Do I Need Boat Insurance for My Passengers?

While boat insurance may not be mandatory in your state, it is highly recommended that you purchase a policy. Most states do not require boaters to buy coverage for their vessels, but many marinas require some form of insurance if you want to use a pier or mooring. Additionally, if you are financing the purchase of a boat, your bank will likely require insurance. Even if these requirements do not apply to your situation, it is still a good idea to get boat insurance.

Hull insurance covers damage caused by fires, storms, theft, collisions and sinking to your boat's equipment and machinery. Boat liability coverage pays for injuries to other people, as well as for damage caused to other boats, docks and more. Hopefully, you will never have to file a boat insurance claim. However, if you are involved in a boating accident, there are certain steps you should take to ensure that your claim is not denied.

Notify your insurance company immediately; take all reasonable steps to protect the boat from further damage; wait to start permanent repairs; do not dispose of damaged parts until the insurance company inspects the damage; and consult your policy brochure to meet any other requirements established by your insurance company. Get a quick quote from boat insurance specialists. Liability insurance also covers your legal fees if you are sued for an issue covered by the policy, such as a boating accident. According to one comparative insurance resource, a good approximation for your annual premiums is 1.5% of the current market value of your boat.

Boat insurance policies can be customized to cover your boat, passengers, personal belongings and yourself. The amount of boat insurance you need depends on several factors such as the age, engine size and value of your boat, lender requirements, marina requirements, state requirements and intended use. Boat insurance policies offer liability coverage which can cover damages or injuries for which you are responsible while sailing up to the specified limits and the costs of the lawsuit if you are sued. As with any potentially hazardous activity, having an insurance policy can help offset the risks associated with operating a boat on the water.

Check with your lender (if you lease or finance your boat) or your marina (if you rent a pier) to see if there are any insurance policies required. However, it is possible to add boat liability coverage to your home insurance policy for an additional fee. Beyond any contract or binding legislation, your risk tolerance can be the determining factor in deciding whether or not you decide to insure your boat. Many insurance companies sell boat insurance such as Allstate, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, The Hartford and USAA.

Your insurance company may require you to have this type of coverage if your boat is older - for example when it is more than three years old. Depending on the type of boat and your personal profile, your insurance costs can be significantly higher. Boats may be covered by a homeowners policy but there are generally limitations on the size and value of the boats that can be transported with that policy. If your boat damages someone else's property such as another boat or injures someone during an accident then your liability insurance pays for the damage.

Jerri Ament
Jerri Ament

Typical web trailblazer. Infuriatingly humble coffee ninja. Avid beer trailblazer. Award-winning zombie maven. Hardcore social media evangelist.