Ready Reference for Recreational Boatowners

Read about key factors to consider when purchasing personal boatowner’s insurance.

Richey-Barrett Blog (36)

Learn why many recreational boatowners should obtain boatowner’s insurance.

The dog days of summer have hit uber levels recently, a whistle call for recreational boaters. With Lake Erie nipping the full expanse of Ohio’s northern footprint, area boaters are drawn to this natural waterpark like a dog to a bone. Nonetheless, there’s a lot more to owning and operating individual or family recreational boats than hopping on board and escaping land.

Safe operating practices are first and foremost for any watercraft. Directly aligned with safety is compliance with laws and regulations. Two suggested online resources for safety and rules applicable to owners and operators of recreational boats are:

  1. Ohio Boat Operators Guide, a 51-page document, available at > laws
  2. A Boater’s Guide to the Federal Requirements for Recreational Boats and Safety Tips located at USCG Boating Safety > ima…

Additionally, recreational boatowners should obtain appropriate boatowner’s insurance. Even though Ohio law does not require boatowners to purchase boatowner’s insurance, you and your recreational boat are not adequately outfitted without boatowner’s insurance. While the standard homeowner’s insurance policy provides some limited allowance for watercraft coverage, many recreational boats exceed the allowance. For those boatowners, a separate boatowner’s insurance policy or boatowner’s coverage extension to the standard homeowner’s insurance policy is needed.

Key factors for owners of recreational boats to carefully consider when purchasing boatowner’s insurance include:

  • Physical damage, watercraft liability, and medical expense coverage are separate coverages with separate premium charges.
  • Towing and Emergency Assistance are additional coverage options subject to a sub-limit and separate premium charge.
  • Uninsured watercraft liability coverage may be added for a separate premium charge.
  • Size, age, construction, and type of boat
  • Valuation of boat, trailer, and equipment. Understand the application of actual cash value (ACV), stated amount, and agreed value.
  • Usage must be recreational only. There is no coverage, if the watercraft is rented. There is no coverage, if the watercraft is carrying persons or property for a fee.
  • If you trailer your boat, make sure the trailer is described and included in your boatowner’s insurance policy. A separate deductible applies to a boat trailer per loss.

There is no substitute for thoroughly reading your boatowner’s insurance policy. Coverage is subject to actual policy terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions. Call your independent insurance agent to discuss questions you may have.

Richey-Barrett Insurance is your Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agent for all of your personal lines insurance needs. If you own a recreational boat, contact us about boatowner’s insurance.

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