South Dakota Boat Insurance

Find the right boat insurance policy for you.

Ann Herro, Insurance Expert Written by Ann Herro
Ann Herro, Insurance Expert
Written by Ann Herro

Ann Herro has been writing about insurance and employee benefits for over 15 years. She has covered topics as easy as insuring a car, and as difficult as transparency in healthcare costs.


Whether you enjoy trolling Lake Oahe for walleye or cruising the Missouri River for pleasure, South Dakota offers many destinations and a variety of settings for the boat enthusiast. The increasing popularity of boating in South Dakota also offers an increased risk of accident and injury, however. Do you have boat insurance that can help protect you when accidents happen? Before you search for boat insurance quotes, however, there are several factors to consider.

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Recent Boating Accident Statistics

The following are statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety:

  • Nearly 5,500 boating accidents took place.
  • 560 people died as a result of boating accidents and another 2,620 suffered serious injuries.
  • Most of these accidents involved boats 16 feet in length or smaller.
  • Boating accidents caused nearly $72 million in property damage and other costs.

What Is Boat Insurance?

Boat insurance covers you in the event of loss of or damage to your boat. This insurance covers most vessels with motors, including bass boats, fishing boats, pontoons, paddleboats, leisure crafts, and yachts. Boat insurance does not usually cover canoes, kayaks or PWCs. Boat insurance can also protect you if you cause injury or property damage to another person. You wouldn't drive your car on SD streets without car insurance, and neither should you boat without a policy to protect you from liability.

What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

Although policies can vary considerably from company to company, most South Dakota insurance providers will offer a boat insurance policy with the following coverage options:

  • Collision damage: This can help pay for repairs to or replacement of your boat but may or may not include cleanup of wreckage unless you purchase optional coverage.
  • Property damage liability: This can help cover damage you might cause to someone else’s boat, dock or other property.
  • Bodily injury liability: This covers injury you might cause someone while using your boat, including medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and legal expenses.
  • Comprehensive: This provides compensation due to vandalism, theft or damage in an incident other than a collision.
  • Additional coverage options: This provides coverage for medical payments, fishing equipment, oil spills, personal property, and roadside assistance, as well as damage and injuries from accidents caused by uninsured or underinsured boaters.

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Is Boat Insurance Required in South Dakota?

Although not required by South Dakota state law, boat insurance is highly recommended by conservation officers. South Dakota does require that you register your boat with the state. It is also illegal for youth aged 12 or younger to operate a boat with 6 HP motor or more. All children aged seven or younger must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device at all times while in a boat.

How Are Boat Insurance Quotes Determined?

Although no two quotes will be identical, most South Dakota insurance companies take the following into consideration when they calculate your boat insurance premiums:

  • 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

Chances are you will use your boat in freshwater lakes and rivers. And, because South Dakota waters freeze over for much of the year, your insurance quotes will be significantly lower than quotes for a Nevada boater, for example. A typical boat insurance policy can range anywhere from $100 to $500 annually.

Where To Find Boat Insurance in South Dakota

You boat because you enjoy fishing or enjoy the pleasure of being on the water. You don't want your relaxing pastime to turn into a nightmare if an accident happens while you are uninsured. Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents in our network are always available to answer any questions, suggest coverage options best suited for your boat and even assist you in filing a claim.

Contact an agent near you to find out how you can obtain the perfect boat insurance policy to meet your needs and budget.

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