sailboat in ocean

If you own a sailboat, there’s a good chance that beautiful watercraft is your absolute pride and joy. And you’ll want to protect it accordingly. But how much will it cost to do that? Depends on the pride and joy you’re protecting. Sailboat insurance cost varies widely depending on what kind of boat you own, the type and amount of coverage you need and how old you are.1 In this article, we’ll explore these factors, and what you can expect to pay for sailboat insurance.

Average annual sailboat insurance cost

As previously mentioned, there are a handful of factors affecting the cost of sailboat insurance, and that makes it difficult to determine a precise average. However, coverage can vary between $250 and $1,500 per year, but likely no more than $1,000 if you’re only seeking basic coverage.1 At Nationwide, your annual premium could be as low as $100. And 75% of all sailboats that Nationwide insures are paying less than $500 in premium per year.

Do you need sailboat insurance?

By law? Not in most states. But that doesn’t mean your marina will feel the same way. Many marinas require all vessels at their docks to be insured. You’ll also need to have insurance if you financed the purchase of your boat through a bank. But even if you’ve purchased the boat on your own and keep it at your own private mooring, it’s still always a good idea to protect it.2

Sailboat insurance limitations

There are some limitations to what can be covered. For example, Nationwide generally insures boats valued up to $350,000, a maximum length of 50 feet, and age of 40 model years old. This covers most recreational craft. However, it’s recommended speaking to an insurance agent about the details of your sailboat because age and location are important factors in determining coverage options and limitations.

Factors affecting sailboat insurance rate

There are a handful of factors affecting the rate you’ll pay for sailboat insurance. Your boat itself is a major factor, with characteristics like size and value playing a large role. You yourself are a factor too, since your age and experience affect the risk you carry. Let’s get into the specifics.


The bigger the boat, the bigger the cost of insuring it. Boat size is typically measured in length. Generally, the longer your vessel is, the higher your rate will be, and vice versa.


It follows that a more valuable boat is going to cost more to repair/replace, and thus, carry a higher insurance rate. Similarly, boats with less value carry lower insurance rates. If you have an existing policy, you may want to compare the current market value of your boat against your insurance coverage amount due to the rapid rate of depreciation of boats. In other words, you may be able to lower your premiums as time passes (and your boat’s value decreases).


The age of your boat also affects the cost of insuring it. The older the boat, the less expensive it will typically be to insure due to depreciation.

Cruising Area

Some waters are more dangerous than others, so the places you sail will affect your rate accordingly. If you know where you’ll be keeping and sailing your boat, you can get an idea of what your rate might be.

Boating and driving history

If you’ve proven to be a safe driver and boater in the past, then your rate should decrease accordingly. If you have a history of accidents or run-ins with the law while at the helm, then your rate will likely be higher.

Coverage options

The coverage you need will affect the rate you pay, and you do have multiple coverage options to choose from. Collision coverage protects you in the event you’re in an accident with another boat or object. Comprehensive covers damages from other, non-collision related sources like fire or bad weather. Different coverages carry different rates, so consider your needs when choosing yours. An experienced insurance agent can walk you through the options.

Sailboat insurance discounts

Who doesn’t love a chance to save money? Nationwide offers multiple ways to save through sailboat insurance discounts, such as multi-policy (combining coverages for home, auto insurance, etc), diesel fuel (owning a diesel-powered boat) and a prior insurance discount (for those who request a quote 8 days or more before the prior insurance policy expiration). Learn more about Nationwide’s boat insurance discounts here.

To sum up, there are many factors at play in determining your sailboat insurance rate, but also plenty of ways to save! Get an obligation-free quote today from Nationwide and learn how the right policy can protect your pride and joy for years to come.

[1] “Average Sailboat Insurance Cost,” Daniel Wade, (Accessed October 23, 2022).

[2] “Do you have to have boat insurance?” Chris Moon, (Accessed October 23, 2022).

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