Is Boat Insurance Required In Vermont?

While Vermont does not require boaters to have insurance on their vessel, it does require operators born after 1974 to obtain a boat safety certificate in order to lawfully operate a boat.

Even though boat insurance is not required, if you cannot afford to pay for damage or the costs of a lawsuit, one collision or injury might put your boating aspirations on hold.

Can You Find Insurance for Your Boat?

Boats come in many shapes and sizes. Your Vermont insurance firm is likely to have a policy that suits your requirements. Insurance rates are available for the following types of watercraft and more:

What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

Most Vermont insurance providers will provide you with the following types of boat coverage:

  • Collision damage: If you collide with another boater or item, this coverage helps pay for repairs or replacement of your boat.
  • Liability: This covers any damage to another person’s boat, dock, or other property. It also aids in the treatment of any injuries you may cause while operating your boat, as well as any legal bills you may incur as a result of a lawsuit.
  • Comprehensive coverage includes theft and vandalism coverage in addition to collision coverage.

Additional boat insurance coverage choices offered by some Vermont providers include coverage for fishing equipment, oil spills, personal property, and roadside assistance, as well as covering for damage and injuries caused by uninsured or underinsured boaters.

If you need to file a claim, the amount of compensation you receive is determined by the deductible you set and whether your boater’s insurance covers your boat’s real cash worth, replacement cost, or an agreed-upon value.

  • Actual cash value: This compensates you for the current value of your boat. If your vessel is older than 5 years, an actual cash value coverage will almost certainly not cover the total cost of replacement. It will only pay you the value of your older boat.
  • Depreciation is not taken into consideration with replacement cost coverage. It will purchase a fresh new boat to replace the 10-year-old one.

Do you need insurance on a boat in Vermont?

Who Should Have Watercraft Insurance in Vermont? Watercraft insurance is recommended for most persons who own a personal watercraft or boat. Without it, a boater could be left without protection if something happened to their boat or someone on it.

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.

What is required to be on a boat in Vermont?

Boating safely isn’t something that happens by chance. The booklet gives an overview of Vermont boating rules as well as general information on safe vessel operating.

Boating Safety Online Education Course

All operators of motorized boats and personal watercraft born after January 1, 1974, are required by Vermont law to complete a boater safety course and carry a boater education card.

Is boat insurance a legal requirement?

Although boat insurance isn’t required by law on all waterways, the high value of boats and the risk of accident make it a risk not to have it. In addition, if you want to use a marina’s facilities, you’ll need at least third-party insurance.

If you plan on transporting your new boat to its mooring position by road, make sure you have boat insurance in place first. Any previous owner’s insurance does not cover you, and while your auto insurance may cover your boat while you’re on the road, there are sometimes limitations based on the length of your boat.

It’s a good idea to get some training if you’re a new boat owner. Reputable insurers prefer you to demonstrate that you’ve attained a specific degree of expertise, either via years of experience or by completing a course, such as one offered by the Royal Yachting Association.

Do I need to register my boat in VT?

To operate in Vermont waters, all boats owned by Vermont residents must be registered with the state Department of Motor Vehicles. (Visitors to the state are free from registering if they stay for no more than ninety (90) days.) Although Vermont law does not stipulate when a buyer must register a boat after purchasing it, it is recommended to do so as soon as feasible. A boat’s registration might be for one or two years. When registration is pending, owners will receive a postcard reminder to renew by mail.

Required Documents

  • The Certificate of Title, signed over to the owner if the yacht is acquired used.
  • All registration costs must be paid in accordance with the fee structure specified on Page One.

Can you drink on a boat in VT?

Boating while intoxicated (BWI)—that is, operating a watercraft while drunk due to alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and substances—is illegal in Vermont. Impaired balance, clouded eyesight, poor coordination, impaired judgment, and delayed reaction times are all side effects of alcohol and drugs. Alcohol plays a significant role in boating accidents and fatalities.

  • Has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more, as determined by a chemical examination of breath or blood, or…
  • Is under the influence of any other substance or a combination of drugs to the point where he or she is unable to operate properly.

A person under the age of 21 who has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent or more is prohibited from operating a vessel in Vermont.

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.

What does boat insurance typically cost?

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.

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.

Do you need to register a boat with a trolling motor in Vermont?

  • Vermont Kayaking Laws – Kayaks and canoes are considered boats without a motor or sails under Vermont law.
  • Kayaks, canoes, and all other non-motorized watercraft are not required to be registered in Vermont.
  • Registration of Motorized Kayaks – All motorboats must be registered and have current stickers. A trolling motor in a canoe or kayak is one example of this.
  • Licensing for Kayak Operators in Vermont — In Vermont, non-motorized watercraft do not require a license to operate.
  • Age for Motorized Kayaking – No one under the age of 12 may operate any vessel with a motor that produces more than 6 horsepower, even if they have passed a boating safety course. (For more restrictions, see below.)
  • BUI Law for Kayaking – All watercraft in Vermont are subject to a Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) law. When a person’s blood alcohol content is.08 percent or higher, they are operating unlawfully. (more restrictions are listed below)
  • Kayaking Life Jacket Law – Each person on board a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard must have a USCG authorized wearable personal flotation device (PFD). (For specifications on kayaks and canoes, see below)
  • Sounding Devices for Kayaking – On all vessels less than 39.4 feet in length, a sounding device capable of producing an effective sound signal is required. (Regulations can be seen further down)

This is just a summary of the Vermont boating rules that apply to kayaking and canoeing. The information is more detailed and specific. Continue reading to learn how to paddle legally in Vermont.