The cost of pontoon boat insurance can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the size and value of the boat, the location where it is used and stored, and the level of coverage desired. Other factors that can impact the cost of insurance include the boater’s experience and safety record, as well as the type of boating activities the boat will be used for.
However, how much does pontoon boat insurance cost in general? Based on 7 different quotes, The average cost of pontoon boat insurance is $200-$700 per year for comprehensive coverage. While liability coverage only costs around $100 per year.
Note: Some luxury pontoon boats that cost $100,000+ will cost $1,000-$2,000 per year to insure with comprehensive coverage.
In order to find these averages, I used 7 different boats and found the average price of comprehensive coverage from Progressive and Geico (BoatUS).
Average comprehensive insurance cost of 7 different boats
|Boat||Average annual insurance price||Boat value||Boat year|
|Lowe Retreat 230 WT||$684||$55,000||2023|
|Bennington 27 Q-series Elite||$1,530||$150,000||2022|
|SunTracker PARTY BARGE® 18 DLX||$355||$28,000||2023|
|SunTracker PARTY BARGE® 18 DLX (used)||$265||$18,000||2016|
|SunTracker PARTY BARGE® 22 RF XP3||$466||$51,995||2023|
|Sun Chaser 18 LR (used)||$159||$10,000||2011|
|Bennington 22 SL (used)||$344||$25,000||2020|
See the full spreadsheet with each quote by clicking here.
What does boat insurance cover?
What factors affect the cost of boat insurance?
Many factors affect the cost of boat insurance, however, the most important ones include:
- The type and value of the boat. (used boats are less valuable, so generally cost less to insure)
- The level of coverage desired. Depending on if you want just liability or comprehensive insurance, the cost will differ. Along with that, the costs will differ depending on how much comprehensive insurance you want.
- The location your boat is kept. For example, If you keep your boat in an indoor storage facility, insurance companies will most likely give you a better rate than if you store it outside in your driveway.
- The area where you live. For example, If you live in hurricane susceptible areas such as Florida, insurance providers will most likely charge you more.
There are many other smaller factors that will affect the cost of your boat insurance as well such as:
- The amount of horsepower on the boat
- The age and experience level of the operator
- The intended use of the boat (recreational, commercial)
- The safety features and equipment on the boat
- The insurance history of the operator
- And more depending on the provider
It’s also important to remember that your insurance rates may vary from company to company, so it’s a good idea to shop around and compare quotes from multiple insurers before making a decision.
Average Pontoon boat insurance cost based on boat value
By using the quotes I’ve provided at the beginning of this article, I was able to make a table that shows the average comprehensive coverage boat insurance cost based on the value of your pontoon boat.
|Pontoon boat value||Average annual insurance cost|
Liability insurance only covers damage caused to other boats, so the value of your boat usually doesn’t matter. Most insurance companies offer liability insurance for $70-$100 per year for most pontoon boats no matter the value of it.
Do you need boat insurance for a pontoon boat?
The only states that require boat insurance are Arkansas, Hawaii, and Utah and it’s usually reserved for boats with 50hp engines or more. However, many marinas, dock associations, and lenders may require you to have boat insurance.
You can see the specific laws for each state by clicking here. Even if it’s not legally required to get boat insurance, it’s still a good idea to have it in case of an accident or other unexpected event that could cause damage to your boat or harm to other people or boats.
Boat insurance is especially smart for people who live in hurricane susceptible areas such as Florida or experience unexpected cold fronts such as in Texas. Many Texans don’t winterize their boats, which a cold front could freeze their fluids and crack their engines.
If you do plan on joining a marina or dock association or getting a loan to purchase a boat, make sure to check with them to see if and how much insurance they require.
How to lower the cost of boat insurance
Based on some of the factors mentioned above, and some other tricks, you can lower the cost of boat insurance. Here are my 9 tips on doing so:
- Increase the deductible. Raising the deductible (the amount you pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in) can lower your monthly or annual premium.
- Bundle your insurance. If you have other insurance policies, such as homeowners or car insurance, consider bundling them with your pontoon boat insurance to get a discount.
- Improve your credit score. A good credit score can help you qualify for lower rates on your boat insurance.
- Take a boating safety course. Many insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders who have completed a boating safety course.
- Keep your boat in a secure location. Storing your boat in a locked garage or at a marina with security can qualify you for a lower rate.
- Fit your boat with safety equipment. Installing safety features like fire extinguishers, life jackets, and a GPS tracking system can lower your insurance costs.
- Limit your use of the boat. The less you use your pontoon boat, the lower you can get your insurance rates to be.
- Shop around. Compare quotes from multiple insurance companies to find the best rates.
- Review your coverage regularly. Review your coverage every year and make adjustments as needed to ensure you are paying for the coverage you actually need.
Remember that while these tips can help you lower the cost of your pontoon boat insurance, it’s important to also ensure that you have adequate coverage to protect your investment and yourself in case of an accident or other unexpected event.
Which boat insurance provider is the most affordable for pontoon boats?
Generally, the most affordable way to get boat insurance is by bundling it with another type of insurance (such as home or auto). However, if you can’t bundle, the most affordable boat insurance provider I found for pontoon boats was Progressive insurance.
Progressive insurance offered good comprehensive coverage insurance plans and a few additional coverages such as 24/7 on water towing, mechanical breakdown coverage, and Hurricane haul out.
Remember that just because an insurance plan is cheap, it doesn’t mean it has good value. An insurance company could only charge you $100 per year, but if they only cover 25% of the value of your boat, what’s the point in even having the insurance policy?
If you want to see a side-by-side of my progressive quote compared to my Geico quote for the Lowe Retreat 230 WT to see what I am talking about, click here.
Which boat insurance provider is the best for pontoon boats?
Although not the most affordable when it comes to pontoon boats, the best boat insurance provider I found was BoatUS by Geico. Their plans offered more protection options than other plans offered.
Along with that BoatUS is owned by Geico, but they work as their own company providing primarily boat insurance. Meaning if you ever needed to contact them, they will understand your boating-related questions, unlike many other big insurance companies.
Some of the protection options they offered that others didn’t include:
- Mechanical breakdown
- Lower Dinghy protection
- Fuel and other spill coverage
- Commercial towing assistance
Plus, if you already have a Geico car insurance plan, you can bundle with BoatUS and get a better deal on boat insurance.