Although Missouri may not remind strike anyone as a major boating state, non-geography majors likely forget that it is home to two massive rivers. Both
Missouri also has numerous lakes of varying sizes to help scratch whatever boating itch you may have. 33% of Missouri residents boat recreationally each year. That’s an awfully high percentage for a landlocked
Missouri Boat Insurance
So, does Missouri require you to buy boat insurance? Unsurprisingly, it does not. The state of Missouri has no requirements regarding boat insurance for recreational vessels. We certainly recommend Missouri boat insurance, however, and the state government does too. Although not in the top 5, Missouri suffers more boating accidents per year than most states. So insurance is definitely a good idea, but you may find that you don’t have a choice. Certain entities require you to have insurance:
- Loans: If you purchase a vessel in Missouri with the assistance of a loan, your lender will most likely require Missouri 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 Missouri 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 Missouri boat insurance still make sense? It’s a reasonable question. 14% of Missouri households use kayaks or canoes, according to the latest survey. Kayaks are becoming the go-to affordable fishing platforms in much of the
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 Missouri 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
Missouri suffers slightly more boating accidents each year than the national average. With 2.5% of all registered boats in the U.S., Missouri sees just over 3% of its accidents. in addition, in 2016, reported accidents spiked 20% from 2015. And those accidents are expensive. In 2016, Missouri boating accidents incurred $1,178,494 in damages. That comes to an average of $8,600 per accident. For most of us, boat insurance is a fraction of that cost, and it could save you far more, both in medical bills and property damage.
The boating fatality rate in Missouri is slightly lower than the national average. In fact, from 2015-2016 boating fatalities dropped nearly 6%. In addition, fatalities from alcohol-induced accidents fell by 50% from 2013. That is encouraging in a country where 20% of all boating deaths occur in alcohol-related accidents. Nevertheless, any death is one too many. We must remember that our enjoyment of the nation’s waterways carries an inherent risk and a responsibility. If you’re leaving port, please make sure you have a designated operator on the boat who will not drink. Accidents on the water can become tragedies in an instant. Every boater should have an accident action plan in mind whenever they leave port.