fire boat

Do I Really Need Boaters Insurance?

Here’s a Few Things to Consider

Understanding Why You Need Boat Insurance

Those who have a boat may wonder if they need to have boat insurance and although it is likely they are not required by law to do so, they may still need it. There are a select few states that do require liability coverage on some boats such as those that have more than 50 horsepower as an example. Some of these states may also require insurance for boats that are kept at state-run marinas and in state parks. You can find out if having insurance in your state is required by looking online at the state’s registration and titling requirements.

Liability Insurance For A Sinking Boat

If you purchase your boat by securing a loan then it’s almost certain your bank will require that you maintain insurance on your boat even when the state does not require it.

insured sinking vessel

It also might be that the marina that you’re keeping your boat at requires it. If you are securing a loan they will not grant it unless you provide proof of insurance so that the bank is covered if the boat is lost. The bank does this because they are then listed on the insurance policy as the lien holder and they do this so that if something happens to the boat they are the first person paid. The marina will often require you to carry liability insurance before they will approve any contract for a slip because it protects them and the other boat owners.

It should be noted that if you find yourself having one or more of these entities requiring you to have insurance that your homeowner’s policy is not enough for those situations. The reason for this is the fact that the most typical homeowner’s policy will only cover a boat up to a certain size and value. Furthermore, a general homeowners policy doesn’t have the right provisions for it to cover the kind of losses that can happen with most boats. This is why boat insurance is what an owner specifically needs. It gives the owner the ability to insure their boat at its real market value so that if a total loss is experienced they are paid the actual cash value for the boat.

Fire Insurance On Your Boat

Your boat will very often be covered under most potential risks because the most usual policy is called ‘All Risk’ meaning that it will cover everything from lightning to theft, vandalism, and fire, etc.

boat fire

You can even find policies that will cover personal items in and on the boat and they can include things like fishing gear and water sports equipment and even cover the boat being towed if it breaks down while out in the water. With other policies it is possible to get coverage that only covers damage that might occur to other people’s boats with yours and that would give you insurance when it’s deemed your fault but wouldn’t provide any coverage of your boat or personal items on your boat with the possible exception of when an accident is another boaters fault and they are uninsured.

It goes without saying that the more worth your boat has the more need there is for it to be insured to protect you against loss. When you have a policy that is designed to protect your property and others, you do want to make sure that you understand any liability limits so that you are certain that there is not going to be any gaps in your coverage. It’s fairly common that an umbrella policy will need a supplemental addendum so that the limits are high enough so that you have full coverage even if your boat value is over half a million dollars.

The question then becomes if a boat owner whose boat is not of great value should have a policy. The thing to keep in mind is the fact that it’s not just you in the water but others and if an accident happens even when you are not at fault, it could cost a good chunk of money to fight any legal battles. When a policy only covers liability it’s not very expensive.

For all these reasons a boat owner should, at the least, get quotes on different types of policies so that they can make the right decision for their situation.