Whether you enjoy sailing on Chesapeake Bay or cruising down the Potomac River, Washington, DC offers beautiful scenery and miles of boating pleasure. Only a comprehensive boat insurance policy will enable your boating dreams in DC to recover quickly in the event of severe weather damage or a boating accident.
Before you search for boat insurance quotes, however, there are several factors to keep in mind.
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Be Safe on Washington, DC Waters
According to the U.S. Coast Guard:
- Someone is injured or killed in a boating accident every 2.5 hours.
- Your chance of drowning in a boating accident is 1 in 66 with a life jacket and 1 in 11 without a life jacket.
- More than 63% of boating accidents occurred with boaters who considered themselves "very experienced" at operating their craft.
Why Is Boat Insurance Important?
Chances are you have invested a lot of time and money in your boat. Whether you operate a small fishing boat or a large pleasure yacht, boating can be a very expensive hobby. Unless you have significant savings to repair or replace your boat following hurricane-force winds or a collision with another boater, your dreams of sailing the beautiful waters of Washington, DC may be docked indefinitely without the protection provided by a boat insurance policy.
And in today's litigious society, one boating accident involving another vessel could also result in a lawsuit. Only the protection of liability boat insurance will save your assets and future earning potential from being subject to a potentially devastating settlement.
Am I Required To Carry Boat Insurance in DC?
Although the District of Columbia does not require you to carry boat insurance, it is still a good idea to protect your savings from accidents or lawsuits.
DC does require all boat operators to complete a boating safety course, however. The District Of Columbia Harbor Patrol currently has a mandatory education requirement and requires all boaters to carry a Boating Safety Certificate with them while they are on the water.
Completing and passing this course will not only inform you on how to stay safe on the water, but it may also reduce your boat insurance quote 10 to 15 percent.
Can I Find Boat Insurance for My Specific Craft?
Most insurance providers offer comprehensive packages for all shapes, sizes and models of boats and other watercraft. You should be able to find quotes on the following types of boats and more:
- Bass boats
- Cruise ships
- Fishing boats
- Jet boats
- Pleasure craft
What Does Boat Insurance Cover?
The majority of insurance companies offer boat insurance policy packages for which you can choose the following coverage options:
- Collision damage: Covers repair or replacement of your boat following an accident with another boater
- Property damage liability: Covers damage you might cause to someone else’s boat, a dock, or other property or structures while operating your boat
- Bodily injury liability: Covers injury you might cause someone while using your boat and compensates them for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and legal expenses
- Comprehensive coverage: Covers your losses if your boat is vandalized, stolen, or damaged in a crime or severe weather event
- Additional coverage options: Coverage for medical payments, fishing equipment, oil spills, personal property, and roadside assistance, as well as damages and injuries from accidents caused by boaters who are uninsured or underinsured
The amount of compensation you receive for a claim depends on a few things, including your deductibles, limits, and whether your boat insurance covers your boat’s actual cash value, replacement cost, or agreed upon value.
- Actual cash value compensation takes depreciation into account. If your 15-year-old boat is damaged beyond repair, this type of insurance will pay you the value of a 15-year-old boat.
- Replacement cost coverage ignores depreciation and would replace your old boat with a brand new one of similar make and model.
You should be careful to choose a deductible that you can comfortably afford should you need to file a claim.
What Will My Boat Insurance Quote Look Like?
The quotes you will receive from Washington, DC insurance providers will vary, depending on the following factors:
- Where you keep your boat
- The type, size, and age of the boat
- 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
Typically, boat insurance can range anywhere from as little as $75 to as much as $500 per year.
Insurance companies also offer a number of discounts in certain situations, such as:
- A layup discount if you don’t use the boat year-round
- If you boat in fresh water instead of salt water
- If you've taken a boating safety course
- 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?
Whether you are a first-time boat owner or you are looking for a new insurance provider, boat insurance is a must-have before hitting the water. Independent insurance agents on the Trusted Choice® network are always here to help answer any questions you may have, suggest coverage options, and even help you file a claim.
Their years of experience working with Washington, DC insurance providers enables them to find a variety of quotes from a number of providers, ensuring you only receive the most comprehensive quotes at competitive rates. Contact a Trusted Choice agent in your area to find out how you can obtain the protection of boat insurance.