Friday, May 10, 2024

Do You Need Boat Insurance In Washington State

What To Know About Motorhome Insurance In Washington State

Do I Need to Get my Boating License? …Probably

First things first just what is motorhome insurance, and how is it different than regular car insurance?

RVs are much bigger than cars, and theyre often far more complicated. Theyre not just a means of getting from place to place theyre also a second home. Because of that, motorhome insurance tends to be a bit more comprehensive than regular insurance. It covers:

  • Repairs or the replacement value for your motorhome if its damaged
  • Your personal belongings if theyre damaged, destroyed, or stolen
  • Any injuries that may happen to others while theyre in your RV
  • Living expenses if you cant live in your RV because of a claim

In Washington, youll need to meet the minimum coverage limits to be legal. These include:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 total bodily injury liability per incident
  • $10,000 property damage liability per incident

These are just the minimums you may want additional coverage, especially if you have a big motorhome. After all, bigger vehicles can cause bigger damage.

Thats part of the reason why insurers make you get a separate motorhome insurance policy instead of just putting your RV on your Washington auto insurance. RVs pose more of a risk on the road and therefore require more coverage in case something happens.

When I Did Consider Myself A Liveaboard I Found That Marine Insurance Companies Were Often Reluctant To Insure Me

In fact, there are many insurance providers that will not offer insurance if you claim your boat is your primary residence. There are a host of reasons why this is the case. From what Ive gathered from conversations with underwriters, the gist of it is that liveaboards can have a higher rate of calamity.

Liveaboards are odd-balls and they may own an old and decrepit vessel. They may also be the type of person who does their own electrical wiring That sort of thing could lead to a higher chance of a boat fire. I believe another risk is associated with the fact that liveaboards spend more time on their boat. This makes sense, as many of these poor bastards have nowhere else to go

The more you use your boat, the more likely it is that mishap may occur.

And now, for my own conjecture Liveaboards also tend to be alcoholics or at least heavy drinkers. And if youre going to be sipping straight rum while re-wiring a faulty electrical connection, then you have yourself a potent brew of potential liabilities. Insurance companies dont like liabilities.

Is It Mandatory To Have Insurance On A Boat

If youre wondering, Do you have to have insurance on a boat?, the simple answer is no. The majority of states do not require you to carry boat insurance. You may assume that you need it in cities surrounded by water. However, only a few states require proof of insurance.

The chart below lists each state and their boat insurance requirements.

Yes, just Arkansas, Hawaii, and Utah require you to have a boat insurance policy. But what about a license?

Also Check: Freedom Boat Club Owner

What Is Boat Insurance And Why Do You Need It

Warm sun. Cool breeze. If you have a boat, you get it: Theres nothing like being out on the water.

You cherish your boat, and the memories you make there are the reason your investment is worth every penny. Having the right insurance coverage for your boat can help you float on worry-free.

If youre ready to buy boat insurance, talk to a local professional like an Erie Insurance agent. He or she can talk you through your coverage options so you understand what fits your needs and budget.

For answers to common questions about boat insurance, keep reading.

Customizable Boat Insurance Policies


The insurance coverage you need depends on a number of factors. Before we write a boat insurance policy, weâll take the time to learn about you and your boating habits. Do you spend time on the open ocean or stick to a lake closer to home? Do you boat year round or spend time on the water only during spring and summer?

Weâll also keep your personal budget in mind. Through our network of insurance carriers, we offer a variety of limits and deductible options.

Coverage options we can discuss with you include

  • Physical damage coverage, similar to auto collision and comprehensive coverage, to help pay for damages to the insured watercraft
  • Medical payments coverage to help with medical treatment in the event of injuries related to a boating accident
  • Uninsured/underinsured watercraft coverage to help in the event of a boating accident involving a less responsible boat owner
  • Fuel spill liability and wreck cleanup coverage to protect you from fines and other personal liability in the event of a boating accident
  • Emergency assistance to help in the event that you get stranded on the water
  • Personal effects coverage for certain belongings and sporting equipment kept on your insured watercraft

Donât let a boating accident put a damper on your recreational activities. Get your free boat insurance quote from Kelley Insurance Agency now.

Also Check: How Much Does Freedom Boat Club Cost Per Month

Liability Protection And More

Along with coverage options related to property damage and theft, SkiSafe also offers these types of protection:

  • Towing and Roadside Assistance: Unfortunately, auto insurance wont protect your boat while youre towing it with your car, truck or SUV. SkiSafe provides coverage for your boat whether youre towing it on the water or on the road.
  • Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability: We can protect you against liability for bodily injury and property damage related to your boat ownership. SkiSafe also pays your legal defense expenses in the event such a need arises, and those expenses will not reduce the liability available under your policy.
  • Medical Payments: Boater safety is ultra important for SkiSafe, so our policies cover no-fault medical payments for injuries up to $25,000.

Does Broadform Cover Repairs To My Car

No, a broad form policy will not cover repairs to your car if the accident is your fault because comprehensive and collision coverages cannot be added to a Broad Form policy.

If you cause an accident, your insurance will cover the damage to the other vehicle as well as any injuries for which you are responsible. But it will not cover repairs to your vehicle because that would come under collision coverage which is not available on a BroadForm policy.

Of course, if the other driver is at fault, their insurance should cover the repairs to your car and any injuries you sustain.

We also recommend you add Uninsured Motorist Coverage to your broad form policy so that if they do not have insurance, your uninsured motorist will step up and cover your and your passengers injuries and any damage to your car, just as if the other driver did have insurance.

If you finance a car that requires physical damage, we can convert your policy to a regular policy or write a second policy to cover the new purchase.

Also Check: Freedom Boat Club Fees

No Car You Need Insurance On Your License

Insurance on your license is how you get car insurance coverage when you do not own a vehicle. In Washington State, you can get a broadform auto insurance policy that insures you while driving most any car or pickup. Because it covers you, the driver, while driving owned and non-owned vehicles, a Broad Form Named Operator policy is often simply called Drivers License Insurance.

Who Else May Require You To Carry Boat Insurance

How To Get Your Boating License in the USA in 3 MINUTES

If you intend to finance the purchase of a boat, your bank will require you to provide proof of insurance for the watercraft. Typically, the policy will need to cover the full value of the boat, and your bank may set minimum requirements for specific types of coverage. In addition, you will need to list the bank as a lienholder on the policy so that it will be included as a co-payee on any compensation in the event of a loss payment.

Most ports and marinas will require you to carry boat insurance in order to use their facilities.

For example, if you want to moor your boat at Port of Bellingham in Washington, you must carry a policy with at least $300,000 in general, legal and pollution liability with a policy term of no less than one year. As another example, the Hawaii Division of Boats and Ocean Recreation requires all vessels moored at its facilities to carry at least $500,000 in liability insurance.

Some marinas, such as the Hawaii Division of Boats and Ocean Recreation, may even require that the marina itself be listed as an “additional insured” or “additional interest” on the policy. You’ll normally need to provide proof of insurance before you can sign a contract for a slip or mooring.

Read Also: How Much Does Freedom Boat Club Cost Per Month

What Does Boat Insurance Include

When you purchase boat insurance, standard insurance will typically cover the following:

  • Bodily injury: If someone gets injured while on your boat, this will help cover legal and medical bills associated with the accident.
  • Property damage: This coverage will protect you if you are at fault in an accident that caused damage to another boat or property.
  • Collision: If youre in an accident, this will pay for the cost of repairing or replacing your boat. This coverage is usually optional however, a lender may require you to purchase it if youre leasing.
  • Comprehensive: This coverage will pay for repair costs if your boat gets damaged from something other than a collision this includes floods, storms, fire, theft, and vandalism.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorists: If an uninsured or underinsured motorist causes damage to you or your boat, this coverage will help protect you.
  • Medical payment coverage: If youre involved in an accident, this coverage will pay for the medical costs regardless of who is at fault. Some policies will even cover funeral expenses.
There are also additional options you can add to your coverage, such as:
Keep in mind your insurance should cover all operators.

Talk to your insurance provider and make sure you have all the appropriate options added to your plan for your specific situation and climate.

Which Boat Insurance Washington State

Although there is no law requiring washington boat owners carry insurance, if you moor your boat at a marina you may be required to show them proof of insurance.

Also, what boat insurance do I need? Liability insurance is the minimum standard required by most states, banks, and marinas. The boat insurance professionals at recommend buying at least $1,000,000 in liability insurance. The last type of boat insurance we will cover is collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.

People ask , do I legally need boat insurance? Alberta Boat insurance Info. We want to protect the things we love and when you love boating as much as Albertans, protecting your boat and its passengers with boat insurance is a must. While not legally required, it is recommended that if your boats value exceeds $5,000 you get it insured.

, does BoatUS towing cover multiple boats? NOTE: If you have more than one boat, consider purchasing an Unlimited Towing Membership from BoatUS The Association. For a few dollars more, youll get service for all boats owned, borrowed or chartered.

, do I have to license my boat in Washington? In washington, you must have a Washington title, current registration certificate, and current registration decals to operate or moor a vessel. Exceptions to registration and titling are: Vessels that are not propelled by a motor and sailboats under 16 feet in length without a motor.


Don’t Miss: How To Remove Mold And Mildew From Vinyl Boat Seats

Navigating On Washington Waters

Safe navigation is the responsibility of all boaters. Even though no vessel will have absolute right-of-way over other boats, here are three basic rules that every operator should know and follow:

  • Practice good seamanship.
  • Maintain a safe speed and distance.
  • Keep a sharp lookout.

Remember, its illegal to obstruct navigation by doing any of the following:

  • Anchoring in the traveled part of a river or channel so that other vessels are interfered with or prevented from passing through.
  • Operating any vessel in a way that it will interfere with the safe navigation of other vessels.
  • Mooring or attaching to a buoy , beacon, light, or any other navigational aid placed by authorities on public waters.
  • Moving, displacing, tampering with, damaging, or destroying any navigational aid.

How Does An Insurance Company Value My Boat

Boat Insurance 101: How It Works and Do You Need It ...

When it comes to replacing or repairing your boat, you may be wondering how much the insurance company will value the boat and how much money youll get if something happens to it. The value of a boat is less easily determined than the value of a car or a house, because the value of the hull is not the only factor insurance companies take into consideration. Equipment and customizations, personal property and the value of the engines can all affect the boats overall value.

If your policy covers the actual cash value of the boat, in the event of a total loss it will pay for the cost to replace the boat, minus depreciation at the time the loss occurred. If the boat can be repaired, it will pay for the total cost of the repair less a percentage of depreciation. On the other hand, you and the insurance company may be able to reach what is called an agreed amount value. In the event of a total loss, the policy will pay that amount.

Keep in mind that your policy may include exemptions for which the insurance company will refuse to pay. For example, a policy might not cover damages incurred because a vessel was poorly maintained. Additionally, a typical boat insurance policy wont cover you if you use your vessel for business purposes, such as commercial fishing or sightseeing tours. If you intend to use your boat for commercial purposes, youll need to purchase a commercial marine insurance policy, which can significantly differ from a policy covering personal use.

Read Also: How Much To Join Boat Club

Dont Transport Nuisance Species

Washington State law prohibits transport of any water-based, non-native plants and creatures on any boat, trailer, fishing gear, or bait well. If found, law enforcement may stop you and require you to clean your vessel or gear.

To learn more about these aquatic invasive species, how to spot them, and what to do if you find them, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlifes Web site.

What You Can Do

  • Remove all visible aquatic plants and animals from your boat, motor, trailer, and other equipment before leaving the access area.
  • Always drain live wells and transom wells before leaving the water.
  • Report sightings online at the Washington Invasive Species Council Web site.

Sign up for e-mail

How Much Are Boat Insurance Deductibles

Most boat insurance policies have deductibles of $250 for property damage, $500 for theft and $1,000 for medical payments, according to the Insurance Information Institute, although higher deductibles may be available. Most companies offer liability limits starting at $15,000 that can be increased up to $300,000. Umbrella liability policies may also be available, which provide additional protection for ones boat, home and car.

An insurance agent can help you navigate all of these questions, determine what kind of policy fits you best and get quotes from insurance companies so you can focus on the waves.

Written by Steven Wyble

AAA Washington Insurance Agency is here to help. If you are looking to review your car insurance or simply have questions, call 222-4678 for a free, no-obligation consultation. You also can find an agent near you, or request a quote online.

Read Also: Cleaning Mold On Boat Seats

Consequences Of Operating A Boat Under The Influence

Alcohol use was the leading cause of fatal boat accidents in 2019, according to data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Like drinking and driving, operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in every state. Also, federal law prohibits boating under the influence , which the U.S. Coast Guard enforces. This law prohibits all boaters from operating vessels while under the influence, even foreign boats in U.S. waters.

Penalties for drunk boating vary by state and jurisdiction of the waters but can include:

  • Large fines
  • Suspension or revocation of boat operator privileges
  • Suspension or revocation of drivers license
  • Jail time

In addition to facing state and federal penalties, you may get severe consequences from your insurance company. For starters, if you get into an accident as a result of operating a boat under the influence, your insurance company might only pay out a liability claim against you. It might not cover damage to your own boat. Your insurer could also decide to cancel your boat insurance coverage after a drunk boating accident.

If youre convicted of BUI with no accident, your insurer could still drastically raise your boat insurance rates or, worse, cancel coverage. While you might be able to find other boat insurance coverage after a cancellation, youll likely have to pay significantly more for a new boat insurance policy.

Signs You Need Motorhome Insurance In Washington

NJ Boat Exam Drive-Thru process supplies and paperwork required for NJ Boating Safety Certificate.

Youre probably excited to hit the road to explore the Cascades or Palouse Falls. But before you do, sorting out your car insurance situation is definitely a must. Otherwise, you could be in big trouble.

Lets take a look at what Washington motorhome insurance entails and the signs that you may need to sign up for coverage ASAP.

Don’t Miss: Freedom Boat Club Charleston Cost

Popular Articles
Related news