While most states do not require watercraft insurance for any watercraft requiring a motor, it is unwise to take to the water without adequate coverage. You won’t need to put watercraft liability coverage on kayaks, canoes, rowboats, or jet skis, but you will want to consider purchasing it for a fishing boat, leisure crat, pontoon boat, sailboat, or yacht. Chances are, even if the state doesn’t require it, the local marina wants it before renting you a slip or the bank giving you the loan for the boat wants it.
With watercraft coverage, you are giving financial protections from liabilities associated with normal boating operations. The boat may be covered if damage occurs because of lighting or certain weather conditions, as well as during a collision. The coverage may be extended to the machinery, the hull, the furnishings, the fittings, and any permanently attached equipment. Though a liability concern, watercraft policies do not always guarantee coverage for anyone injured during boating operations or due to an accident you caused.
Watercraft policies are often very specific, and coverage may only apply when the boat is operating in a specific geographic location. The coverage limits are also much different, and you need to watch how the policy handles depreciation. This impacts the repairs or payout you may be eligible for if an incident occurs.