The Importance of Insurance for Boats

Boat insurance is not required by law in New Hampshire or Vermont, but it’s still a good idea to get it.

Like other forms of insurance, boat insurance mitigates risk, protecting your investment and shielding your assets from costly liability claims. Boating without insurance in the hopes that following safety procedures will be enough is just as irresponsible as driving a car without auto insurance. Boating accidents are a serious risk — every year there are thousands of accidents across the country. In 2019 alone, boating accidents led to 2,559 injuries and 613 deaths.

Another important thing to keep in mind: even though state law does not mandate it, your marina may, or your bank will if you took a loan out on the boat.

Liability insurance: As with cars, at the very least you should secure liability insurance. The recommended minimum is $1 million in coverage. The amount of coverage will vary, going up if you have a boat that is fast and powerful, which could lead to more damage if something goes wrong.

Liability insurance also includes damage not caused by accidents, such as fuel spills, towing, medical bills, and the cost of any rescue efforts.

Some other types of boat insurance to consider getting in addition to liability:

Hull insurance: This coverage addresses both damage done to others and to your boat. If the boat cannot be repaired, hull insurance will replace it according to the agreed-upon value of the boat.

All-risk insurance: This deals with scenarios that don’t involve accidents, such as issues caused by ice, freezing, pollution, reefs, and mechanical problems.

Yachts: Boats 27 feet or longer are classified as yachts. You will need a different kind of insurance policy for them.

Several factors will go into calculating the cost of the typical boat insurance policy. According to The Balance these include: age, value, and condition; whether its motor is inboard or outboard; whether the boat is for fishing cruises or other purposes; and whether it’s taken out on rivers, bays, lakes, or the ocean. Other factors include: speed, power, and whether you’re keeping the boat in a hurricane-prone area.

In general, boat insurance will cost about 1.5 percent of the market value of your boat. For the typical boat owner, that will come out to about $300 to $500 a year.

If you need boat insurance, we can help today. You can reach us at any one of our three locations for more information.

Sources: Boat-ed, BoatUS, The Balance, and Statista.