Are Boats Required to Have Insurance in California?

California law does not require boaters to insure their boats.

Despite California’s policy on boater’s insurance, it is wise to get coverage to minimize risks to your personal assets. Boating insurance is like car or home insurance; it covers the policy holder and the boat from property damage, theft, vandalism, and injuries. But, while boater’s insurance is like car or home insurance, a boat is usually not covered by either of those policies. Therefore, you should obtain a separate policy to protect you and your boat.

When purchasing an insurance policy for your boat, it is important to conduct some research on the various insurance providers. Rates differ based on the boat’s location, model, and even the boat owner’s experience. To secure the best coverage at affordable pricing, it is important to discuss “agreed value” and “actual cash value” policies.

Agreed value policies will pay the amount agreed to on the policy if there is a total loss of the boat. Damage that results in partial loss would normally be paid for by a replacement cost. The physical depreciation of the boat would not be a factor considered to determine the value of the damages. Actual cash value policies cover less than agreed value policies but have lower rates Depending on the policy types, discounts can vary with different insurance policies.

While there is no requirement for boater’s insurance, it is advised to get boaters insurance to minimize any risk if you ever get into a boating accident, or if your boat is damaged or stolen. If you need assistance or more information on boater’s insurance feel free to call Kershaw Talley Barlow at (916) 520-6639. We would be happy to help!

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