Boat Insurance in Texas

Unlike automobile and homeowners insurance, boat insurance is not much the same among carriers. Insurers offer coverage prices that can vary dramatically depending on their experience levels, market niches, and the boater types they wish to attract. The two basic coverages are for physical damage and for liability.


Physical damage coverage is for accidental loss or damage to the boat hull, motor(s), and any other operational equipment. Liability or property and indemnity (P&I) coverage is for legal obligations to third parties from personal injury, wrongful death, or property damage as the proximate result of the operation of a boat. P&I also may cover legal defense fees and costs in lawsuits.


Typical covered losses or damages are by fire, by theft or vandalism, collisions, and by weather-related causes from wind, rain, hail, lightning, or waves. It is provident to have a boat insurance policy that covers the boat while stored on land or transported by trailer. The best policies cover all risks, meaning all causes of damage or loss not expressly excluded.




All boat insurance policies have exclusions for normal wear and tear. Most if not all exclude insects, mold, animals, and other marine life. There are some variations in physical damage exclusions among insurers, so it may be worthwhile to compare specific provisions to prevent unpleasant surprises.


Boat Insurance Policy Types


There are three types of boat insurance policies: (1) Agreed Value, (2) Actual Cash Value, and (3) Total Replacement Cost, and all go into effect in a total loss, but each deals with partial losses differently.


Agreed Value


Agreed value boat insurance policies normally pay the amount of the policy limit if the boat is a total loss. Damage from a partial loss is usually the replacement cost minus any deductible with physical depreciation not factored into the value of the loss or damage. However, some items normally subject to high wear and tear may be depreciable.


Actual Cash Value


An actual cash value policy covers less but costs less. Coverage is up to current market value in a total loss. Payments for partial losses are based upon physical depreciation of the lost or damaged items, and policy deductibles apply. Although an agreed value boat insurance policy typically costs and covers more, an actual cash value policy may be a suitably economical alternative.


Total Replacement Cost


Total Replacement Cost, the most recent type of boat insurance policy, replaces the vessel with a new one of similar make and model. This boat insurance coverage is available only on new boats until they are two or three years old. Under a Total Replacement Cost policy, a boat two years old worth $70,000 but $85,000 when new is worth $85,000 in a total loss. When it reaches the age where total replacement cost is no longer available, the policy changes to one of Agreed Value or Actual Cash Value according to the terms of the original policy.


Medical Liability Insurance


Medical liability coverage pays for first-aid treatment, ambulance, hospital, and other costs of injuries on a boat even if the owner is not legally liable. It is important to know whether coverage applies while passengers board or leave the boat and while water skiing behind it. Whether coverage per person or per accident may be preferable can be an important question.


Personal Property and Towing Assistance


Personal property boat insurance covers personal gear, clothing, and equipment while being packed on or off the boat and while aboard. Like physical damage coverage, each insurer handles personal property differently, so familiarity with policy provisions is important. Boat towing and assistance coverage reimburses costs incurred for emergency assistance. Some examples may be towing to where repairs can be done or deliveries of fuel, oil, or parts.


Boats and Yachts


Yachts are vessels 27 feet or more in length, boats 26 feet or less. No matter the type of vessel, Agreed Value is the type of boat insurance policy to consider first. Agreed Value policies cover damage to all equipment except sails, outboard motors, canvas covers, or other specified items. They do not reflect depreciation or market value, so claimants get greater settlement amounts. Other policies may be cheaper, but they also pay much less.


Uninsured Boater Coverage


Boat liability insurance is not mandatory, so many boaters do without it. Uninsured boater coverage compensates for injuries caused by another boat with no liability insurance. If the uninsured boater is liable or if a hit-and-run boater cannot be found, this coverage eases the financial pain of the injuries.


Texas Boat Insurance


Nothing beats boating in Texas on one of many lakes and rivers or along the Gulf Coast. Texas is a unique state exposed to many hazards of hurricanes, hailstorms, and submerged objects. Here are some Texas boat insurance features to consider:


  • Hail damage in all seasons is a constant concern in Texas. Boat insurance should cover damage from hailstorms.
  • Boat insurance should cover damage to electronic equipment from lightning.
  • Most boat insurance carriers apply a separate windstorm deductible for boats damaged during National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-named windstorms.
  • Navigation limits might exclude boat insurance coverage of vessels in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Tornados are not uncommon in Texas. Is the boat covered for tornado damage?
  • Some insurers require owners to be full-time Texas residents. They want no absentee owners but owners close to their boats at all times to safeguard them from hurricane damage, vandalism, and theft and so help keep claim number levels down.
  • Bass boats should have custom boat insurance coverages for their valuable fishing, chartering, navigation, and speed equipment.
  • Because high-speed boats present high risks of damage, insurers subject them to a special set of boat insurance underwriting guidelines.
  • Insurers may require hurricane haul-out agreements, which cost boaters money but not as much as might a damaged boat, and owners get premium discounts on their policies.

Boating in Texas is uniquely rewarding in fresh or salt water. Nothing is so exhilarating as the feel and the sound of the wake against the hull, the snap of the mainsail, and the buzz of the cast of a fishing line. The only thing that makes the whole experience more enjoyable is the knowledge that sufficient insurance protects the boaters from financial harm.

Car Insurance Companies for Texans

Can I really save 20% on my car insurance in 20 minutes?

It’s impossible not to notice the ads car insurance companies put on the radio, TV, and the Internet targeted at those living in Texas. It seems that car insurance companies saturate Texans with more advertising than beer companies. However, studies show that the average Texas resident will not save money by switching car insurance companies. Unfortunately, that radio ad you heard driving through San Antonio or that TV ad you saw on the Austin local news were exaggerating the benefits of switching car insurance companies. However, there are times when you have to switch insurers. Perhaps your car insurance company raised your rates for no apparent reason or gave you poor customer service. No matter what happened, do your research to ensure you make the right choice.

What you need to know

The cost of car insurance is on the rise

The cost of purchasing a policy from one of the car insurance companies is increasing. In the last two years, the cost of a policy has increased four percent. This may not sound like a lot, but this is twice the rate of inflation. It’s also important to note that the average household income in Texas was stagnant. This means the average Texan has to pay a greater percentage of their income towards car insurance. However, will help you find an auto insurance quote that doesn’t break the bank.

Credit-based insurance scores

In recent years, car insurance companies have begun using credit scores to calculate premiums. The average Texan has a score of 667, slightly below the national average of 687. This means that the advent of credit-based insurance scores is a negative thing for Texans. Consumer advocacy organizations are lobbying to end the practice, as a driver’s credit score does not equate to his risk of having an accident. They have been unsuccessful.

Uninsured motorists

Texas is a state with a large population and a large amount of income inequality. Many well-off people live in Texas, but just as many Texans struggle with poverty. Unfortunately, this means many drivers in Texas don’t purchase car insurance. This causes the car insurance companies to raise premiums for everyone, as they would likely have to foot the entire bill in an accident involving an uninsured driver.

Cheap repair work

Recently, some car insurance companies have begun requiring drivers to get their cars fixed at certain repair shops. These body shops often use low-quality aftermarket parts and do shoddy work. Most of the large and established car insurance companies won’t do this. However, some of the smaller companies will.

How to actually save money

Compare rates annually

Use to compare rates every year, if not more often. Events in your life can decrease the cost of your car insurance. The most common events that cause a decrease in car insurance costs are aging and getting married. Your current car insurance company may not account for these events. If you switch companies and get a new policy, your new company will take these events into consideration and lower your premium.

Pick a top-rated insurer

If you pick a top-rated insurer, you’ll end up paying less if you have to file a claim. The best insurers do not try to skimp out when you get into an accident. Car insurance companies that consistently get high marks include USAA, Amica, and NJM. Check to see if you can get a quote from these car insurance companies.

Set your deductible correctly

It is important to consider both the cost of your insurance and the risk of an accident when setting your deductible. If your car insurance company offers you a good rate on your insurance, you should set the deductible fairly low. This way, you do not have to pay much out of pocket if you get into a crash. If you cannot get a car insurance company to offer you a cheap rate, you may want to go with a higher deductible to save money. Keep in mind that a higher deductible means more out of pocket expense if you get into an accident. This is probably the best course of action if you live in rural Texas and do not have to deal with a lot of traffic, because you are at a low risk of getting into an accident.

Think through all of your coverage

Carefully check all of your coverage amounts and ask yourself if they are too high or too low. It’s especially important to check your liability and medical coverage. It’s tempting to reduce the amounts to the state minimum, but keep in mind the high costs of legal action and medical bills in Texas. You’ll actually save money by raising the limits of your health and legal coverage if you get sued or badly hurt.

Be vigilant during the repair process

As previously mentioned, some car insurance companies will try to save money by using a body shop that does low-quality work and uses low-quality parts. Watch carefully to ensure this doesn’t happen. Compare reviews of several different body shops before you choose one. Ask the employees if they will use Original Equipment Manufacturer, or OEM, parts instead of aftermarket parts. Aftermarket parts are low-quality, but some car insurance companies cut corners.

Take advantage of discounts

The average yearly auto insurance premium in Texas is roughly $1600, which is a lot of money for most Texans. Premiums can be substantially reduced through thorough use of discounts. Car insurance companies offer discounts for many different criteria, and the types and amounts of discounts vary from company to company. Car insurance companies often give discounts for taking driving courses, installing an anti-theft system in your vehicle, and for being a member of certain groups. Discounts are also offered for those that have multiple insurance policies through the same company.

Keep your credit score high

Keeping your credit score high has multiple benefits. You’ll get lower interest rates and have an easier time getting a mortgage. You’ll also get lower insurance premiums. Conversely, you may see an increase in your premiums if your credit score takes a nosedive. There are many reasons to maintain excellent credit, and a lower premium from car insurance companies is certainly one of them.

Tell your car insurance company if you are driving fewer miles. Visit for more information about cheap car insurance.

Your premium depends in part on how many miles per year you drive. If you drive quite a few miles a year, car insurance companies will set a higher premium. If you drive very few miles a year, car insurance companies will charge you a lower premium. Let car insurance companies know if you are driving less due to recent life changes. For example, if you have recently become self-employed and no longer commute, you’ll inevitably be driving much less. Car insurance companies may take this into consideration and lower your premium. The premiums on the next policy you purchase from many car insurance company will be lower, as you will let them know when applying for the policy that you do not commute.