Mississippi draws its name from the river that forms its western boundary. Between the largest river in the country and the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi has a rich boating culture, despite only being 3% water by landmass. Mississippi is home to 132,441 registered boats, as of 2016. Mississippi’s recreational boating falls roughly in line with national statistics. 24% of Mississippi residents participate in boating, just under the national average. In addition, 21% of Mississippi households own a boat, which is just above the national average. Many Mississippians take advantage of their state’s waterways to fish and/or hunt. With 44 miles of ocean coastline, Mississippi provides anglers, cruisers, and recreational boaters with excellent opportunities to enjoy the Gulf of Mexico. Mississippi is also home to the Port of Pascagoula, one of the top 25 ports in the nation by cargo volume.
Mississippi Boat Insurance
So, does Mississippi require boat insurance? unsurprisingly, Mississippi, like most other states, does not require insurance on registered vessels. The Mississippi state government highly recommends it, however, and you may still need to buy Mississippi boat insurance in certain circumstances.
: Ifyou purchase your vessel in Mississippi and plan to keep it there, you will likely need to purchase Mississippi boat insurance. In fact, your bank or lender will not approve your loan without proof of some insurance. If your lender doesn’t require boat insurance, you may not be dealing with a trustworthy lender. The bank wants to protect their investment, and they see insurance as a key aspect of that protection. The lender is out several thousand (or hundred thousand) dollars until you pay back your loan. The boat is their collateral,so that they can seize it if you fail to pay. If your boat is in an accident or sinks without insurance, that collateral disappears. Therefore, many lenders include specific language in their loan policies to call in the full remaining price of the boat if your insurance lapses. Your lender will probably appear on your insurance policy as the lien-holder. If you need to file a claim, your insurance check will then list your lender as the co-payee.
- Marinas: Most marinas, yacht clubs, and dockyards in Mississippi, whether on the Gulf or on an inland river or lake, require insurance too. Marinas, like lenders, want to shield themselves financially in the case of an accident. If you collide with another boat in the marina, the establishment doesn’t want to be drawn into any litigation. They would prefer that your respective insurance companies take care of
Small Boat Insurance
Now you obviously don’t need to worry about marina requirements if you keep your boat on a trailer or in a garage. Most Mississippians are perfectly happy trailering their
So, if you don’t own a yacht, should you still consider Mississippi boat insurance? It’s a reasonable question. 12% of Mississippi residents use a canoe or kayak as their primary vessel. Furthermore, plenty of Mississippians have paid off their pontoon or speed boat, and keep them at home. We nevertheless highly recommend insurance for everyone, whether or not you own a yacht.
Liability insurance on your power boat is extremely important. Every year, open motorboats cause more boating accidents and fatalities than any other style of boat, including Jet Skis. Even if you have paid off your boat, you should still purchase property damage and personal injury liability insurance. Any boat that drives fast can drive too fast, and accidents on the water can quickly turn tragic. Liability coverage may save you thousands in damages, and it is usually modestly-priced.
You should also buy liability insurance on any boat you lend out. If someone outside of your immediate family injures themselves or another person on your boat, you can absolutely be held liable, even if you were not present. In addition, speed boats, Jet Skis, and pontoon boats can be expensive. If your vessel suffers any sort of accident, you want a policy that will help you buy a new boat, or at least cover repairs. You can read more about pontoon boat insurance here, and power boat insurance here if you remain unconvinced.
You should also consider Mississippi boat insurance, even for canoes and kayaks. Obviously, it’s difficult to paddle a kayak hard enough into another boat to cause real damage, so you may feel that liability insurance isn’t worth it. Even so, if you lend your kayak to anyone, you should absolutely buy liability insurance for the reasons we’ve outlined above. On
Mississippi suffered 43 boating accidents in 2016. This percentage is roughly in line with Mississippi’s share of registered boats nationally. More concerning was the general trend of accidents in the last
Mississippi’s boating fatality rate was perhaps the most alarming statistic. In 2016 Mississippi saw a fatality rate several points higher than the national average. Boating fatalities increased each of the last two years by nearly 50%. In fact, last year 1/4 of all boating accidents in Mississippi were fatal. That is an extraordinarily high percentage of fatal
We know that insurance can’t protect you from everything. Boating carries an assumed danger, and insurance won’t keep your boat safe in an