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Do I Need Insurance to Rent a Boat?

Are you currently looking for a boat to rent? Are you trying to find the right kind of insurance along with the right person to rent the boat? If so, then you have come to the right place. We have all the information you need on this site so that when you do decide to rent a boat, whoever will rent it to you, will be insured as well because of your great decision.

The answer to this question may vary from state to state, country to country, and from one boating area to another. You may not realize that renting a boat can be very expensive. And, when you're done with your trip, there may be a lot of expenses related to accident or injury, lost or damaged property, and so on.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 80% of all boating accidents in which there was a death were caused by drowning. When it comes to serious injuries, 56% were caused by being struck by a propeller, 21% occurred due to falls overboard, 5% happened because of collisions with the boat itself, and only 3% were attributed to fires or explosions.

So yes, you do need insurance on your rented boat. While most people don’t think about it in such terms, renting a boat is really no different than renting a car. If you get into an accident and you’re not insured, you could be held liable for hundreds or even thousands of dollars in damages to the boat you’ve rented as well as damages to other boats on the water or structures on land like docks.

Let's get started without further ado.

What kind of insurance is required?

In the United States, there are two types of insurance that are required when renting a boat. The first is liability coverage and the second is physical damage coverage.

Liability coverage is required by law on most boats. This type of insurance covers bodily injury to others or damage to another vessel in the event that you are negligent, which means that you did something wrong or carelessly caused damage, such as crashing into a dock.

Physical damage coverage protects the boat you are renting from damages due to collision or sinking. Some rental companies will require renters to purchase physical damage insurance from them, but some renters may already have physical damage insurance on their own boat and would prefer to use that policy. If you are uninsured, you should purchase this coverage from the rental agency, as it will cover your liability if the boat sinks or gets damaged in an accident.

Why is it a must? 
Boat insurance is a must for all boat owners, as it provides you financial protection from loss, damage, and liability.

A boat is not cheap, especially if you have a large vessel. If your boat gets damaged or stolen, you would need to spend thousands of dollars for repairs or replacement. This may be hard to do if you don't have the funds readily available.

The purpose of boat insurance is to help you financially when something happens to your boat and you need to pay repair costs or if your boat causes damage to another person's property or their boat.

How much does boat insurance cost?
The cost of boat insurance depends on several factors, including the type of boat you have, its length, and its value. The size and horsepower of the engine(s) also play a factor in determining the cost of your boat insurance policy. Other considerations include where your boat is stored when it's not in use, how often you use it and what you use it for.

As with auto insurance, liability coverage is a major part of boat insurance policies. Liability coverage protects you if someone is injured on your boat or due to your boat's operation, or if there's damage to someone else's property as the result of an accident involving your boat.

Depending on how much liability coverage you choose, a standard boat insurance policy costs between $300 and $1,000 per year.

What types of coverage do renters need?
If you're thinking about boat rental insurance, then you have a lot of questions. It's easy to get lost in the nitty-gritty details and forget to consider the big picture.

What types of coverage do boat renters need? How do they get it? What does it cost?

The most common types of coverage renters need are:

Liability coverage pays for damage you cause to other vessels or docks.
Personal property coverage, which reimburses you for damage to your gear onboard the boat.
Uninsured boater coverage, which pays for your injuries if the other boater doesn't have liability insurance.
Medical payments coverage, which covers medical expenses for you and your passengers after an accident.


On average, boat rental insurance claims are about $4,000, but costs can run as high as $50,000 or more in extreme cases.

Takeaway: 
Do you need insurance to rent a boat? The answer is yes. It protects the boat owner, the business renting out the boat, and you. There are some ways to negotiate this point, but it will depend on the situation and state laws where you're doing business. Boat rentals must also have life preservers and fire extinguishers on board. These are usually included in the fee you will pay to rent the boat.

Unlimited mileage on your rental is worth a lot. Plan ahead before you rent a boat, to help create an unforgettable and insured boating experience.