There are over 500,000 registered boats in the state of Texas, and its warm southern climate allow its residents to use those boats for the greater part of the year. Texan rivers, lakes, lagoons, and Gulf-Coast waters are frequently filled with an abundance of recreational boating vessels, particularly on weekends and holidays.
On the one hand, the fishing, cruising, and sailing opportunities in Texas are one of the great draws the state offers vacationers and newly arrived residents. On the other hand, this large-scale boating activity leads to increased boating accidents. For example, in 2013, there were 206 boat accidents reported in Texas and 85 resulting injuries. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, Texas had 31 boating fatalities that year, which ranked as the third-highest in the nation.
Boating Safety Measures
About half of all Texan boating accidents, in 2013, were alcohol-related, and 85 percent of drowning victims neglected to wear a life jacket. This underscores the importance of boat safety. To help prevent accidents, all of the following practices should be followed:
- Never travel too fast for the water and weather conditions.
- Never be guilty of a BWI (boating while intoxicated).
- Know and follow all Texan boating regulations.
- Always carefully inspect your boat and engine before embarking.
- Never overload the boat, and spread out loads evenly.
- Make your vessel noticeable, and keep alert to the presence of other vessels.
- Never stand up and shift your weight around in a small boat.
- Make sure all passengers are wearing life jackets at all times.
The Importance of Boat Insurance in Texas
In spite of all of the safety precautions that you take, accidents are still liable to happen. For this reason, getting boat insurance for your Texas vessel is a wise move regardless of your level or navigation training and close adherence to all safety standards. Not only can you secure coverage against injuries, but you can also protect against property damage. Thus, buying boat insurance for Texas boats can benefit you on multiple fronts should an accident occur.
Boat Insurance for Texas Small and Slow Vessels
If you only own a very small boat or a canoe, it is possible to get cheap boat insurance in Texas under a homeowner’s or renter’s policy. The boat generally must be capable of going no faster than 25 mph and must be stored at your place of residence. This coverage usually includes things like the boat itself, the attached motor, and any trailer used to transport it. Liability boat insurance for Texas policies of this kind is not typically included.
Boat Insurance for Texas Large and Fast Vessels
You normally cannot combine your boat insurance for Texas larger and faster vessels with your homeowner’s or renter’s policy, but instead, a completely separate contract will have to be drawn up. Speed boats, ski boats, boats with large, powerful engines, yachts, jet-skis, and most other watercraft can be protected with affordable boat insurance in Texas. The type, size, and total value of the boat will be the main factors in determining your premium.
Policy Terms for Boat Insurance in Texas
Most boat insurance in Texas will cover all physical loss or damage to the insured craft and its accompanying machinery for either the full cash value or for a lesser, previously agreed-upon amount. If your policy operates on a total cash value basis, you will get the replacement cost minus depreciation. If you buy boat insurance that operates on an agreed-upon-amount basis, you will not have to worry about depreciation. A specified amount will simply be paid to you if a total loss occurs, and all partially damaged items will be replaced.
Boat insurance for Texas boats can also cover any of the following items, but you may have to buy a special policy or make a special request:
- Bodily injuries to the boat owner or to passengers
- Damage caused to other people’s property
- Theft coverage, which will replace the boat if it is stolen
- Specialized, on-board equipment like fish-finders, trawling motors, and expensive fishing gear
- Trailers and a host of other boat-related accessories
You should also ask about special discounts when weighing your options for boat insurance in Texas. Many times, two claim-free years, multiple policies with the same insurer, and successful completion of boat-safety education courses will save you on your premium.
Buying boat insurance in Texas is a wise move because, with so many boaters out on the water at once, the chances of a mishap are increased. Following proper safety guidelines will minimize the risk, but boat insurance will cover you should accidents find you anyway. The fact that there is a much competition for prices and a wide range of coverage options for boat insurance in Texas adds yet another good reason to search for a policy that meets your needs.