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The importance of carrying proper boat or marine insurance

| Feb 4, 2021 | Maritime Law |

Californians are required to carry auto insurance to demonstrate their financial responsibility to operate motor vehicles. Insurance protects drivers from liability and financial burdens when they are involved in accidents and sustain losses. Just as motorists can be harmed in crashes while driving their cars, boaters can sustain injuries when they are traveling in their vessels on Los Angeles-area waterways.

Proper marine and boat insurance are valuable policies for boat owners to carry. This post will discuss the importance of various forms of vessel insurance, but readers are reminded that this legal blog does not provide any advice or counsel. Boaters who have legal issues related to their insurance policies can discuss their problems with trusted admiralty and maritime attorneys in their communities.

Types of boat insurance coverage

Many of the types of insurance coverage that boaters seek parallel those sought out by motor vehicle owners. They can include but are not limited to:

  • Liability to cover the costs of losses suffered by others on a policy holder’s boat
  • Collision to cover the costs of a boat accident
  • Property to cover the costs of damage done by the policy holder’s boat
  • Uninsured boater coverage to cover costs caused by boaters without insurance
  • Comprehensive to cover additional harm done to a boat

Insurance does not prevent accidents from happening on navigable waters. It provides financial assistance for those who suffer losses from incidents that result in personal injuries and property-based harm.

Why boaters need insurance

Just as car accidents can result in significant losses, so too can boat accidents. A financially stable boat owner could jeopardize their savings if they were involved in a waterway crash and did not have the right insurance to cover their costs. Even when boaters have insurance, they may find that their policies do not cover the forms of harm they sustained in their accidents. When getting a boat and looking at insurance, it can be helpful for an individual to talk to an admiralty and maritime attorney about what liability issues may impact them if their vessels are involved in collisions.

Dealing with insurers after boat accidents

Having insurance is the first step to protecting a boat owner from financial ruin in the event of a collision. Ensuring that their insurer pays out on their policy when needed is another step many boat owners struggle with after crashes. It can be difficult and time-consuming to file a claim for insurance to recover losses after a boat accident, and insurers are not always willing to approve claims that may lack sufficient evidence or support. Getting an insurer to pay out a claim can take legal persuasion, and when challenges arise a boat owner can rely on their relationship with their admiralty and maritime attorney for support.