Understanding Liability for Boat Insurance

marine insurance programs

If you have a boat, the state doesn’t require you to insure it the way they do for your car. At least, not if it’s a recreational boat for personal use. Still, with an investment as large as a boat, it’s a good idea to carry a policy. Without one, you are not only out of pocket for repairs caused by damage during an accident, but you also assume financial liability for injuries to others who use your boat and to bystanders who may be injured in an accident. That’s why it’s a necessity, even if the law doesn’t mandate participation in marine insurance programs.

Standard Liability vs. Umbrella Coverage

If you are wondering whether to buy standard liability coverage or a larger umbrella policy, you should consider whether you are the only operator of the boat. Standard liability only protects policyholders and named operators specified in the documentation. On the other hand, umbrella coverage is sometimes nicknamed cover my boat insurance because it covers the boat and its operator, even when that operator isn’t you, even when the boat doesn’t have you aboard.
Which should you get? It depends on how you use the boat. If you know you and a limit pool of family members will be the only ones taking it out, standard liability should be okay. If there’s any chance of it being regularly operated by others, though, you should have a talk with an experienced agent about your options.