Located along the coastline of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is home to many avid boat enthusiasts. For residents who like to stay in town, the Milwaukee Yacht Club and McKinley Marina provide great places from which to launch their watercraft. For those who prefer to get away, it is only a half-hour drive to Muskego Lake where you can enjoy recreational boating or take your bass boat out to catch some largemouth bass, panfish or northern pike. If you own a boat, you have likely invested a lot of money in this pastime, and you will want to protect this investment with a Milwaukee, WI boat insurance policy.
Boating Requirements in Wisconsin
- All motorized boats at least 12 feet in length must be registered and have a Wisconsin Certificate of Number and expiration stickers.
- All vessels greater than 16 feet in length require a Certificate of Title.
- Age Requirements
- No one under the age of 10 may operate a motorboat.
- No one under the age of 12 may operate a personal watercraft.
- Children under the age of 15 may operate watercraft only if accompanied by a legal or designated guardian.
- All residents born after January 1, 1989 must complete a state-approved boating safety course before operating any watercraft on the water.
- Wisconsin does not require boat liability insurance.
If you have financed the purchase of your boat, your lender may require you to carry comprehensive boat insurance for the duration of your loan. The state of Wisconsin requires only those boats used for commercial purposes to have liability insurance coverage. The lack of mandatory boat insurance does not mean it is unimportant. A good boat such as a cabin cruiser or a fishing boat can be an expensive purchase. A comprehensive Milwaukee boat insurance policy can protect your recreational investment.
2011 Boating Accidents: Comparing Wisconsin to the Nation
- Nationally, there were 4,588 boating accidents, 15% of which were fatal.
- In Wisconsin, there were 110 boating accidents, 17% of which were fatal.
- Nationally, 1,709 boating accidents resulted in property damage.
- In Wisconsin, 38 boating accidents that resulted in property damage.
- Nationally, the average cost per boating accident was $11,377.
- In Wisconsin, the average cost per boating accident was $7,900.
- Nationally, the boating accident fatality rate was 6.2.
- In Wisconsin, the boating accident fatality rate was 4.6.
Boating accidents are rare, but when they happen, they can lead to thousands of dollars in property damage. When these accidents involve injuries, the costs can grow even larger, particularly if the injuries are so severe that they require extensive and long-term medical care. Rather than risk facing a huge financial loss in the wake of an accident, purchase a Milwaukee boat insurance policy and obtain peace of mind.
2011 Top Five Boating-Accident Types in Wisconsin
- Collision with another recreational vessel: There were 39 reported accidents.
- Grounding: There were 11 reported accidents.
- Falls overboard: There were 11 reported accidents.
- Flooding or swamping: There were 10 reported accidents.
- Collision with a stationary object: There were nine reported accidents.
In all states, the two most common causes of boating accidents are operator inexperience and inattention. You can minimize your chances of experiencing an accident by adhering to posted boating regulations, and remaining alert and watchful while at the helm.
Wisconsin state-approved boating safety courses are available online or in classrooms and are one of the best ways to obtain knowledge that can keep you safe while out on the water. These courses are a good idea for everyone, regardless of age or experience. Successful completion of a state-approved course can result in lower boat insurance premiums.
What Will Milwaukee Boat Insurance Cover?
While your homeowners insurance policy may provide you with a bit of insurance for your boat, this coverage is typically very limited. The only way to get the full coverage you need is through a comprehensive boat insurance policy.
All boat insurance policies provide liability coverage that will compensate for medical and property damage expenses experienced by third parties when you are liable for the incident. The coverage provides compensation for any court costs and legal fees resulting from a covered event.
Your insurance provider may include other coverage options automatically or require you to purchase them separately, These are some of the coverage options:
- Personal property insurance: This includes coverage for safety equipment, tools and fishing gear stolen or damaged during a covered event.
- Medical coverage: This will cover expenses for you and your passengers in the event of injury in a boating accident, regardless of fault.
- Trailer insurance: If an incident results in damage to your boat or trailer during transport to or from the water, this insurance will protect you.
- Towing and assistance coverage: This provides help if your boat becomes disabled or needs service.
- Uninsured/Underinsured boaters insurance: This provides coverage for accidents caused by other boaters who may not have proper coverage.
- Docking insurance: This provides coverage for damage to your boat while it is in dock or not in use.
- Fuel spills and wreckage cleanup coverage: This covers cleanup costs following a boating accident.
Get the Right Milwaukee Boat Insurance Policy
Comparison-shopping and policy selection can be time-consuming and confusing, particularly when you must decide between a lower-priced policy that provides minimal coverage and a higher-priced one that offers coverage for every potential risk. Working with a Trusted Choice® member agent can simplify the process. Your agent can provide you with several policy options from different insurers and answer your questions so that you can make the most informed decision.
Contact an agent in your neighborhood today so you can obtain your obligation-free Milwaukee boat insurance quotes.