Tennessee’s landlocked geography leads few outsiders to consider it a boating haven. At 2.2% water, it is unlikely to break any records for maritime access. Tennessee is surprisingly boat-friendly, however. In addition to over 1,000 lakes and rivers across the state, Tennessee has two major
Last year, Tennessee registered 254,091 boats. Tennessee sees about 26% of households participating in recreational boating every year, and over 21% of Tennesseans own their own boat. Fishing and hunting are particularly popular on Tennessee’s waterways. Plenty of folks also enjoy relaxing on a pontoon boat or ski boat, cooling off in the water from the summer’s heat.
Tennessee Boat Insurance
So, does the Tennessee state government require boat insurance? It may not surprise you, but no, it does not. Tennessee is much like most other states and does not require boat insurance on any watercraft. However, you may find that you need to buy Tennessee boat insurance anyway.
- Loans: If you buy a vessel in Tennessee with a loan, you will need to purchase Tennessee boat insurance. Your lender will require it. In fact, if your lender doesn’t require boat insurance of some sort, you may want to find another lender. Your lender has an excellent incentive to require insurance. It protects their investment as much as it protects yours. Your lender is several thousand dollars in the hole until you pay your loan off. The boat functions as collateral to ensure that you pay. If your boat is in an accident or sinks, your lender doesn’t want to lose that money. Your lender will appear on the insurance policy as the lien-holder. Your insurance check will then list your lender as the co-payee if you need to file a claim.
- Marinas: Most marinas, yacht clubs, and dockyards in Tennessee require insurance to dock there. Marinas, like lenders, want to shield themselves financially in the case of an accident. If your vessel damages another, the marina doesn’t want any part of it. They would vastly prefer that your respective insurance companies take care of the fallout.
Small Boat Insurance
So, should you still consider Maine boat insurance? It’s a reasonable question. 12% of Tennessee residents use a canoe or kayak. Now, that’s not a huge percentage, particularly looking at the rest of the country. However, plenty of Tennessee residents have paid off their pontoon or speed boat, and keep them at home. They face no
You should always have insurance on any
You need liability insurance especially on any boat you lend out. If someone 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 is involved in an accident, 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 Tennessee boat insurance for canoes, kayaks, and
Tennessee saw an 8% increase in boating accidents from 2015-2016. Those accidents were expensive too. Tennessee boating accidents in 2016 totaled $1,188,740 in damages. That’s over $10,000 per accident. Many of the accidents
Boating Fatalities and Alcohol
Tennessee saw a corresponding spike in boating fatalities from 2015. Fatalities rose 38% in 2016, and the fatality rate jumped up above the national average. Any boating death is one too many, but boating deaths are on the rise around the country, and it is important that all of us take steps to boat considerately and safely. We take on a certain degree of risk any time we leave shore in a boat. It is incumbent upon us to remain alert and aware as we explore the waterways that this country offers.
Alcohol is one of the worst dangers that we face on the water. In Tennessee last year, 15% of overall boating accidents were fatal. In accidents where alcohol was a contributing factor, however, nearly half of them were fatal. Any time you head out on the water, make sure you designate a non-drinking operator. It is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and those around you.
We understand that insurance is not a panacea to protect you from everything. It can’t prevent accidents or keep you safe in a storm. No one enjoys paying for something that they hope to never use. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend it because it protects your finances. A small yearly expenditure is, in our opinion, worth it for the protection it provides you and your family if an accident occurs.