white boat docked at port

Why Boat Owners Should Carry Boat Insurance Year-Round

As a boat owner, you likely spend a lot of your time wondering about boat insurance. Technically, you don’t need boat insurance all-year-round in New Jersey – if you aren’t using your boat during all four seasons. This applies to most boat owners, as you’re unlikely to take your vehicle out on the water during the freezing cold winter months.

Nevertheless, it may be beneficial to consider having boat insurance throughout the year, even when yours is stored away. This might seem like a ridiculous concept to some, but here are a few reasons you should seriously consider it.

Accidents Happen

Much like car insurance, boat insurance offers coverage if your vehicle has been damaged. Mostly, you assume that this happens when you’re out on the water and collide with another boat. It could also happen due to a fault with a boat lift as you lower or raise yours into the water. As such, you assume that all of these risks are only present when your boat is in use.

However, accidents can happen all throughout the year. Many boat owners in New Jersey keep their boats tied up and sheltered at docks. What could happen if we get some terrible weather – such as gale-force winds? Your boat can be blown into surrounding boats or the dock fixtures, causing a lot of damage. If your boat isn’t insured during that moment, you have zero coverage to pay for any damages to your property – or the other boats around you. There’s no telling when accidents can happen, which is why having year-round insurance is a smart idea.

Vandals and Thieves are Active All-Year-Round

Any decent boat insurance provider will give you protection from common issues like theft and vandalism. During the active boating seasons, you have a higher chance of thieves or vandals getting to your boat. When you’re not using it that often, you may store it in what you presume is a safe location. Whether this is tied up at a dock or inside storage space, the risk of theft and vandalism still exists.

Simply put, thieves and vandals don’t decide to take days off. They can just as easily find your boat and attempt to steal or vandalize it at any point in the year. Therefore, you really need to have coverage even when your boat is in storage. It provides you with a safety net just in case things like this happen.

Year-Round Boat Insurance Is Often Less Expensive

Ironically, the main reason to avoid getting boat insurance for the whole year is that it seems more expensive. After all, surely it will be more pricey to pay for 12 months of insurance than just 3 or 4? In some cases, it actually works out as a more cost-effective option to get coverage for the entire year.

Why? Well, it’s down to rewards and incentives that insurance providers give you. Many will offer loyalty discounts if you stay with them, which you void when you cancel your insurance midway through the year. Likewise, a lot of providers have reduced deductibles as a reward for going a year without making a claim. In essence, if you have insurance for 12 months – but don’t make any claims – your deductible is reduced the following year, making your insurance cheaper. When you cancel before the 12 months are up, you lose this privilege.

This is something that’s well worth thinking about if you assume that year-round boat insurance is more expensive. Clearly, it varies from provider to provider, but you should definitely look into this to see if you could actually save money with 12 months of boating coverage.

Lenders Will Most Likely Demand It

Boats cost a lot of money, and they can range from $7,000 to over $4 million. In fact, recent data suggests that the average boat price in New Jersey is $84,654. This makes them a sizable investment, one that most individuals can’t pay for in full. As a consequence, you might need to take out a loan to finance the boat. This can be indirect via your bank or a financial institution, or by a boat-selling company that offers financing options.

Either way, it’s very often a requirement that you take out insurance to cover you all-year-round. Lenders demand this because the boat is essentially their investment as well. They’ve funded the purchase, so they want to ensure that it’s protected until you’ve repaid the loan. If something happens to the boat, and you don’t have coverage, it will most likely have a negative impact on the lender. You may have to pay for expensive repairs, meaning you fall behind on loan repayments. So, remember you will probably need year-round boat insurance if you buy yours via a lender.

You May Not Be Covered by Home Insurance

Another reason people don’t like to take out boat insurance for a full year is that they think theirs is covered by home insurance. If your boat isn’t stored on your property, home insurance is not likely to cover it. Even if it is, your policy may not extend to cover the boat, or it could have stipulations on what type of boat qualifies.

Likewise, boats in storage facilities are rarely covered by home insurance policies, so you have no protection that already exists. This is a mistake many boat owners make, only realizing it when they go to make a claim and see that they weren’t protected at all. So, if your home insurance doesn’t provide enough coverage to include your boat, it makes sense to extend your insurance all-year-round.

How Do You Find the Best Boat Insurance in New Jersey?

After reading through this guide, you may want to get some boat insurance to cover you all throughout the year. In which case, John B. Wright can help you. Contact us today, and we can help you find the right boat insurance depending on your situation. Give us a call, or send a message via our website by clicking here.