Boat Insurance 101: Everything you need to know about insuring your boat

boat on a lake

Whether you’re cruising the many lakes of North Carolina or heading out into the Atlantic from one of our famous South Carolina beaches, you want to have a great time – not worry about if you’re properly covered with boat insurance. That’s why we put together this easy guide, to help you understand exactly what you need to protect yourself and others on the water.

What is boat insurance? 

Boat insurance covers you, your passengers and other boaters in the case that you’re in an accident with your boat. Boat insurance also covers structural damage to things like docks.

Do I have to have boat insurance?

Not all states require boaters to have boat insurance, but it’s always wise to protect a large investment like a boat with the proper insurance. South Carolina does not require boaters to carry insurance, but North Carolina does.

Also, just like a car, you can damage property or injure passengers with your boat, and those are costs you don’t want to pay out of pocket. As we all know, medical bills from a boating accident can reach into the $100,000’s quickly. It just makes good financial sense to protect your boat, your passengers, and your financial future with boating insurance.

What does boat insurance cover? 

Boat insurance comes in different levels of protection, including:

  • Boating liability coverage – Liability coverage is the more affordable level of coverage. In case of an accident where you are at fault, liability covers paying for damage to the other boat and medical bills for passengers on either boat. It does not cover damage to your boat.
  • Collision coverage – This covers damage to your boat in an accident, including repairs or replacement.
  • Property damage liability – This type of boater’s insurance covers damage to someone else’s property caused by you. This can include damage to docks and other property.
  • Bodily injury – Bodily injury insurance covers injury to someone else that you may cause. In addition to medical bills, this type of coverage protects you by paying for lost income and legal fees if you end up in court.
  • Comprehensive boat insurance – Comprehensive coverage covers damages to your boat that happen in other circumstances than an accident, such as vandalism, theft or storm damage.
  • Uninsured/underinsured boater – If you get into an accident with someone who doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to take care of repairs, replacement, and medical bills, uninsured/underinsured boater insurance pays in their stead.
  • Personal property – Expensive fishing gear or other items on your boat? Personal property insurance covers you in case of loss theft or damage.

How much does boat insurance cost? 

Though the cost of boat insurance can vary, it generally ranges from $500 to $2,000 per year. Things that will be taken into consideration as to how much your boaters insurance will cost include the size and value of your boat, its age, your boating record, and how often you take your boat out on the water.

Does boat insurance cover hurricane damage? 

It can, but you have to check your policy. Not all boat insurance policies cover storm damage. Call your insurance agent to make sure.

Got questions about boat insurance? 

Edwards Insurance Agency helps boaters in North Carolina and South Carolina get out on the water with proper coverage and confidence. Give us a call today.