Although boat insurance is not required in any state, it’s a smart idea to protect your investment against storms, accidents, passenger injuries, rough seas, hypothermia, etc. The next question is how much insurance and what type of insurance you need or would like to have. As with car insurance, full coverage boat insurance covers almost everything, including theft, fire, accidents, and natural disasters. If you have the financial ability to absorb unexpected costs or if you simply want to keep your insurance costs low, liability boat insurance will cover costs of damages to other people or property, NOT your own damages. (Full coverage may be required if you are still financing your boat, just like with cars.)
Consider the following:
- The value of your boat
- The risks you take while boating
- The location where you do most of your boating
- How much insurance you can afford
- How much cost you can cover should you need repairs
- And keep in mind the possibility that you could be sued if others suffer as a result of a boating accident.
Also you may want to consider towing insurance along with your general boat insurance policy. Having towing insurance provides you discounted or free towing if your boat becomes stranded offshore. Be careful because some policies will only cover towing charges in cases of emergency, not if you simply run out of gas or have a dead battery. Make sure you read this section of your boat insurance policy closely.
Lastly, you should find out if your marina, port, or harbor requires you to have boat insurance. Some marinas, especially within residential developments, will mandate a minimum amount of insurance for its members/residents.