Pennsylvania is a rare state that both borders a Great Lake, and has a direct connection to the Atlantic Ocean. The Quaker State has 51 miles of shoreline on Lake Erie, and 57 miles along the Delaware River, which runs straight to the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, Pennsylvania has 490 square miles of inland waters. It is perhaps unsurprising, therefore, that Pennsylvanians enjoy their boating.
Last year, Pennsylvania registered 315,503 boats. That’s not quite in the top ten nationally, but only just. 29% of Pennsylvania households report boating recreationally, which is several points higher than the national average. Access to both the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean supports a small community of cruisers, either doing the Great
Pennsylvania Boat Insurance
So, does Pennsylvania require boat insurance? Much like most other states in the U.S., Pennsylvania does not require boat insurance. However, you may still need to buy Pennsylvania boat insurance in certain circumstances.
: Ifyou use a loan to buy a boat, and plan to keep it in Pennsylvania, you will need to purchase Pennsylvania boat insurance. Your bank or other lenderwill require it. If your lender does not oblige you to get boat insurance, you should likely find another lender. The bank wants you to have insurance because it protects their investment much likeit protects yours. Your lender is several thousand (or hundred thousand) dollars in the hole until you pay your loan off. Your boat is their collateral. If your boat is in an accident or sinks, your lender doesn’t want to lose that money. As a result, many lenders will include specific language in your loan policy to call in the full remaining price of the boat if you let your insurance lapse. Your bank or other lendershould appear on your insurance policy as the lien-holder. Your insurance check will thereforelist your lender as the co-payee if you need to file a claim.
- Marinas: Most marinas, yacht clubs, and dockyards in Pennsylvania require insurance as well. Marinas, like lenders, want to shield themselves financially in the case of an accident. If your vessel collides with another in the marina, the establishment doesn’t want any part of it. They would much rather your respective insurance companies take care of
Small Boat Insurance
So, even if you don’t need it, should you still consider Pennsylvania boat insurance? It’s a reasonable question. 15% of Pennsylvania residents primarily use a canoe or kayak. In addition, plenty of Pennsylvania residents have paid off their pontoon or speed boat, and keep them at home. Nevertheless, we highly recommend insurance for everyone. Boat insurance can still be vital for many small boats.
Liability insurance on your
You should also buy liability insurance on any boat, of any kind, you lend out. If a person outside of your immediate family injures themselves or another person on your boat, you can be held liable, even if you were not present. In addition, speed boats, Jet Ski’s, and pontoon boats are often expensive. If your vessel suffers any sort of collision, you want a policy that will help you recoup the damages. You can read more about pontoon boat insurance here, and power boat insurance here if you remain unconvinced.
You should also think about Pennsylvania boat insurance for canoes and kayaks. Now,
Pennsylvania saw a 16% reduction in boating accidents from 2014-2016. Most other states suffered a spike in boating accidents in 2016, so it is encouraging to see that kind of reduction over a couple years. With 2.7% of the nation’s boats, Pennsylvania only saw 1.2% of its accidents. Boating accidents are usually expensive, and that trend holds true in Pennsylvania. Damages from boating accidents in 2016 added up to $204,479. That is an average of $3,700 per accident. Insurance for most of us costs a fraction of that
Boating Fatalities and Alcohol
Pennsylvania suffered a significant spike in boating deaths in 2016. Boating fatalities rose nearly 200% from 2015, with no reasonable explanation. Pennsylvania’s fatality rate was still a
We know that insurance isn’t a cure-all. It offers protection only after the fact. It won’t keep you out of a storm, and no one likes paying for something they hope they’ll never use. Even so, it provides financial protection that we cannot recommend highly enough. No one expects to be in an accident, and having insurance can protect you and your family from the financial burden that such accidents place on boaters.