Boat Insurance in Vermont
What is Boat Insurance?
Thousands of accidents occur on the water each year. While most boating outings are filled with nothing but fun, boaters must always be prepared for mishaps. In addition to having all required safety equipment, boaters in Vermont ought to also consider getting boat insurance.
Boat insurance policies are like auto insurance policies that are designed for boats and personal watercraft rather than cars and trucks. Like auto policies, most boat policies include multiple coverages that complement one another to provide protection from a number of possible risks.
What Coverages Do Watercraft Insurance Policies Provide?
As is the case with auto insurance policies, the coverages that watercraft policies provide vary. Some offer only basic protections from a few specific perils, while others afford robust protections from many different risks. A few common coverages include the following:
- Medical Payments Coverage
- Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
- Property Damage Liability Coverage
- Comprehensive and Collision Coverage
- On-Water Towing Coverage
- Coverage for Fuel Spills
- Coverage for Recovering a Sunken Boat
The coverages that a particular boater should look for will depend on many factors, such as:
- The size of their boat
- What type of boat they have
- Where they go boating
- How much their boat is worth
Do Watercraft Policies Cover Collisions with Rocks?
Some watercraft policies offer coverage for collisions with rocks, logs, and other obstacles in the water. If this protection is offered, it’s usually included under a policy’s comprehensive coverage.
Who in Vermont Should Have Watercraft Insurance?
Most residents who own a personal watercraft or boat should consider getting watercraft insurance.
Some boaters may have coverage for boats through their homeowners insurance policy. The amount of coverage that homeowners policies provide for boats is often minimal, though, and it’s usually limited to boats under a certain size that don’t have motors. Thus, even if a boater’s home insurance policy offers coverage, they may still want to get a watercraft policy that offers better protection.
Boaters whose home insurance policy doesn’t offer coverage for their boat will, most likely, want to get a watercraft policy. Without watercraft insurance, a boater could be left with no protection if something happened to their boat or a person on it.
Will Boat Insurance Cover Boaters Outside of Vermont?
Many boaters take their vessels beyond of the state’s borders. For example, boaters in Shelburne, VT may drive their boat across Lake Champlain to New York, and those in St. Albans Town, VT might take their boat up Montreal so they can go on the St. Lawrence. Additionally, Brattleboro, VT isn’t far from the coast, and residents might trailer their boat and go out on the ocean.
Before taking their boat beyond Vermont waters, boaters should make sure their insurance policy provides coverage outside of the state (and, in some cases, outside of the United States). Many policies do, but whether any particular policy does depends on its terms, conditions, and exclusions.
How Can Boaters Get Watercraft Insurance?
Boaters in Vermont who need help shopping for boat insurance or checking their policy should contact an independent insurance agent in the state. An agent will be able to help a boater determine what coverages they need and make sure the policy they have provides those protections. If any changes need to be made or a new policy has to be purchased, an independent agent can help with that, too.