So, you’ve recently bought a boat and you’re wondering whether you need to insure it. Alternatively, you might be considering buying a boat and want to know some of the finer details about the ownership process. Here are some quick facts about owning a boat and the various reasons you might need the vessel insured.
Do I Need Boat Insurance?
The short answer to that question is “it depends several factors.” The long answer is much more complicated. For instance, some states require that your boat be covered outright, which you need to know before you buy a boat.
These state requirements tend to apply only to certain types of boats. Often, these are boats with more than 50 horsepower. This is not dissimilar than compulsory liability coverage on motor vehicles.
In other cases, if you have a loan out on the boat, your bank might require you hold insurance for the boat. Most banks won’t allow you to take the boat loan out until you show them proof of insurance that will cover the whole cost of the boat in the event of a loss.
Another case that could require you have insurance for your boat could be if you dock it with a marina. Many marinas need to see proof of insurance and ownership on a boat before they allow you to dock it with them. This ensures that all marina members are covered in the event of an accident or a loss of their boats.
Should I Get it Even if it’s Not Required?
Let’s say, hypothetically, you buy your boat with cash and don’t live in a state that requires boat insurance. Then, you choose to dock it at your own private dock on property that you own. In this scenario, you’re not required to have insurance on the boat.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you should actually forgo getting insurance. Boats aren’t cheap, and it doesn’t take much for a vandal to just pop a hole in the hull and sink your boat. Why keep yourself open to theft, vandalism or harsh weather capsizing or destroying your boat? Just get insurance to cover the cost in the event of an accident! You’ll be glad you did.