What is Boat Insurance and Why Do You Need It?

When you think of insurance, you probably think of the most common insurance policies: life, health, home and auto. But if you’re a boat owner, there is another insurance policy that needs to be at the top of your list – boat insurance.

Unlike automobile insurance, boat insurance is not required in every state. Having such a policy for your boat, however, protects your financial security should an accident occur.

“Boat owners should at least carry liability insurance, which covers them for any damage they may cause to someone’s property or if they cause an injury to someone else,” says Dave Freeman, vice president of Personal Lines Underwriting at Erie Insurance. “If you want protection for your own boat – including permanently attached equipment, any boating equipment and accessories, outboard motors and boat trailers – you need to carry physical damage coverage.”

The comprehensive physical damage coverage Freeman mentions protects you in the event your boat sustains direct physical loss of or damage to your boat, equipment, motor and/or trailer. Another more basic coverage is Named Perils coverage that protects you should an accident occur due to fire, lightning, cyclone, tornado, windstorm, theft, vandalism or malicious mischief, collision while waterborne, collision, overturn and derailment on land or the loss of the entire motor overboard.

Another coverage every boat owner should consider is the uninsured boater’s protection policy that covers insured boaters if they are ever involved in an accident with an uninsured boater.

While most claims would be covered under these coverages, boat owners looking for more protection may also consider a medical payments coverage that covers injuries sustained on a boat. You might also consider emergency services coverage in case emergency service to the boat is required. You also have the option to insure your boating equipment and even the personal effects you bring on your boat, such as clothing, fishing equipment, canopies, tools, radios and cameras.

Finally, sailboat owners may be interested in a spars and sails racing extension, which covers damage to the sails, spars and rigging during a pre-arranged racing competition.

ERIE’s boat insurance policy protects boaters anywhere in the continental United States, Washington D.C. and Canada as well as the waters that stretch along the coastline. To learn more about this policy and specific coverage available, contact a local Erie Insurance Agent in your community.

It’s time to have some fun now that the logistics are out of the way. Check out the next post to learn about some of best boating locations on the Great Lakes.

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