Common Boat Insurance Questions From New Boat Owners

Posted on: 18 May 2018

Buying your first boat is a really exciting adventure. You can't wait to get out on the water and sail the days away. But before you head out on your first expedition, there is something you need to take care of: buying boat insurance. To learn a bit more, read on see some of the common questions new boat owners have about boat insurance.

Is boat insurance required?

The short answer is "yes." Almost every municipality requires that anyone who sails or boats on public water has their boat insured. This not only protect you, but it protect anyone else who you may accidentally injure with your boat. Every state has slightly different regulations as to what coverage you must have and the cost of damages your insurance must cover, so contact your local DMV to find out what the laws require in your area.

Where do you get boat insurance?

There are companies who specialize in boat insurance, but most people end up buying their policy from the same company who holds their homeowners or auto insurance policy. If you bundle multiple policies together, you will often get a discount. If the insurance company does not automatically offer you a discount, ask for one. They may oblige, especially if you are a long-time, loyal customer.

What does boat insurance cover?

Boat insurance is very similar to car insurance. The major type of coverage it offers -- and the type that is required -- is liability. This coverage will pay for damage you do to someone else's boat or property. It will also cover medical expenses should you injure someone else with your boat. You can choose to all collision and comprehensive coverage to your boat. Collision will cover any damage to your own boat in case of an accident, and comprehensive covers damage to your boat when it is docked. 

When is boat insurance effective?

Most boat insurance policies are only effective when the boat is on the water or docked. If the boat is in your yard, it will be covered under your homeowner's insurance. When it is being transported on land, such as on the back of your truck, then it is covered by your auto insurance policy. This is another reason why it's helpful to have all three types of coverage -- auto, boat, and home -- from the same provider. This way, if something happens, there won't be any argument as to who should pay.