Watercraft insurance is not required in most states in the United States. While it is generally optional, some states like Hawaii have certain boating requirements. Likewise, you will need coverage for certain marinas to use their facilities. There are several other good reasons to get boat insurance, especially if you use your watercraft frequently and with other people.
Reasons You Need Watercraft Insurance
You might be required to get boat insurance if you purchase it with a bank loan. You will likely need to cover the full value of the vessel and provide proof of insurance to the financial institution you borrow from. Some marinas may also require you to list them on your policy in order to enter their water space.
You may already have boat coverage if you own a cottage with a home plan that extends liability to watercraft such as boats, rafts, and jet skis. It is also possible your auto insurance may already cover certain watercraft. Simply review your existing policies to see if you’re already covered.
The most important reason to get boat insurance is to protect yourself and others financially if your boat collides with another watercraft or dangerous object.The right coverage will pay for medical bills and boat repair.You might also want special coverage extensions such as:
- On-water towing
- Fishing gear or other personal property transported on the boat
- Mechanical breakdowns
- Specialized add-ons for extreme disasters like hurricanes
Carrying uninsured boat coverage is also useful to protect others on your boat who don’t carry insurance. If you use your boat to take friends water skiing, you should consider getting water-skiing liability coverage, emergency services coverage, or medical insurance.
In the Event of a Boating Accident
If you already have boating insurance in place and an accident occurs, you simply need to file a claim accurately and completely. The insurer will then review your claim and determine if the incident warrants a payout based on the evidence. It helps to carry emergency services coverage, which includes boat-towing in case your boat breaks down and you get stranded.
A Year-Round Coverage Approach
Insuring your boat throughout the year, even when it sits in storage, is beneficial since it can still be stolen or damaged by a disaster. Likewise, find out if your existing home, renters, or auto policies cover your watercraft already as a personal belonging.
What you pay for boat insurance is based on multiple factors, including the type and size of the watercraft, where you use it, and how often. If you store it off your site on someone else’s property, you will definitely need to insure it to be safe.
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