At the end of 2011, there were 42,985 boats registered in Montana, many of them not covered by boat insurance. Although boating can be a fun and relaxing pastime for Montanans, this activity does have its risks. A boating accident can potentially cost you thousands of dollars if you don't have the proper insurance. Whether you prefer trout fishing in beautiful West Yellowstone, cruising Flathead Lake on your yacht or towing water skiers behind your motorboat on Holter Lake, you may want to compare boat insurance quotes before you take your vessel back on the water.
2011 MT Boating Accident Statistics
- In 2011, there were 19 boating accidents reported in Montana.
- These accidents resulted in nine fatalities and nine injuries.
- One of these boating accidents resulted in significant property damage.
- Damage from these 19 boating accidents came to $38,100.
- That is an average of about $2,000 in damage per boating accident.
- Montana’s boating accident fatality rate is 23.3 deaths per 100,000 registered boats, which is significantly higher than the national rate of 6.2.
Why Should Residents of Montana Purchase Boat Insurance?
Montana law does not mandate boat insurance, so many residents feel that it is not very important or that they can save money by foregoing coverage. However, the costs of a boating accident can sometimes be excessive, particularly if you are responsible for property damage or bodily injury to a third party. Even worse, if you cause an accident that results in a fatality and you are uninsured, you may suffer unmanageable financial losses from which you may be unable to recover.
While your homeowners insurance may provide a modicum of coverage in such an event, it is typically very limited. Only a boat insurance policy can provide you with the full coverage you need to handle the many different types of expenses associated with boating accidents.
What Coverage Does Boat Insurance Provide?
Boat insurance provides Montana residents with a number of coverage options. A lot of these coverage options may be included with a basic policy, but some insurance providers may require you to purchase some options as separate endorsements. Be sure to take this into consideration when you are comparing different policies and quotes. You can expect to find these coverage types:
- Liability coverage: This provides compensation to third parties who have suffered personal injury or property damage as a result of a boating accident for which you are at fault. Also included with this coverage are any associated court costs and legal defense fees, up to your coverage limit.
- Medical expenses coverage: This covers medical costs for you and your passengers for injuries incurred in a boating accident, regardless of fault.
- Collision coverage: This compensates you for collision-related damage to your boat, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive coverage: This compensates you for non-collision-related damage to your boat. Covered events include such things as fire, falling objects, theft and vandalism.
- Uninsured/Underinsured boaters coverage: This compensates you if an uninsured or underinsured boater causes you to sustain personal injury or property damage and is unable to cover the associated costs. Because Montana does not require boaters to have boat insurance, you should opt for this coverage.
- Personal property coverage: This covers you against loss or damage to expensive equipment you keep onboard if a covered event results in damage to the equipment. The coverage includes protection for such things as fishing gear, navigation devices, safety equipment and tools.
- Fuel spill and wreckage removal coverage: If you are responsible for a boating accident, you will most likely have to pay for the costs associated with wreckage cleanup. This can be quite expensive, particularly when a fuel spill is involved. This insurance option helps you cover these costs.
- Towing and assistance coverage: This covers the costs associated with necessary assistance if your boat becomes disabled or needs servicing while it is on the water.
- Trailer insurance coverage: This covers the cost to repair or replace your boat trailer if it sustains damage due to a covered event.
- Roadside assistance coverage: This provides you with roadside assistance and specialized towing if your vehicle becomes inoperable while you are towing your boat to and from the water.
Top Causes of Boating Accidents in Montana, 2011
- Collision with another vessel: Five accidents
- Collision with a fixed object: Five accidents
- Flooding/Swamping: Two accidents
- Ejected from vessel: Two accidents
Is Boat Insurance Expensive in This State?
Boat insurance can cost from $20 to $100 a month, depending on a number of factors. When you request boat insurance quotes in Montana, insurance companies will consider many factors in order to calculate your rates. These include such things as the following:
- The type of boat you own (bass boat, fishing boat, motorboat, cabin cruiser, etc.)
- The make, model, year and purchase price of your boat
- The coverage types and the amount of coverage you wish to purchase
- The deductible you are requesting
- Your driving record, claims history and credit score
You may also want to consider taking a boating safety course. In Montana, successful completion of this course is mandatory for boaters between the ages of 13 and 14 who wish to operate a motorboat or a PWC with a motor rated at 10 horsepower or greater. Even if not required, this course can be very beneficial as it can prepare you for the hazards you may face on the water and because it can earn you a discount on your insurance policy.
Find and Compare Boat Insurance Quotes in Montana
Comparison-shopping is crucial if you want to be certain that you are not spending too much for your boat insurance policy. Unfortunately, the process of acquiring and comparing quotes can be time-consuming and sometimes even frustrating. If you choose to work with an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network, however, you will find this job much simpler. Your agent can answer your insurance-related questions, help you assess your coverage needs and provide you with a selection of policies and quotes from different providers.
Contact an agent near you for more information and start comparing a variety of boat insurance quotes for policies that meet your specific needs.