What Insurance Does My Classic Boat Need?

February 26, 2024 | by admin

Owning a classic, vintage, or antique boat brings some risks and special insurance requirements. Insuring older boats isn’t the same as insuring a contemporary boat.

You’ll need classic boat insurance to protect your older boat. Classic boat insurance can be tailored to your collector boat and how you use it.

How are older boats classified?

Historic: A vessel built before and up to 1918.

Antique: A boat built between 1919 and 1942.

Classic: A boat built between 1943 and 1975.

Late classic: A boat ranging from 1976 to 25 years prior to the current year.

It’s no longer the case that a boat's classification also depends on the hull's material. Aluminum and fiberglass boats can now be considered late classic or classic boats.

You will need to check with your classic boat insurance provider since coverage options can vary based on your boat's classification.

What is a contemporary boat then?

It applies to boats built in the last 25 years. Contemporary boats are the most modern vessels on the market. They offer the latest technology, materials, and construction techniques.

What makes classic boat insurance different from standard boat insurance?

Classic boat insurance covers older boats classified in specific time periods. Typically, standard boat insurance covers a broader range of vessels and a shorter time period.

What are the main features of classic/collector boat insurance?

Agreed value: Classic boat insurance evaluates your collector boat based on its agreed or appraised value. This ensures protection for your older boat’s unique value. Standard boat insurance uses actual cash value, which is usually defined as the replacement cost of your boat minus depreciation for age and condition.

Use restrictions: Classic boat insurance may restrict the use of your older boat while standard boat insurance is more flexible.

Eligibility: Classic boat insurance has stricter eligibility criteria, including the boat’s condition and any historic significance. Standard boat insurance typically has fewer restrictions.

Premium costs: Classic boat insurance premiums could be higher due to the boat’s unique value.

If you own a vintage boat and use it regularly, or take it to boat shows, make sure your classic boat insurance doesn't include a specific lay-up period which requires your boat to remain unused.

Some potential risks that come with classic boats

Replacement parts: Finding parts for older boats can be expensive and difficult.

Limited availability: It may be difficult to replace your vintage boat.

Value appreciation: Collector boats can increase in value over time, affecting insurance requirements.

Nautical expertise: As a classic boat owner, you may need specialized knowledge to operate and maintain your classic boat.

Restricted usage: Classic boats may not have the same modern safety features as newer boats. As a result, your insurance provider may require you to limit your boat usage, including the number of trips and the distance you can travel from shore, to reduce the risk of damage or accidents.

Can wooden boats get collector insurance?

Wooden boats can be difficult to insure, but many classic wooden boats can be insured.

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How much does it cost to insure a collector boat?

There is no one-size-fits-all insurance policy for a vintage boat. How much collector boat insurance will cost will depend on its age, features, agreed valuation, usage, among other factors. It’s important to note that classic boat insurance can be higher than standard boat insurance.

Are there insurance discounts for owning a collector boat?

Some discounts that may apply include:

Multi-policy discounts: If you have multiple insurance policies, such as home and car insurance, with the same provider, you may be eligible for a multi-policy discount. This discount may also apply to vintage boat insurance policies.

Safety equipment discounts: You may get a discount for safety equipment, such as life jackets, fire extinguishers, and navigation equipment. While not all vintage boats have modern safety features, they could still qualify for safety equipment discounts if they have appropriate safety equipment installed.

Boater education discounts: Taking and successfully completing a boater safety course or getting a boating license could make you eligible for a discount on your vintage boat insurance premiums. This discount may also apply to standard boat insurance policies.

Lay-up discounts: Some vintage boat insurance policies may require you to limit your boat usage during the boating season. If you're willing to agree to a lay-up period when the boat is not used during certain months, you may be eligible for a discount.

What if I show my collector boat or use it in competitions?

If you’re using your collector boat in competitions or exhibitions, you should consider these insurance coverages:

  • Event coverage: Ensure your policy covers events, exhibitions, and competitions.
  • Liability coverage: Do you have liability coverage?
  • Navigational limits: Check for any navigational restrictions on your classic boat insurance policy.
  • Safety requirements: Your vintage boat must comply with event safety requirements.

What insurance coverages are important for vintage boats?

Liability insurance

Liability insurance covers you for legal liability if you are negligent while boating and cause damage to the property of third parties, or you injure or kill another person.

Theft coverage

Comprehensive boat insurance for your collector boat can help provide financial protection for a stolen boat. Whether your boat is stolen from a marina, dock, or your house, you'll likely be covered if you have comprehensive boat insurance coverage.

Western Financial Group offers a complete set of insurance products and solutions through our licensed sales brokers who are located across Canada. Car, home, many types of recreational vehicles and commercial/business insurance are available.

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