Arizona is not a state that most people associate with boating. Honestly, it makes sense. At only .35% water, there isn’t a great deal of water in the state, in which to boat. Bodies of water are few and far between. The most notable boating location is the Colorado
It would be a mistake to assume that no one boats in Arizona, however, In addition to the many natural rivers and lakes around the state, the government has built many reservoirs that serve recreational purposes, as well as providing water to local cities and towns. In 2016 Arizona had 123,263 registered
Arizona Boat Insurance
So, does Arizona require you to buy boat insurance? Unsurprisingly, it does not. The state of Arizona has no requirements regarding boat insurance for recreational vessels. We certainly recommend Arizona boat insurance, however, and the state government does too. You may also find that you don’t have a choice. Certain entities require you to have insurance:
- Loans: If you purchase a vessel in Arizona with the assistance of a loan, your lender will most likely require Arizona boat insurance. If your lender doesn’t require some level of insurance, in fact, you should probably find another lender. Their reasoning makes sense. Your lender is several thousand (or hundred thousand) dollars in the red until your loan is paid off. Your boat is the collateral on that loan. If your boat gets into an accident and becomes worthless, your lender doesn’t want to lose that money. Your policy should list the lender as the lien-holder. If you need to file a claim, your check will then list the bank or
other lenderas the co-payee.
- Marinas: Most marinas, yacht clubs, and dockyards throughout Arizona require insurance to dock long-term. Much like lenders, marinas are trying to shield themselves financially. If your boat damages another vessel, they don’t want to be dragged into litigation. They want your respective insurance companies to take care of it.
Small Boat Insurance
If that’s your situation, does Arizona boat insurance still make sense? It’s a reasonable question. 7% of Arizona households use kayaks or canoes, according to the latest survey. In addition, plenty of people have paid off their pontoon or speed boat, and only launch them when they go boating. Even in such instances, we highly recommend insurance for everyone. There are excellent reasons to buy insurance for small boats, even if you don’t strictly need to.
Insurance is especially important on any boat you lend out. If someone injures themselves or another person on your vessel, you can be held liable, even if you were not present. In addition, speed boats, Jet Ski’s, and pontoon boats get expensive very quickly. If your vessel is damaged or sinks, you should have
You should also at least consider Arizona boat insurance for canoes and kayaks. The note above about lending your boat out still very much applies to kayaks. If your immediate family are the only operators, you may not feel that you need liability insurance, as you probably won’t hit anything hard enough to cause damage. We always recommend liability insurance, as it is usually reasonable, and you never think you’ll need it until you do. You may also want to
Arizona saw far more accidents than you might expect from it’s boating participation rate. With 1% of the boats in America, Arizona saw 2% of her boating accidents. Given the relative scarcity of boating opportunities, the lakes and reservoirs that do draw boaters tend to be more packed than those in more water-logged states. Those accidents were not exactly cheap either. Boating accidents in 2016 led to $506,661 in damages. That averages to roughly $5,600 per accident. Boat insurance costs a fraction of that sum for most of us, and it can save you thousands more.
The fatality rate in Arizona last year was lower than the national average, and fatalities dropped from 2015 to 2016. Any boating death is one too many, but similarly, any reduction in boating deaths is encouraging. Boating carries some inherent risk. Our enjoyment of our rivers, lakes, and reservoirs demands our attention and consideration. Any accident can become a tragedy in an instant, so we must remain alert any time we leave shore.
Boating and Alcohol
Unfortunately, Alcohol is a major contributor to boating deaths in Arizona. Boating accidents attributed to alcohol have increased every year over the past 3 years, as have boating fatalities from such accidents. Even though only 12% of Arizona’s boating accidents were attributed to alcohol, 60% of the boating deaths listed alcohol as a factor. Although the numbers are more severe in Arizona, the trend is common
We know that boat insurance doesn’t protect against every eventuality. It can’t keep your boat from getting into an accident. However, it does protect you and your family financially in the event of an accident. It is usually affordable, and it can save you thousands.