Michigan has more than 3,000 miles of coastline along four of the five Great Lakes. Additionally, there are more than 10,000 inland lakes and ponds and about 35,000 miles of rivers and streams. It is little wonder that the state of Michigan has the third most boat registrations in the county. If you own one of the more than 800,000 registered boats in this state, you may want to consider a Michigan boat insurance policy to protect your investment.
Whether you need to insure a fishing boat or a yacht, an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network can help you find the right policy. One of these insurance agents can assess your coverage needs and provide you with a selection of competitively-priced policies that meet these needs. Contact an agent near you today to get more information and to start comparing Michigan boat insurance quotes.
MI Boating Requirements
- All watercraft with a motor must be registered
- Vessels that are at least 20 feet long or have a permanently affixed engine must be titled as well
- You must have a Michigan Certificate of Number (registration) and validation decals to operate your vessel on public waters. The only exceptions are:
- Privately owned rowboats 16 feet or less in length
- Privately owned non-motorized canoes or kayaks
- Vessels registered in another state or country using Michigan waters for less than 60 days
- Anyone born on or after July 1, 1996 must have earned a boating safety certificate before they can legally operate a boat
- Children under 12:
- May operate a boat powered by a motor of no more than 6 horsepower (hp) without restrictions
- May operate a boat powered by a motor between 6 hp and 35 hp legally only if they are directly supervised on board by a person at least 16 years of age
- May not operate a boat powered by a motor of more than 35 hp under any conditions
- All boats must be equipped with personal floatation devices for all passengers
- Navigation lights are required if operating between sunset and sunrise
- Boat insurance is not required
Why Purchase Michigan Boat Insurance?
Many people feel that, because boat insurance is not required by the state, it is not worth the cost. However, if you are involved in an accident while out on the water, you may find yourself liable for unmanageable expenses. Your homeowners insurance may provide some coverage, but it is usually rather limited and you are still likely to suffer a financial hit. Only a comprehensive boat insurance policy can fully protect your investment and your finances when it comes to your boat.
2011 Michigan Boating Accident Statistics
- There were 129 boating accidents, 24 of which were fatal
- Of these, 29 boating accidents resulted in property damage
- These accidents were responsible for $977,569 in damages
- Michigan’s boating accident fatality rate is 3.2 deaths per 100,000 registered boats, whereas the national rate is 6.2
What Does Boat Insurance Cover?
A basic Michigan boat insurance policy will provide you with liability coverage for accidents that result in property damage or bodily injuries to others. It can also provide coverage for certain damages to your boat while in use or while being transported to and from the water.
Depending on which insurance company you choose, other coverage options may be included automatically, or you may need to purchase them as optional coverage. This may include coverage for:
- Personal property, including safety equipment, fishing equipment and tools
- Medical expenses for you and your passengers if someone is injured in a boating incident
- Accidents with uninsured/underinsured boaters; this is particularly important in Michigan because boat insurance is not required by law
- Damages sustained by your boat while it is docked or otherwise not in use
- Clean-up of fuel spills and wreckage following an accident
- Towing and assistance if your boat becomes disabled or needs to be serviced while in the water
- Roadside assistance if you need your boat to be towed due to a mishap while transporting it to and from the water
Top Five Types of Boating Accidents in Michigan in 2011
- Collision with another boat: 37 accidents
- Falls overboard: 23 accidents
- Capsizing: 13 accidents
- Skier mishap: 12 accidents
- Collision with a fixed object: 9 accidents
Is Michigan Boat Insurance Expensive?
The cost of a boat insurance policy depends on several factors, including:
- The type of boat you are insuring: A bass boat, for example, will cost less to insure than will a cabin cruiser.
- The value of your boat: This will affect your costs if you are purchasing property damage insurance with your policy.
- The amount of liability coverage you opt to purchase: You can supplement your liability coverage with an umbrella insurance policy.
- The amount of your deductible: The higher your deductible, the lower your premiums will be.
- Your driving record: Good drivers are statistically less likely to be involved in boating collisions, so you will typically pay less for boat coverage as a driver with a good record.
You may also be able to get discounts on your policy if you are a homeowner, hold multiple policies with the same insurer, have taken a boating safety course, or are renewing a claims-free policy. An agent in the Trusted Choice network can help you find and receive the discounts for which you qualify.
Find the Right Michigan Boat Insurance Policy
Comparison shopping for the right boat insurance policy can be time consuming. You will need to provide each insurance company with your personal details as well as information about your boat, where and how you will be using and storing it and how much coverage you wish to purchase. Working with an independent agent in the Trusted Choice network can simplify this process as you will only have to provide your information once and then your agent can do the comparison shopping for you.
Your local Trusted Choice member agent can do more than just help you find a great boat insurance policy. Agents are available to assist you with all your insurance-related needs and can even advocate for you during the claims process. Contact a member agent near you to start comparing Michigan boat insurance quotes.