If you have ever driven a car, you might know that you usually have to carry certain types of car insurance, required by law. However, that doesn’t necessarily apply to other motor vehicles, namely boats. Boat insurance, while necessary, is often not mandatory for all boaters. Nevertheless, don’t think you can just set sail without protection. In some cases, insurance requirements for boaters will exist. Here’s why.
The Importance of Boat Insurance
Boat insurance helps protect a boater’s personal or financial security in case they experience an unexpected problem with the vessel. Policies might pay for damage to the boat, possessions lost in sinkings, and the injuries that you and others sustain.
Simply put, if you have boat insurance, you’ll do yourself a big favor. The policy can pay for a variety of your boat’s losses and accident costs. It will protect you, your passengers and other people. You won’t have to suffer unfairly due to events that were beyond your control.
All the same, boaters often don’t have a requirement to get boat insurance, except in certain scenarios. Depending where and how you plan to use your boat, you might have to get covered.
States usually don’t require boaters to carry any type of boat insurance. However, some do for certain boats in certain cases. Check with your state’s boater registration authorities to determine if you have an insurance requirement.
Common insurance requirements exist if you operate boats over a certain horsepower, or if you plan to use your boat on state-run waterways. The most-common requirement is for liability insurance. It covers the insured boater’s duty to others in case the policyholder has to pay for third-party damage costs.
You might finance your boat when you buy it. For this reason, the lender will have an insurable interest in the vessel. They might require you to carry physical damage protection, which can cover your boat if it gets damaged or is a total loss following accident. This coverage can help the lender still receive reimbursement despite the loss.
If you plan to store your boat in a marina, you might have to purchase liability insurance before the marina will approve your application. The reason for this requirement is likely because, by docking in a marina, you will bring your vessel around other boaters and other boats. Therefore, the risk that you could harm someone else might increase.
To determine your boat insurance requirements, contact the various parties who might take responsibility for your vessel. As long as you get the right protection, you’ll have a better chance of financial recovery in case of accidents.