How Much Does Bass Boat Insurance Cost (With Actual Quotes)

People love bass fishing and they love their bass boats even more.  Bass boats are beautiful fish-catching machines.  They cost a pretty penny too.  

The best way to protect your investment if it gets damaged is to get it insured.  Many people avoid insurance because they think it is expensive.  That is what I thought anyway.  Surprisingly, it is cheaper than you might think.

How much does bass boat insurance cost?  The average annual cost of bass boat insurance is between $300 and $900 for comprehensive coverage.  Liability only coverage generally costs around $100 annually.

I decided to do a bit of leg work for you and find out exactly what it costs to insure a bass boat.  I created a table of the 9 most popular bass boats and actual quotes from several insurance companies.  Take a look at the list to see what it will really cost you to get insured.

What factors affect the cost of boat insurance

There is a lot that goes into determining the cost of boat insurance.  Everything from your personal driving record, to the specific use of the boat, will impact the premiums you pay.  

The most important factors that influence bass boat insurance rates are as follows:

  • Boat motor horsepower:  Powerful motors make boats go fast and with speed comes increased risk.  Bass boats that have larger motors will usually have higher insurance rates.
  • Boat and trailer value:  A luxury bass boat can run you in excess of $70,000.  With high price tags comes high premiums.  Expensive boats cost more to fix when something gets damaged.  Motor and hull damage account for the majority of pricey repairs.
  • Year, make and model:  As boats depreciate, so do the insurance costs.  Some brands hold value longer and therefore, require higher rates.
  • Driving record and boating experience:  If you are a good driver on the road, it stands to reason that you will be good on the water too.  If you have years of boating experience and you can prove that you have boating safety training, your cost should be lower.
  • Primary use:  You bought a bass boat so it is safe to say your primary use is fishing and not pulling water skiers or wake boarders.
  • Gender and age:  Young males are just going to pay more because we like going fast.  As you get older with a good record, rates should go down.
  • Credit score:  It seems like your credit score is used for everything now days.  However, statistics show that individuals with better credit are more responsible and have fewer accidents.

Do you need insurance on a boat

Unlike motor vehicles, boat insurance is not generally required by law.  However, there are a couple of instances where you may be obligated to be insured. 

Be sure to research your state’s insurance laws before making a new boat purchase.  Contact a local insurance agent and your local title and registration office for more information.

Some states require a minimum of liability insurance for high horsepower boats (50 HP or more).  In the event of a boating accident, injuries and property damage of others will be covered by liability insurance.  

The majority of bass boat shoppers intend to finance their purchase with a bank loan.  Insurance may not be mandated by your state but your bank will certainly require proof of comprehensive coverage.  Fair enough, since your loss would be their loss and they’re footing the bill.

If neither of the above situations pertain to you, then it comes down to your financial risk tolerance.  Bass boats are expensive to buy, fix and replace.  Insurance can save you from a financial loss if damage is incurred.  

It is up to you to do the math and see if the cost of annual premiums can be justified  by the value of your investment.  At the very least, any serious boater should consider liability insurance.  Accidents happen and if you are found liable for a serious accident, you are on the hook for associated costs.

Liability insurance rates are quite reasonable.  Most companies offer it for around $100 a year.  That’s a small price to pay to protect yourself from costly legal fees and possible civil suits.

What will insurance cover on the boat

Insurance coverage is not perfect and not everything is covered with a standard policy.   Before purchasing a policy, consider the most common situations you will likely face where you intend to fish.  Often, extended coverage is necessary to protect against more unusual or extreme events.  

Here is what insurance covers:

  • Collision:  Accidents that result in the damage of your boat will be covered.  This would include running aground on rocks that would cause motor or hull damage.
  • Property damage (liability):  The expenses associated with a crash involving someone else’s personal property would be covered.  This would include damage to other boats or docks.
  • Bodily injury (liability):  In the unfortunate situation where someone else is injured, liability insurance covers hospital expenses, lost wages and other legal suits against you.
  • Comprehensive coverage:  Non-collision related loss is covered by the comprehensive portion of the policy.  Things like theft, vandalism and non-collision damage are included in the protection. 

To get the most out of your insurance, consider the following:

  • Your homeowners insurance does not cover boating accidents.
  • Motor damage from normal wear and tear is not covered.  Only damage that is related to a collision, theft or vandalism is qualified for repair or replacement. 
  • Fishing tackle and equipment damage (trolling motor, fish finder, etc.) require extended coverage.
  • Expenses associated with cleanup, rescue or salvage need to be paid by you out-of-pocket.  Check with your agent to see if they have additional coverage that can help cover those costs.
  • Umbrella insurance will only kick in if your liability limits are set at a sufficient value.  Run this by your agent to be sure you are within the limits.

Extend coverage is available for most situations and is advised for those who have valuable equipment on board.  

It is also a good idea to carry uninsured coverage.  The odds are good that most boaters won’t have insurance and you will be left footing the bill.

Before agreeing to any policy, read through it thoroughly so you know what is covered.  Talk to your agent to make sure your coverage is right for you and the situations that you are most likely to encounter.

Final thoughts

Insurance is one of the tedious and annoying things that we all hate dealing with, but it does have a valuable place in our modern lives.  Whether it protects you from financial loss or helps you replace your beloved fishing boat, the price of insurance is often worth paying.