Saturday, April 27, 2024

Do You Need Boat Insurance In Massachusetts

Who In Massachusetts Should Have Watercraft Insurance

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

Most boat owners in Massachusetts should strongly consider purchasing watercraft coverage.

For boat owners who have large or expensive boats, getting coverage is frequently an obvious decision. Replacing an expensive boat would be a costly proposition, and insurance generally helps make sure boat owners dont have to pay the full cost if their vessel is destroyed in a covered incident. Additionally, boat owners who have loans on their vessel are frequently required by their loans terms to carry coverage.

For boat owners who have small and inexpensive boats, such as one-person sailboats and old outboards, watercraft insurance may be a less obvious choice. In these situations, coverage for the boat itself may not be necessary if the boat is cheap enough to replace without making a substantial financial outlay.

Even when using these types of vessels, however, theres still risk of an on-water accident that results in major injury or death. This generally creates a liability risk for the boat owner, and an insurance policy might help reduce any potential liability.

Accidents Happen On Small Sailboats

The first fact that must be established in answering this question is simply that small sailboats are not immune from accidents. Even if youve been sailing all your life and are on a fairly protected body of water, things can happen quickly. A lightning storm could swiftly set in, you could have an emergency medical issue that prevents you from sailing the boat, or another boater could run into you. These are just a few scenarios of what could happen.

Admittedly, some of these are unlikely — but unlikely risks are what insurance is for.

Do I Need Boat Insurance When Its In Storage

Keeping your boat insured is a good idea, especially with comprehensive coverage. Your boat insurance will still cover theft, hail damage, and other hazards while its stored. Plus, you won’t have to worry about reactivating your policy once you’re ready to get back out on the water. However, some insurers will allow you to drop some coverages if youd prefer. For example, Progressive lets you adjust certain coverages while you’re not using your boat.

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What Is Boat Insurance

Going out on a boat is fun, but being on the water comes with a certain level of risk. There are thousands of boating accidents annually, and some result in significant damage, injury or loss. Massachusetts residents who own boats generally are aware of and accept the risks, and most know what safety precautions should be taken while on the water. Not all boaters, however, purchase boat insurance.

Without boat insurance, boaters can be dangerously exposed to potential financial costs if theyre in an accident on the water. A policy wont prevent an accident from occurring, but it can help boaters recover from costs related to a covered accident theyre involved in.

How Does Boat Insurance Work

Recreational Vehicles

Boat insurance works the same way as car insurance does. If you damage your boat or cause injuries or damages to someone else, you file a claim with your insurer asking them to pay for the damages. If the incident is covered, your insurer pays for the losses or injuries up to your coverage limits.

Important note: One of the biggest myths about boat insurance is that you dont need it because you’re adequately covered under your home insurance policy. While your home’s policy may provide some protection for a smaller boat while it’s on your property, it won’t offer the coverage you need on the water especially if you’re operating a powerboat.

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How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost

According to the Insurance Information Institute, some homeowner insurance policies cover damage on small boats or watercraft with less than 25 mph horsepower.

Be careful, though, because coverage tends to be low sometimes only $1,000 or 10% of your homes value. Larger watercraft need to carry their own policies.

For example, Progressive starts their boat insurance at $100 a year depending on the value of the watercraft and additional coverage you need. They also offer discounts including:

  • Safe boater: You have no violations or accidents recorded for the last three years.
  • Pay in full: If you pay the entire year upfront.
  • Original owner: If you have been the only owner on your boat.
  • Homeowner policy: If you own a home, townhome, or condo .
  • Multiple boats: You have more than one watercraft or boat to insure.
  • Safety course: Completed a state-approved boating course.
  • Multiple policyholders: If you insure a car, home, or anything else, you could receive a discount for bundling.

Some insurers place limitations and restrictions on the type of boats they will cover. Be sure to double check before moving forward with any policy or boat purchase.

What Coverages Does Watercraft Insurance Provide

The similarities and differences between watercraft and auto policies are perhaps most evident in the coverages that the two types of policies provide.

On the one hand, both watercraft and auto policies usually make the following coverages available as standard or optional protections:

  • Medical Payments Coverage, which frequently covers injuries sustained by people on or in the insured vessel or vehicle
  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage, which frequently covers injuries sustained by people outside the insured vessel
  • Comprehensive and Collision Coverage, which frequently covers damage sustained by the insured vessel
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage, which frequently covers damage caused to other peoples property

On the other hand, watercraft insurance policies sometimes include the following coverages that typically arent found in auto policies:

  • Coverage for fishing tackle and other sports gear kept on a vessel
  • Coverage for safety items kept on a vessel
  • Coverage for on-water towing by another vessel
  • Coverage for recovering a vessel that has sunk

In both cases, watercraft and auto policies exact coverages often vary from these particular lists. The coverages mentioned are only intended to be possible examples.

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What May Affect The Cost Of Insurance For My Boat

  • Amount of Coverage: The amount of coverage you buy will affect the price you pay.
  • Deductible Amount: This is the amount of loss that the covered person is required to pay before the insurance company will pay any losses. The higher the deductible, the lower the price for the insured. An insured should keep in mind, however, that deductibles apply separately to each loss that may occur throughout the year.
  • Age and Condition of Boat: New or remodeled boats may have certain safety features to reduce risk while older boats may be subject to more damage in case of an accidental event.
  • History of Accidents: If you have a history of boating accidents, this may be used as a factor in setting your rates, based on the likelihood of your having future accidents.
  • Navigation Area and Length of Navigation Period: Where you operate your boat and the length of time you use the boat in any particular year can affect your premium.
  • Discounts: Most insurance companies offer a variety of discounts, including some of the following based upon projected reduced risks for certain features:
  • Multi-policy discounts for covering boat insurance and other insurance with the same carrier
  • Safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, burglar alarms and ship-to-shore radios and
  • Taking safety courses offered by the Coast Guard, American Red Cross, U.S. Power Squadron or National Association of State Boating Law Administrators .

Facts About Boat Trailers

Do I need Boat Insurance?
  • A boat trailer should be approximately 2 feet longer than the boat you haul with it.
  • Boats weigh significantly more when fully fueled you also need to consider the weight of anything else you carry on the boat.
  • You may need a tandem-axle trailer if your boat is too heavy for a single-axle trailer.
  • Boat trailers either come painted or galvanized. Painted trailers are susceptible to corrosion from saltwater and should only be used for boats in freshwater lakes or rivers.

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Can Boat Owners Drop Coverage During The Winter Months

Dropping watercraft coverage altogether during the winter months isnt necessarily wise, for it creates at least two potential risks.First, dropping coverage often leaves boat owners without protection if their boat is damaged or destroyed while its in storage. If a tree falls on the boat or something else happens, the repair or replacement costs likely have to be made out of pocket.

Second, dropping coverage may create a coverage gap that could increase future watercraft insurance rates. Insurers sometimes look at coverage history when setting policies premiums, and having a gap in coverage might result in higher premiums.

Boat owners who would like to lower their watercraft policy premiums during winter should speak with an insurance agent who specializes in this type of insurance. An informed agent will know how to adjust coverages so that premiums are lowered but all necessary protections are kept in place.

Best For Emergency Services Coverage: State Farm

State Farm

  • No. of Policy Types: 1
  • Coverage Limit: Varies

State Farm is a well-known insurance provider that offers additional coverages including emergency services reimbursement.

  • Coverage for houseboats and jet-skis

  • No online quotes for boat insurance

  • Website needs more detailed information

  • Need to contact agent for policy details

In business since 1922, State Farm is one of the best-known names in insurance in the United States. They offer boat liability and property damage insurance for common risks like storms, collision, theft, and more, with add-on coverage options available . Their property damage coverage extends protection not only to equipment permanently attached to your boat but also to accessories such as detachable canopies, life preservers, and seat cushions. State Farm has resources available for boat owners including articles on boat trailer safety tips, boat safety, and water safety. Boat insurance is available for a multitude of watercraft: runabout/sport boats, cruisers/yachts, sailboats, bass boats, jet skis, houseboats, and kayak/canoes.

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Insurance For Your Boat Dock

Also, your personal boat dock may need additional insurance instead of just covered by your home insurance. Under many homeowners insurances, your dock will not be covered as a result of freezing, the weight of water/ice, pressure, and thawing, and these are just some of the common problems. So, you should inquire your insurance company as to any alternatives to cover your boat dock.

Competitive Rates For Boat Insurance In Massachusetts Exceptional Service And Advice You Can Trust To Keep You Your Passengers And Your Crew Safe During All Your Adventures At Sea Give Us A Call At 501

Get Financed

Boating is a fun and relaxing way to spend your free time. Enjoy your time at sea, knowing youre protected by complete boat and yacht insurance, customized to your needs. Whether you captain a sailboat, motorboat, cruiser, pontoon boat or yacht, McSweeney & Ricci can help protect you from the risks involved in owning and operating your vessel.

Boat Insurance protects your watercraft from physical damage and loss caused by common risks such as sinking, fire, collision, capsizing, storms, and theft. A boat insurance policy typically covers the boat hull, motor, equipment such as anchors, oars, and dinghies and can also extend to the trailer if necessary.

Boat insurance can also provide liability protection against lawsuits and medical payments, if your boat causes injury to another person or causes damage to another boat, a dock or other structure. Many marinas require boaters to carry liability protection at a minimum. Your McSweeney & Ricci Account Manager can discuss optional coverages such as uninsured or underinsured watercraft coverage, coverage for wreck removal, or emergency service.

Ready to request a complimentary quote for boat insurance? Fill out the form on this page or contact one of our local offices in Braintree or Marshfield.

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Best For Safe Boat Drivers: Progressive


Progressive offers a variety of comprehensive boat insurance policies and offers discounts for safe boat drivers.

  • Need to contact for pricing

  • New boaters may be overwhelmed with choices

  • Dont insure houseboats

Progressive Insurance is well-known throughout the United States and has an excellent reputation for providing comprehensive coverage at competitive prices. Progressive has been writing boat policies for over 35 years and now insures more than one million watercraft. You can buy a boat policy for several types of personal watercraft vessels up to 50 feet long and up to $500,000 in value.

There are several attractive discounts to reward safe boat owners, including a decreasing deductible, in which your policy deductible will decrease for each policy period you remain accident-free, and a safety course discount for anyone who completes a state-approved safety course. New policyholders will enjoy small accident forgiveness for claims of $500 or less, while customers who have insured their watercraft through Progressive for at least four years and been accident-free for the past three years are awarded large accident forgiveness that ensures no increase in rates for any accident.

Do I Need Boat Or Jet Ski Insurance And Other Faqs

The weathers finally heating up after a long and drawn-out winter and most everybody is in the mood to celebrate that fact. If you have a boat, chances are that means youre getting her out of storage and hitting the lake, the bay, or even the ocean. That makes this spring the perfect time to discuss boating, jet ski, and other watercraft insurance.

The most common question we hear from boaters is: Do I need boat or jet ski insurance? While you dont legally need it, you DEFINITELY SHOULD have boat insurance. Were not just saying that because Unruh Insurance is an insurance agency, but because Unruh Insurance is owned by two boaters, Kent and Curt Unruh, both of whom have comprehensive boat insurance.

Kent Unruh keeps his boat at Raystown Lake, while Curt Unruh prefers taking his boat out on the Indian River every spring and summer. This makes Unruh Insurance double-qualified to answer all of your boat insurance questions.

Find out why you need boat or jet ski insurance as well as get the answers to your boat insurance FAQs.

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Do Boat Trailers Face Additional Risks

One of the greatest concerns of boaters is theft. Typically, you will haul your boat to the nearby waterway, get your boat into the water at the boat launch, and then park and leave your boat trailer unattended in a parking lot.

Trailer theft is unfortunately somewhat common, because it is not that difficult for someone to unhitch your trailer and haul it away. Also, if the area where you park your trailer is susceptible to severe weather, your trailer may be at risk of damage.

Q: What About Registration Renewal

Boat Insurance in MA – What determines the cost?

A: Boat, ATV and Snowmobile owners will receive a registration renewal notice at least one month prior to the expiration of their current registration. You have the following options to renew.

  • Return with enclosed envelope write your registration number or renewal number on check.
  • You may bring renewal to any one of our 5 registration offices. Keep in mind that during the boating season, lines can be long .
  • Renew online at

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Purchase Massachusetts Yacht And Boat Insurance With Confidence

Properly insuring a boat or yacht is essential to protecting your investment in the vessel, as well as your personal financial future. Yachting and boating can be thrilling, exhilarating, and unfortunately, dangerous. Yacht and boat accidents can be extremely costly, and it is vital that your policy protects you against even the most serious losses.

When purchasing Massachusetts yacht or boat insurance policies, it is important to consider the following factors:

Best For Additional Coverage Options: Foremost


  • No. of Policy Types: 3
  • Coverage Limit: Varies

Foremost offers various boat insurance packages with unique add-ons including trip interruption services.

  • Unique add ons like onboard pet coverage

  • Trailer coverage

  • Contact agent for specific coverage maximums

  • Website could give more details

Foremost is a part of the Farmers Insurance Group of companies. It is a specialty insurance company that has been in business since 1952, and it’s known for providing affordable coverage for boat insurance in all 50 U.S. states. Foremost offers some unique coverage options for an additional premium, including hurricane haul-out, enhanced towing services, fishing tournament fee reimbursement, additional pollution liability coverage, pet coverage and trip interruption service.

There are several discounts available through Foremost that are designed to save you money on your premium. This includes a lay-up discount, paid-in-full discount, boating safety course, protective device discount, multi-policy discount, multi-unit discount, loss-free renewal discount, prior insurance, insured age , and affinity and alliance discounts for boat operators who are a part of an approved affinity group or alliance organization. Coverage is also available for classic boats over 25 years old.

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Best Boat Insurance Providers Of 2021

Q: What Do I Do With The Registration Certificate Number And Decal

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A: The registration certificate is proof that the boat is registered. It also serves as proof of ownership if the boat is not titled or documented. The registration certificate should be available for inspection on board the motorboat whenever it is in operation.

The registration number is assigned when you register your boat for the first time. It should be painted or attached to each side of the forward half of the boat. It should read from left to right, be in block letters not less than three inches high, and contrast with the color of the boat’s hull. The number consists of the letters MS followed by no more than four numbers and two capital letters. A two-inch space or hyphen must separate the letters and the numbers. The registration number is issued to the boat owner and not the vessel. Therefore, it can be transferred to different boats for a given owner, but it cannot be transferred to a new owner.

The registration decal should be placed in line with and three inches to the stern of the registration number on the port side of the boat. The decal is issued with the initial registration and each registration renewal it indicates the month and year that the registration expires.

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