Whether you’re yachting with friends on Lake Travis or waterskiing with your family on Lake Austin, as a boat owner in Texas, you have plenty of places to enjoy your watercraft. It therefore comes as no surprise that residents of this state have registered nearly 600,000 boats.
Unfortunately, boating accidents sometimes happen. You can make sure that a fun day on the water doesn’t end up causing you large financial losses by investing in an affordable boat insurance policy. A local independent insurance agent can help you find a great policy at a competitive rate.
What Is Boat Insurance and Why Is It Important?
Boat insurance is primarily designed to cover boats that have motors or sails. A new boat can cost tens of thousands of dollars, so for many, this coverage is well worth the investment.
The US Coast Guard reports that Texas boaters are involved in an average of 203 accident a year. In fact, in one recent year, boating accidents in this state resulted in 173 injuries, 59 deaths, and $2.2 million worth of property damage. That’s a lot of expensive losses for uninsured boaters in the Lone Star state.
Does Texas Require You to Insure Your Boat?
Unlike car insurance, boat insurance is not required by the state of Texas, so you do not need to have insurance to register your boat.
It is possible, however, that you may need to carry coverage in order to dock your boat at certain marinas, and lenders may require it if you have financed the your boat and are still paying on the loan.
How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost in Texas?
The average cost of a boat insurance policy in Texas is around $348 a year. At just $29 a month, that is very little to pay for the peace of mind a policy can afford you.
Of course, there are several factors that go into calculating costs, so your actual price may be higher or lower than this average amount. Rates for coverage can be influenced by the following factors.
- The type of boat you are insuring (e.g., sailboat, bass boat, motorboat, yacht, etc.)
- Details about your boat including its value, age, length, and engine size
- Where boat will be stored when not in use
- Your driving record and claims history, both on and off the water
- Whether you and have taken a boating safety course
- The amount of coverage you are purchasing
- The size of your deductible.
The only way to find out how much a boat insurance policy will cost you is by contacting a few insurance companies and requesting quotes. Or, if you prefer, an independent agent can do this for you.
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What Does Texas Boat Insurance Cover?
Boat insurance policies can vary from one provider to the next. Some of the coverage that may come standard with one policy may be optional with another.
Most boat insurance providers in Texas will offer some or all of the following types of coverage.
- Boating liability insurance: This can cover your financial responsibilities if you are at fault for a boating accident that results in third-party injuries and/or property damage.
- Medical payments insurance: This can pay for any medical expenses that you and your passengers may incur as a result of a boating accident, regardless of fault.
- Physical damage insurance: This can cover damage to your own boat as well as to your boating equipment if either is damaged in a boating collision, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive insurance: This can cover non-collision-related damage to your vessel such as may be caused by fires, floods, property crimes, or severe storms.
- Equipment insurance: This can cover loss or damage to the equipment you keep on your boat, such as GPS guidance devices and towables.
- Personal effects insurance: This can cover personal items like fishing gear, water skis, and life jackets if they are stolen from your boat or are damaged by a covered event.
- Uninsured boater insurance: This can cover your property damage and medical costs if you are in a boating accident that was caused by an uninsured or underinsured boater.
- Towing insurance: This can cover the cost of having your boat towed back to shore if it becomes disabled out on the water, such as if you experience engine failure or steering problems.
- Fuel spill/wreckage cleanup insurance: This insurance coverage can provide you with the funds and resources necessary to remove wrecked boats from the water and clean up fuel spills if you are responsible for a boating accident.
It is a good idea to review all your policy options when deciding which are a good fit for you and your family.
What Is Not Covered by Texas Boat Insurance?
As with any type of insurance, boat insurance has some limitations. Some of the things that most boat insurance policies will not cover include the following.
- Damage to your boat trailer (this would be covered by your auto insurance)
- Normal wear and tear on your boat
- Mold damage
- Damage caused by marine life, insects, or animals
- Faulty machinery (some boat insurance providers will offer you the option of including mechanical malfunction coverage to your policy)
- Accidents caused by people who are not named operators of your vessel
Keep in mind that unless you have purchased endorsements for boat equipment and personal effects, your policy will not cover accessories like lifeboats, anchors, and modifications.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Texas?
A comprehensive boat insurance policy can save you a lot of money if you are involved in a boating accident. Working with an experience insurance professional can help you be sure you are getting great coverage at a competitive price.
There are nearly 1,800 independent agents in the state of Texas who are ready to help. Contact an insurance agent near you to get more information and to start comparing customized boat insurance quotes.