Do I Need Boat Insurance?

Make sure your personal property and legal liability requirements are adequately secured in the event of a boating mishap, whether you are a current boat owner or are just thinking about buying your boat or watercraft.

Although anyone wants to consider that they might be involved in a boating or other watercraft accident, hundreds do occur in the United States each year. Although maintaining boating safety helps reduce accident rates, the improbable is always a possibility.

In 2020, there were 5,265 accidents involving recreational, which led to 767 fatalities, 3,191 injuries, and around $62.5 million in property damage.

Do I Need Boat Insurance?
Do I Need Boat Insurance?

What States Require Boat Insurance?

Although the majority of states do not mandate its insurance, there are other factors to take into account. The bank or credit union holding the loan is likely to require insurance if you take out a loan to buy a boat. Additionally, insurance is probably necessary if you keep the yacht at a marina or another site that is not your own.

Arkansas and Utah are the states that require boat insurance. All boats in Arkansas that have engines that produce more than 50 horsepower must have liability insurance that is at least $50,000. 2 Boats with engines greater than 50 horsepower must additionally have insurance according to Utah law. The minimal insurance requirements are, however, $25,000/$50,000 for physical injury/death, $15,000 for property damage, or $65,000 combined per accident.

What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

The specific coverages depend on the insurance policy’s specifics. An all-risk policy covers everything that isn’t specifically mentioned in a policy. 4 Normal wear and tear, product flaws, or ice are examples of typical exceptions.

The majority of the coverages are comparable to those found in an auto insurance policy. For instance, liability insurance offers protection if you are accountable for harm to property other than the boat. Injuries caused in an accident involving your boat are covered by medical insurance.

Types of Boat Insurance

Since there are numerous different boat kinds, there are also other boat insurance policies that may be purchased. To comprehend your demands, it’s crucial to become familiar with each one.

Hull Insurance

This covers damage to your boat as well as any harm your boat may cause to someone else’s property. This covers the price of boat maintenance. Hull insurance will cover the agreed-upon worth of the boat in the event of a total loss.

Third-Party Liability

This protects any harm your boat does to other people’s property. Additionally, it protects against any accidental damage, including liability for gasoline spills, towing, medical costs, and any required rescue efforts. You could be required by your marina to have third-party marine liability insurance.

All-Risk Policies

These contracts often cover any risk that isn’t expressly covered by the boat insurance policy, including mechanical failure, freezing, pollution liability, reef damage liability, and pollution liability. Medical insurance is frequently offered as an add-on to the policy.

Do I Need Boat Insurance?
Do I Need Boat Insurance?

Actual Cash Value or Agreed Value

This explains how the boat’s worth is calculated. Actual cash value, which accounts for depreciation and may yield a lesser premium, is the value at the time of the claim. Regardless of depreciation, agreed value insurance will guarantee the amount you can get for your boat in the event of a total loss, albeit in some circumstances partial losses may be depreciated.


Based on length, boats are divided into two groups. Yachts are defined as ships longer than 27 feet, which necessitates a unique policy that is typically more expensive.

Boat Club

This protects all club members against liability and property harm when operating a watercraft.

Professional Angler, Fishing Guide, or Charter

These coverage options are available for covering fishing-related travel and gear tournaments.

Cost Factors

The price of boat insurance is determined by several variables. Larger, faster boats will typically cost more to insure than smaller, slower vessels. Other elements consist of:

  • The age of the boat
  • The value of the boat
  • The condition of the boat
  • If you live on the boat
  • Whether the boat has an inboard or outboard motor
  • How the boat is used (fishing, cruising, utility, etc.)
  • Where the boat is used (rivers, bays, lakes, ocean, etc.)

If you are eligible for any available discounts, you might be able to assist lower the price of your boat insurance. Many businesses will give you a discount if you are storing your boat under a covered structure, such as a shed, or if you have a boating license.

If you have the Coast Guard Auxiliary inspect your boat, you can also be eligible for a discount. You’ll receive the best deal on insurance coverage if you take advantage of all the available discounts.

Average Cost of Boat Insurance

Average boat insurance costs with Progressive Casualty Insurance Company ranged from about $245 to $652 annually between 2020 and 2021, depending on location.6 As with auto insurance, the more expensive the make and model of your boat, the higher your boat insurance premium will be. Newer models also will cost you more to insure. For those in hurricane-prone zones, your insurance coverage may cost you more.

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