Do you need boat insurance in Massachusetts?

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Legally speaking, no. Private boat owners in Massachusetts are not required to carry boat insurance.

Despite the lack of state legislation, the majority of boat owners in Massachusetts will still carry some form of coverage for their watercraft, for two broad reasons:

  • Private companies can still require insurance to access their services or premises.
  • Even for relatively small boats, the cost of boat-related accident or injury can be ruinous.

Some of the situations where boat owners are likely to find themselves needing to demonstrate proof of insurance include:

  • Banks and other lenders frequently require borrowers to buy & maintain insurance as a lending condition. Some loan agreements even permit the lender to accelerate the loan for borrowers who drop coverage or stop payment.
  • Private boating clubs and yacht clubs may require members to carry insurance on their boats as a condition of membership.
  • Private marinas & docks may demand proof of insurance for boats on their property.

Some of the more common perils associated with boat ownership include:

  • Property damage to the boat itself from accident or weather
  • Injury sustained while on the boat
  • Injury sustained in accidents involving the boat
  • Lawsuits resulting from injury or property damage caused by the boat

If you have a boat, or are thinking of buying one, reaching out to your insurance agent is the best way of understanding the risks and coverage options that are right for your needs.

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