There is nothing like a day of fun on the water. Whether you are fishing, waterskiing, or just hanging out, boating is a great way to relax. Another way to relax is to make sure you have the right insurance policy for your vessel.
Just like a car, boats have a lot of exposure to risks and you are responsible for any damage or injuries you cause, whether or not you have the insurance to cover it. You also want your boat to be covered in case of collision, running aground, hitting an underwater object, storm damage, theft, or vandalism. Let us help you get covered.
Do I have to insure my boat?
Even if boat insurance is not required, it is still a good idea, and you may want to go beyond any state or local mandatory minimum requirement. Just like a car, boats have a lot of exposure to risks and you are responsible for any damage or injuries you cause, whether or not you have the insurance to cover it. You also want your boat to be covered in case of collision, running aground, hitting an underwater object, storm damage, theft, or vandalism.
Interesting Facts on Boat Insurance
Know the limits of your boat insurance policy. Some policies only cover you if you are close to home – a fact you don’t want to find out after an accident occurs. You may also not be covered while towing your boat unless your policy specifically covers tow vehicles. You may also want to keep your boat insured year-round, even if you only use it at certain times of the year.
Types of Coverage
Insurance coverage options vary based on the size and type of your watercraft. These options include:
Limited liability protection – This protects you in case you cause injuries or damage to another person or their property.
Physical damage coverage – This protects your boat if it is involved in a collision or hits an underwater object.
Replacement coverage – This can be either full replacement coverage or actual cash value coverage.
Prevention is key
Insurance will help you if something goes wrong, but it’s better to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Here are some tips:
- Boating training courses are a great way to learn about boating safety, and might also qualify you for a discount on your insurance premium.
- Make sure everyone has a personal flotation device that is correctly sized and activity-appropriate. Never drive your boat while intoxicated. 50% of all boating fatalities are alcohol related. Even if you are just a passenger, be careful with your alcohol consumption. The speed and heat can magnify the effects of the alcohol, making you more vulnerable to injuries than you may realize.
- Know the limits of your boat and don’t overload it or do more than it can safely handle.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy – some boats are required to have them.
- Be attentive to your environment. Know the weather forecast. Watch for other people around you. Be aware of potential underwater hazards and proximity to shore.
- Be aware of your passengers’ health issues. Pay attention to signs of heat stroke, dehydration, motion sickness, hypothermia, and take care of any problems as soon as possible.
- Let someone know when you are leaving, who will be on board, and the time you plan to return.
- Keep your boat in good condition. Wash it regularly, check all parts of the boat for signs of wear and tear, take care of the motors and batteries, and make sure your boat is properly stored.