Is Boat Insurance Required For Small Vessels?

In Manchester, NH, boat insurance is not legally required at all, even for large vessels. You are required to carry insurance to dock at most privately-owned piers, however. This is because boat-on-boat collisions, while rare on the open water, are fairly common at the docks. In order to keep a lawsuit from landing at their own feet, most dock owners will ask that anyone using their docks carry their liability insurance.

So the question comes down to: Does this extend to smaller vessels? And the short answer is yes. Any boat you want to dock at a privately-owned pier, jetty, or wharf, you’re probably going to have to get insured.

At a certain point, this becomes trivial, of course. An inflatable raft can be launched into the water from anywhere. You don’t need a dock. The same goes for many small fishing boats, canoes, kayaks, and so on. The only reason to insure these vessels is to protect your own interests, and with many small vessels, the total cost of the boat or watercraft may be less than a year’s worth of insurance premiums. Liability might not be a significant concern for very small vessels, either. It’s hard to do much damage in an inflatable, non-motorized raft. 

So here’s what you need to consider: Is your boat big enough to dock? If so, it’s unwise to go without insurance. But small, "hobbyist" vessels don’t invite a lot of financial risk into your life.

If you’re looking to get covered in Manchester, NH, get in touch with us at Associated American Insurance. Call, go online, or stop by the Associated American Insurance offices and let’s see what we can do for you.