If you are planning to purchase a boat soon or if you already own a boat, take time to understand the legal requirements for boat insurance in your area. In some areas, legal coverage requirements vary based on the type of boat that you have. This may include its size, engine configuration and other factors. Some boat lenders also require their customers to buy certain types and amounts of coverage. In addition to the legal and lender requirements for boat coverage, it also makes sense to buy this type of insurance to protect yourself against financial losses that you may face related to your boat.

You are typically legally required to take financial responsibility of damages that you cause to other people while operating or using your boat, such as by paying to repair their property or taking care of their medical expenses if you cause an accident. Liability coverage is a common legal requirement for boat insurance because it provides you with the financial means to pay for at least some of these types of expenses. You should be aware that liability boat coverage offers no benefits related to your own vessel’s replacement or repair costs. Other types of coverage can be purchased so that you are covered against losses related to damage to your own boat or theft of the boat. You may need to purchase additional insurance to enjoy replacement benefits related to the personal items on the boat, such as a sound system, ski equipment and more. Towing or trailering coverage also may be beneficial to some boat owners. Some boat owners also purchase personal injury coverage to pay for medical expenses related to injuries to themselves or to their passengers.

The cost of boat coverage is generally determined by the replacement value of the boat, the coverage types and limits that you purchase, where you live, how the boat is stored and other factors. There are discounts available from some boat coverage providers that may help you to save money on your insurance premium. Adjusting your boat coverage deductible can also impact the premium cost.