Do I Need to Insure My Boat?

If you plan to use your boat as collateral on your loan, you will probably need insurance. Find out when insurance is required, and why it may make sense for you even when it’s not.

When is boat insurance required?

Unlike automobile insurance, boat insurance typically isn’t required by state law. You will, however, need boat insurance when:

  • Your bank requires it for your boat loan
  • A marina or harbor requires it to dock there

When is it a good idea to insure my boat?

Boat insurance is recommended for all boat owners, particularly if you are located in a hurricane zone or own a:

  • New boat
  • Boat or yacht greater than 29 feet
  • House boat (or if the boat is your primary residence)
  • Seafaring boat traveling off the coast line

A number of insurance plans can provide coverage for your unique situation. Most of them will include “all risk” coverage for a variety of accidents and disasters, plus personal liability coverage.

It makes sense to have the insurance coverage that will give you peace of mind and safeguard your boat. Depending on how you use and store your boat, you may want to consider add-on coverage for:

  • Specialized equipment onboard
  • Wear and tear losses 
  • Wreck salvage
  • Towing
  • International voyages

Doesn't homeowners insurance provide boat coverage?

While some homeowners policies provide minimal coverage for small boats when they're on your property—in your garage, for example—they're only going to cover property damage losses.

Once your boat leaves your home to take it on the road, park it in the marina or use it in the water, it will not be protected by homeowners insurance.  Even more importantly, you will need protection from liability claims if you injure someone out on the water. Boat insurance is the only way to get that.

For the specific needs and inherent risks of boating, boat insurance is your best choice.

The bottom line

Check with your insurance agent for information about coverage for your particular needs. The only way to be sure that your boat is protected is to have insurance coverage specifically for it.

Looking for other types of personal loans?

This rate offer may change at any time. Other rates and terms available and vary depending on the purpose, age of the boat and loan amount. These offers are subject to credit approval under the BB&T underwriting guidelines including qualifying lines with certain loan-to-value, debt-to-income, FICO scores and other underwriting credit criteria. Certain other conditions and restrictions may apply. The maximum loan amount associated with this offer for refinances is 120% of NADA value. For loan amounts less than $50,000 or for requests to refinance existing BB&T debt, rates may be higher. For comparison purposes, a consumer who finances a boat that is one prior model year old for $50,000 at a term of 120 months and:
• refinances at an annual percentage rate (APR) of 5.62% would remit 120 payments of $545.61.
• buys from a private party at an APR of 6.12% would remit 120 payments of $558.12.
• purchases at a dealer at an APR of 6.12% would remit 120 payments of $558.12.

Rates can change at any time. Please call or visit your local BB&T branch for current pricing.

Loans, lines of credit and credit cards are subject to credit approval.

Branch Banking and Trust Company is a Member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.