Updated: Sep 7, 2019
Insurance is way more complicated than homeowners or car insurance. You don’t need any experience to buy a home. In acquiring boat insurance there are a lot of variables. First, you want to insure the value of the boat, but don’t forget the dinghy. That is most likely to be a claim. Not listed? Not covered. What upper liability limit do you want? And what deductible can you live with? And deductibles can vary by type of claim. Wind damage, named storm, lighting strike. For me, insurance is for catastrophic events so a big deductible is fine by me. A claim, of any size, will generally lead to a big premium increase or cancellation.
The insurer wants to know where you are sailing. Mine won’t let me be in the hurricane belt from July1 through October 31 for good reason. I need insurance from the day the boat leaves the factory, not when it is turned over to me several months later. I need insurance also for the transit of the boat onboard a freighter from France to Florida. They want to know your experience. We’ve owned offshore cruising boats for more than 40 years, but I think it will also help that I have a captain’s license, a first aid/cpr training certificate and the California Boater Safety Course.
When you get the quote look carefully at the exclusions. My first quote excluded coverage in literally every area we intended to sail after June 1.
Insurance for most of us is not a luxury, but a necessity. If you have a boat loan you need it. If you park in any marina, you at least need liability insurance. And in our cruising grounds of Mexico you also need a special, but not expensive, Mexican liability insurance policy.