Commercial Boat Insurance
If you have a commercial boat for your business, you’ll need commercial boat insurance. Commercial boat insurance protects your boat and covers your liability if something goes wrong. How much commercial boat insurance do you need? There are categories and weight classes for commercial boats that determine the level of insurance protection needed for each type of commercial boat. Here are a few categories: inshore fishing vessels, offshore fishing vessels, sightseeing charters, waterski and wakeboard schools, boat rental services, excursion vessels and dive charters. All these kinds of commercial boats are all very different from each other in size and purpose yet they all need the same category of insurance, commercial boat insurance. Here is a closer look at commercial boat insurance.
How Much Does Commercial Boat Insurance Cost?
The first thing to look at is the value of the vessel. If it is a new boat, the purchase price will be used. If it is a used boat, a survey of the boat will be ordered by the underwriter. This survey will provide information on the value and overall condition of the boat.
Next, the length and age of the commercial boat is considered. How old is your boat? Its age affects the cost of your insurance. Newer boats have higher market values and cost more to insure.
What type of vessel is the boat? An insurance company will look at the construction material of the boat and the style of the boat.
What type of engines does your commercial boat have and at what horsepower? An insurance company will want to know these details.
What is your commercial boat’s current mooring location? Is it in a local harbor?
What is your boat’s intended area of navigation? How far does your boat travel for its commercial business?
What is the claims history for the owner of the boat? Have you made commercial insurance claims on your boat in the past? What kind of claims?
What is the intended use for the boat? How do you make your living on your commercial boat?
All these questions and factors impact the price of commercial boat insurance. And they are all questions an insurance company is likely to ask. So be prepared with the answers when you reach out to purchase commercial boat insurance.
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What Are the Types of Commercial Boat Insurance?
There are two main types of insurance coverages for commercial boats. These are liability coverage and hull coverage.
Also called protection and indemnity coverage, this liability insurance covers legal obligations to third parties. Your legal liability could arise from bodily injury, loss of life, damage to another’s vessel or another’s property as a result of the operation of your commercial boat.
Liability insurance also covers defense costs if a lawsuit is brought against you or your business.
Hull coverage pays for physical damage to your vessel. This coverage will provide protection for the hull, attached equipment, unattached equipment and belongings. Be aware the owner of the boat is responsible for maintaining it. So normal wear and tear is typically excluded from commercial boat insurance coverage.
Additional Types of Commercial Boat Insurance
Vessel disposal and pollution liability is another type of commercial insurance to consider for your business boat. Typically, when a boat sinks offshore or in a waterway, the owner of the boat is responsible for removing it and disposing of the wreckage. This is especially true if there may be hazardous items on the boat. You or your business could be held responsible for clean up expenses. Vessel disposal and pollution liability provides liability to pay for these expenses up to the limits that you select at the time you purchase the policy.
Boat owners also may want to consider medical payments coverage, which will pay for medical expenses for third parties who are injured on a commercial boat. This coverage applies whether the boat owner is found liable for the injuries or not.
Do you have a crew on your boat? Maritime coverage is a type of employer’s liability protection that covers injuries to the crew of a commercial boat.
Worried about uninsured boaters? You and your passengers could be at risk for injuries and expenses resulting from an accident with an uninsured boater. Uninsured boater coverage offers you protection in such an accident.
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5 Ways to Save Money on Commercial Boat Insurance
Want to get that commercial boat insurance premium as low as it can go? Here are a few money saving tips.
Choose a high deductible. A deductible is the amount you need to pay before your insurance company begins to pay for damages to your commercial boat or losses. Choosing a high deductible will help to lower your insurance premium. So choose a deductible of $1,000 or higher and you’ll enjoy a lower premium.
Look for a layup discount. Many owners put their boats in storage during winter months. Check with your insurance company about a discount during these winter months. Ask your insurance company for a layup discount.
Get a limited navigational area discount. Don’t travel far in your commercial boat? Ask your insurance company for a limited navigational area discount. It could help lower your commercial boat insurance premium.
Get all the latest safety equipment. For example, most insurance companies will give you credits for having automatic fire extinguishing systems in a boat’s engine compartment. So let your insurance company know of all the safety equipment on your boat. It could lower your commercial boat premium.
Have good maintenance and upkeep. You want your commercial boat to be in tip top shape when an insurance company orders a survey. A good report could help to lower your premium.