Owning a boat or personal watercraft can be the source of a great number of joys- days spent on the water with family and friends, making memories, enjoying the outdoors, and living the watercraft lifestyle. Buying and maintaining your boat or watercraft can also be expensive, so like any other investment, it’s important to take the needed precautions to protect it.

While the state of New Jersey does have strict laws in place about the need to register your boat, it actually does not require boat insurance. With no legal requirement to insure your boat, you may wonder if boat insurance is necessary, or even a wise investment. Many choose to forego boat insurance, exposing themselves to financial risks. This may be reluctance to pay the premiums, or simply believing that they don’t or won’t need protection. Despite the lack of laws requiring boat insurance in the Garden State however, boat owners and operators can be found legally liable for damages caused while operating a boat, injuries incurred by others while on your boat, medical expenses associated with injuries, and so on. Liability reasons alone are enough to consider purchasing insurance. In addition to liability concerns, total loss or damages to the boat itself are worth taking steps to insulate yourself against. When making an expensive investment in something you wish to be able to use and enjoy, you don’t want to be left in the lurch in the event of an incident, leaving you paying the cost to repair or replace your watercraft.

Thanks in large part to major insurers such as Geico and State Farm choosing to begin writing boat insurance policies, many other companies have elected to “wade in” to the world of boat and personal watercraft insurance. This is great news for those seeking to purchase policies- when bigger and more varied players become involved, the marketplace becomes much more competitive. As the risk is spread, premiums go down, and policy-holders reap the benefits of better and less expensive coverage. There has been a steady decrease in costs for premiums thanks to these developments, making now a better time than ever to seek coverage for your boat or other watercraft.

Some homeowners insurance policies offer very limited coverage for boats, which on occasion can prove useful for very small boats, but more often than not don’t address the many risks associated with specific marine issues, like wreck removal, pollution, environmental damage, and salvage work. When dealing with any kind of sizable boat, the best option is always boat insurance.

This is especially true where liability issues are a concern. Thanks to more people spending time outdoors and enjoying their watercraft, there are more boats on the water- and where there are more boaters there are more potential boating accidents. Much like car insurance, personal liability coverage provides protection to other boaters and boat owners in the event that you are at-fault for an accident on the water. These policies can pay to repair or replace the property of someone else, as well as provide coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs that can be incurred in an accident for which you are deemed at fault. Having this coverage alone can potentially save you thousands of dollars, in addition to making your time on the water less anxious. No one wants to spend their boating time worrying about the financial consequences of a potential accident.

Medical expenses coverage is another important aspect to consider. While liability coverage protects you from the medical costs associated with an accident for which you are at fault, there are a myriad of other ways that you or other passengers on your boat can become injured and require medical care. Medical payments coverage is available that spans from the range of $500- $10,000 and covers you, your passengers, and even your water-skiers or tubers- regardless of who is at fault. The premiums for this type of coverage are minimal, and the benefits can prove invaluable in the event of an accident.

Finally, total loss is a major concern. For those who weathered the devastation that was Superstorm Hurricane Sandy, it is more than clear how easily your watercraft can be suddenly and immediately destroyed. The physical damage was like nothing Monmouth County had previously seen, with boats of all sizes scattered across a wide area, destroyed, and in some cases, completely disappeared. Boats were wrecked across the shores, found on rooftops, and in people’s yards thanks to the colossal flooding. However, having full coverage on your boat policy so that your boat is covered for physical damage is an assurance that if you lose your boat in a weather event, it will be completely covered. Whether that boat is damaged, or disappeared out to sea, coverage for a total loss means receiving a full payout. Physical damage coverage pays for the costs associated with replacing or repairing your watercraft, or major components like your motor. All of this coverage is crucial in the event of a storm or other event where your watercraft receives significant damage.

The risks and pleasures both are innumerable when you’ve taken on ownership of a boat or personal watercraft. In order to maximize the experience, and minimize the risk to yourself, your loved ones, and your wallet, boat insurance is a must. With premiums recently lowering, now is the best time to take advantage and seek the advice of a professional like the ones at LG Insurance to assist you in getting the coverage you need for your boating lifestyle.