Michigan Boat Insurance

Experts break down boat insurance costs, coverages, companies, and more.

Yacht speeding on lake. Find Michigan boat insurance.

With the longest freshwater coastline in the US and its many scenic lakes and rivers, Michigan is a great place to own a boat. It therefore comes as no surprise that there are more than 800,000 watercraft registered in this state. 

It doesn’t matter whether you are taking a speedboat out on the clear waters of Torch Lake or yachting on Grand Traverse Bay, if you are a boat owner in the Wolverine State, you can benefit from having the protections afforded by a solid boat insurance policy.

Local independent agents can help you find a great policy at a competitive rate. These agents are free to work with some of the best boat insurance companies in Michigan, so they can provide you with a selection of customized quotes. Find an insurance agent near you to learn more.

What Is Boat Insurance and Why Is It Important?

Boat insurance is designed to cover boats that have motors or sails as well as to provide you with sufficient liability coverage if you are responsible for a boating accident.

New boats can cost a lot of money, so for many Michigan residents, this coverage is well worth the price. 

The US Coast Guard reports that Michigan residents are involved in an average of 129 boating accidents a year.

In fact, in one recent year, 159 boating accidents in this state resulted in 74 injuries, 31 deaths, and $2.2 million in liabilities. That can mean a lot of expensive losses for uninsured boaters in the Wolverine State.

How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost in Michigan?

The average cost of a boat insurance policy in Michigan is around $208 a year. At less than 60 cents a day, the peace of mind you can get from knowing you are protected by a good boat insurance policy is very inexpensive.

Of course, your actual cost may be significantly higher or lower than this average amount because rates are calculated on individual factors like the following:

  • The type of boat you are insuring (e.g., motorboat, bass boat, cabin cruiser, yacht, etc.)
  • Your boat’s age, value, length, and engine size
  • Where your boat will be kept when not in use
  • Your claims history and driving record, both on and off the water
  • Whether you and any other members of your household have completed a boating safety course
  • The amount of liability coverage you are purchasing
  • Which, if any, coverage options you are including in your policy

When you bundle your boat insurance with other types of coverage like car insurance, trailer insurance, or home insurance, you can usually earn rate reductions on all of your bundled policies.

To find out how much a Michigan boat insurance policy will cost you, contact a few insurance companies to request customized quotes. Or, if you prefer, an independent agent can do this on your behalf.

Does Michigan Require You to Insure Your Boat?

In Michigan, your boat needs to be registered, but it does not need to be insured.

There are times, however, when you may need to have boat insurance coverage. Some marinas will require you to show proof of coverage before you can dock your boat there. Also, if you are still paying for your boat, your lender may require you to have coverage until your boat loan is paid in full.

Though optional for most boaters in Michigan, boat insurance can often be a good idea because it can save you a lot of money if you cause a boating accident or if you have an expensive watercraft and it is lost or damaged.


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What Does Michigan Boat Insurance Cover?

Boat insurance policies can vary from one insurance provider to the next. Some types of coverage may come standard with one policy, but they may be optional with another. This is why it is important to review policy offerings as well as rates when determining which product to purchase.

Most boat insurance providers in Michigan will offer some or all of the following types of coverage:

  • Liability insurance: This can cover your financial responsibilities to other people if you are at fault for a boating accident that results in their injuries or property damage. This can provide much more coverage than you would get from your home or renters insurance policy.
  • Physical damage insurance: This can cover the cost to repair or replace your boat if it is lost or damaged in a boating collision, regardless of fault.
  • Comprehensive insurance: This can cover the cost to repair or replace your boat if it is lost or damaged in a non-collision event like a thunderstorm.
  • Equipment insurance: This can cover loss or damage to any equipment or accessories you may have added to your boat. This can include things like boat hoists, kicker motors, GPS devices, and marine instruments.
  • Personal effects insurance: This can cover the personal items you keep on your boat if they are lost, damaged, or stolen. It includes things like fishing equipment, water skis, SCUBA gear, cameras, and portable speakers.
  • Medical payments insurance: This can provide limited coverage for medical expenses for treatments needed by you and your passengers if you are injured in a boating accident, regardless of fault.
  • Uninsured boater insurance: This can cover costs associated with your property damage and medical treatments if you are in a boating accident that was caused by an uninsured or underinsured boater. This can be a good thing to have since boat insurance is not mandatory in Michigan.
  • Towing insurance: This can cover the cost of having your boat towed back to shore if it becomes disabled while you are out on the water, as may happen if you experience a fuel system failure or your boat collides with a fixed object.
  • Fuel spill/wreckage cleanup insurance: This can cover the costs associated with clearing wrecked boats and debris from the water and cleaning up fuel spills, since this will be your responsibility if you are at fault for a boating accident.

It is a good idea to review all of your coverage options as well their costs so that you can make a decision about which to include in your boat insurance policy.

What Is Not Covered by Michigan Boat Insurance?

As with any type of insurance, boat insurance has some exclusions. Different providers can vary in what they will and will not cover, but for the most part, you should not expect your boat insurance to cover the following situations:

  • Normal wear and tear on your boat
  • Damage caused by marine life, insects, animals, or mold
  • Damage to your boat trailer
  • Accidents that occur when a person who has not been named on your policy is operating the boat
  • Your own property damage if you cause an accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This can also cause your insurance company to drop you.

Be aware also that faulty machinery and mechanical malfunctions will not be covered unless your insurance provider offers coverage against these hazards as an option and you have included it in your policy.

Also, your policy will not cover accessories like lifeboats, anchors, and modifications unless you have specifically purchased coverage for boat equipment and personal effects as part of your policy.

Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Michigan?

A good boat insurance policy can save you a lot of money if you are involved in an accident while out on the water. When you work with an experienced independent agent, you can be sure you are getting all the coverage you want at a price you can afford.

Arrange an obligation-free consultation with an independent insurance agent near you to get more information and to start comparing customized quotes from some of the best boat insurance companies in Michigan.

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