What is boat insurance?

Get the right boat insurance for your watercraft.

If you’re ready to live a sea- (or lake-) faring dream, you might be interested in boat insurance. Buying a boat can be a huge investment that’s largely rewarding all around. However, owning a boat requires a lot of upkeep, an up-to-date knowledge of your local boating laws, and the ability to protect yourself and your vessel if worst comes to worst. So, here’s a guide to getting the best boating insurance to stay safe off the shore.

Is boat insurance required in Georgia?

While there are various regulations regarding age of operation, boat identification, and registration, Georgia does not require boat insurance to own a vessel. However, being out on the water can be more dangerous than you think. There are tons of risks that a boat owner may face and that may cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars to resolve without the proper boat insurance.

What are the risks of driving a boat?

Although boating may be a very low-stress activity, there are tons of high-risk situations that you can be exposed to. While some of these instances may be preventable, you’re mostly subject to Mother Nature on the water. And nature is nowhere near predictable. So, it’s important to consider the type of protection you’ll need in the aftermath of a particularly harmful event before it happens.

Boat safety is a must.

What type of insurance do I need for a boat?

If you have a small boat such as a canoe or another unmotorized craft, the personal property portion of your home insurance policy typically covers that. But as always, check your policy carefully to see what it says about boats.

If you’re setting sail fairly soon in something bigger, you’ll need boat insurance. This type of insurance works a little like your car insurance in the way that it can help you cover costs due to:

Liability & Medical Payments

Let’s say that you set sail with a few passengers after checking a weather report.  The forecast is set to be bright and sunny until that evening. However, halfway through the day and your leisurely cruise, there’s an accident. If you have the right boat insurance, your carrier could help you pay for the medical expenses. Basically, the liability portion could help you cover legal obligations if there’s an accident.

Physical damage

Your boat is an expensive investment. So, paying out repairs or replacing your boat entirely after an accident isn’t the ideal situation. Fortunately, boat insurance also usually includes physical damage coverage.

This part of your insurance may not just help you cover your boat itself. It can also help you cover your boat’s equipment and other tools if they’re damaged in an accident or stolen.

Additional Boat Insurance Coverages

Liability and property damage coverages are, of course, only the baseline types of coverage for a worst-case scenario. There are still other specific situations in which your vessel may need to be covered. So, talk to your agent about adding these types of boating-specific coverage:

  • Reasonable repairs: You may be able to add coverage to help you with the costs of repairing the equipment on your ship before it becomes a bigger, more hazardous problem.
  • Emergency service: If someone has provide emergency services for you out on the water, you might want to have emergency service coverage for your boat to help you handle the bill. Think of it like the roadside assistance coverage you can get for your car.
  • Wreck Removal: It’s not fun to think about, but if your boat is wrecked, normal boat coverage may not cover the costs it will take to clean up the boat. That’s why it’s important to talk to your agent about adding wreck removal coverage.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to properly insure your belongings if you don’t know where to start. Hopefully, this guide can give you the building blocks to consider and properly cover the risks of owning and operating a boat.

Once you’ve made the decision to buy a boat, protecting yourself from these risks can be smooth sailing with our insurance experts. Whether you have a broad idea of the risks you need to insure or if you need help every step of the way, our specialists are here to help you get the unique boat insurance you need for the best price. Call us today, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an agent now to start saving money on your boat insurance.