Short answer – you are not legally required to have your boat insured in Connecticut, but it is a good idea! Let us explain.
According to the Connecticut General Assembly, you do not need boat insurance if you are living in Connecticut. The Legal Requirements of Boating in Connecticut mentions that vessel registration vary from state to state. In Connecticut, you must have a Connecticut Certificate of Number and validation decals to operate your vessel legally on public waters. The only exceptions are:
- Non-motorized vessels
- Sailboats less than 19.5 feet in length
- Vessels registered in other states using Connecticut waters for 60 days or less
- Vessels documented with the U.S. Coast Guard (must have a decal)
Only a single bill can be traced back to 1987. In 1995, the House Bill 5014 was proposed by Representative Lockton (149th District) for boaters that required them to purchase liability insurance. Any watercraft registered in the state of Connecticut had to maintain some sort of liability insurance. When the bill was up for debate, the minimum insurance was not specified. The bill was referred to the Connecticut Insurance and Real Estate Committee. However, it was raised in the public hearing and, therefore, it does not have any legislative history.
Boat Insurance 101
Boat insurance is similar to auto insurance. It provides you coverage in case you or your boat suffers from damage or loss. This insurance does not cover kayaks, canoes, or other non-motorized vehicles. Until your vessel is registered, you won’t be able to buy insurance for it.
Boat Insurance Cover
A boat insurance policy includes the following:
- Liability: Covers injury that your boat might cause to people on other boats. This includes lost income, medical bills, and legal expenses.
- Collision Damage: Provides repair expenses for your boat in case of a collision. This does not include the costs associated with cleaning up the wreckage.
- Comprehensive Coverage: Any incident other than collision such as vandalism or damages beyond repair is covered under comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive coverage also pays for stolen boat, fire, and non-collision incidents.
- Additional Coverage: You can add coverage for oil spills, fishing equipment, and roadside assistance.
- On-Water Assistance Coverage: Protects you in case the boat breaks down in the water.
- Uninsured Boat Coverage: Protects you from boaters who don’t have boat insurance.
Why You Should Consider Buying Boat Insurance
Yes, the state of Connecticut does not require you to buy boat insurance but if you love being on the waters, then this insurance policy definitely works in your favor. Let’s have a look at some of the basics of boat insurance:
When it comes to buying boat insurance, there are three things you need to consider: the coverage amount you need, the deductible you are willing to pay, and the type of coverage. Here’s an example to help you better understand how boat insurance works:
You were in a boating accident with your family. Your boat collided with another boat and the jolt tipped your 15-year-old son into the water. Luckily, the water was pretty tame that day and you, being a good swimmer, were able to save your son. The rest of the family sustained minor injuries, and you had a few scratches on your arms and legs because of sliding on the deck.
Depending on this situation and on your and other boater’s insurance coverage, the following things can happen:
- If the collision happened because of you, then liability insurance will protect you from the injured party’s boat damage and medical bills.
- If the collision happened because of the other boater, then his/her insurance will cover the damage and medical bills depending on the policy’s limit.
- If the collision happened because of the other boater, but he/she does not have boat insurance, you will receive any monetary compensation for the damage and medical bills unless you have an uninsured boat.
Boat Insurance Cost
Typically, boat insurance costs between $300 and $500. However, there are a few other factors that decide the coverage limit:
- The state
- The size, type, and age of your boat
- The motor power and its size
- Where are you planning to take it: open seas or inland waters
- What additional coverage options you have selected
The good news is that there are a number ways to get discount such buying the boat insurance policy from the same insurer you bought the other policies from. You might also get a discount based on how often you take your boat out.
How Much Insurance Should I Get?
As mentioned earlier, the insurance amount depends on the size of your boat. A boat is a onetime investment that only a few people make. Most people buy a skiff, a Jon boat, or a canoe. If they have a thrill for speed, they usually attach a motor to the boat. When talking about big boats, you should buy an insurance policy worth $1,000,000 or more.
How Many Passengers Does Boat Insurance Cover?
Boat insurance typically covers every member of the family on the boat. While the owner is covered in the basics, the family members come under liability. One thing you need to remember is that the water skiers that you pull behind your boat are not covered in this policy.
While comprehensive coverage does provide protection from severe damages, it’s possible that under boat insurance, you might not be covered for windstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. For this, you will have to talk to your insurance agent. The last hurricane to hit Connecticut that did unspeakable damage was in 1683. After that, there have only been small windstorms. So you should definitely look into storm damages when buying boat insurance.
Now that you know how beneficial boat insurance can be, it’s best to call your insurance agent and talk about how it can be added as additional coverage to your existing insurance policies. You never know if they might give you a discount for being a loyal customer. If you are looking for trusted insurance company, then visit Pawson. We provide different types of insurance policies for families and individuals. To know more about their policies, contact them at 203-481-8898 today.
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