Do you own a boat already, or are you planning to take the dive and buy one? Are you wondering if the law requires you to have boat insurance? Why would you need it, and what exactly does it cover?
Reasons for insurance range from protecting your investment to protecting yourself, the passengers and the surrounding environment.
Once your policy is in place, you can sail into the horizon with your mind at ease. You can know you have coverage.
Protect Your Investment
Boat insurance will likely cover your purchase from theft, fire, accidents, vandalism and breakdowns. It can work while your boat is in the water, in dock or on the trailer. You can add extra coverage if you plan to transport your boat across state lines or sail far offshore.
With boat insurance, your vessel has protection from bow to stern, port to starboard. The following items are typically covered in boat insurance:
- Lifesaving equipment
- Built-in equipment
- Optional coverage may include: Fish finders, GPS, ski, scuba and snorkeling equipment, radars, trailers, personal effects, and jet skis.
Additional emergency assistance packages can offer coverage should your vessel become disabled while on the water. Some of these items include:
- Delivery of oil or gas
- Optional on-water assistance
- Loaned battery
If you cause an injury to another boater, passenger, swimmer or another boat while using your own watercraft, you could be liable for their bodily injury and medical expenses. You may also be open to a lawsuit initiated by the injured party. Even if the insurance companies or courts find you are not liable, the attorney fees can mount quickly. Boat insurance generally covers these costs.
Protect Your Passengers
Coverage will likely extend to any individual that has permission to use your watercraft. It will also protect passengers participating in water sports. If you or your passengers become injured while using the vessel, lost wages and medical expenses can build quickly. This is even more so if the other party doesn't have insurance. You can protect yourself and passengers against these expenses with uninsured/underinsured vessel liability.
Protect the Environment
If your vessel sustains major damage, leaks fuel and oil into the water, or if it sinks, the boat owner generally has the responsibility to pay for removal and cleanup. This is an expensive and time-consuming process. However, with boat insurance that covers fuel spill liability and wreckage removal, you will have coverage.