Although all but a few states need boaters to pass a boating safety course, most states don’t need boat insurance. However, even if your state doesn’t require boat insurance, that doesn’t mean you should go without it.
Even if you are not concerned about theft or damage to your boat or its contents, you are still exposed to liability risks. Without enough liability coverage, you put your passengers’ and your own life savings at risk.
Although forgoing boat insurance may not be illegal in your territory or state, it may be required by your bank or lending institution (if you lease or finance your boat) or your marina (if you rent a dock or boat slip).
Now what does boat insurance cover?
Boat insurance policies can be configured to cover your boat, your passengers, your personal possessions and yourself. Boat coverage options may include:
- Bodily injury liability, which can assist pay for injuries to others from a covered accident if you are found to be legally liable. You maybe defended of any lawsuit that arises from a covered loss, at no expense of yours.
- Property damage liability, which can help pay for property damage to others from a covered accident if you are found to be legally liable. This coverage also pays up to the limits of your liability coverage for fuel spills that result in property damage, if you become legally responsible as a result of an accident. You will equally be defended of any lawsuit that arises from a covered loss, at our expense.
- Medical payments, which may cover medical expenses caused by an accident incurred while on, boarding, leaving or being towed behind an insured watercraft – regardless of who is at fault.
- Uninsured/underinsured boaters bodily injury, which may cover medical expenses, loss of income and other damages owed to you by an uninsured/underinsured boater, or a hit-and-run boater.
- Uninsured/underinsured boaters property damage, which may cover damages to your watercraft caused by an uninsured/underinsured boater, or a hit-and-run boater.
- Collision, which can pay for damage to your watercraft if you hit another watercraft or object, another watercraft hits you, or your watercraft rolls over.
- Comprehensive, which can help pay for damage to your watercraft from vandalism, theft, weather events and accidents involving animals.
- Personal effects, which can provide coverage for the loss of, or damage to, personal property while on board your watercraft, or while being carried on or off. Boat hoists and lifts may also be covered.
- Fishing equipment, which protects fishing gear and equipment used in the legal sport of fishing. Items include, but are not limited to, rods, reels, lures, tackle boxes and electronic gear used to locate fish.
- Roadside assistance, which provides towing to your nearest qualified repair facility. It may also provide necessary labor at the time and place of disablement when the tow vehicle or watercraft trailer is disabled while transporting your insured watercraft.
These are but the summaries of the coverages typically found in a boat policy.