Illinois Boater Safety Courses
The Illinois safety course is an education program of at least eight hours of instruction on how to operate a boat or vessel. Moreover, the boating education courses cover state boating regulations, requirements, equipment, safety, navigation, emergency situations, as well as motorboat registration and title procedures. IL residents who are between 12 and 18 years of age must complete the minimum requirement of eight-hour instruction course and complete the final examination in order to get a State of Illinois Certificate of Competency.
Boating lessons may be taken at various civic organizations, at park districts, schools or at the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadrons. The instructor-led boating classes require applicants to attend eight hours of classroom education, which may be either taught in one day or spread over several days. At the end of the course, boaters will have to pass a final exam in order to pass the class successfully.
Furthermore, they may also take an online boaters safety course, which is available to individuals who want to study on their own and at their pace. After each chapter of the course, boaters will have to complete reviews. At the end of the online classes, they will also be required to pass a final exam. Boaters who pass the self-study course will get the boat certification in the mail.
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.
What Doesn’t Illinois Boat Insurance Cover
Similar to Illinois auto insurance and home insurance, boat insurance comes with exclusions.
According to Green, the most common events that will not be covered by boat insurance include:
- General wear and tear
- Damage from sea life
- Improper maintenance
Green added that damage resulting from operators not named in your policy may also not be covered.
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Does My Illinois Homeowners Insurance Cover A Boat
Your Illinois homeowners policy may offer an extension for watercraft that would provide protection for your boat. Usually, there is a limit of 100 horsepower vessels for a homeowners policy to cover a boat.
If you plan on operating a boat that has less than 100 horsepower, your Illinois independent insurance agent can look into adjusting your homeowners policy.
While a homeowners policy may provide some protection, most owners benefit from a separate policy. Always check with your agent to compare policies before determining what will provide the best coverage.
What Equipment Must Be On Board If Your Vessel Is 16 Feet Or Longer
All vessels 16 feet in length or longer must carry one U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable personal flotation device or PFD for each person on board or being towed.
You may ask, Do you need a boat title in Illinois?
Another change removes the requirement of a certificate of title for watercraft under 22 feet in length. In addition, the change in law repeals the Water Usage Stamp that has been required for use of non-powered watercraft in Illinois.
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Maintaining Boat Safety Regulations After Taking The Course
The state of Illinois does not allow any individual to operate, or give permission to any other to operate, watercraft unless the vessel has been numbered in accordance to the Illinois Boat Registry and Safety Act, or is in full compliance with applicable federal laws.
Maintaining safety on waterways is essential to ensure the protection of all operators and passengers on lakes, waterways and rivers in and around Illinois. In 2012 alone, 51 out of 217 boating accident fatalities in Illinois were linked directly to alcohol use. In addition, there were nearly 1,400 boating accidents, and over 900 injuries within the state of Illinois boundaries within a 12-month time span.
Common types of injuries caused by negligent actions of others in boating accidents often involve:
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 trustedchoice.com 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.
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Who Offers The Best Boat Insurance Rates
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 allthingsboat.com and consumeraffairs.com 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.
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
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.
Is Boat Insurance Expensive
As is the case with almost anything you purchase, the more research and price comparison you doâthe higher likelihood that you will find the boat insurance quote that is right for you. Here are some tips to ensure that you are getting your moneyâs worth and keeping your costs down:
- Only buy what you need: There are lots of options out there for marine insurance and many of these policies are custom-written. Ensure that you know what you need so you can avoid paying for features that you donât require.
- Agreed value vs. Cash value: In an agreed value policy, you are paid a pre-determined value for the vessel in the event of a total covered loss. With agreed value, the insured and insurer agree on the value of the boat upfront. Most agents would recommend this option for a new or late-model boat. As the boat continues to age, look to potentially switch to a cash value option to save on premiums.
- Take a boater safety course: Almost all insurers offer a discount for boaters that have recently completed an approved boater safety course. Take an in-person class or get your boat safety certification online. Check with your insurance agent to see if a discount is offered for your specific policy.
- Spend on safety gear: Insurance companies may cut you an additional discount for having extra safety features onboard your vessel. Check with your insurance agent to see if you qualify for any additional savings.
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What Is The Difference Between Comprehensive And Limited Boating Insurance
While both types of insurance provide the all-important liability coverage, comprehensive boating insurance provides protection against a far greater number of sources for damage. When you have named-perils coverage, you get a list of damage thats covered. On the other hand, when you have comprehensive coverage, you get a small list of incidents that arent covered while everything else is.
Since comprehensive insurance is only incrementally more expensive yet much more inclusive, it is the best choice for serious boaters.
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.
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Illinois Boater Safety Tips
In addition to adhering to the new Illinois boating laws next summer, The U.S. Coast Guard suggests following general safety tips for further prevention of boating accidents and injuries:
Best Boat Insurance Providers Of 2021
- Best for Professional Fishermen:
- Best for Affordability: Allstate
- Best for Safe Boat Drivers: Progressive
- Best for Additional Coverage Options: Foremost
- Best for Policy Bundling: Nationwide
- Best for Individualized Customer Service: United Marine Underwriters
- Best for Emergency Services Coverage: State Farm
- Best for Additional Benefits: BoatUS
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Best For Emergency Services Coverage: 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.
Best For Individualized Customer Service: United Marine Underwriters
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
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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Do I Need Boat Insurance
If you are planning on purchasing a powerboat or a sailboat in the coming months, thereâs a good chance that you are looking into boat insurance as well. If this is the case, you likely have some questions about boat insurance companies and whether you need additional coverage. Well, you came to the right place! In this article, you will find answers the top 9 most frequently asked questions about boat insurance.
Boat Insurance Basics: What’s Covered
Learn about boat owners insurance and what the coverage means to you.
Did you know that boat insurance is one of the earliest known forms of insurance? Ancient sailors knew firsthand about the risks of a life at sea and sought to insure their boats against hurricanes and other unpredictable weather and waters. And it still applies today.
Boat insurance policies can vary widely in what they do and do not cover based on a number of considerations, including the type of boat, the waters it will traffic, and how many months of the year the boat will be used. Still, there are a few basic kinds of coverage you can expect to receive, as well as some potential discounts for safe boaters.
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How To Obtain A Boating License In Illinois
A boating license in Illinois is a document that boaters need to possess if they want to operate boats or water vessels legally. For that reason, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources requires IL residents to possess a boat safety certificate after they complete the appropriate safety course. A safety course is an education program that teaches individuals how to operate a boat or vessel properly and safely, without endangering other boaters.
Prior to getting a boat license certificate from the corresponding course provider, individuals may have to satisfy certain requirements, such as age, residency or mandatory documents. Moreover, boaters may also need to learn how to register and title their boats or vessels, if they own one. To discover more information about How long does it take to get a boating license certificate in Illinois?, continue reading the sections below.
What States Require Boat Insurance
As of right now, only two states have boat insurance lawsâArkansas and Utah. In Arkansas, all motorboats powered by engines of more than 50 horsepower, and all PWC, must be covered by a liability insurance policy. The policy must provide at least $50,000 of liability coverage, and it is illegal to operate the PWC without the required insurance.
In Utah, all motorboats and PWC are required to carry ownerâs or operatorâs liability insurance when operated on Utah waters. Motorboats equipped with engines less than 50 horsepower and airboats are exempt. It is illegal to operate a PWC on Utah waters without the required insurance.
Utahâs boat insurance policy requires the following minimum coverage limits per occurrence:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person.
- $50,000 for total bodily injury if multiple people are hurt in the accident.
- $15,000 for property damage.
There are some instances of states requiring insurance for boats used in some state parks or kept in some state-operated marinasâcheck with your state marine board or alternative governing agency to see if you are impacted.
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Do You Need Boat Insurance
In order to determine if you need boat insurance, you need to assess your needs and keep the costs in mind. Typical boat insurance policies can cost 1-2% of the boats value over the course of a year. These payments are typically split up into monthly payments.
If your livelihood depends on your boat, such as a boat charter business, youre a fisherman, or offer boat tours then you should definitely get boat insurance. Its also recommended for recreational boat users because boat repairs add up and you dont want the headache and out-of-pocket costs, not to mention liability, if youre in an accident or your boat is damaged in a storm.