Monday, July 8, 2024

Does California Require Boat Insurance

What Is Boat Insurance

The Boating Guy – Do I need boat insurance?

Boat insurance covers you in the event of a loss or damage to your boat. It covers most watercrafts with motors, including fishing boats, pontoon boats, paddle boats, leisure crafts and yachts. Boat insurance does not usually cover canoes, kayaks or personal watercrafts .

For small watercrafts, you may find some limited coverage under your homeowners policy. You may also be able to add a special endorsement or buy separate coverage. Contact an independent agent for assistance with all of your boat coverage.

Registering Through The Mail

If you want to register your boat via the US Postal Service, send the completed Application for Vessel Certificate of Number form, a copy of your proof of ownership, and the required fee to:

Department of Motor VehiclesP.O. Box 942869Sacramento, CA, 94269-0001

You should keep a copy of everything you send to the DMV along with proof that you mailed it.

Does California Issue Titles For Trailers


According to the DMV, to register your trailer, you will need: a completed application for title/registration, proof of ownership, bill of sale, smog certification , transfer fee, registration fee, tax and vehicle license fees.

Likewise, can I sell my trailer without title? How to register a trailer without a title. Go to the tag office with the ser. # off the trailer and find the previous owners name and address. Once you have that, make up a bill of sale and have the previous owner sign it over to youThen back down to tag office and have it transferred to your name and register it.

Furthermore, do all trailers need to be registered in California?

In California, all utility trailers must be registered with the Permanent Trailer Idenfitication program, which is operated by the California Department of Motor Vehicles . This is to ensure that all utility trailers used in the state are properly insured, titled and safe for use.

Do trailers need insurance in California?

We all know how important it is to keep our vehicles insuredin fact, except for New Hampshire, having auto liability coverage is required by state law. However, that car insurance coverage doesn’t always extend to trailers being towed behind your vehicle, so trailer insurance can be used to fill this gap.

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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.

Does Boat Insurance Cover Theft

Does California Require Boat Insurance?  Uniamericainc

Comprehensive boat insurance covers the theft of the boat itself. Personal possessions carried in the boat may or may not be covered, depending on the policy. Therefore, you should carefully review the comprehensive coverage of your policy to determine exactly what is and is not covered.;

If you plan to carry expensive fishing equipment or other items of value, you can purchase one or more additional riders, or policy endorsement, to cover those assets.

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New California Law Requires Boating Licenses Except For Renters

Right now, almost anyone in California can hop on a boat and drive away without any training or a license.

That will change this January when a new law goes into effect requiring boaters to pass a written test and get a California Boater Card. But the law leaves out a big groupboat renters, who often have the least boating experience.

Among the first group of people to be affected by the new law is 17-year-old Calvin Pedroli, who lives in La Jolla and likes to take his small motor boat out from the San Diego Yacht Club with his friends.

Lake Perris Boating Rules

Life jackets are the most important piece of safe boating and watersports equipment. According to the Division of Boating and Waterways, most boating deaths happen when people dont wear life jackets and drown. Todays life jackets are colorful, comfortable and easy to wear.

;The Division of Boating and Waterways recommends that boaters always wear a life jacket no matter how well you know how to swim or operate a boat. You never know when an accident might occur. Once in the water, it is very difficult to locate and put on a life jacket while trying to stay afloat.

;California law requires that every child under age 13 must wear a life jacket at all times while on a moving vessel of any length.

;For more information about boating and lifejacket safety please visit the Life jacket page.;

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What Kind Of Boat Insurance Do I Need

Like many other insurance policies, boat insurance can typically be separated into a few types: liability, uninsured motorist, and collision/comprehensive coverages.

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 recommended amount of liability coverage can be even higher if you have a fast, powerful boat that is both riskier and can cause more damage.

With uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, the standard minimum is $10,000. Ensure that you take into account any potential injuries and damages you may need to cover if you or one of your passengers is injured or your vessel is badly damaged.

The last type of boat insurance we will cover is collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. These types of coverages should be based specifically on the value of your boat. Check with your lender or your marina to see if there are insurance policies in place.

Do You Need A License To Drive A Boat In California

Do I need Boat Insurance?

Effective January 1, 2018, boat cards must be held by operators younger than of 20 years of age. While the new law currently applies to younger applicants, all California residents will eventually require a license. The following schedule reflects when each group will be legally required to hold a boater education card to operate a motorized vessel on state waterways.

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What Boat Insurance Policies Cover

How and where you boat determines the type of coverage you need. An “all risk” policy will offer the best protection. However, an all risk policy does not cover every type of loss. In insurance terms all risk just means that any risk not specifically omitted in the policy is covered. Typical exclusions include wear and tear, marring, denting, animal damage, manufacturers defects, design defects, ice and freezing.

You may also be able to add extra coverage. Available options may include: medical payments, personal effects, uninsured boaters liability, and towing and assistance. Most policies will cover permanently attached equipment, as well as items like anchors, oars, trolling motors, tools, seat cushions, and life jackets. Be sure to discuss these options with your agent.

Is Boat And Watercraft Insurance Required In California

Like most states, California does not legally require boat and watercraft owners to carry minimum insurance. However, many marinas require you to carry at least some insurance for you to store your boat with them or use their facilities. In addition, if you took out a loan to buy your boat, the financing company may require you to maintain a minimum level of insurance coverage until you pay off the loan.

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California Boater Card Requirements Timeline

2018: Age 20 or younger

2019: 25 or younger

2024: 60 or younger

2025: Everyone

This January, the law will require everyone under 20 who drives a boat with a motor to get a license. The law will gradually phase in until 2025, when everyone will need a license.

Pedroli has been driving boats since he was a kid, much longer than he has been able to drive, and feels confident on the water.

“It’s definitely different than driving a car because you have to think about drift, because when you turn the boat’s going to slide a lot,” he said. “Also you have to think about wind, because that’s going to move you, and current.”

California is one of just five statesbesides Alaska, Arizona, South Dakota and Wyomingthat currently does not require any license to boat, though some states only have requirements for people under 18, according to the American Boating Association.

Last year, California had more boating accidents than any other state besides Florida. That is likely in part because the state has the biggest coastline in the county and is among the top five states for number of registered boats, according to data from the U.S. Coast Guard.

According to the Coast Guard, 77 percent of deaths last year occurred on boats where the operator did not receive any boating safety instruction.

To get the California Boaters Card, applicants will have to take a safety course, either online or in person, and pass a written test.

And boating is more complicated than driving, he said.

Boat Insurance Costs And Discounts

Do You Have to Have Insurance on a Boat?

How much youll pay for boat insurance depends on the level of insurance coverage you want, as well as the size, horsepower, type and value of your boat.

You can choose your deductible, which is the amount deducted from your insurance check if you make a claim. A typical policy has deductibles of $250 for property damage, $500 for theft and $1,000 for medical payments, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Liability claims against you do not have a deductible.

Insurance companies offer a variety of ways to save money, including discounts for:

  • Having a diesel-powered boat.
  • Not having made a previous boat insurance claim.
  • Carrying other policies, such as car or homeowners, with the same insurer.
  • Taking safety courses.

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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.

Renewing And Replacing A California Boating License

Do boating licenses expire? No. Once issued, your license is valid for life. However, if you lose your card, you can replace it. Replacements may be ordered through the states online portal. Follow the below steps to complete the process.

  • Choose the option marked Replacement.
  • Enter your personal information, such as your name, age and address.
  • Pay the replacement fee.
  • Print the confirmation receipt, if applicable.
  • A temporary license will be emailed to you with three to five days of your application being received. Your new card will be mailed to you with 60 days. If you are paying by check, you must include the confirmation coversheet in the envelope and send all items to the below address.

    Department of Parks and RecreationDivision of Boating and Waterways  California Boater CardP.O. Box 942896Sacramento, CA 94296-0001

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    What Kind Of Vessels Require Registration

    It can be a bit confusing figuring out what the DMV defines as a vessel and which of these vessels need to be registered. According to the DMV website, “The term vessel applies to every description of water-craft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.” That seems straightforward, but which vessels need to be registered, and which ones are off the hook? As a general rule, the following vehicles need to be registered with the DMV:

    • Any sail boat that is over 8 feet long
    • Every motor-driven vessel that is 1) not documented by the U.S. Coast Guard, and primarily used in California waters.

    Here are some vessels that are not required to be registered.

    • Vessels propelled by rowing or paddling.
    • A Lifeboat.
    • Sailboats less than 8 feet in length.
    • Vessels brought to California for racing purposes.
    • Vessels registered out-of-state that are primarily used outside of California.

    If you have questions regarding the registration of your vessel, call your local DMV.

    Who Offers The Best Boat Insurance Rates

    Do I need boat insurance

    Many insurance companies offer competitive boat insurance rates. Shop around to make sure you are getting the information you need to make an informed decision. Sites like and provide reviews for many different insurance companies and are great places to begin your research. Speak with other boaters; find out what features are important to them and why. Do your homework by researching different companiesâ offerings and you will be prepared to make the best decision for your needs.

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    Types Of Boat Insurance

    There are two basic types of boat insuranceagreed value and actual cash value. How depreciation is handled is what sets them apart.

    An “agreed value” policy covers the boat based on its value when the policy was written. While it can cost more up front, there is no depreciation for a total loss of the boat .

    “Actual cash value” policies cost less up front, but factor in depreciation. In other word, the policy will only pay up to the actual cash value of the boat at the time it is declared a total or partial loss.;Eventually, as your boat ages, your insurer will likely insist on an actual cash value policyand if often gives a substantial savings.

    Who Else May Require You To Carry Boat Insurance

    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.

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    California Boating Rules And Regulations

    The states boating regulations must be adhered to at all times. Depending on the type of vessel you are operating, the safety equipment required may vary. There are six categories of vessels:

  • Human-powered vessels
  • Motorboats less than 16 feet in length
  • Motorboats less than 26 feet in length but longer than 16 feet
  • Motorboats less than 40 feet in length but longer than 26 feet
  • Motorboats less than 65 feet in length but more than 40 feet
  • Depending on the specific boat requirements, you may need to carry some or all of the following safety equipment:

    • Life Jackets
    • Muffling System
    • Ventilation System

    California boating laws state that minors under the age of 16 cannot operate a vessel if the motor is greater than 15 horsepower. There are exceptions to this rule. Sailboats less than 30 feet long or dinghies close to shore may be operated by those younger than 16 years old. In addition, CA boating rules state that minors between the ages or 12 and 15 years old may operate motorized boats if accompanied by a licensed adult over the age of 18.

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