“Do I Need Boat Insurance?” 7 Reasons You Should Have Insurance Before Hitting the Water

When you buy a new boat, your first thought probably isn’t about boat insurance. It’s probably about how you are going to modify the boat to be even better. Maybe you’ll add a custom sound system, or a dry bar to entertain others with.

Or, your first thought might be about where you are going to go fishing as soon as possible.

But before getting into all those fun details, you actually do need to think about how you’ll insure your boat. After all, you just dropped a wad of cash to acquire the boat.

Do I need boat insurance, you may ask? Of course, you do.

Boats are one of the most commonly damaged assets, as storms on the water and poor boating skills can lead to accidents that aren’t cheap to fix.

If you’d like to protect your boat, and your finances, so you can enjoy it for many years to come, then keep reading to learn why you should invest in the necessary boat insurance right away.

1. Boat Insurance May Be Required

IF you really don’t want insurance on your boat, you’re in luck. Most states don’t require you to have it.

There are two states, Utah and Alabama, that do require that all boats are insured. However, you only need to have liability insurance in these states. Liability will cover the cost of damage that you and your boat cause to other boats, structures, or people.

If your boat has an engine under 50 horsepower, then you don’t have to insure it.

The liability insurance by itself won’t protect the cost of your boat experiencing damage, however. You’ll need additional coverage in order to extend your protection to pay for your own damages.

Additionally, some of the places you plant keep your boat, such as a marina, may require you to have insurance as well.

2. Protect Yourself From Liability

Liability is one of the scariest things you’ll face as a boat owner. If you cause damage to someone else’s property,y such as their boat or their dock, they could take legal action against you.

Rather than losing your life savings and your home, your boat insurance policy can cover the damages on your behalf.

3. Boats Aren’t Cheap

The average cost of a new boat is around $25,000. That’s a lot of money.

If you are dropping that kind of cash, it makes sense to drop a little bit more on an affordable insurance policy, just like you would protect a $25,000 car.

4. New Drivers are Accident Prone

If you are getting a boat for the first time in your life, then you have a lot to learn. While the basics of operating a boat are quite simple, there are plenty of nuances that can make driving a boat tricky for newcomers.

They often struggle when it comes to parking and navigating tight spaces in marinas when surrounded by other boats. They are also less experienced at locating sandbars and large rocks, which can lead to damage. But the biggest factor is the water and the weather, which are both out of your control.

If you are a new driver, consider taking a boater safety course. And definitely get insured, too.

5. Protect Your Gear

Some boat insurance policies will also protect the gear you have onboard. If you are serious about deep-sea fishing or fly fishing then you’ve probably invested quite a bit of money in your rods and reels.

Unfortunately, theft from boats isn’t uncommon. It’s possible that goods from your boat can be stolen while docked at a marina, or while on your trailer at a gas station.

Having a simple insurance policy in place could make sense depending on what you store onboard.

6. Your Homeowners Policy May Not Cover It

In some instances, your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover your boat. However, these protections are quite limited.

Your policy may only cover your boat if it’s small enough. Also, it’s usually only covered from damages received on your property and not when you are out on the water.

For maximum coverage, you’ll want a designated boat insurance policy, especially if you own a large or even normal-sized boat.

7. Get Bundled Rates

Another reason to consider getting boat insurance is that you might be able to couple it with existing policies, making it easy to manage and pay for.

A company like Apollo Cover Insurance offers boat insurance, along with other common forms of insurance such as homeowners and renters insurance, which everyone needs.

One of the benefits of having multiple insurance policies is that having them under one roof may qualify you for bundled rates, saving you money on your boat insurance cost.

Check with your current insurance provider to see if you can bundle a new boaters insurance policy with your existing coverages.

What Kind of Boat Insurance Do I Need?

The most important form of boat insurance is liability protection. This is the coverage that covers damages to others, caused by you.

So if you crash your boat into someone else’s, your liability protection will pay for the damage to the other boat, so that the owner doesn’t sue you. Likewise, if operating your boat results in injury to someone else, your liability policy will cover it.

Along with that, you’ll want uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. It’s also wise to get comprehensive collision insurance. This is the policy that will protect your boat, should it sustain any damage from accidents, or events outside of your control like storm damage.

This policy should be based on the value of your boat, so that in the event of a total loss, it can be replaced, without having to pay anything except your deductible.

Do I Need Boat Insurance?

So do I need boat insurance? Hopefully, you’ve learned that you should have boat insurance, even if it’s not required in your state.

A lot can go wrong when you are on the water, and a lot can go wrong when storing or transporting your boat, too.

Protect the toy that you’ve been wanting your entire life by investing in an affordable insurance policy. You’ll sleep better at night if you do.

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