Do You Need Boat Insurance?


It’s that time of the year again! That means blue skies, sunshine, and trips to the lake. Every year, there are certain precautions we take to avoid mishaps and enjoy ourselves, such as applying sunscreen and bug repellent. Another precaution you should have in place for a comfortable summer, should you be on the water, is boat insurance.

You’re not the kind of person to make a mistake on the water, so why do you need boat insurance? There are actually many reasons to insure your boat, and not every potential mishap or problem will occur as a result of your own decisions. Even if you’re a fantastic sailor, a sudden change in the weather or encounters with less experienced boaters can spell trouble for you. Both water and life, in general, are unpredictable, so it’s better to be prepared. Our team at Portside Marine Insurance has your back. Here are just some of the many reasons to get your boat insured. 

You Might Need to be Towed Ashore

Emergency tows happen. Sometimes it’s because a boat has lost fuel or run aground, but more often than not it’s because an unexpected mechanical breakdown has left the sailor and their vessel stranded on the water. Boat tows should be handled by experienced professionals rather than friends or neighbors, as it can be dangerous and/or cause damage to the boat if it isn’t performed properly. A sufficient insurance policy will cover emergency tows from professional companies and, if repairs are required, will provide necessary new parts without a betterment fee. Portside Plus Coverage offers compensation for emergency towing fees to get you off the water to safety. 

Your Personal Property Could Get Damaged or Stolen

Boats are convenient because you have space to bring your personal effects onboard. This can be anything, from scuba and fishing gear to clothes, laptops, and phones. In the event of a collision, these items could be damaged. Furthermore, anything left on the boat while it is docked is at risk of being stolen. More comprehensive plans will offer coverage on your valuables. Portside Marine Insurance, for instance, has available increased coverage on personal items. With our Portside Plus Coverage, fishing, surfing, and skiing gear, and equipment are all insured.  

You May End Up with Property Damage to Your Boat

Accidents happen both on the water and off. Whether you’re in a collision with another boat or you suffer property damage to your boat while driving, you don’t want to be paying out of pocket for repairs. The right marine insurance plan should cover your boat if it’s damaged while you’re trailering it. Some, including ours, will also cover the cost of a rental boat. Any vandalism should also be covered with your plan, just to be safe.

You May Inflict Property Damage

Sometimes in a collision, you’re the one at fault. Accidents happen and we all make mistakes. If you hit another boat and you don’t have insurance, however, you may end up paying dearly for said mistake and subsequent repairs, which will suck a lot of fun out of the summer. Your insurance can minimize financial stress and provide coverage in the event of an at-fault collision, however, so you can get on with your life and not put a damper on your summer plans. Property damage liability coverage also covers you if you hit a dock, which is good news as occasional bumps and scrapes are anything but uncommon. 

You Want Storage Privileges in a Marina

You aren’t required by law to have boating insurance when you take your boat out on the water. However, a marina will require you to have liability coverage if you want to store your boat with them. There are many reasons people choose to store their boat at a marina. For instance, it’s possible that you don’t have the room to store your boat at home, don’t have a truck large enough to transport it, or don’t want to pay the expenses of towing it back and forth from the water. Storing your boat in the marina will slow the depreciation of your boat as well, as it minimizes the wear and tear that comes from bringing your boat onto the road. It’s also a huge time saver. To take advantage of a marina, however, you will need insurance. 

You Want to Ensure Your Boat is Still Seaworthy.

Your boat ages and wears over time. The average small vessel has a lifespan of 10 to 20 years, which is a wide gap. It depreciates at a different rate depending on the type of boat and the type of material used to build it. In 10 years, for example, an aluminum fishing boat will only be worth 40 percent of what it was when you bought it, whereas a fiberglass fishing boat will be worth 47 percent. Depreciation also depends on how well your boat has been maintained over the years. Portside Marine Insurance offers coverage against depreciation for 15 years. 

Your Boat Could be Damaged Over the Winter

That’s right – even when you aren’t using it, it could get damaged. How? In the winter, raccoons and other vermin tend to live in boats to keep warm. Another example of wintertime damage is if the storage shed collapses, causing damage to the boat. Alternatively, there’s the possible potential of storm damage. Without an insurance plan that covers these situations, you will be paying out of pocket for the repairs to your boat. If you are docking your boat at a marina over the winter and damage is done to it, you will have to prove that the marina was negligent in order for them to cover the loss. It’s easier and less stressful to have a 12-month insurance policy to protect your boat rather than having to go through them. 

Boating is a beloved summer activity, but without the proper protection, you can get badly burned. An accident without sufficient coverage can leave you with a stack of bills that ruins your fun in the sun and experience as a boat owner. Contact Portside Marine Insurance today for an optimal boat insurance policy, and to protect your future waterborne adventures..