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For the spring and summer months, there is nothing quite like boating on Minnesota's pristine lakes and rivers. Choice Insurance Agency, a leader in boat and watercraft insurance throughout Minnesota, wants to remind you that when purchasing or insuring your boat in Minnesota, remember that Minnesota boat insurance is different from insurance in other states for a variety of reasons. Higher risk of freezing and ice damage, submerged objects when the ice melts, muskrat and varmint damage, and prop damage from rocky bottoms are just a few hazards inherent to Minnesota's waters. Here are some features to Minnesota boat insurance to keep in mind:

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  • You may be required to move your boat in an indoor storage facility during the winter months.
  • Freezing or ice damage may also be excluded if there is evidence of improper winterization.
  • Insurers may limit the length and value of the boat they are willing to insure to protect against shock losses.
  • Canadian waters may be included, or covered at an additional cost.
  • Some carriers put an age minimum on insuring a boat. Older vessels may require an out-of-water survey.
  • A credit may apply for boats with a longer lay-up period (when the boat is stored for the winter).
  • Sailboat owners receive credit because sailboats are not as hazardous as speed boats.
  • A separate deductible may be required for a sailboat mast, especially if the mast is carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is lighter and stronger, but in the case of an accident it usually must be replaced completely.
  • Some carriers will not insure catamarans because if they capsize, they cannot be easily righted, like a sailboat.
  • An auxiliary motor in case of emergencies may be required or given a credit when rating sailboats.
  • Damage resulting from muskrats or other varmints may be excluded while the boat is winterized.
  • Navigation limits may be confined to inland lakes and rivers, excluding the Great Lakes.
  • For ski boats, be sure waterskiing is not an excluded coverage on your policy.
  • Bass boats are usually given additional maximum top speed, such as 80 mph.
  • Bass boats should also have customized coverages due to high value fishing equipment, chartering, navigation, and speed.


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