What Is Boat Insurance
Boat insurance is a contract between you and an insurance carrier that protects you from financial loss in the event of a boating accident or natural disaster that damages your boat. Boat insurance for larger vessels typically has restrictions as to what it will cover and where in the world the coverage applies. Boat insurance is for vessels that have a motor and is not for canoes or small paddle boats.
Its A Great Way To Protect Your Toys
Its no secret that a boat is expensive, but if youre into water sports like fishing, skiing, or wakeboarding, then its likely that youve invested some hard-earned cash in water-related toys and accessories. If youre interested in roadside assistance and coverage for your boat-related equipment, speak to an insurance agent to learn more about additional insurance coverage items.
Common Causes Of Boat Accidents
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Personal Flotation Devices Are Classified By Types Indicated Below:
- Type I: Has the greatest required buoyancy and is designed to turn most unconscious persons in the water from a face down position to a vertical or slightly backward position. The Type I PFD provides the greatest protection to its wearer and is most effective for all waters.
- Type II: A wearable device designed to turn its wearer in a vertical or slightly backward position in the water. The turning action is not as pronounced as with a Type I, and the device will not turn as many persons under the same conditions as the Type I.
- Type III: A wearable device designed so the wearers can place themselves in a vertical or slightly backward position. While the Type III has the same buoyancy as the Type II PFD, it has a little or no turning ability. A Type III comes in a variety of styles, colors and sizes. Many are designed to be particularly useful when water skiing, sailing, hunting, fishing or engaging in other water sports. Several of this type will also provide increased hypothermia protection.
- Type IV: A device designed to be thrown to a person in the water and grasped and held by the user until rescued. It is not designed to be worn. The most common Type IV devices are a buoyant cushion and a ring buoy.
- Type V: Any PFD approved for restricted use. Approved flotation devices which are partially or totally inflatable must be worn to be accepted as a legal device.
Who Is Liable For Your Boat Accident
Liability always depends on the circumstances of the accident and is proven by evidence.
However, the responsibility will usually rest with the person or company who owns or was operating the boat. If youre a passenger on a boat thats owned by a company or by a person you know, the owner is generally liable for injuries unless your actions caused you to be injured.
There are a few scenarios, though, where other third parties may be liable.
One is if the boat had mechanical or structural damages that caused the injury, in which case you might have a claim against the boats manufacturer as a product liability lawsuit.
Another is if youre an employee whos injured while working on a boat. In that instance, youd most likely file a workers compensation claim against your employers insurance company.
As you can see, there may be several factors involved, and its difficult to know for sure who should be responsible. A Tennessee boat accident lawyer is the best person to help you make that determination. A complex legal argument isnt something you probably want to tackle on your own. A Tennessee lawyer can work with you to ensure that you identify the correct defendants, accurately estimate the costs related to your injury, and can provide the proper evidence in order to prove your argument.
Need legal help? You can use the Enjuris attorney directory to get started finding a Tennessee boat accident attorney near you.
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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
Is Motorcycle Insurance Required In Tennessee
Yes, motorcycle insurance is required and you must show proof of insurance prior to registering your motorcycle. The consequences of riding uninsured can result in varying penalties such as fines and license suspension. If you are uninsured and involved in an accident you have to pay out-of-pocket vehicle repair and medical costs.
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Home Insurance And Your Boat
One of the biggest reasons people might not purchase boat insurance is the misunderstanding that boats are covered under their home insurance policy.
While your home insurance policy may provide very limited coverage to smaller boats on your property, the general rule of thumb is most large items that have their own specific type of insurance available to them can only be covered by that specific insurance. So, if you have a boat, your best bet is to have it insured with boat insurance.
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 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.
Its Probably Not As Expensive As You Think
For all the coverage that boat insurance provides, youd expect it to cost as much as a comparable car insurance policy. Not true! Boat insurance is more affordable than you think. Allstate offers dependable coverage for approximately $20 per month.
For more information on boat insurance, visit the Royce Williams FAQ page or contact us at 615-356-4800 for a free quote.
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Boat Insurance Coverage Faqs
Small Boat Insurance
What is the best coverage for my boat?
It is best to have what is known as an “All Risk” policy, which will provide coverage for all types of losses except those specifically excluded in the policy. Typical exclusions may include wear and tear, gradual deterioration, marring, denting, scratching, animal damage, manufacturer’s defects, defects in design, and ice and freezing.
How much should I insure my boat for?
You should insure your boat for the amount it would cost you to replace it with like kind and quality. This is called “Agreed Value” or “Stated Value” coverage, and in the event of a total loss, will pay the full insured amount. Beware of policies providing “Actual Cash Value” coverage, which means the value of your boat will be replacement cost less depreciation.
What other coverages can I expect with my policy?
The following are standard coverages with standard deductibles and average limits:
- Medical payments, $5,000
- $1,000 limit Personal effects, $250 deductible
- Uninsured boaters liability, between $300,000 and $500,000
- $500 to $1000 limit Towing and assistance, no deductible
- $1,000 limit Fishing equipment, $250 deductible
Who is allowed to operate my boat?
I live in an area where I can’t use my boat in the winter, but my lender requires it be insured year-round. What can I do?
Large Boat Insurance
What are the differences between boat and yacht insurance?
What should I look for in a yacht policy?
What is a normal deductible?
Tennessee Comparative Negligence Law
Tennessee follows a comparative negligence law. Under comparative negligence, each person involved in an accident is assessed a percentage of liability. In other words, each individual has a percentage for which theyre at fault for the accident. This is important for determining how much the injured person receives in damages, or the compensation you receive to recover your costs if you were injured in an accident.
The amount of damages you can recover is reduced according to your percentage of fault for the accident. You can only recover damages if your contribution of fault is 50% or less.
Along those same lines, if there are 2 or more parties who are at fault, theyre considered to have joint and several liability for the same injury, which means they share the expense of damages.
This is how the court would evaluate a boat accident, whether its a collision between 2 boats or an injury to a passenger on a boat owned by someone else.
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Impaired Boat Operation Psa
Any Tennessee resident born after January 1, 1989, must show the TWRA-issued wallet Boating Safety Education Certificate as proof of successful completion of the TWRA Boating Safety exam.
Out of State Boaters If you were born after January 1, 1989, TWRA will accept any NASBLA approved boating safety certificate.
What Is The Best Type Of Boat Insurance
The best type of boat insurance is insurance coverage that adequately meets your legal and contractual obligations and allows you to feel comfortable about your exposure to risk. Because each individual situation is different, it is important that you determine what coverage factors matter most to you and your family. Spend time researching your options and speak with multiple insurance brokers or agencies. Allthingsboat.com has an excellent review of boat insurance providers.
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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?
Its A Great Way To Protect Your Investment
According to The Carefree Boater, the average MSRP for a 21-24 power boat in 2017 is projected to be nearly $80,000! By the time you invest in start-up accessories, safety training, a high-quality slip and add recurring fees such as gas, marina rentals, maintenance, and storage, youre probably looking at upwards of $10,000-15,000 in related costs. With that much cash on the line, it only makes sense to cover your investment with a comprehensive boat insurance policy.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency notes that Boat and marine theft is big business and has become a problem nationwide. Millions of dollars in insurance claims are made each year due to the theft of boats, motors, trailers, and an array of associated equipment.
Obviously, the more your boat is worth, the more important it is to have insurance coverage. However, even if your boat is the modest side, its likely it represents a big investment for you and one that would not be easily replaced in the event of an accident or theft! Make sure that you and your family have fun in the sun for years to come and investigate your boat insurance options today.
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Tennessee Boating Incident Data
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency compiles data on boating incidents each year. These statistics are based on reportable boating incident reports, which include death, missing persons, an injury that requires treatment beyond first aid, or property damage of $2,000 or more. These reports are required of commercial and recreational whitewater boating incidents.
The charts below show the numbers of Tennessee boating injuries, fatalities, and incidents over the decade 2009-2019.
Vessels From Private Sellers
In general, to register a vessel bought from a private seller in Tennessee, you’ll need to submit the following:
- A completed boat registration application, available only at your local county clerk’s office.
- After paying sales tax, the county clerk will stamp your application as proof.
Then, you can turn in the required items above:
- By mail OR in person to the address on your application for boat registration.
- Online by uploading your registration application on the TWRA’s registration system.
NOTE: Certain TN counties may require additional items to register boats bought from private sellerscall your county clerk’s office to confirm you have all the required materials.
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Hull Number Correction Information
The U.S. Coast Guard has mandated that all registered vessels in the State of Tennessee provide a properly formatted Hull Identification Number to TWRA.
The Hull Identification Number is a 12 character serial number that uniquely identifies a boat and is formatted according to US Coast Guard standards. The HIN is similar to the VIN on a car. Vessels manufactured or imported before 1973 are EXEMPT because they often do not have a HIN. All boats manufactured or imported after 1972, must have a HIN, and this HIN must be identified during the boat registration process. HIN numbers are typically located:
- On sport and fishing boats, they can be found on the back right outside corner.
- On pontoons, they can be found on the right side of the frame above the pontoon, but below the deck.
- On personal watercraft, they can be found under the seat as well as on the lip of the footrest.
If you are unable to locate the HIN number in any of these locations, photos of these areas of the vessel will be required.
Customers with an invalid HIN may renew their boats but within the next three years, our system may decline these renewals and any new owner applications in order to comply with the Agencys Coast Guard deadline.
It is imperative to correct these numbers in the system before that deadline.