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Do You Really Need Boat Insurance in Massachusetts?

Your boat is an important part of your life. In fact, a good boat in Massachusetts can be one of your biggest assets and you need sufficient boat insurance to protect this investment. The following story demonstrates the importance of Boating Insurance:

Alex Yon owned a beautiful 40 foot boat with a powerful motor that had everything he wanted for fishing and leisure. Because he had to finance his purchase, he needed to fully insure the boat, but now that it was paid off, he seriously thought about dropping the insurance altogether. After all, there are no state laws in Massachusetts that requires you to insure your boat, so why pay this added expense?

When Alex talked the matter over with his wife, she begged him to keep the insurance. She reminded him that unexpected things can occur, and insurance is very important. Alex listened to his wife and decided to renew the policy one more time. A month later, Alex went on a fishing trip and another boater was driving carelessly and collided with Alex’s boat. His boat was seriously damaged and Alex and his passengers were injured. One of his passengers had to be hospitalized for several days, but fortunately everyone eventually made a full recovery.

The other boater did not have any insurance, but thankfully Alex had uninsured/underinsured boater’s coverage on his vessel. This paid for all of the damages and the medical bills too. If Alex had dropped his coverage, it could have meant financial disaster, because the other boater had no financial resources, and Alex would not have been able to cover all the bills.

What Is Boat Insurance?

When you insure your boat you are protecting it and its contents against damage or loss while boating. You also are buying liability coverage, and this is just as important as the liability protection that you buy for your car. Boating accidents can happen and sometimes they can be serious.

Who Needs This Insurance?

If you own a boat in Massachusetts and take it on the water, you should consider insuring it. Maybe it is an older boat and not worth much. You should still buy liability insurance.

What Comes With A Standard Boating Insurance Policy?

Although there are no “one size fits all” policies, a typical boat policy may include:

  • Hull protection – covers vessel damage and motor damage.
  • Personal possessions – this can be fishing gear, smart phones, computers, or anything that you take with you.
  • Liability – covers damage to other vessels.
  • Medical payments to those injured in a boating incident.
  • Clean up charges – in case your vessel pollutes the waters with contaminants like oil, gasoline, and such, during the course of an accident. This can be a major expense.
  • Vessel towing – in case your boat is disabled on the water.

What Optional Boat Insurance Coverage Is Available?

Besides a standard policy, you can choose several other options:

  • Increased liability limits – this will give you more protection than standard liability.
  • Comprehensive – this can cover fire, theft, and acts of nature. With some policies, comprehensive may be standard but not with all. Many people think that homeowners policies will pay for these things, but they usually have low limits on claims like theft, and what would you do if someone stole all of your boating equipment or the motor?
  • Uninsured boater coverage – pays for damages in case the other boater has no insurance or the insurance is insufficient to pay for damages. If you have this coverage, your insurance company will take care of the damages and losses.
  • Replacement cost coverage – this will pay for the actual cost instead of the current market value (if the boat is totaled). This can be very valuable if you buy a new boat and it is seriously damaged within the first few years. It is similar to gap insurance on a car loan.
  • Trailer coverage – If you have an expensive boat trailer, you may wish to insure it also.


Boating Insurance in Massachusetts is as important as insuring your car. You can rest easy knowing you will be covered should a boating accident occur. Damage coverage, liability, medical payments, and coverage for uninsured boaters can make the difference between a happy ending and financial ruin. Your boat may be different than people you know, and your boating insurance needs may also be different. To get the best policy for the most reasonable rates, check with a trusted company like Risman Insurance Agency.

We are a Five Star Agency and the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents does not readily hand out this designation. They have extremely rigorous standards in which agency employees are personally interviewed and an entire fitness review is done on the company. You can trust an insurance agency that has achieved this rating.

Risman Insurance Agency represents three generations of outstanding customer care for 80 years, and you can depend on us for all of your insurance needs. Don’t let an unfortunate boating accident cause you serious financial problems. To learn more about boat insurance, visit our home on the Web at http://www.risman.com any time of the day or night, or call us at 1-800-952-6602.

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