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When Do You Need Boat Insurance?

If you’re only on the water for a few months, is year-round boat insurance necessary?

With warmer temperatures arriving earlier than usual, water season is well underway. Whether you’re out on your boat every day or just on weekends, boat insurance should be top of mind during the summer months — and even beyond.

Even after boating season is over, you may think canceling your boat insurance is a good idea to save some money. Here are a few reasons why you may want to keep your boat insurance year-round.

Boat Insurance on the Water

Naturally, you want to protect you’re boat while you’re using it. When you choose a boat insurance policy from a company that specializes in boat insurance, such as Progressive, you’ll receive protection designed specifically for your boat.

Choose from standard and specialized coverages, including:

  • Liability, which protects other people and property if you’re responsible for an accident
  • Comprehensive, for incidents such as vandalism, flooding, and fires that may happen to your boat
  • Collision, for instances in which you hit another object and damage your boat
  • Fishing Equipment, which protects your gear on board or while it’s being transported on or off your insured boat
  • Uninsured Boater, which protects you in case an uninsured boat collides with yours.

Boat Insurance off the Water

Protecting your boat while it’s on the water is an easy decision, but what about when it’s not on the water? What about when it’s sitting in a slip or even in your yard? You may think canceling your boat insurance to save a few dollars during the off season is a good idea, but a lot can happen while your boat isn’t in use.

In fact, nearly two out of every 10  boat claims in northern states are filed between Labor Day and Memorial Day — when boating isn’t at its peak. Most of these claims are filed due to vandalism, theft, fire, or flooding, which can happen at any time, not just during warmer months.

And what about injuries? You’re most likely responsible if someone gets hurt on your boat, but did you know you could be responsible for injuries around your boat, too? If you bypass boat insurance, you won’t have liability coverage to protect you in cases that involve injury, which means you may be responsible for paying someone’s medical bills whether you’re using your boat or it’s sitting unattended.

Whether you store your boat in a marina or in your yard, you may want to rethink any decisions to cancel your boat insurance while it’s not being used.

Year-Round Boat Insurance Could Save You Money

You may actually save some cash if you keep your boat policy all year. With Progressive’s disappearing deductibles, your Comprehensive and Collision deductibles are reduced by 25 percent for every claim-free policy period. If you go four policies in a row without a claim, you won’t pay a deductible if you file one after that.

Canceling your policy means you’ll most likely be paying the entire amount to repair damage to your boat since you won’t have any coverage. However, if you keep your policy, you may qualify for a $0 deductible after four claim-free years, which means you could save $500 or even $1,000 (depending on the deductibles you selected) when you do file a claim.

What to Consider before You Buy Boat Insurance

Before you make any changes, be sure to check your policy and review it with your agent to make sure you’re getting the most for your money.

Remember to look at what you have, then purchase boat insurance that covers your way of life. If you own a home, cars, a business, etc., you may want to consider a higher level of boat insurance coverage or an umbrella policy to protect your assets.