Who’s Responsible If My Boat Damages Another at a Marina?

(And which insurance would help pay for it.)

Boat at marina

As a responsible boat owner, you take great pride in taking care, not only  of your own watercraft, but also of all other vessels around you, on the water and at the dock. But what happens if your boat is docked at a marina and causes damage to a nearby boat? Who’s responsible for this mess, anyway?

Luckily an independent insurance agent can not only answer this question for you, but also help you get set up with the proper coverage. Independent insurance agents are experienced in handling all kinds of claims, so they know exactly what kind of protection you need, and they’ll get you set up with it long before you ever need to file a claim. Here’s how they’d help you get coverage against your boat damaging another while docked at a marina.

Who’s Responsible If My Boat Damages Another Boat at a Marina?

Well, it depends on why exactly your boat caused damage to another boat. If it was some sort of negligence on your part that caused your boat to catch fire and then it spread to another boat, you would be held responsible. Basically, if for any reason the owner of the other boat can prove negligence on your part, you will be held liable for the damage to their boat, and you will have to go through your personal watercraft insurance to pay for the repairs.

What If It’s My Fault?

It it’s decided that it was in fact your negligence that caused the damage, you will have to go through your personal watercraft insurance policy. Your watercraft policy includes indemnity coverage, which protects you against injury or damage you may cause with your boat. Your watercraft policy will also reimburse you for the physical damage to your own boat in the event of an incident.

What If a Windstorm Blows My Boat into Someone Else’s?

Typically marinas have a set of rules in place for just this kind of incident. If a storm is in the forecast, boat owners will be required to tie their boats down in a certain way. When a boat owner fails to properly secure their boat to the marina’s standards, they can be considered negligent if a storm causes their boat to collide with another at the dock. In this case, that boat’s owner will still have to go through their watercraft insurance to protect them.

How Does Property Coverage Work in This Case?

If your boat gets damaged while at the marina and also causes damage to another person’s boat, your personal watercraft policy will take care of this under its property coverage section. Watercraft insurance provides protection for physical property damage to both your boat and others’ boats if you’re at fault for an incident.

Watercraft insurance works very similarly to auto insurance in this way. Your insurance company will reimburse you and the other boat’s owner for any necessary repairs. Talk to your independent insurance agent about getting your personal watercraft set up with all the protection it needs.

How Does Liability Coverage Work If Someone Gets Injured?

If someone at the marina got injured due to your negligence, you could get sued. Whether you ended up being held liable for the injury or not, you would still rely on the liability coverage provided by your personal watercraft policy.

Watercraft insurance provides liability coverage to reimburse boat owners for the following:

  • Legal fees: Liability coverage pays for attorney, court, and legal fees, including any settlements you may be ordered to pay in the event you are found responsible for the claim.
  • Medical payments: Your liability coverage also pays for injuries to a third party. If someone was injured in the marina or out on the water due to your negligence with your boat, your liability coverage would pay for the cost of their medical bills.

Legal cases can be extremely stressful, costly, and time-consuming. Fortunately watercraft insurance provides some relief through the liability coverage aspect of the policy.

What Doesn't Watercraft Insurance Cover?

While watercraft insurance provides a lot of important protection, it doesn’t cover anything and everything. The following are examples of coverage exclusions under watercraft insurance:

  • Intentional injury: If you harm someone with your boat on purpose, your insurance won’t cover you.
  • Using your watercraft for business purposes: Similar to other types of insurance, watercraft policies come with exclusions for business use of your boat, such as deliveries.
  • Non-owned watercraft: Any injuries or damage caused to or by a rented watercraft is not typically covered under a watercraft policy. However, endorsements for this coverage are often available to be added on to your insurance.

If you’re concerned about any area in which you feel your personal watercraft policy may be lacking important coverage, talk to your independent insurance agent. They’ll make sure you get set up with all the protection you need to feel safe and secure while on the water or docked at the marina.

Other Common Risks You Should Consider Coverage For

In addition to protecting yourself against your watercraft causing damage to other boats or people at a marina, there are a handful of common risks that boat owners need to consider getting coverage against. Fortunately the following perils are also covered under watercraft insurance:

  • Theft: If your watercraft gets stolen, your insurance will reimburse you for the replacement value of your vessel.
  • Vandalism: If your watercraft gets vandalized in some way, your insurance will reimburse you for the necessary repairs.
  • Towing: If your watercraft breaks down due to an accident while out on the water and requires a tow, your insurance will reimburse you for the cost of this service.

An independent insurance agent will help to consider all the risks unique to your watercraft and ensure that you get set up with all the coverage you could ever need. They’ll also be able to review your specific insurance policy and spot coverage gaps in any areas of concern. If you’re lacking protection in an area, they’ll help to patch those holes.

Here’s How an Independent Insurance Agent Can Help

When it comes to protecting against your boat causing damage to another at the marina, and all other strange incidents, no one’s better equipped to help than an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents search through multiple carriers to find providers who specialize in watercraft insurance, deliver quotes from a number of different sources ,and help you walk through them all to find the best blend of coverage and cost.

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TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin

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