How boat usage can affect your insurance rates
Q: Does when and where I use my boat have an affect on rates and coverage?
For example, how do things like Nighttime boating, poker runs, heavily trafficked bodies of water and other factors affect my rates and coverage?
A: When and where you use your boat does have a big affect on your insurance rates and coverage. In general, boats that are used exclusively on inland lakes and rivers will get a better rate than boats that are used in coastal or offshore waters, and boats that are used only during summer months will get a better rate than boats that are used year round. Where you can use you boat (and the cost of insuring it) can be determined by several factors.
Navigation Territories date back to the early days of marine insurance. Then, as now, underwriters carefully consider the associated risks of the navigational territory and set the premium according to the risk. Marine policies only cover you for losses that occur within the navigation territory shown on your policy Declarations Page. So if you’re taking your boat to another state for a poker run or planning a trip to Florida, be sure to check you policy and talk to your agent to be sure you will be covered.
Trip Endorsements: If you want to take your boat outside of the navigational territory of your policy, you can ask your agent to add trip coverage. A trip endorsement can be for a specific period of time within a defined area or to a specific destination.
Date Restrictions may be included in your navigation territory to limit where your boat may be located and/or operated during certain times of the year. The dates are generally based on hurricane seasons. The most common date restriction requires that the insured boat not be operated south of Georgia between June 1st and November 1st (hurricane season). A policy with a date restricted navigation territory will typically be less expensive.
Lay-up: If you normally winterize and store your boat during the off season, your insurance premium could be reduced because there is less risk when the boat is not being used. Always, check your policy and call your agent if you wish to use your boat during a lay-up period.
Most policies suspend coverage during any type of race or speed contest. With Markel, coverage is not suspended when participating in a poker run; however other carriers may take a different posture. Therefore, be sure to ask your agent if there is any special language that would impact your coverage for a poker run event.
As noted earlier, it is very important that you read your policy and talk to your agent about when and where you will use your boat so that your coverage can be adjusted to your needs and so that you get the best rate possible.