How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost On Average?

The topic of boat insurance is something which you cannot ignore when taking on boat ownership. It’s extremely important that you take your time to fully understand how much is boat insurance.

It may not be the most exciting thing to talk about however it’s unavoidable. Depending on where you live, boat insurance may be required to legally operate your boat. However, it’s also very important for preserving your financials.

This may be something you’ll have to plan with your friends or family if you’re not purchasing a boat alone. It’s always good for everyone involved to be informed about how much does boat insurance cost.

Regardless of your situation, I’d always recommend investing into boat insurance. Though, recommended, in your situation it may not be as necessary. I’ll talk more in detail about whether you need boat insurance.

In this article, I’ll be explaining if you really need boat insurance, the average boat insurance costs with examples, the factors which affect the costs and what exactly it should cover. This article will very useful for those who always ask is boat insurance expensive?

Do I Need Boat Insurance?

The type of your boat matters whether you’ll need boat insurance or not. If you’re referring to a canoe or kayak boat, then you won’t. This would not be required for such types of boats. They’re very cheap and would not cause significant to any other boats.

On the other hand, if you were to have a pontoon such as the Avalon Eagle or any other larger boats such as a deck boat or yacht then you will need boat insurance.

Do I need Boat Insurance to Boat Legally?

I cannot provide you with straight yes or not as this really depends on where you live. Most states in the US don’t require to have boat insurance to operate. This means that in most states legally you don’t need to have boat insurance, so you won’t get into trouble for having an uninsured boat on the water.

You may find that some states don’t even require you to have a boating license! Though, I recommend that you always have at-least some training before you take a boat out on water.

Personally, I feel as though you should always invest in insurance when possible for any expensive investment. Insurance could save you a lot of money in the future if something was to happen to your investment. Without the aid of insurance, you could literally watch your money sink to the bottom of the sea.

Remember this when making your decision. As although you may not be forced to insure your boat, it could save your financial situations. Can you imagine the pain you’d face if you were to lose thousands of dollars? Though none forces you to brush your teeth in the morning, it’s still a good idea to do so.

I think this is a good comparison for when it comes down to purchasing boat insurance, you don’t have to, but you probably should! However, in some cases you may have to and then you have no choice but to anyway.

Boat Insurance Cost (with Examples)

The best way to calculate an estimate of how much it will cost to insure your boat, is to say that every year it will cost 1.5% of what your boats worth.

This means that if your boat is valued at $30,000, then you’ll be looking to pay around $450 annually to insure it. Another example would be if your boat is worth $80,000 then you’ll pay $1200 every year to fully insure it.

Bad at math? You can calculate it easily by googling 1.5% of ‘value of your boat’.

Bare in mind that this may not provide you with spot-on results, however it will provide you with a good estimate. The price which you’re quoted at shouldn’t be too far of the results of this calculations.

For example, you may calculate your insurance to be at $500 however when you go to an insurer, you may be looking at paying $475 per year.

There are many different factors which could affect your boat insurance cost. The value of your boat is only one of these, though it’s arguably the most important.

Get the Best Price

It’s important that you get the best price possible on your insurance. The best way to get the best price is to shop around. This will allow you to gather a few quotes from different providers so that you’re given the opportunity to choose how much you want to pay and who you want to be insured by.

You should also keep in mind that you can go to some popular home and auto insurance providers as they are likely to also insure boats. If you’re already paying for insurance on your car then it would be a good idea to find out if your insurer also offers boat insurance.

It would also be a good idea to check out some insurance comparison websites such as GoCompare. They do a good job in providing you with a range of different options. This saves you the time you would otherwise be spending on contacting each insurer. Though, I’d still recommend that you do contact some insurers yourself as sometimes you can get a better quote on your own.

Some other insurers I’d recommend are:



Factors Affecting Boat Insurance Price

As I had mentioned previously, value of a boat doesn’t solely affect boat insurance cost. there are more factors besides the value of the boat which affect the cost of boat insurance. In this section, I’ll be explaining some of these other significant factors.


When purchasing or investing into anything, you may find that you’re offered a discount if you pay the full amount at once or in larger installments. The same goes for insurance, if you pay annually rather than monthly, you’ll get a cheaper quote. Depending on your insurer and your boat, you could save around 15% by making annual payments.

Safety Record

Depending on your safety record you can expect to pay either more or less on your boat insurance. Essentially, if you haven’t had an accident in a long time then the insurer can trust you more and thus you’ll pay less. Whereas if you’ve had an accident recently or have a history on getting into accidents then you will likely be charged more. This means that if you want to save money on your insurance every year then you should do your best to avoid accidents and keep a clean record.


Age has an affect on the price of boat insurance. This applies for both the age of the owner and the age of the boat. Generally, the older you are the better insurance rate you’ll receive. This is for obvious reasons, age often shows experience and you’re likely to stick to calm boat rides. Whereas younger boaters are more likely to be less experienced.

Also, the age of the boat can affect insurance. Generally, the newer a boat is, the most expensive it will be to insure. Though, insurers will provide better prices on boats which have only been owned by one person.

Homeowner Discount

Home ownership is something which could result in lower boat insurance rates. So basically, you can save money by just owning a home. You don’t necessarily have to have home insurance with the same insurance provider. Just the fact that you own a home is enough to reduce your insurance costs.

Marital Status

Your marital status can be a factor affecting your insurance cost. If you’re married, then you may notice that you receive better insurance rates. Though, keep in mind this is not something which all insurers will consider so don’t panic if you’re single.

What Does Average Boat Insurance Cover?

So now you should have identified whether you need boat insurance, a rough estimate of how much it will cost you and factors which could affect the price.

Now it’s time for you to find out what boat insurance covers.

This is valuable information as you need to understand what exactly you’re paying for. Imagine getting into an accident and even though you’ve been paying for insurance all year round – you realize that your insurance won’t cover your damages.

I cannot tell you exactly what your boat insurance will cover as your coverage may vary depending on your insurer. You’ll need to decide what coverage you’ll need depending on your situation. I’ll explain a few of the most popular things covered by an average boat insurance policy.

Property Damage

Property damage is the most desired coverage that boat owners look for. This will protect you if you’re involved in an incident in which a property is damaged. This includes damage to your boat, another person’s boat and a marina or dock. Property can be very expensive so it’s a good idea to have property damage covered. This means that if a property is damaged, the insurer will cover all costs rather than from your pocket.

Medical Costs

Medical costs are another thing which you’d likely want covered by your insurance. This will cover the costs of any medical expenses related to injuries sustained whilst boating. Boating isn’t necessarily dangerous however accidents can always happen.

Medical bills are not cheap, so this an important coverage which you really should consider. Our health is something which we should never ignore, our own well-being should always be put first before anything else. Imagine if your insurance didn’t cover medical costs and you require an expensive surgery which you wouldn’t be able to afford out of your own pocket.

Another important thing to remember is that if your insurance covers medical costs, everyone on boards medical costs should be covered. This means your family’s well-being could rely on your insurance covering medical costs.

Item Coverage

Not only is it important that your boat itself is protected by boat insurance, but it’s also important that you protect everything that’s on your boat. This could be your BBQ, your fishing gear or anything else which you have on your boat whilst you’re boating. This is not something which a lot of insurers offer however if you ask around then I’m sure you’ll find an insurance offering this at a decent rate.

Liability Expenses

If you find yourself in a boating accident, not only would it be great for medical costs coverage, but liability expenses are another thing which should be considered. Otherwise you may find yourself having to fork over cash on legal costs. Because of this, I’d always recommend that you find out if your insurance will cover liability expenses.

Always Keep an Eye Out!

You have finally found a good boat insurance policy that you’re happy with and decide to go for it. Now your boats insured, and you’re satisfied.

Time to get comfortable?


Don’t sit back and get comfortable. Even once your boats insured, you should keep an eye out for better boat insurance rates every year.

Every year or couple of months insurers may change their rates and a better deal may become available. If you want to get the most out of your money you should always be looking for better rates.

Towards the end of the year, close to when my insurance is due is when I look at the market and search for better insurance deals. This little effort every year has saved me thousands.

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