Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How long has Global Marine Insurance Agency been in business?

A. Global Marine Insurance Agency began offering boat insurance in 1989. We are now one of the leading marine insurance agencies in North America. Headquartered in Traverse City, MI, Global Marine represents most of the major insurance carriers offering boat, yacht, personal watercraft and commercial marine insurance.

As a premier marine insurance agency, Global Marine works to help customers find boat insurance policies appropriate for their vessels and how they use them. We strive to provide each policy owner with superior customer service long after the policy is issued.

Q. Where do you provide insurance coverage?

A. Global Marine Insurance Agency is licensed to write boat insurance in all 50 states. Cruising extensions are available to Canada, the Bahamas and Mexico. We also utilize surplus carriers that enable us to write vessels outside of the United States.

Q. Am I required by law to have boat insurance?

A. Boat insurance is not mandatory.

However, if you have a loan using the boat as collateral the bank will require insurance listing them as a loss payee to cover their interest in your boat. Sometimes, if you do not provide insurance for your financed vessel, lenders will “force place” insurance that is often prohibitively expensive. A marine insurance policy purchased through a company like Global Marine will cost significantly less while providing the coverage you require.

In addition, most marinas will require you to maintain at least liability insurance in order to keep your boat at their facility.

Q. Is price the most important factor to consider when purchasing boat insurance?

A. While price is definitely important, the coverage that your policy provides is the most important factor in choosing an insurance policy. Marine insurance policies are not standard products like home and auto insurance.

While looking for insurance you should also be concerned with the details of how your claim will be covered in the case of a loss. As a boat owner you should select an agent and boat insurance policy that meets your specific needs. Differences in premium will often be made up quickly if you select an inadequate policy, an inexperienced agent or an indifferent insurance carrier.

Q. How can I save money on my boat insurance?

A. Making sure your boat insurance policy fits your boating needs is the most important first step. After finding appropriate coverage for your vessel, there are several steps you can take that can potentially influence the cost of your boat insurance premium.

Navigational Territory: The waters where you will be using your boat play a part in deciding how much you will pay. Boat insurance rates in coastal waters, especially if exposed to the threat of hurricanes and tropical storms, will be higher than rates for vessels using inland lakes and rivers.

Lay up: Some marine insurance companies offer a credit for the amount of time a boat is decommissioned and not being used.

Location: Keep your boat in a secure location – secure and protected from severe weather and/or secure from vandalism or theft.

Boater Safety Education: Insurance companies will sometimes provide a credit for individuals that have taken and passed a boating safety course from the US Coast Guard or US Power Squadron.

Good Driving Record: A clean automobile driving record, with no recent moving violations, often will help an owner receive premium discounts due to their proven ability to operate vehicles in a safe manner.

Liability Limits: The higher your liability limit, the higher the premium. Selecting a policy with a liability limit that makes you comfortable and also covers what you plan to do with your boat will help keep costs manageable.

Deductible: You can reduce your premium by raising your deductible and sharing in the exposed risk. It is important to consider your financial position, in the event of a loss, before agreeing to this option.

Q. What type of insurance coverage does my policy include?

A. The majority of boat insurance policies sold by Global Marine Insurance Agency are Agreed Value policies. The other most common option for insurance for boats is an Actual Cash Value Policy. The policies have significant differences.

Agreed Value Policy: In an agreed value policy, you are paid the agreed value of the vessel in the event of a total covered loss. If you require repairs for a partial loss claim, you are paid on a “new for old” basis.

Actual Cash Value Policy: In an actual cash value policy, all covered property losses are subject to depreciation.

Global Marine highly recommends that owners chose an Agreed Value policy to protect their boat in the event of a loss. However, we do offer some Actual Cash Value policies in certain circumstances.

Most of the policies we provide have various levels of Hull, Liability, Personal Effects, Medical Payments, Fuel Spill and Towing coverage.

Q. What is a layup period?

A. A consecutive number of months, specified on the declarations page, that a boat is decommissioned (winterized) and not being used. Some marine insurance companies offer a credit for this period of time.

Q. Is my boat covered during the lay-up period?

A. Yes. But the vessel must be out of commission (winterized), it cannot be operated and it cannot be used to live aboard.

Q. What if I need to use my boat during the lay-up period?

A. You can request that we endorse your policy for temporary use during the lay-up period. If you use your boat during the lay-up without an endorsement there would be no coverage in the event of a loss.

Q. Can I get boat insurance for more than the purchase price?

A. All of our companies offer Agreed Value hull coverage, which means that the named insured will be paid the hull coverage amount listed on the declarations page if the boat is deemed a total loss. If the boat is insured for a higher amount than the actual purchase price and there is a covered total loss, the named insured stands to make a “profit” from the loss, which creates a moral risk.

Q. What is included in the Insured Value?

A. The insured (hull) value should include the boat, motors, generators or other machinery and any additional electronic equipment and accessories used for safety and navigation. The trailer and tender/dinghy should be listed and covered separately.

Q. How does Global Marine handle claims?

A. We have dedicated claims individuals helping you in the case of a loss. If you need to file a claim you may call us at 800-748-0224, submit the information online at, or email

We will work with you and the company to get your claim handled quickly and professionally. In many cases, photos of the damage and a written estimate for repairs are all that is needed to settle a claim.

Q. Is there an extended payment plan for marine insurance?

A. Yes. Most of the companies we represent offer payment plans available to meet your needs.

Q. What forms of payment and payment options are available to me?

A. Global Marine and our partners accept most forms of payment, including check, credit card, and electronic funds transfer.

Q. What is Protection & Indemnity Liability?

A. “P&I” provides liability coverage for any property damage or bodily injury you are responsible for, up to the limits on the policy. If you are sued by a 3rd party, it also covers defense. In addition, it can include coverage for salvage and pollution or fuel spill.

Q. How much boat insurance liability will I need?

A. Liability coverage can range from $100,000 to $1,000,000+, depending on your situation. Your Global Marine agent can help you determine the amount of liability coverage that will be appropriate for your policy; a number where you feel comfortable and are realistically covered for your boating needs.

The owner of a recreational pontoon boat who will be operating the boat on an occasional weekend in the summer on an inland lake and the owner of a larger power boat used in coastal waters will likely not be suited by the same marine liability insurance coverage. It is important to discuss this question with a qualified marine insurance agent.

Q. Will my rates be higher as a new boat owner?

A. Boating experience is just one of the factors that are incorporated into ratings. If you are a first-time boat owner, it is possible that you will pay more for boat insurance than an experienced owner with a comparable vessel. If you have little to no prior boating experience, it is difficult for a carrier to judge your ability to safely operate the vessel.

We recommend that all owners, especially first-time boat owners, complete a Boating Safety course. This will help demonstrate your ability as a safe boater and can potentially mitigate a higher premium.

Q. What are navigation limits?

A. All boat insurance policies have a stated navigational territory. You must stay within the navigational territory to remain covered. You can travel outside the navigation territory if you obtain an endorsement providing permission from the insurance company. It is important to examine the navigational limits in your marine insurance policy before planning any type of long cruise that will take you far offshore or across long mileage. We will help you determine if there are limits to your coverage and options for possibly expanding the navigational area in which you are insured.

Q. Is anyone I let drive my boat covered?

A. The general answer is anyone you give permission to use the boat is covered. The exceptions to this are marine professional personnel and if the boat insurance policy has a Named Operator endorsement. With a Named Operator endorsement only operators listed can operate the boat. Named Operator endorsements are common on high performance boats.

Q. Will my homeowners insurance cover my boat?

A. Typically, a homeowner’s insurance policy will only cover damage to your boat that occurs while it is on your property. In addition, the actual amount of coverage offered is typically less than in a separate boat insurance policy, which can lead to problems if the boat is damaged.

Homeowner’s Insurance is not an adequate substitute for a specific boat insurance policy. The amount of coverage available under a homeowner’s insurance plan for your boat can vary, so please check your policy.

Q. Is there a difference between boat and yacht insurance?

A. Boat and yacht insurance policies usually vary greatly in their language and coverage. In most instances, a boat is classified as a vessel that is 26? long or smaller, and a yacht is 27? and larger. Since yachts often have larger navigational ranges and face a wider variety of hazards and exposures, yacht insurance tends to be more detailed than a boat insurance policy. Global Marine is well equipped to work with either type of vessel and can help you determine the appropriate policy for your needs.

Q. What is a marine survey and how often is it required?

A. A marine survey is a physical inspection of a boat and subsequent detailed written report by someone certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors or the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors. The surveyor will assess and document the boat’s condition and value (both market value and replacement value).

Each insurance company will require surveys and updated surveys at different times. Most insurance companies require the original survey at 10 years of age for boats used in salt water and at 15 years of age for boats used in fresh water.

After the original survey, most companies will require an updated survey every 5 to 10 years.

Q. Is water sports liability included in my boat insurance coverage?

A. Most boat insurance policies include liability coverage for water sports. Talk with your underwriter to make sure it is in your policy if you plan on using your boat for water skiing, tubing, wakeboarding or other water sports.

Q. Is boating equipment covered by my boat insurance policy?

A. Most policies do cover a wide variety of boating equipment associated with your boat. However, it is important to let your agent know what type of boating equipment you have to make sure it is covered properly.

Q. Is my trailer covered by my boat insurance policy?

A. Most boat insurance policies can cover a trailer for physical damage. Typical claims for trailers are due to collision or theft. It is important to let your agent know you have a trailer to make sure it is covered properly.

If the trailer and/or boat, while connected to a vehicle, causes bodily injury or property damage to a third party, this coverage extends from the insurance policy covering the vehicle, not from the boat insurance policy.

Lastly, you should always make sure that you have the right trailer for your boat. A trailer that is not large enough to properly accommodate your boat can cause more damage while you transport it than normal water usage. Make sure you follow all safety recommendations that come with your trailer.

Q. My state requires I register my trailer. What do you provide that I can take to register my trailer?

A. You will need to get proof of insurance from your automobile insurance agent. Boat insurance policies do cover trailers for physical damage, but the liability while trailering is covered by your auto policy.

Q. Can I receive a discount for successful completion of a Boaters Safety course?

A. Often, yes. Successfully completing a registered boating safety course offered by the US Power Squadron or the US Coast Guard can help many owners lower their boat insurance rates. Talk with your agent to find out if you will be eligible for a decrease in premium by completing a boating safety class.

Even if you will not receive a discount, we recommend that all boaters take a safety course. Proper boating safety will help prevent potential claims and keep you and your passengers safe on the water.

Q. How do I get an insurance ID card?

A. Unlike automobile insurance, most boat insurance companies do not issue ID cards because states do not require insurance on boats.

Q. How do I find a marine surveyor?

A. The Society of Accredited Surveyors and National Association of Marine Surveyors are good places to find a marine surveyor in your area.

Q. What if I have a question about my policy?

A. We have dedicated customer service representatives to help you with any questions or changes to your policy. Please call 800-748-0224 or email Our representatives are available Monday – Friday 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM EST and on Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST.

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