From canoeing treks to cabin-cruiser excursions, boating remains a staggeringly popular activity in the U.S. The Coast Guard notes that 11.8 million recreational water vessels were registered in 2018. Because of the vast range of boating activities on tap, potential watercraft owners need to consider this: What does the general boat insurance cover?
A Sea of Scenarios
According to www.marinersins.com, boat insurance is complex. A number of unique situations can impact your coverage and require consideration as you choose a policy:
- Your boat carries passengers or expensive equipment.
- You encounter uninsured boaters or natural disasters.
- You discover to wear and tear or corrosion.
- You face an accident, or you cause an accident.
- You berth in marinas, or you dry-dock on land.
International travel may be a possible adjunct to the above list. Mexico, a popular fishing and tourist destination, merits a special rider. General U.S. boating insurance does not cover liability within Mexico’s 12 nautical coastline miles or internal waterways.
One of the above points requires significant clarification: Accidents are often the serious consequence of irresponsible water activities. The Coast Guard’s Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety counted 4,145 recreational-boating accidents in 2018. Where deaths occurred and the primary cause was known, alcohol was the leading factor. Boaters should familiarize themselves with all regulations and safety procedures before hitting the water, and they MUST behave responsibly.
General boat insurance can cover a variety of circumstances on the water. Discuss your watercraft and its usage with your agent to determine the right plan for you.