California is not called the Golden State without reason. With over 840 miles of coastline and around 290 days of sunshine, it is no wonder that boating is such a popular sport. In fact, California is the number one state for boating registrations. With that many boats, it is a given that accidents will happen. In 2018 the US Coast Guard reported 4,145 accidents and about $46 million in property damage due to accidents involving recreational boating. If you are one of the many boat owners in California, it is important that you not only carry insurance on your boat but are also confident your coverage is enough.
Isn’t My Boat Covered Under My Homeowners Insurance?
One of the greatest misconceptions about boat insurance is that both you and your boat will be covered under your homeowners' policy. Most homeowner policies only offer minimum coverage in most instances. It is not the type of coverage you need when you are on the water, especially if you own a powerboat as they are more costly and prone to accidents.
Why Do I Need Boating Insurance?
While you are not required by the state of California to carry boat insurance, if you are financing your boat, you will be required to carry a minimum of comprehensive and collision. Most marinas and harbors where you may plan to dock your boat will be required to show proof of liability. So if you do not purchase insurance for your boat, your investment is not protected. It is not just your boat that you could lose. If you cause an accident and are found negligent, your home, car, any savings, actually all of your financial assets can be at risk if the injured party chooses to file suit against you. An example would be if your boat is docked at the marina and catches on fire, the fire spreads to the boats on either side of you. Can you afford to reimburse each boat owner for their $60,000 boat or one worth three figures?
What Types of Coverage Is There For My Boat?
There are four basic forms of coverage. Much like auto insurance they include:
This coverage will repair or replace your boat. Make sure that the clean up of the wreckage is included in your collision insurance. It is also important to note that if your boat engine blows due to normal wear and tear you will not be covered, but if it is due to a collision or manufacturer’s defect, it is covered by your insurance.
- Property Damage:
Property damage liability will protect you from having to pay for repairs for any damage you do if you are on your boat. For example, if you damage the dock at the marina, you hit someone else’s boat or any other property.
- Bodily Injury:
When you are piloting your boat there is a possibility that one or more passengers could get injured, not just in your boat, but people in another boat. Bodily Injury Liability will cover any hospital bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering as well as legal expenses.
Comprehensive coverage is for incidents that are not as a result of a collision. This includes vandalism, damages, or if your boat is stolen. When it comes to the theft of the boat itself policies can vary on how much they cover. This is why it is a good idea to review the policy and make sure you know what is and is not included.
When It comes to insurance for your boat or any form of insurance, the expert team at Panorama Insurance is here to get you the best coverage at the most reasonable price. Enjoy the water is better when you know you are covered for any emergency.