Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Does Indiana Require Boat Insurance

Changes In Title Exemptions

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

The following watercraft title exemptions were removed from Indiana law effective July 1, 2016, and a watercraft meeting the following criteria must be titled prior to applying for a registration:

  • Watercraft purchased prior to January 1, 1986.
  • Homemade watercraft.
  • Watercraft valued under $3,000 when new.

Effective January 1, 2021, the following watercraft title exemptions were removed from Indiana law and must be titled prior to applying for a registration:

  • Non-residents of Indiana who own a watercraft that is operated, used, stored, or docked in Indiana for 60 consecutive days or more during a calendar year.
  • Non-motorized sailboats.
  • Watercraft, including non-motorized boats, that are being voluntarily registered.

A person who owns a boat that was exempt from the title requirements before July 1, 2016 or January 1, 2021 is not required to apply for a certificate of title prior to selling the boat. The seller must provide a bill of sale to the purchaser.

Which Comes First: The Boat Or The Boat Insurance

If you are in the market for a boat, it’s a good idea to consider shopping for insurance first before signing your boat purchase paperwork. Insurance rates can vary, so you may want to factor in the cost of your coverage as you determine which boat you can reasonably afford.

Try narrowing your purchase choices down to two or three boats, and then take information about their specifications to a local independent agent.

Your agent will get quotes from several insurance companies for you on your potential purchases. You can then determine for yourself which boat will ultimately be better for your needs and budget.

An independent agent in your area can help you evaluate boat insurance rates and options so you can enjoy the water and have peace of mind. If youre thinking about getting a boat, contact a local agent today and get the vital information you need for your best protection. Article | Reviewed byJeffrey Green

Indiana Boater Safety Courses

Enrolling in a boater safety course in Indiana is a requirement that motorists must satisfy in a situation when they have never been issued a drivers license by the IN BMV. Boaters must complete such course when they are at least 15 years of age. Completing the boating course successfully and holding a BMV-issued ID card will enable boaters to operate motorboats legally without the drivers license.

Note: When individuals have their driving licenses suspended, they may be required by court to successfully complete a boating course in order to end the suspension. Moreover, completing such course may also refund a part or the whole fine that has been paid by the person who committed the crime for which the license was suspended.

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Progressive Simplifies Boat Insurance

We give you the freedom to boat wherever you’d like on any lake or river in the U.S., plus ocean waters within 75 miles of the coast. And, we drop the common requirements and restrictions other insurers may force on you, so you get the protection you need to get on the water right away. For example, we dont require a navigation plan or marine survey, which could cost around $600 for a 30-foot boat.

Watercraft And Recreational Vehicle Requirements

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This page contains title and registration requirements for mopeds, recreational vehicles, off-road vehicles, snowmobiles and watercraft and information about use of Michigan waterways by owners of watercraft registered in another state.


Moped are not titled but must be registered. Three-year sticker expires on April 30. Mopeds may be operated on streets drivers must be at least 15 years old and licensed. Moped must be registered as an ORV if used off-road. Registration must be renewed upon transfer of ownership. Helmet use required if under age 19. See registration fees.

Off-Road Vehicles

Also known as off-highway vehicles, this classification includes off-road motorcycles, three-, four-, and multi-wheeled all-terrain-vehicles , air and tracked ATVs, and off-road utility vehicles. All ORVs must be titled. Any on-road vehicle may be registered as an ORV. Dual registration is permitted. One-year ORV license is issued by the Department of Natural Resources expires March 31. Fee– $16.25. If used exclusively on private property, an ORV may not require an ORV license.

Recreational Vehicles

All trailer coaches, travel trailers, 5th-wheel trailers, pop-up campers, and all trailers over 2,500 lbs. must be titled and registered. Pickup camper units are titled only. Title Fee – $15.00. Registration Fee – Based on empty weight.



Part-time and non-residents

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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.

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?

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Other Things To Consider

Its worth noting that some states have requirements in addition to the federal requirements. Make sure that you check your states boating laws for additional requirements. While these arent always mandatory, weve put together a short list of things that are essential to keep aboard, no matter what size your boat is.

How Much Boat Insurance Do I Need

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Beyond any state legislation or binding agreements with your lender or marina, the answer to this question may come down to your individual tolerance for risk. As discussed in earlier questions, some states do have minimum requirements for liability insurance coverage. Check with your state government to see whether you are required to meet a coverage threshold. The amount of boat insurance you may need depends on a number of factors, including the boatâs value, motor size, and age. Like other vehicles, high-performance boats will likely command a higher level of coverage to compensate for the amount of damage they are able to inflict.

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Negligent Or Reckless Boat Operation

It is illegal in the state of Indiana to operate any boat or to manipulate any water-skis, aquaplane or similar device in a careless, reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person.

Examples of reckless operation include:

  • Operating in a restricted area such as a designated swimming area.
  • Weaving through congested traffic at more than idle speed.
  • Jumping the wake of another boat when unreasonably close to the other boat.
  • Waiting until the last possible moment to swerve to avoid a collision.
  • Creating a hazardous wake.
  • Harassing or disturbing wildlife.
  • Allowing passengers to ride on the boats stern, bow, gunwales or transom .
  • Overloading a boat beyond the safe carrying capacity.
  • Overpowering the boat beyond the recommended horsepower capacity.
  • Towing a water-skier in a restricted area or where an obstruction exists.
  • Interfering with the safe and lawful use of public waters by another person.
  • Circular operation around fishers or swimmers

Find What You Should Be Paying For Coverage

Our independent agents shop around to find you the best coverage.

If having fun on the water appeals to you, then you might find yourself in the market to buy a boat. You could purchase a boat for fishing, speed boating or sailing, or a pontoon to float around casually. Just as you insure your car and your home, it’s a good idea to get adequate insurance coverage for your boat.

As you research your options for boat insurance, you might have some questions about the cost, what kind of coverage you should purchase, and what insurance company carries the best policies for your dollar.

An independent insurance agent can help answer your insurance questions and get you on the right track for saving on your boat policy. Contact an independent agent today to get started.

Save on Boat Insurance

Our independent agents shop around to find you the best coverage.

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When Is Proof Of Insurance Required

Even though most states dont legally require you to carry boat insurance, other situations may require proof of insurance for your watercraft.

Docking your boat at a marina

If you plan on docking your boat at a marina, many will require you to show proof of insurance before signing the contract. That being so, make sure to read the fine print and understand the requirements before proceeding with any contractual agreement.

For example, marinas such as the Charleston City Marina in South Carolina and the Kemah Boardwalk Marina in Kemah, Texas require docked boats to have liability insurance of at least $300,000.

Marinas like Brickyard Cove in Pt. Richmond, CA require an endorsement on your policy as additional interest or additional insured to avoid claims of negligence.

Harbors will carry their own liability insurance so they can protect claims where they may be at fault.

Financing your boat purchase

If you have financed your boat, your bank may require you to carry boat insurance. If the bank is using the boat as collateral for the loan, they will require you to list them as payee for loss or damage of the boat.

Unlike home and auto coverage, some policies dont require you to carry year-round coverage. But if you have financed your boat, your lender will most likely ask you to carry coverage even when the boat is stored. Your vessel may still be exposed to risks, such as theft and storm damage, while in storage.

We Insure Over 1 Million Watercraft And We Can Help Insure Yours Too

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With over 35 years of boat insurance experience, we know how to keep you afloat. So, as long as your boat or personal watercraft is valued at no more than $500,000 and is up to 50 feet long, well most likely insure it. Dont see your watercraft listed here? Call us at and well do what we can to get you covered.

Some of our coverages

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The Cost Of Boating Accidents

Take a look at some statistics from the Coast Guard for 2019 about boating accidents:

  • 4,168 accidents involving recreational boats resulted in $55 million in property damage.
  • 556 deaths and more than 2,559 injuries were due to boating accidents.
  • 70% of boating deaths were drownings.
  • 33% of deaths occurred when the driver had no boater safety instruction.
  • Open motorboats were listed in 47% of all boating accidents.
  • Alcohol was deemed the leading factor in fatal boating accidents.

Facts About Boat Trailers

  • 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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Boat And Watercraft Insurance In Indianapolis Indiana

Consult with one of our professional agents at Mauk-Bennett Insurance to make sure you have the right coverage at a competitive price. We can evaluate your boat or jet ski insurance needs to find special coverages you may need or any discounts you may qualify for. Some additional discounts and coverages may include:

  • Accident forgiveness

Types Of Boat Insurance

Why Do I Need 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.

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Boat/watercraft Insurance In Indiana

In Fort Wayne, IN, you are technically not legally required to carry insurance on any boat or watercraft. But it is very difficult to get by without it.

Your main concern here is that almost any marina you can find in Indiana, they are going to require you to carry insurance if you want to use their facilities for any purposes. As you can imagine, it’s not very easy to go boating if you don’t have anywhere to dock or depart. You have to get into the water and out of the water somehow, and you probably don’t want to simply beach your watercraft on dry land.

Beyond this consideration, there’s also the simple fact that you probably don’t want to go without insurance even if you can get away with it. Anything larger than an inflatable fishing raft is going to be difficult to replace out of pocket, and while boating accidents might not be quite as common as traffic accidents, they do happen, and repair costs can add up quickly. Not to mention, because we are not required to carry insurance on our boats, the odds of suffering damages at the hands of an uninsured boater are high. Put bluntly, a boat is a big investment. If you’re not going to protect that investment, then it might not be a great idea to make the investment in the first place.

Wise Insurance Agency will compare boat insurance providers from across Indiana to help you find the best deal for you. All you have to do is let them know what you’re looking for and watch them do the rest.

Indiana Boat Registration Basics

A boat registration in Indiana is a legal document issued by the IN BMV that boaters must possess when they own a motorboat. Moreover, all boats and water vessels in Indiana must be registered, unless they are otherwise exempt. To obtain a DMV boat registration certificate, individuals must submit proof of ownership to the IN BMV, such as a title certificate.

However, when IN residents do not have a title as proof of ownership, they may provide a completed Watercraft Ownership Affidavit . After completing the watercraft registration procedure, the IN BMV issues a certificate of registration along with a registration number and two decals for each registration.

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Us Coast Guard Minimum Requirements For Recreational Boats

by Chris RileyUpdated on May 8, 2021.

Boat Safe is a community supported site. We may earn comission from links on this page, but we have confidence in all recommended products.

This is the current up-to-date list of the U.S Coast Guards minimum safety requirements for recreational boats with sizes of up to 65 ft in size. These requirements detail what boating safety equipment must be present on board, and other necessary features that must be installed to comply with federal laws.

Its worth noting that these are only the minimum requirements, and we recommend that you exceed them if you can. Similarly, these USCG rules are only the federal requirements. Individual states may have additions to this list, with additional equipment and operating standards require on top of these minimum requirements. Check with your local authorities to find out the specifics.

What Is The Difference Between Comprehensive And Limited Boating Insurance

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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.

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Find Cheap Homeowners Insurance Quotes In Your Area

Most states don’t require boaters to purchase insurance for their watercraft. However, many marinas do require some form of insurance if you wish to use a slip or mooring. Additionally, your bank will require insurance if you are financing the purchase of a boat. Even if these requirements don’t apply in your situation, it’s still generally a good idea to get boat insurance.

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