Boat Insurance in New Jersey for First-Time Owners

Buying your first boat is a significant accomplishment, so congratulations! However, many factors can affect your vessel’s integrity, such as accidents and natural peril like fire or lightning, costing you a lot of money. Homeowner’s policy may cover some expenses regarding your boat, but most are limited and do not cover marine-specific risks, like salvage work, wreck removal, or environmental damage. 

Homeowners’ policies are also limited to smaller boats or motors and only apply to use in inland waterways, like lakes and rivers. The coverage from these policies seldom extends outside a coastal inlet, so if you’re going to set sail outside the bay, a homeowner’s policy is not enough. If you want to ensure all expenses regarding your vessel are covered, the best option is to get boat insurance.

To protect your wallet and ensure expenses in the event your boat gets damaged or stolen, here is a guide on boat insurance for first-time owners. 

What is Watercraft Insurance? 

Boat insurance protects you and covers the expenses in the event of an accident, when your vessel gets damaged by natural peril like fire or lightning, or when it gets stolen. It can protect you when you accidentally injure someone or damage somebody’s property with your boat. The insurance also covers specific scenarios. For instance, a fuel-spill liability protects you from clean-up claims caused by accidental spillage of fuel from your vessel. 

The insurance covers most watercraft with motors, including sailboats, fishing boats, paddleboats, and yachts. However, it does not include PWC (personal watercraft), canoes, or kayaks. 

Types of Boater Insurance

There are two primary kinds of boating insurance that you can get—”agreed value” and “actual cash value.” Below are their differences. 

Agreed Value Policy

The agreed value policy typically covers the vessel based on its value when the policy was written. It costs more upfront, but there is no depreciation (a decrease in the rate of an asset over time) for a total loss of the watercraft, giving you a payment of the initial value when your vessel is determined to be a total loss. 

Actual Cash Value Policy

This policy costs less upfront but follows depreciation, meaning insurance companies will only pay up to the vessel’s current value when declared a total or partial loss. As your watercraft ages, your insurer will likely recommend you get an actual cash value policy as it often gives substantial savings.

If you are confused about what to get for your vessel, an insurance professional from East Insurance Group can help you determine which policy is the best for you. 

What Does Boaters Insurance NJ Cover?

Your boat insurance policies may include the following:

  • Collision Damage 

When you get into an accident where your boat gets damaged due to a collision, most policies will cover the expenses for repair or replacement of your vessel. However, these may not include the clean-up of wreckage unless you buy additional coverage. 

  • Comprehensive Damage

A boat insurance policy will provide compensation when your vessel gets damaged during an incident other than a collision, or when it gets vandalized or stolen. 

  • Property Damage

NJ boat insurance covers damages if you accidentally damage someone else’s motorized watercraft, dock, structures, or other properties. 

  • Bodily Injury Liability 

If you have passengers on your vessel and get injured after an accident, jersey boat insurance can cover medical payments. These include medical bills, medications, X-rays, lost income, and legal expenses. 

  • Additional Coverage Options

This watercraft insurance for your new jersey boat may include medical payments, uninsured boater liability, fishing equipment, oil spills, personal effects, roadside assistance, towing, and damages or injuries from incidents caused by other boaters who do not have boat insurance.

The coverage you get will depend on your needs and does vary from person to person. That is why it is a great idea to talk with a professional insurance agent to see which ones would work the best for you.

How Does New Jersey Boat Insurance Work?

When you purchase new jersey boat insurance, you need to determine the amount of coverage you need for your vessel, the deductible (maximum out of pocket expense per claim), and the optional coverages it needs.  In the event of an accident, theft, or loss covered under the policies you have chosen, you need to file a claim and receive the payments covering these losses.

For instance, if you were the one at fault, your boat insurance would cover the damage to your policy’s limits. However, if other individuals damage your vessel, their coverage would pay for your costs up to the limits of their chosen policies if they have boat insurance. 

But if boaters that damaged your vessel did not prepare or do not have enough to cover the damages, your uninsured or underinsured boaters coverage would cover the expenses.

The pricing of boat insurance will depend on the following: 

  • The kind of boat you wish to insure.
  • The size and age of the vessel.
  • The state you live in.
  • The size of the motor and how it is powered, because if your boat has a horsepower of 25-100 hp a homeowner policy is enough to cover the expenses. Only get vessel insurances in new jersey when it exceeds that limit. 
  • Whether you are using it on inland waters or the open seas in New Jersey.
  • Whether you have selected extra coverage options.

Vessel insurance cost can range from as little as $75 to $500 annually. Insurance firms like East Insurance Group offer great deals and discounts to give you a price break in specific scenarios. For instance, if you do not use your water vessel year-round, you are eligible for a layup discount. So, be sure to ask your agents and compare quotes from multiple carriers to find the best deals. 

Why is Vessel for Insurance Required?

It depends on varying reasons. For instance, some require you to have boat insurance with liability coverage. Marinas throughout the country may require you to get the insurance to dock your vessel in the area. Finally, if you get a loan to purchase a watercraft, the lender will likely require you to buy boat insurance. 

How Much Insurance for Boat NJ Should I Get?

The amount of vessel insurances you get depends on several factors, including the vessel’s value, motor size, age, and how often you use it. For instance, if you have purchased a new luxury speed boat, you will need to get more coverage like bodily injury and property damage. These vessels are more prone to accidents than a standard pleasure cruiser. 

Where to Get Insurances for Your Vessel in NJ?

There are numerous ways to purchase vessel insurances. You can get quotes online and determine which policies are the best for your vessel. However, if you want professional help, you can hire an independent agent from East Insurance Group to get the best boat insurance NJ rates available, helping you make the most informed decision. 

The Bottom Line

Getting your personal watercraft insured, gives you much-needed expenses during accidents, theft, vandalism, injuring passengers on your vessel, and more. Consult with an insurance agent from East Insurance Group to get the best deals and discounts in the market. Save big and enjoy your first vessel without worries, happy boating!