The abundance of rivers and lakes in North Dakota makes it an attractive destination for boaters. Whether you sail the length of Lake Sakakawea or navigate Devils Lake's ever-increasing surface area by fishing boat, obtaining boat insurance for those unexpected incidents on the water is important.
Before you search for boat insurance, however, there are several factors to keep in mind.
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Boating Accident Statitics
According to the U.S. Cost Guard:
- Between 4,000 and 5,000 boating accidents take place on U.S. lakes and rivers every year.
- Three people were killed in North Dakota during 2011 as result of boating accidents.
- During that same year, six boating accidents caused more than $66,000 in property damage: an average of more than $10,000 per incident.
- Most boating accidents are caused by intoxicated operators or inexperience.
Am I Required to Have Boat Insurance in North Dakota?
Although some states do require boaters to carry liability insurance, North Dakota is not among them. The state does require you to register your boat, so be sure to have the proper licensing and registration stickers on your craft before you hit the lake or river.
Many North Dakota boaters take a boating safety course, which is also not required, but passing such a class can help you save money on boat insurance.
What Does Boat Insurance Cover?
Most insurance companies will give you several coverage options from which to choose as you build you boat insurance policy, including:
- Liability coverage: This can help pay for repairs or medical treatment if you cause an injury or damage another person's property while operating your boat.
- Collision coverage: This can help pay for repairs to your boat if it is damaged during an accident with another boater, regardless of who is at fault.
- Comprehensive coverage: This can help pay for repairs to or replacement of your boat if it is damaged or totaled by fire, severe weather, theft, vandalism or any other covered event.
- Additional coverage: You may also want to find coverage for your fishing gear or other accessories you carry in your boat; wreckage and clean up coverage; or boat trailer insurance coverage.
Can I Find Coverage for My Boat?
Insurance companies offer policies that cover a wide range of boats. Unless you built your craft yourself, chances are there is a policy that is right for you. Most of the following types of boats are insurable:
- Fishing boats
- Bass boats
- Sail boats
- Speed boats
Why Is Boat Insurance Important?
As the popularity of boating in North Dakota increases, so too does the number of accidents. Even a small fishing boat can cost thousands of dollars. You want the protection only a boat insurance policy can offer that will help you recover quickly following an accident.
Boat insurance can also help protect you from lawsuits should you be sued as a result of causing an injury or property damage while operating your boat. An insurance policy with liability coverage can help pay your court fees and attorney costs should you find yourself facing litigation.
What Will My Boat Insurance Quote Look Like?
Most insurance providers take several factors into consideration as they calculate your premium quote, including:
- The type, size and age of the boat you wish to insure
- The size of motor and how it is powered
- Whether you are using it on inland waters or the open seas
- Whether you have selected additional coverage options
In general, boat insurance can range anywhere from as little as $75 to as much as $500 per year.
Most insurance companies also offer a number of discounts. For example, you may be able to elect a layup discount if you don’t use the boat year-round.
You may also qualify for discounts if you’ve taken a boating safety course, or a good driving discount if your boating record is unblemished. Insurance companies vary in the discounts they offer, so be sure to ask an independent agent to compare quotes and options from multiple carriers on your behalf.
Where Can I Find Boat Insurance?
The delicious walleyes in Devil's Lake attract many boaters, perhaps including yourself. If you find yourself in an accident trying to be the first to the supreme fishing spot, only a boat insurance policy can help you make swift repairs.
Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents on the Trusted Choice® network are always available to answer your questions, suggest coverage options best suited for your boat, and even assist you in filing a claim. These experienced agents can find you a number of quotes from North Dakota providers, enabling you to obtain the best coverage at the most affordable rates. Contact a Trusted Choice member agent near you and start boating with peace of mind knowing you are protected.