We have been told — over and over again, ad nauseum — that 15 minutes can save you up to 15 percent on car insurance. That slogan applies to Progressive insurance, but other companies tout their ability to offer low rates, too. In fact, I hear this so much from so many insurers, I’m convinced that if you change companies often enough, you can get your insurance costs down to almost nothing. Well, probably not. But you get the idea.
Every time I’m researching a boat I intend to buy and keep for recreational use, I pay close attention to how much it will cost to insure. My caution stems from the days when my driving record was less than stellar. You’d be surprised the effect one accident and a couple of speeding tickets can have on your boat insurance premiums — especially if you’re considering any kind of boat with a performance pedigree. Don’t think you can fool insurers, either. They know which boats are for the gold-chain crowd and which are for family recreation. And pity the fool who gets caught trying to pass off something speedy as something tame and docile.
It’s as simple as can be these days, with free online quotes. Aside from major insurers like Progressive and Geico, you might want to get quotes through insurance programs geared specifically for boaters, like the BoatUS Marine Insurance Program or the one set up through the National Boat Owners Association.
My practice of late, believe it or not, is to just call my insurance agents. They know me as well, as yours should know you. I just tell them what I’m considering, and they take down the information and call me back later.
Compare the quotes and coverage you collect — they’ll serve as leading indicators of whether a boat is right for you. As the old axiom goes, if you can’t afford to insure it, you can’t afford to own it.
Boat Trader has plenty of Buying and Selling advice, but also check out the hundreds of articles in the Boating section, with tips on everything from seamanship to maintenance, how-to, where to find replacement parts, and much more.