Whether you prefer paddling down a scenic stream in your kayak, towing water skiers on a lake with your motorboat or taking a river cruise in your yacht, you may want to consider securing your investment with a good boat insurance policy. But before you buy a policy, speak with a reliable Missouri insurance agent who can get you options and quotes from a variety of insurance companies and help you select the policy that's right for you.
MO Boating Laws and Regulations
- The state requires all mechanically propelled watercraft to be registered. The watercraft must have the registration number painted on both sides of the bow.
- The state requires boaters to register their boats within 60 days of purchase to avoid a monthly penalty of $10.
- The state requires owners to renew boat registrations every three years.
- The state requires residents born after January 1, 1984, to have a boater certification card to operate a boat on Missouri’s lakes.
- A boater certification card is not required for those operating their boats on private waters, rivers or streams.
- No one under the age of 14 may operate a boat in this state.
- Owners may not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended load capacity.
- The state requires boats over 16 feet in length to have at least one personal floatation device per passenger.
- The state requires children under 7 years of age to wear a floatation device at all times.
- The state requires navigation lights when operating the vessel between sunset and sunrise.
- Motorboat engines must have a factory-installed muffler.
- After sunset, the speed limit is 30 mph on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.
- Operating a boat while intoxicated is illegal.
- The state does not require boat insurance.
Why Should Missouri Residents Purchase Boat Insurance?
If you have financed the purchase of your boat, your lender may require you to carry insurance for the duration of your loan. Once you own the boat outright, however, insurance coverage is optional. You may feel that because the law does not require boat insurance, it is not very important, but that is not the case.
If you are responsible for in an accident while out on the water, you may find yourself liable for unmanageable expenses. And if your vessel sustains damage in the accident, you may find yourself facing very costly repairs. Your homeowners insurance may provide some measure of coverage, but it is usually quite limited. So, you may still have some financial responsibility. Only a comprehensive boat insurance policy can fully protect your finances and the investment you have made in your boat.
2011 Missouri Boating Accident Statistics
- There were 128 boating accidents, resulting in 20 fatalities and 85 injuries.
- Of these, 51 boating accidents resulted in significant property damage.
- These accidents were responsible for $608,507 in damages.
- That is an average of $4.754 in damages per boating accident.
- Missouri’s boating accident fatality rate is 6.6 deaths per 100,000 registered boats, whereas the national rate is 6.2.
What Does Boat Insurance for Missouri Residents Cover?
In Missouri, a basic boat insurance policy will provide you with liability coverage in the event that you are responsible for a boating accident that results in property damage or injuries to a third party. This coverage will include any related court costs and legal fees if you find yourself in need of legal defense.
Your provider may automatically include other coverage options as part of a basic policy. Otherwise, you will have to purchase them separately as part of your policy. These options include the following:
- Personal property insurance: This includes coverage for your covered stolen or damaged safety equipment, fishing equipment and tools. If you own a commercial fishing boat, you will need to protect your gear with a commercial boat insurance policy.
- Medical expenses insurance: This provides coverage for medical treatment if you or your passengers suffer injuries in a boating incident.
- Uninsured/underinsured boaters insurance: This is particularly important because Missouri does not require boat insurance.
- Comprehensive insurance: This covers damage to your boat while it is docked or otherwise not in use.
- Fuel-spill and wreckage cleanup insurance: Without this coverage, you will be responsible for costly cleanup expenses if you are responsible for a boating accident.
- Towing and assistance: This covers the cost of towing and servicing while your boat is in the water.
- Roadside assistance: This covers you if you need your boat towed due to a problem while transporting it to and from the water.
2011 Top Boating Accident Types in Missouri
- Collision with another vessel: 20 accidents
- Collision with a fixed object: 18 accidents
- Falls in vessel: 18 accidents
- Skier mishap: 13 accidents
- Flooding/swamping: 11 accidents
- Falls overboard: 10 accidents
- Grounding: 9 accidents
Is Boat Insurance Expensive for Missouri Residents?
The cost of a boat insurance policy can vary significantly from person to person. Rates depend on several factors including, but not limited to, the following:
- The type of boat you are insuring: a cabin cruiser, for example, will cost more to insure than will a bass boat.
- How frequently you use your boat: If you only use your boat during the warmer months, you can expect lower premiums than if you use your boat year-round.
- The value of your boat: This will affect your costs if you are including comprehensive coverage with your policy.
- The amount of liability coverage you opt to purchase: If you feel you need more liability coverage than your policy allows, you can supplement it with an umbrella insurance policy.
- The amount of your deductible: Higher deductibles yield lower premiums.
- Your driving record: Good drivers are less likely to be responsible for boating collisions.
You may qualify for discounts on your policy for several reasons, such as being a homeowner, holding multiple policies with the same insurer or renewing a claims-free policy. Be sure to ask about discounts when requesting an insurance quote.
Review Your Missouri Boat Insurance Quotes Before You Buy
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.
Trusted Choice agents are available to answer any questions you may have about boat insurance coverage and can assist you with all your insurance-related needs. Contact one of the many Trusted Choice agents in Missouri to learn more and to start comparing boat insurance quotes.