Many South Carolina residents enjoy boating throughout the region. You may spend weekends water-skiing and cruising on Lake Murray or heading to Folly Beach with your fishing boat for a quiet retreat. With its beautiful coastline and many lakes and rivers, South Carolina has something for everyone. You likely invested a lot of time and money in your watercraft, so you will want to protect your investment and your finances with a good boat insurance policy.
Independent agents in the Trusted Choice® network can assist you by answering your questions about boat insurance and helping you determine your individual coverage needs. Member agents have relationships with several different insurance companies, and can find a variety of affordable South Carolina boat insurance quotes for policies that meet your coverage and budgetary needs. Find a local agent today.
Boating Requirements in South Carolina
- All boats must be registered and titled in the owner’s name
- Boat operators under 16 must have completed a state-approved boating course if operating a boat with more than 15 hp, unless accompanied by an adult
- All boats must have wearable personal floatation devices (PFDs) available for all passengers. Passengers under 12 are required to wear a PFD at all times. Passengers of personal watercraft (PWCs) are also required to wear PFDs
- All boats must have a fire-extinguisher on-board
- Navigation lights are required to be on between official sunset and sunrise
- Boat insurance is not required by the state
Though South Carolina does not require boat owners to carry liability insurance, having coverage is an extremely good idea. Boat insurance costs range according to the type and value of your boat. For example, a bass boat will cost less to insure than a yacht, but on average you can buy a policy for about $1 a day.
Boating Accidents: How SC Compared to the Rest of the Country in 2011
- Nationwide, there were 4,588 boating accidents, of which 686 involved fatalities
- In South Carolina, there were 93 boating accidents, of which 17 involved fatalities
- Nationwide, 1,709 boating accidents involved property damage
- In South Carolina, 25 boating accidents involved property damage
- Nationwide, boating accidents caused $52,198,658 in damages
- In South Carolina, boating accidents caused $299,655 in damages
- Nationwide, boat accident property damage costs averaged $30,543
- In South Carolina, boating accident property damage costs averaged $11,986
If you are alert and careful while on the water, your chances of experiencing an accident are low. However, dozens of boat accidents do happen in this state each year. Unfortunately, the consequences of even a small lapse in judgment can lead to a boating accident. Due to the nature of active water sports, these accidents can be dire, with regard to human life, property damage and the costs of liability claims.
Things like medical bills, rehabilitation and lawsuits can be exorbitant, but even if the accident leads only to property damage, those costs can sometimes be high enough to cause a great deal of financial hardship for you and your family. A basic South Carolina boat insurance policy can protect you from this risk.
2011 Top Three Types of Boating Accidents in South Carolina
- Collision with another boat: 29 accidents
- Collision with a fixed object: 12 accidents
- Skier Mishap: 9 accidents
Operator inattention and inexperience lead to most boating accidents. One of the best ways to ensure that you are prepared to navigate safely is by taking a boating safety course. These courses are required for boat operators under the age of 16, if boating without an adult, but these courses are a good idea for everyone. Successful completion can even save you as much as 10-15 percent on your boat insurance policy.
Do not count on your homeowners insurance for your liability and property damage coverage when it comes to your boat. While you may have some coverage through your policy, it is usually very limited. The only way to make sure you have complete coverage is through a boat insurance policy.
What Will South Carolina Boat Insurance Cover?
The most basic boat insurance policy will provide liability coverage for accidents resulting in property damage or injuries to others. It will also provide coverage for damages to your own property, including your boat and trailer, if they should be damaged while in use or while you are transporting your boat to and from the water.
Depending on the insurance provider, other kinds of coverage may be included with your policy or may be purchased separately as options. This coverage usually includes:
- Loss or damage of personal property such as safety equipment, tools, and fishing equipment
- Towing and assistance if your boat is disabled or needs to be serviced
- Reimbursement of medical expenses for you and your passengers if you are injured in a boating accident, regardless of fault
- Uninsured or underinsured boater coverage; this is very important in South Carolina because boat insurance is not required
- Damage to your boat while docked or not in use
- Fuel spills and wreckage cleanup
Get the Best South Carolina Boat Insurance Policy
Shopping for South Carolina boat insurance can be a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating job. It may be difficult to sort out how much coverage you need and which options are right for you. Trusted Choice independent agents can save you from this hassle. They will do your comparison shopping for you and will ensure that you are getting the best policy for your individual needs at a competitive rate.
A local Trusted Choice independent agent can help you with all of your insurance-related needs, and can even advocate for you during the claims process if you need assistance. Contact Trusted Choice to find a member agent in your neighborhood and start comparing South Carolina boat insurance quotes.