Do You Need Boat Insurance In Massachusetts?

A: Before registering a yacht in Massachusetts, it is not necessary to have insurance. Whether or not the boat is insured is totally up to the boat owner.

How much is boat insurance in Massachusetts?

The average cost of boat insurance is $200 to $500 per year, while insurance for a very large or costly boat (such as a yacht or sailboat) might cost 1–5% of the boat’s worth. For example, a $100,000 boat might cost around $2,500 per year to insure.

Boat insurance costs vary depending on you and your boat, just like other insurance rates.

Is it illegal to not have boat insurance?

Are you ready to have a good time in the sun? Make sure you’re not breaking any local boating rules before you take your new boat, jet ski, or personal watercraft (PWC) out on the water. While certain laws are self-evident, there are also highly precise restrictions for PWCs and boats.

Is it necessary to have boat insurance if I’m only riding a jet ski? Is there a distinction between that and insurance for jet skis?

First and foremost, check to determine if you’ll need to register your boat. California mandates that your PWC or boat be registered at the DMV if it is greater than 8 feet in length. There are a few exceptions:

  • Sailboats with a length of 8 feet that are not propelled (most jet skis, wave runners)
  • Currently registered vessels in another state (if used primarily outside California)

Although you are not required to have boat insurance or a boater’s license in California, there is a minimum age requirement to drive certain water vehicles, akin to driving a car.

  • If you have an adult on board who is at least 18 years old, you can operate any motorboat with more than 15 horsepower or sailboats over 30 feet if you are between the ages of 12 and 15.
  • All children under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket when on board a boat or watercraft that is 26 feet or less in length, including PWCs, according to California state law.
  • A life jacket is required for anyone riding a jet ski, wave runner, or other personal watercraft (PWC) that is being towed behind a vessel.
  • Make sure you have enough life jackets for everyone on board a boat, and that they’re easily accessible.

While boat or jet ski insurance is not needed by law, it is highly recommended because they carry a certain amount of risk. Jet ski insurance (also known as PWC insurance) provides coverage equivalent to that of a car in the event of a collision or damage to the vehicle, yourself, or others:

All PWCs must be fitted with a lanyard cutoff switch that is connected/attached to the person operating the vehicle, according to one PWC-specific regulatory requirement. The laws governing PWC and boat operation are primarily concerned with passenger safety, as well as the safety of bystanders:

  • It is prohibited to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
  • If you’re within 100 feet of a swimmer or 200 feet of a coastline, swimming float, diving platform, or landing, slow down to 5 mph.

You won’t have to worry about speed limits on your PWC or boat for the most part. However, in locations where speed limits are posted, be sure to follow all signs. There may be county or city-specific rules in addition to state ones, so be sure to educate yourself with these.

To operate a boat, jet ski, or other personal watercraft (PWC), what equipment do I need?

If you’ll be operating a PWC or will be transporting passengers, it’s a good idea to look into getting boat or jet ski insurance estimates. In the event of an accident, the coverage may help protect you from liability difficulties.

Do boat owners need insurance?

In most states, boaters are not required to acquire insurance for their vessels. However, if you want to use a slip or mooring, many marinas require proof of insurance. If you’re financing the purchase of a boat, your bank will also require insurance.

What states require boat insurance?

Only two states have boat insurance laws at the moment: Arkansas and Utah. All motorboats with engines above 50 horsepower, as well as all personal watercraft (PWC), must be protected by a liability insurance policy in Arkansas. It is illegal to operate a PWC without the required insurance, which must give at least $50,000 in liability coverage.

When operating in Utah waters, all motorboats and personal watercraft must have owner’s or operator’s liability insurance. Airboats and motorboats with engines less than 50 horsepower are excluded. It is illegal to use a PWC without the necessary insurance on Utah waterways.

The following minimum coverage limits per incident are required by Utah’s boat insurance policy:

Check with your state marine board or alternative regulatory organization to determine if you are affected. Some states require insurance for boats used in state parks or kept in state-operated marinas.

Why is boat insurance so expensive?

Aside from where you live, other factors influence the cost of boat insurance, including:

  • Fishing boats, pontoon boats, sailboats, and other personal watercraft all have distinct features that can affect the price of your insurance.
  • The horsepower of the boat: Boats with more powerful motors, such as powerboats, have higher rates.
  • Insurance costs may be lower for more experienced boaters than for novice boaters with less expertise on the water.

Do sailboats need to be registered in Massachusetts?

Any motorized boat or boat used on a Massachusetts public waterway is required by state law to be registered. Motorized fishing boats, motorized canoes and sailboats, and jet skis or wet bikes are all examples. If the US Coast Guard has provided you documented registration, you do not need to register non-motorized boats. You can register your vessel for free if it is only utilized for a city, county, state, or federal entity.

Do I need to insure a fishing boat?

Bass boats are one of the most prevalent boat types we insure. We’ll keep you and your boat safe, whether you’re fishing, enjoying nature, or simply cruising shallow waters. Receive a quote for bass boat insurance online and get the coverage you need at a reasonable price.

Do you need insurance for a bass boat?

Although boat insurance is only required by law in a few jurisdictions, you’ll need comprehensive and collision coverage to safeguard your bass boat from physical damage. Liability coverage can also compensate for damages or injuries caused by you if you’re at fault in a boating accident. Find out more about the insurance requirements for boats.

What you should know when insuring your bass boat

  • You may cover your fishing equipment, power poles, and fish finders with insurance.
  • Completing a boater safety course might help you save money on bass boat insurance.
  • In most cases, boat insurance does not cover hull corrosion or manufacturing flaws.

How much is bass boat insurance?

With Progressive, you can insure your bass boat for as little as $100 per year*. We have a number of boat insurance discounts available, including one for requesting a quote at least one day in advance.

What does bass boat insurance cover?

Liability insurance covers you if you’re at fault in a boating accident, and comprehensive/collision insurance protects your watercraft from physical damage. However, the best bass boat insurance will include extra coverages to protect your boating adventure. Here are some of the most popular bass boat coverages among our customers:

Propulsion Plus mechanical breakdown coverage

We’ll pay to repair or replace the lower unit of your bass boat’s outboard motor if it fails due to mechanical breakdown if you add Propulsion Plus coverage. Even if the damage is caused by normal wear and tear, you’re protected.

Fishing equipment coverage

For fishing rods, reels, tackle boxes, and other items, you can choose full replacement coverage up to $10,000. Additionally, personal effects coverage for items carried on your boat, such as phones, SCUBA gear, and so on, can be added. If your belongings are damaged, stolen, or fall off your boat, they are insured.

Trailer trip interruption

Progressive will reimburse you (up to $500) for meals, accommodation, and other transportation costs if your boat trailer or tow vehicle breaks down more than 100 miles from home for just $10 per year.

Bass boat insurance limitations

We cover all sorts of bass and fishing boats, but there are some restrictions:

  • Commercial fishing boats (unless it’s your primary occupation, we do include fishing tournaments)

What is every vessel operator required to do?

Collisions can easily be avoided if each vessel operator meets three key obligations.

Every boat or personal watercraft (PWC) operator is responsible for taking all necessary precautions to avoid a collision, taking into account the weather, vessel traffic, and other boats’ limits. To avoid a collision, such activity should be conducted in advance and at a safe distance from other vessels.

The most common cause of crashes is failure to keep a watchful lookout. Every operator must maintain a proper lookout at all times, employing both sight and hearing. Other vessels, radio communications, navigational dangers, and anyone engaging in maritime operations should all be kept in mind.

Safe speed is the speed at which you will have enough time to avoid a collision and will be able to stop safely. Wind, water conditions, navigational hazards, visibility, neighboring vessel traffic density, and the maneuverability of your boat or PWC will all influence your safe speed. At night or when visibility is limited, reduce speed and navigate with utmost caution.

What is the best month to buy a boat?

Is there a good moment to buy a boat? Each season has its own set of benefits, but knowing when to buy a boat throughout each season will help you get a better deal. Knowing how the different seasons effect boat sales can improve your overall shopping and purchasing experience, whether you’re buying in the middle of summer or the dead of winter.


If you polled boat owners, you’d find that spring and summer are often regarded as the worst times to purchase a boat. After all, these are the boating seasons, which means that more people are out buying boats, raising demand and, in some circumstances, driving up prices. Many individuals avoid shopping in the spring and summer because of heightened competition for boats and a large pool of people looking for their next craft.

There is a reason, though, why so many individuals desire to acquire a boat during these months. Boating season is in the summer, so purchasing in the spring allows you to prepare for your new hobby, while purchasing in the summer allows you to get out on the water right away.


Many people believe that the greatest time to buy a boat is in the fall. Because most manufacturers begin offering discounts in September and October, this is the case. When demand begins to dwindle, dealers frequently offer buyers incentives in the form of discounts and price reductions. When looking for a boat in the fall, you can frequently find some of the finest deals on both new and used boats.

Aside from the lower prices, buying a boat in the fall allows you to take advantage of the whole off-season to install equipment and accessories. You can also make sure that you have enough time to prepare the boat before the start of the following boating season.


Winter may appear to be an unusual time to buy a boat, but many people believe it is the perfect time. Why? As a result of the boat shows! Boat shows bring together a wide range of boats from the world’s most popular manufacturers, allowing you to compare models across all price, size, and style ranges. Exhibitors showcase new models and highlight the latest features, and you may view a variety of boats from various manufacturers without having to go from one location to another.

The “boat-show season” normally begins in January and lasts until March, and these events are frequently packed with bargains. Even if there is no off-season for boating, dealers in warm areas are attempting to unload their year-end inventory, so there is usually a chance for a good offer.

Is boat insurance a good idea?

When it comes to determining average boat insurance premiums, the general rule of thumb is that you’ll spend roughly 1.5 percent of the value of your boat in annual rates.

A yacht valued roughly $20,000 would cost around $300 per year to fully insure.

If you own a $100,000 watercraft, you may expect to pay around $1,500 in insurance.

And the $2 million yacht will set you back roughly $30,000 every year. (I’m sorry, but multimillion-dollar yachts are prohibitively expensive to insure.)

However, those figures are only meant to serve as a guide because there are other factors that can affect the cost of your boat insurance, and don’t worry, many of them actually lower the amount you’ll pay for marine insurance.

Shop Around for the Best Boat Insurance

Most major house and auto insurance companies also offer boat insurance (often referred to as personal watercraft insurance).

Check with any insurance companies you currently have and see if they can supply you with additional coverage. If they can, they’ll want to keep your business in-house and may even give incentives!

Check out USAA, Progressive, State Farm, and other large suppliers in addition to your regular insurer.

What Factors Affect Average Boat Insurance Pricing?

There are numerous factors that might raise the cost of your boat insurance, but there are also numerous strategies to minimize your boat insurance costs.

Let’s take a look at some of the most prevalent factors that influence the cost of boat insurance.

Safety Record

The fewer years you go without a boating accident or citation, the lower your boat insurance premiums will be. Being a safe boater is also beneficial just for the sake of avoiding bodily injury and property damage.

Homeowner’s Discount

If you own a house, your boat insurance premiums may be reduced as a result of that asset. This could be included in a “bundle” offered by your insurance.

Even if you have house insurance with one company and boat insurance with another, the latter may regard your home ownership as a good basis to give reduced boat insurance prices.


It’s fine if you pay your boat insurance by the month or a few times a year; in fact, it’s quite common. You’ll likely get a cheaper rate if you pay for the entire year’s boat insurance in one flat sum.

Boat Age

In the same way that newer automobiles are more expensive to insurance, newer boats are usually more expensive to insure. There is one caveat, though.

Buying an old boat, contrary to popular belief, may not result in lower insurance prices. Many insurance providers may give you a lower premium if you insure a yacht that has only one owner. As a result, rather than replacing an older boat, it is generally more cost effective to preserve it and repair and update it as needed.

What Does Average Boat Insurance Cover?

And now we get to the most essential question of all: what exactly does boat insurance cover?

Take the time to personalize your boat insurance plan to meet your specific requirements. Consider what you and your family require in light of your unique circumstances. To get you started, here are a few of the items that most boaters consider to be very important and are covered by the average boat insurance policy:

Medical Costs

If someone is hurt in a boating accident that is determined to be your fault (or the fault of someone in charge of your boat), your boat insurance policy will most certainly pay a significant portion of the medical costs associated with the boating injuries.

This is also true if you or a passenger on your boat is injured in an accident caused by someone else. This is critical, particularly if the other parties involved made the unfortunate decision to forego boat insurance!

Liability Expenses

Regardless of whether medical bills were incurred as a result of a boating accident, legal fees are frequently incurred. If you don’t have adequate boat insurance coverage, they might be disastrous.

Property Damage

If your boat is involved in an event that results in property damage to another vessel, a pier or section of a marina, or even to itself, you’ll be glad you have boat insurance because the repairs or replacements will be covered by your insurer rather than your personal bank account.

Personal Effects

A decent boat insurance policy will help you replace or repair anything lost or destroyed while you’re boating, such as fishing gear, navigation hardware, and possibly even personal items like jewelry or a phone.

Look for Great Boat Insurance Rates Each Year

Once you’ve purchased a boat insurance coverage, don’t think you’re done with the procedure once you’ve made your payments.

Insurance firms run television and web ads all the time for a purpose. They want you to join them and change your plans.

Many insurance firms may entice you to switch to their brand by offering attractive rates and incentives, so look around from time to time.

By constantly choosing the best possible boat insurance plan, you might save thousands of dollars over time.