It’s a nice, sunny day, a perfect day to take your boat out of winter dry dock and have a little fun. The cooler’s packed, the water skis are clean, and you are ready to hit the water. Because the boat only comes to mind right before you want to use it, you may not have thought about boat insurance. Given the potential for accidents to and from the lake, as well as liabilities you could face even in a watercraft equivalent of a fender bender, you should think about it.
Many people think their boat is covered by homeowners insurance. In very limited cases it is true; however it is not for the vast majority of boat owners. Much like you need certain insurance for your car, you should also have at least liability coverage for your boat. Because even though you think of yourself as a master boater, accident can happen.
Basic boat insurance includes: Liability, which covers costs related to bodily injury and property damage suffered by others in a boating accident you cause; Boat coverage, which is a lot like comp and collision for your car in that it covers repairs to your boat after it is damaged in a collision or damaged in several types of non-collision-related incidents like a fire; and Medical coverage which can help with costs related to injuries you may suffer in a boat crash.
Because most states do not require boat insurance, you may want to purchase Uninsured coverage to help if your boat is damaged by an uninsured boater.
Don’t be made a land lubber because your boat was damaged and you have to wait to fix it up. Even worse, don’t take the money you wanted to put into fixing your boat up because you have to pay for damages to someone else’s boat — and its passengers. Talk to your insurance professional and see what liabilities you may have and what you can do to protect yourself.