California Boat Insurance - A Guide to Boat, Marine and Yacht Insurance in California
When you buy a boat in California, you must register it with the DMV before
you can set sail. All power boats and any sailboat more than eight feet long
have to be registered unless documentation through the US Coast Guard already
exists. If you bring a boat into California from outside the state, and intend
to use it primarily in California, you have 120 days to register the boat before
you put it in the water.
There are some categories of boats that don't need to be registered. These
include any boat propelled only by oars or paddles, sailboats shorter than
eight feet long, surfboards and sailboards, the lifeboat on a larger vessel,
and any vessel registered in another state that is mostly used in California.
Any boat you bring into the state for a race is exempt while racing and while
getting tuneups. If you have a commercial boat of more than five tons or more
than 30 feet long, you'll have to make your registration with the US Coast
Guard, not with the DMV.
Boat insurance is an important way to protect your vessel in California. You
should make sure you have the right coverage to pay for the unfortunate results
of accidents, burglaries, natural disasters, and other situations that may
damage your boat. Boat insurance is often overlooked, if you don't have a loan
outstanding on your boat. If you do have such a loan, your lender may require
insurance. Your premiums will depend on the size and age of your boat, as well
as the horsepower of its engine, range, and your experience as an operator.
If the boat is over 25 years old, it will probably be insured under a different
kind of boat insurance
If you are likely to be using your boat in a particularly hazardous area,
such as one prone to hurricanes, you insurer may impose an additional surcharge.
This can be up to 30% of your normal premium. At minimum, it's important to
keep a basic liability policy on your boat in California. This is so that anyone
on your boat or around it will be covered if they are injured there. Even though
you are not at fault, you may be found liable for medical bills that occur
on your property. Thus, it's very important to make sure that you at least
have liability coverage.
Other coverage that's a good idea is insurance while
your boat is in tow from place to place, dock coverage if you store it for
part of the year, and salvage coverage to pay for towing or salvage if your
boat is seriously damaged on the water. All of these coverages can save you
a lot of money down the line. Just what coverage you include in your California
Boat Insurance is, of course, dependent on the type and value of your boat.
You may look for lower premiums if your boat is older or inexpensive. A luxury
yacht, on the other hand, should have enough insurance to cover any possibility.
Although boat insurance is not mandatory in California, it is an important
thing to have before you go out on the water. Protect yourself and your property
by securing adequate boat insurance for your vessel.