Thursday, June 30, 2022

Do You Have To Have Boat Insurance In Alabama

What Is A Hull Identification Number

What type of boating insurance do I need in Alabama?

The Hull Identification Number is a 12 or 14 character serial number that uniquely identifies a boat. The HIN is analogous to a VIN on a car. All boats manufactured or imported on or after November 1, 1972, must bear a HIN, and this HIN must be identified during the boat registration process. Vessels manufactured or imported before 1972 are EXEMPT because they often do not have a HIN.

The HIN is found on a metal or plastic plate, typically on the transom of the boat, usually on the right starboard side of the transom within two inches of the top of transom, gunwale, or hull/deck joint, whichever is lowest. On vessels without transoms, or impractical to use transoms, the HIN is usually affixed to the starboard outboard side of hull, aft, within one foot of the stern and within two inches of the top of the hull side, gunwale or hull/deck joint, whichever;is lowest. On catamarans and pontoon boats with replaceable hulls, the HIN is usually affixed to the aft crossbeam, within one foot of the starboard hull attachment.

What Does Boat Insurance Typically Cover

Boat insurance coverage will depend on what type of boat you have, what insurance provider you use, and what coverage youre willing to pay for. General boat insurance typically covers physical damage to your boat, as long as none of the restrictions of the policy were violated, and liability coverage for damage to other property caused by you while operating your boat. You can add additional coverage types, such as medical payment for injuries you sustain while on the boat.;

Comparing Boat Insurance Providers

Owning a boat is a major expense and you should choose your boat insurance provider with care. Remember to research the company and check out its ratings and reviews. Some other things to keep in mind when comparing providers include:

  • Coverage options: What type of coverage is offered? Make sure you understand the different plans and if things like running aground or hitting the dock are covered.;
  • Pricing: Know how much youre paying for coverage and what that includes. Also, keep due dates in mind and if a downpayment is required.;
  • Discounts: What discounts does the provider offer? Some things to ask about are bundling discounts, safe boater discounts, age-based discounts, and discounts for experienced boatmen
  • Specializations: Know if the provider specializes in marine coverage and make sure the agents are knowledgeable because it is much different than auto insurance. Some companies specialize in recreational boating and others specialize in commercial boating and yachts.;
  • Coverage Exclusions: Research ahead of time what is not covered so you know before you choose a policy. Some providers wont insure boats that go above a certain amount of knots and others wont insure boats with aftermarket parts.;

Also Check: Does Capital One Offer Boat Loans

There Are Ways That You Can Save On Your Boat Insurance

It is possible to lower your boat insurance rates. Insurance companies like to reward you when you take safety precautions. Here are a few ways you can save:

  • Have approved fire extinguishers on-board.
  • Take a state-run, approved safety course through the Coast Guard or Red Cross.
  • Use diesel. This can help lower your risk and therefore your premium.

Best For Individualized Customer Service: United Marine Underwriters

Do You Have to Have Insurance on a Boat?

;United Marine Underwriters

  • No. of Policy Types: 4
  • Coverage Limit: $1 million;;

The provider offers personal attention to its customers, doesnt make them feel like a number, and each customer gets assigned a primary customer service agent.;

  • Discounts for boat safety courses

  • Knowledgeable agents

  • Cant buy other types of insurance from them

  • Contact for pricing and policy details

As it emphasizes on its website, United Marine Underwriters is a specialty insurance company that writes insurance for just boats. It has been in business since 1990 and provides boat insurance in all U.S. states except New Mexico. Boat insurance navigation is also available to Canada, the Bahamas, and Mexico. Liability limits are available up to $1,000,000, with discounts available for completing one of several boating safety courses approved by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Power Squadron and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, among others, according to its website.

One of the more unique things about United Marine Underwriters is its policy service. When you purchase a boat insurance policy through United Marine Underwriters, you are assigned a primary service person who takes care of all of your servicing needs. This company really cares about its customer service.

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Boat Insurance Requirements By State

Generally speaking, you won’t be required by your state to purchase boat insurance. In fact, only a handful of states require boaters to purchase insurance, and the requirement is often limited to boats with engines rated to have at least 50 horsepower. The table below lists the insurance requirements for each state.

State
No
ArkansasLiability insurance with at least $50,000 in coverage is required for all boats powered by engines of more than 50 horsepower.
California
No
HawaiiOnly for boats parked in Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation facilities. Liability insurance with at least $500,000 in coverage is required for all boats parked in DOBOR facilities, including harbors and offshore moorings. The insurance policy must name the State of Hawaii, DOBOR as the “additional insured” or “additional interest”. The policy should cover salvage costs for grounded or sunken vessels, damage to docks, pollution containment and wreck removals.

How To Obtain A Boating License In Alabama

Although a boating license is not required by boat drivers in Alabama, all operators of water vessels in the state must complete an approved education program. The boaters safety course programs that have been approved by the Department of Public Safety and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency teach drivers about the basics of safe water vessel operation in a variety weather conditions and circumstances. Students in the course also learn about Alabama regulations that govern state waterways.

How to get a boating license in Alabama depends on the drivers age. Drivers born after a certain date must enroll in a certified boating course but do not have to take the final course exam to gain permission to boat in Alabama. All motorized boats based in Alabama must be registered and titled with the Marine Patrol Office to be legally operated in the state. Most state-approved education programs carry a standard fee that must be paid before the driver will be allowed to take the final exam. Read on to learn more important details about operating boats in Alabama.

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Licensing And Boat Operating Requirements

While an exhaustive breakdown of the laws pertaining to boating with small vessels like Jon boats is beyond the scope of this article, we have pulled together key information and links that should help you determine if a license is required for a Jon boat in your State.

The owners age and level of boat safety education, as well as the power and length of the boat, may determine your need for a license.

Licensing requirements for boats are almost always unique to each State but some key themes are recurring and should be expected to exist in your States boating laws.

The following are boat operating requirements that exist across the USA and will be active in most US States:

  • Age. Many states will require a boating license depending on the year you were born with emphasis placed on those under 18 years of age.
  • Completion of boat safety education and training. States often will require evidence of a certain number of hours of training on the water or completion of a standardized boating safety course.
  • Boat power. Training for handling powerboats may also be mandated.
  • Boat length. Requirements will differ from State to State but it is common for larger Jon boats to be more subject to license requirements than smaller ones.

Boating Under The Influence

Should I get uninsured motorist coverage for my boat in Alabama?

No person shall drive or be in actual physical control of a vessel or manipulate any water skis, aquaplane, or any other marine transportation device while:

  • there is 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol in the blood.
  • under the influence of alcohol.
  • under the influence of a controlled substance.
  • under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance.
  • under the influence of any substance which impairs the mental or physical faculties of the person.

Refusal to submit to a field breath test or other approved testing shall result in the same punishment as provided for operators of motor vehicles on the state highways .

Read Also: Does Minnesota Require Boat Insurance

What To Do If Youre Injured

Practicing boating safety can significantly reduce your chances of being injured in a boating accident, but sometimes they are just that accidents.

If you have lost a loved one or been injured in a boating accident, please call the experienced attorneys at Siniard, Timberlake & League. We can help.

Age And Operator Restrictions

If you are under 12 years of age: You may not obtain your Alabama boater safety certification, and you may not operate a vessel under any circumstances.

If you are 12 or 13 years of age: You may obtain your Alabama boater safety certification. After obtaining the certification, you may operate a vessel legally only if supervised on board by a person who:

  • Is at least 21 years of age and
  • Carries a valid proof of his or her Alabama boater safety certification and
  • Is in position to take immediate physical control of the vessel.

If you are 14 years of age or older: You may operate a motorized vessel legally on Alabama waters for up to 45 days per calendar year without supervision. After 45 days, you must have a valid proof of boater safety certification.

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How Should I Store My Boat

Indoor storage is always best, but its also the most expensive boat storage option. It helps protect your watercraft against theft, vandalism and storms. Keeping everything in a temperature-controlled environment is better for the boat mechanics, as well.

Dry, racked storage is an option, but you may have limited access to your boat over winter.

If you store your boat outdoors, make sure to cover and shrink-wrap it.

Selecting A Boat Insurance Provider That Works For You

Do you have to have insurance on a boat

After youve researched providers, compared them, and found one youre comfortable with, its time to apply for a quote. This can usually be done online or over the phone with an agent. You will need to provide your identification, a vessel license, and the information of your boat including its make, model, year, and the date you purchased it. Be prepared to answer questions about the age and approximate hours on your boat, as well as what you will be using it for.;

After you get a quote and sign up for the policy, a payment may be required and this is usually done via credit card. Then you will have access to view and manage your policy online. Some companies also have apps where you can manage your policy on the go.

Also Check: What Does Boat Insurance Cost

Boat Insurance: Whats Required

While Alabama is one of the many states that doesnt require boat owners to have insurance, you may still be required to have it by the marina where you dock your boat, or even by the lender if took out a loan to purchase it.

Still, even if no one is requiring you to have insurance, youll want to have insurance in place.;

Dont believe me? According to the latest Executive Summary, in 2017, the Coast Guard counted 4,291 accidents that involved 658 deaths, 2,629 injuries and approximately $46 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.

These numbers are pretty startling and should prove just how critical it is to cover your bases when it comes to being out on the water.;

When To Contact A Lawyer After A Boating Accident

If a boat accident was minor and resulted in no injuries, you probably dont need a lawyer for your boat accident.

However, you should always contact an Alabama boating accident attorney if:

  • The accident resulted in an injury or death.
  • Its not clear who was at fault for the accident.
  • The boat operators insurance company denied your claim or is pushing the blame onto you.
  • The at-fault party was uninsured or underinsured.
  • The boat accident was the result of an equipment failure or faulty part.

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Alabama Boating License Fees

The cost of a boater safety card in Alabama depends on whether the driver is ordering a first-time permit or another type of card. Common boating costs for drivers vary somewhat locally but are based on the following schedule of fees:

  • Certification Application Fee : $5.00
  • Boater Safety Certification if done while receiving an automobile drivers license or permit: No Cost
  • Boater Safety Certification done at other times: $23.50
  • Duplicate Certification : $18.50
  • Duplicate for other reasons: Cost of Original
  • Certification reinstatement after revocation or suspension: $50.00

Top 10 Causes Of Boat Accidents

Do I Need Boat Insurance or is My Boat Covered on Home Insurance?

Boating accidents often involve several contributing factors, but the leading causes of both fatal and injury accidents are:

  • Alcohol use
  • Weather
  • Hazardous waters

While some boating accidents are unavoidable, many are the result of anothers carelessness, or negligence. For example, the data shows more than 70 percent of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had not taken proper safety courses, which are required in many states, including Alabama.

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How Do I Get A Hull Identification Number

  • Boat owners should use every effort to determine if a boat has an existing HIN or resolve problems with a HIN for use in the registration process.
  • A HIN is required for boats manufactured after November 1, 1972. If the HIN is unavailable and unknown, the boat owner must first contact the boat manufacturer to obtain a replacement HIN .
  • If the HIN is known but the plate is missing or the HIN not inscribed on the boat, the boat owner is responsible for permanently affixing the HIN to the boat.
  • If the HIN is an improper format, the applicant will be asked to electronically upload or send a picture or pencil tracing of the HIN to DNR for verification and further instruction.
  • If the manufacturer is out of business or will not assist the boat owner, a DNR HIN Inspection is necessary. DNR will assign a HIN number after the inspection process and the boat owner is responsible for permanently affixing the HIN to the boat. Information on arranging an inspection can be found at;.

What To Do If Youre Hurt In A Boating Accident

After a boat accident, you should:

  • Stop the boat and check for injuries. Call the Coast Guard or local authorities for help.
  • Move the vessel to a safe location, if possible.
  • Collect what evidence you can by taking photos of the accident scene, writing down the boats registration number, getting contact information from witnesses, and obtaining a copy of the official accident report.
  • Find out if the operator or owner of the vessel has boat insurance. If their negligence caused the accident and your injuries, a settlement may be your best source of compensation.
  • See a doctor as soon as possible after the boating accident. Many serious injuries are not immediately apparent but can be diagnosed in the hours, days, and weeks after the accident.
  • Contact a boating accident attorney. Your legal options may be different based on whether your case falls under state or federal jurisdiction.

Also Check: How To Register Your Boat With The Coast Guard

Boats That Can Be Covered By Insurance In Alabama

Insurance providers know that there are tons of different boats. This is why they have specified which types of boats they can cover with their policies. This applies to most, if not all, insurance providers in Alabama. The type of boats are:

  • Canoe
  • Charter Boat
  • Swamp Boats

Though these boats may be covered by insurance since they pose different risks, the type of coverage will vary depending on your type of boat.

Beyond Coverage: The Importance Of Boat Safety

Boating Season Begins: Do You Have the Right Boat ...

Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor to fatal boating accidents. People are out in the sun drinking and not being as attentive as they should be while operating a vessel.;

In order to keep yourself and your passengers safe, ALWAYS:

  • Make sure everyone on board is wearing a life jacket
  • Avoid alcohol if youll be operating the boat
  • Wear the kill switch around your wrist if youre operating the boat
  • Operate at a safe speed, especially in crowded areas
  • Be aware of not only whats going on in your boat but also of the other people and vessels around you. You have to know what theyre doing.

Hopefully, these safety tips and bits of insurance advice will allow you to enjoy your time on the water even more, giving you the peace of mind knowing youve taken the proper precautions to ensure youre not going to end up in a bad situation that could ruin your summer boating fun.;

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Home Insurance In Alabama And Florida

Home insurance is a vital part of owning your own home. After all, if things go wrong and you are the only one responsible for the repairs. One wrong turn can change your life if you are not adequately protected. Align Insurance Group offers home insurance to clients along the Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast. So, if you do not yet have a policy, or if you are unhappy with your current one, call us today.

If you have a mortgage on your home, you likely have a requirement to keep home insurance. If you do not have a mortgage, you may not legally need it but not having it puts you at considerable personal risk. Your policy may cover a range of situations depending on the type. If you live in a high foot traffic area, you may want to increase your protection from lawsuits. If you have a lot of family or guests in and out of your residence, you can purchase coverage to balance that risk as well. Have a pool, a specific breed of dog, or other unique situations? We can help with those too. Homeowner√Ęs insurance is designed to protect you and your assets, so be sure to get the coverage your lifestyle needs.

Remember that homeowner’s insurance does not cover flooding, so if you live in a risk zone or you just simply want the peace of mind, ask about additional flood coverage for your area.

Contact Align Insurance Group today for your Alabama or Florida Gulf Coast home insurance.

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