If you have a boat then you probably love the warm sun, cool water, creating unforgettable memories, and enjoying countless water activities. The water in East Tennessee is something many people take part in during the summer months. While boat insurance for your watercraft is not required in Tennessee, boat insurance may be a smart investment to protect you and your boat. Read below to learn how boat insurance is the right thing for you.  

How does boat insurance work?

Boat insurance works similarly to car insurance. There are many different coverage types that help provide peace of mind should you need to use your insurance.  

In the state of Tennessee, you do not need boat Insurance to operate a watercraft. However, boat insurance helps protect watercrafts whether it is on water or land. It protects you from damage if there is an accident, provides security if your watercraft or on-board items are stolen or it can help pay for repairs depending on what parts of the watercraft need to be fixed and the coverage you have.  

Please note that each policy may differ, think of this as a means to guide you in the right direction and not specifics. It is always a good idea to contact your insurance agent so you can learn information on the exact protections you need.  

Types of Boat Insurance

Similarly, to other styles of insurance like car insurance, home insurance, etc. there are many different types of boat insurance coverages. Some of the most common coverages include property coverage, liability insurance, and uninsured coverage. 

Property Coverage

Property coverage helps protect watercrafts from risks. An example of a risk is a boating accident. If damage occurs during a boating accident property coverage may help you pay for repairs. Property coverage may also help cover the cost to replace your boat if it is stolen.  

There are two ways that an insurer can provide property coverage.  

  1. Actual Cash Value  
  1. Agreed Amount Coverage – value based on an agreement when coverage is purchased. 

Actual cash value is when insurance takes the current market value of the vessel. This value also uses depreciation and the current condition of the vessel. Agreed amount coverage is when the owner of a vessel and their insurance agency come upon an agreement of total value of their vessel, that the owner will receive, should their boat be in an incident. 

Liability Insurance

Liability Insurance provides coverage for a boat owner if they are found liable for causing damage to someone’s property. Some examples can include a crashing into another boat, dock, individuals. 

Just like car insurance, there is a wide range of liability insurance. Contact your local insurance agent so you can know exactly how much you need for your watercraft.  

Uninsured Coverage

Uninsured watercraft coverage helps insure your or other individual’s injuries when in an accident caused by another boater with minimal or no liability insurance. This form of insurance could be smart consideringsince 48 states do not require boaters’ insurance.  

It is important to note that uninsured coverage generally only covers bodily injuries caused by an uninsured boater. Damages to the watercraft are generally covered by property coverage.  

Do I need to get boat trailer insurance?

There is no specific insurance coverage for boat trailers. However, there are many ways that your trailer can be covered. When your boat trailer is on your property it may be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. When driving the trailer with or without a boat your car insurance may cover it as well. However, your boat insurance can cover damages that occurred to your boat trailer.  

What if I don’t have boat insurance?

While some boaters choose to have coverage for their watercrafts to be protected in all possible scenarios, others choose to not use any insurance. For those of you considering not protecting your assets, that is your choice to make. However, the best way to be prepared and protected is to optimize insurance coverage that fits your needs.  

If you do not have insurance, you could have many things go wrong where you are left to cover the bill. You could also fall financially liable for any or all damage caused in a boating accident. Boat insurance is generally the best way to ensure you are not financially liable for accidents or damage.  

Additional Items Boat Insurance can Cover

Boat Insurance can cover many other things other than just trailers, and the watercraft itself. You are able to add additional items onto your boat insurance. You can add on things like:  

  • Boat accessories like radar, geo-locators 
  • Special equipment like fishing gear 
  • Other additional equipment like wake towers 

Umbrella Policy

Looking to add more protection to all of your insurance policies? An umbrella policy may be a viable option for you. An umbrella policy is essentially another means of protection over your assets. This can include your home insurance, car insurance, boat insurance and much more. For owners of larger boats, this could be a great means of additional protection if an incident occurs.

Choose Inter-Agency for Your Boat Insurance Needs

Considering all of the options available to insure your boat can be tricky and overwhelming. Inter-Agency Insurance Services are here to help. We consult with you and for you to provide the highest quality program for coverage, claims, loss control/risk management, and audit services.  

Since 1966, we proudly offer a wide variety of carriers for you or your business. Consulting with and for you, we ensure that we find the most competitive policy to suit your unique needs. Because we don’t work for an insurance company, we work for you.  Call (865)-637-4519 or email info@inter-agencyinsurance.com to get the coverage possible.