream of many Americans, who spend years saving every spare penny to one day make that purchase. The dream can quickly turn into a nightmare when buyers learn that they can’t get boat insurance through traditional channels; here are ten of the most common reasons for boaters to find their insurance applications denied.

  1. Your Boat Is In Poor Condition – A vessel that is deemed unsafe or in poor condition can be very difficult to insure. Performing any necessary repairs and getting your boat in the best possible shape can boost your chances of getting a great policy lined up.
  2. Boating Violations – Many people are surprised to learn that boating violations are just as serious as vehicular moving violations. Reckless behavior on the water can lead to violations and tickets than can, if serious or numerous enough, make it difficult to obtain marine insurance.
  3. Commercial Use – If you plan to use your small, personal boat for commercial purposes, you may have a difficult time obtaining insurance coverage through traditional recreational insurance carriers.
  4. Boat Size – Many major insurance companies have size guidelines in place for boat insurance; vessels that are too large may not be eligible for regular coverage. You may have to seek insurance through companies that specialize in large boats and yachts.
  5. BUI – In many states, boating under the influence carries the same penalty as driving a vehicle in the same condition. A BUI can make obtaining insurance almost impossible, especially if you have more than one violation in your past.
  6. Driving Record – Underwriters of insurance policies take many different factors under consideration when writing a policy or deciding to deny coverage. One of these things can often be your history on the road, as risky driving habits can translate to unsafe and potentially costly decisions on the water.
  7. Multiple Claims – Filing multiple claims, especially for at-fault accidents, can cause an insurance company to drop a client in a heartbeat. Boats are generally very expensive investments, and insurance companies are not in the business of gambling with their bottom line.
  8. Insurance Fraud – Any discovery of insurance fraud of any kind is an immediate red flag for underwriters, and the policy will not be written. Those with a history of insurance fraud are unlikely to find coverage through even non-traditional or specialty channels.
  9. Speed Boats – High performance speed boats are difficult to insure through major companies, so you may find yourself in the predicament of paying extremely high premiums for specialized high-risk insurance on your state-of-the-art speed boat.
  10. Inadequate Number of Life Jackets – Part of the underwriting inspection for your boat is making sure that there are an adequate number of life jackets on board, typically one for every seat or unit of capacity. Failure to provide these at the time of your inspection will probably only hold up the process, but non-compliance will almost always result in the policy not being written at all.


It’s important to remember that boat insurance isn’t that much different from car insurance, and that the laws that govern the water are just as important as those that apply on land. Reducing claims, fines and violations will not only save you money and insure that you obtain coverage, but can also keep you and your loved ones safe.

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