man with a boat

Even though all but a few states require boaters to pass a boating safety course, most states don’t require boat insurance. However, even if your state doesn’t require boat insurance, that doesn’t mean you should go without it.

Even if you aren’t concerned about theft or damage to your boat or its contents, you are still exposed to liability risks. Without enough liability coverage, you put your passengers’ and your own life savings at risk.

Although forgoing boat insurance may not be illegal in your state, it may be required by your bank or lending institution (if you lease or finance your boat) or your marina (if you rent a dock or boat slip).

What does boat insurance cover?

Boat insurance policies can be customized to cover your boat, your passengers, your personal possessions and yourself. Boat coverage options from Nationwide include:

  • Bodily injury liability, which can help pay for injuries to others from a covered accident if you are found to be legally liable. We will defend any lawsuit that arises from a covered loss, at our expense.
  • Property damage liability, which can help pay for property damage to others from a covered accident if you are found to be legally liable. This coverage also pays up to the limits of your liability coverage for fuel spills that result in property damage, if you become legally responsible as a result of an accident. We also will defend any lawsuit that arises from a covered loss, at our expense.
  • Medical payments, which may cover medical expenses caused by an accident incurred while on, boarding, leaving or being towed behind an insured watercraft – regardless of who is at fault.
  • Uninsured/underinsured boaters bodily injury, which may cover medical expenses, loss of income and other damages owed to you by an uninsured/underinsured boater, or a hit-and-run boater.
  • Uninsured/underinsured boaters property damage, which may cover damages to your watercraft caused by an uninsured/underinsured boater, or a hit-and-run boater.
  • Collision, which can pay for damage to your watercraft if you hit another watercraft or object, another watercraft hits you, or your watercraft rolls over.
  • Comprehensive, which can help pay for damage to your watercraft from vandalism, theft, weather events and accidents involving animals.
  • Personal effects, which can provide coverage for the loss of, or damage to, personal property while on board your watercraft, or while being carried on or off. Boat hoists and lifts may also be covered.
  • Fishing equipment, which protects fishing gear and equipment used in the legal sport of fishing. Items include, but are not limited to, rods, reels, lures, tackle boxes and electronic gear used to locate fish.
  • Roadside assistance, which provides towing to your nearest qualified repair facility. It may also provide necessary labor at the time and place of disablement when the tow vehicle or watercraft trailer is disabled while transporting your insured watercraft.

These are summaries of the coverages typically found in a boat policy. Please remember that the policy language, coverages and exclusions (as applied to the applicable facts and circumstances) - as well as state law - are controlling.

Get a boat insurance quote

Nationwide provides insurance for many boat types, including bass boats, deep-sea fishing boats, ski boats, sailboats, pontoon boats, utility boats, speed boats and cabin cruisers.

Ready to get a quote? Call 1-866-603-9273 or visit our boat insurance page for more information.

When getting a quote, be sure to take advantage of Nationwide’s boat insurance discounts, including a discount for completing a boating safety course.

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Product, coverage, discounts, insurance terms, definitions, and other descriptions are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in your individual insurance contracts, policies, and/or declaration pages from Nationwide-affiliated underwriting companies, which are controlling. Such products, coverages, terms, and discounts may vary by state and exclusions may apply.

The information included here is designed for informational purposes only. It is not legal, tax, financial or any other sort of advice, nor is it a substitute for such advice. The information may not apply to your specific situation. We have tried to make sure the information is accurate, but it could be outdated or even inaccurate in parts. It is the reader’s responsibility to comply with any applicable local, state or federal regulations. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, its affiliates and their employees make no warranties about the information nor guarantee of results, and they assume no liability in connection with the information provided. Nationwide and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2024 Nationwide