Boating in Massachusetts is a lot of fun, as the state has many great waters to explore. The inlets near Gloucester, MA and sheltered areas of Bourne, MA offer many places to take a boat on the ocean, and there are also a number of freshwater lakes spanning the state. Safely enjoying all of the state’s waters, however, requires some precautions. Along with carrying all required safety equipment and making wise decisions, boaters should also consider carrying boat insurance.
Boat insurance helps boaters financially recover from unexpected incidents and unavoidable mishaps. It’s a lot like auto insurance that’s been written for a watercraft rather than an automobile. Policies contain several coverages that offer coverage from many of the potential risks that boaters face.
Most residents who own a boat should at least consider purchasing watercraft insurance.
Boaters who have large or expensive boats usually want to insure their vessels, as big boats can cost a lot to replace. Insurance may even be required for boaters who have leased or financed their boats.
As is true with auto insurance policies, watercraft insurance policies contain different combinations of coverages. In fact, since Massachusetts doesn’t have minimum requirements for watercraft insurance, there isn’t even a uniform set of basic coverages that all policies contain.
There are, however, some coverages that many insurers offer within their watercraft policies:
What coverages a boater ought to select depends on their particular situation. The type, size, and value of their boat, their personal financial situation, and where they go boating can all impact which coverages a boater wants, as may many other considerations.
Boaters who have small, inexpensive boats might also want a policy in order to get liability coverage. In some cases, owners of small boats might already have liability coverage from their homeowners insurance policy or an umbrella insurance policy. Not all homeowners and umbrella policies include boating accidents among their covered incidents, though. Boaters who don’t have liability coverage through one of these policies, but still want it, usually have to procure the coverage via a watercraft policy.
Some boat policies include coverage for collisions with rocks and other obstacles, such as logs or submerged debris. When offered, this protection is usually included in a policy’s comprehensive coverage.
While policies that let boat owners take their watercraft almost anywhere are available, many boat policies restrict where they’ll provide coverage. These restrictions are sometimes referred to as “navigational limits.” Depending on its terms and conditions, a boat policy might only provide coverage for a boat while the boat’s within:
(The last limit is usually only relevant when boats are taken out on the ocean).
Boaters who want help finding boat insurance should contact an independent insurance agent. An agent will be able to help assess a boater’s particular insurance needs, and an independent agent can request quotes for policies that meet those needs from different insurers in Massachusetts. With several suitable quotes to choose from, boaters will be able to pick a policy that’s good for them.