5 Reasons to Have Insurance For Your Boat

According to Bankrate, 75 million people reported participating in recreational boating activities in 2010. While some of those people might have rented a boat, many of them used a boat they owned, and probably love.

If you own a boat, no matter how small, it’s important to understand how insurance can help you protect the value of the vessel and insulate you from the potential liabilities you face while operating it. Let’s discover five reasons it’s a good idea for you to have insurance for your boat.

1. Your state or lender might require it.
When you buy a small paddleboat, kayak or canoe, you can probably avoid insurance requirements. But when you get a powerboat or large sailboat, your state may require you to have some liability coverage. Likewise, the marina you dock your boat in might need proof of your ongoing insurance coverage. And if you used a lender to buy your boat, they’ll have some insurance requirements as well.

2. Home and auto insurance don’t cover everything.
Home insurance provides limited coverage for some small boats. Auto insurance has limited coverage for vessels that are out of the water and being towed. But boat coverage on these policies is ancillary. It has a limited payout and very limited covered incidents. If you want high-dollar limits, full catastrophe, and collision coverage, then you’ll want a boat insurance policy.

3. Catastrophes happen, even to boats.
When faced with a natural disaster–snowstorm, hurricane, tornado or wildfire–we often think about how to protect our homes, but what about our boats? Not only are boats exposed to the very same catastrophes our homes are, but they can also be exposed to added risks such as exhaust leaks, collisions with other boats, tidal and rip current exposure, collision with rocks and more.

4. You could be liable for damages suffered by others.
Even if you don’t care about being reimbursed for personal losses due to damage or theft of your boat, you still need protection against potential liability expenses should you, while on your boat, accidentally cause damage to another person or their property.

5. Not all boat owners are insured. 
This one might seem odd–after all, what does your boat insurance have to do with other boat owners being insured? A lot, as it turns out. If you are in an accident caused by an uninsured boater, there may be no way for you to recover damages unless you have uninsured boater coverage.

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