Millions of people across America enjoy recreational boating in rivers, lakes, and the oceans. Yet, according to the U.S. Coast Guard statistics for 2015, there were 4,158 recreational boating accidents that led to 626 deaths, 2,613 injuries, and around $42 million in property damage. According to the National Association of Rescue Divers, most accidents occur at the end of the day when day-long drinking and changing weather conditions at dawn impair the judgment of boaters. Capsizing is the number one cause of death in boating accidents. Boating is a fun activity, but these numbers demonstrate the importance of having boat insurance.
If you own a boat, then you should have insurance coverage in the event of loss or damage to your boat. This insurance covers most types of boats including fishing boats, yachts, cabin cruisers, sailboats, and power boats. Small watercrafts such as canoes and kayaks are generally not covered by this insurance, but they may receive limited coverage under your homeowner’s policy.
Premiums for this type of insurance vary based on the type of boat you own. If you have a fishing boat, make sure the insurance is appropriate for a fishing boat and not another type of boat like a yacht. You can get premium discounts for adding safety features to your boat, taking boating classes, and for extending the lay-up period when you don’t plan on using your boat. Also, check to see if your policy has a navigational warranty so that you’re not using your boat in an area that isn’t covered by your policy.
There are different types of coverage for your boat. These include:
• Collision covers boat repairs or replacement.
• Property damage liability covers damage you cause to other boats, property, or buildings.
• Bodily injury liability covers medical and legal expenses when you cause an injury to someone else while you were using your boat.
• Comprehensive covers you if your boat is stolen or damaged in an incident that didn’t involve a collision.
Other insurance options provide coverage for medical bills, roadside assistance, damage to fishing equipment, and damage caused by other boaters who are underinsured or uninsured.