Why is boating insurance so important?
Boats aren't cheap. They could cost as much as your car or even as much as your house. You wouldn't leave those two things uninsured so don't forget to insure your boat. Not only does this protect your investment, but can help protect anyone on or near your boat as well. There are many different types of boating insurance that you can purchase but you should stick with the coverage that you actually need. If you have a sailboat, odds are you don't need coverage for people towed behind your boat like tubers and skiers.
The basic insurance types are liability, medical, and damage. Liability basically means if something happens and you are liable, the insurance will pick up some of the tab. Say you run over a rowboat that's floating around and the owner gets mad. Medical covers you and anyone else who gets injured in some way while entering, leaving, or aboard your boat. Accidents happen. Damage covers just that. If your boat or equipment gets damaged in some way, insurance will help you out.
In addition to these basic types there are also other types of coverage you can get. There is coverage for launching your boat, fire, lighting, explosions, sinking, underwater damage, stranding, and of course, theft. If you live in Minnesota and have a very small fishing boat on a lake, the odds of someone stealing it are slim but if you have an expensive yacht in the Florida Keys, the risks do go up a bit. You should be able to use common sense to tell if you will need any of this coverage. If you have never owned a boat before, you might want to include a couple that have to do with damage or even fire.
Premiums for boat insurance is figured out depending on many factors. Some of these are value and age of the boat, your experience, where you will use the boat, navigational equipment on board, and even your automobile record get factored in.
You can get discounts on insurance sometimes by completing various safety courses that are offered through the Coast Guard, Red Cross and other organizations. Many homeowners insurance plans will let you add a boat to the coverage, so if you own a home that's something to check out.