Selecting the Right Houseboat Insurance

December 2020 Own By Carylanne Crowne

Danger or accidents may not come to mind when you think about houseboats. These 'homes' away from home are often associated with safety and luxury. But as with any other water vessel, there is always a lurking danger of something going wrong. As a new houseboat owner, you may find yourself running into a unique set of problems. Out on the water, houseboat accidents may lead to damage to property and bodily injury.

According to data provided by the U.S Coast Guard, over 35 deaths and 158 cases of injury have resulted from houseboat collisions since 2005. Operator inexperience or negligence and machinery failure are leading causes of houseboat collisions. Having insurance that fits your budget and needs is the best protection that you can have against these ever-present risks. Below are several tips on how to select the right houseboat insurance.

Determine Why You Need Insurance

Houseboats come in different shapes, sizes, and values. Different owners are faced with different challenges in their day to day houseboat insurance. How often and how the houseboat is utilized is a key determinant of the kind of insurance you should get for your new 'mobile' home. Houseboat insurance is always unique to the owner and the boat. Knowing what kind of risks are most significant to your houseboat, you may be in a better position to select the most appropriate insurance cover.

Understand the Limitations of Different Covers

Many houseboat owners often make the mistake of assuming or generalizing their insurance covers. Pay attention to certain limitations and conditions offered under different houseboat insurance covers. To ensure that you understand what part of your houseboat insurance covers, pay attention to the specific policy details. Understand the navigation limits of your houseboat insurance covers.

Houseboat Insurance Premiums

The insurer may use different factors such as hull value, condition of the boat, horsepower, length, and age of the boat to determine the number of premiums you will be required to pay. Normally, the houseboat insurance liability limits range from $100,000 to $1,000,000. Below are some determinants of the amount you may end up paying in premiums.

  • Houseboat location-is an important premium determinant. The waterway where you operate your houseboat, whether an ocean, a river, is a crucial factor for premium amounts. Another aspect of the location factor is whether the area is prone to any disaster events like hurricanes.
  • Occasions for use- include how you intend to utilize your new houseboat. Whether you will rent it out or only use it when taking vacations, the number of people who will reside in the boat is one of the key factors when deciding on premiums.
  • Movement- your insurer will want to know if you will be moving to different houseboat locations or will consider remaining in one place.

Consider Your Houseboat Insurance Options

Your insurance options may vary depending on where you live, your choice of insurer, and the duration you plan to be on your houseboat. For example, houseboat owners who rent their boats out may have different insurance needs than those who live full-time on their boats. Ensure that you get the right kind of insurance covers that specifically meets your unique needs. Some of the options you may have in houseboat insurance covers include;

  • Water Liability Insurance— covers any damage to property or injury to people that may result from the operation of the houseboat
  • Roadside Assistance— is an insurance policy covering the cost of having your houseboat towed on the roadways.
  • Comprehensive— covers financial damages caused by fire, sinking, storms, theft, vandalism, and collisions.
  • Living Expenses— covers out-of-budget living expenses that may accrue when the boat is being repaired
  • Wreckage Removal— is an insurance policy covering the wreckage removal costs in the event of a major collision or mishap.
  • Uninsured Boaters— covers any damages that may result from collisions with uninsured boaters.

Lack of insurance poses a great risk for your houseboat. This is especially true if you live in areas that are prone to natural adversities like hurricanes. Contact your local agent to help you select a customized insurance cover.

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