Do You Need Boat Insurance in New Jersey?
Summer is here, and that means New Jersey residents who own a boat will be flocking to lakes, bays, and the Atlantic Ocean to take their marine vessel out for a spin. But you may be wondering if you are required to insure your boat? The answer to that is a little complicated.
In New Jersey, you must register your boat before you even consider insuring it. If you operate a boat for 180 days or more, it needs to be registered. You must also register your boat if you rent, lease, or maintain the property for storage of the boat. To use New Jersey waterways, all boats longer than 12 feet in length must be titled at a Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Agency. Aside from those strict stipulations, boat insurance is not a requirement in the Garden State. But, you still may purchase it. You might wonder why boat insurance would be a good idea?
Why Purchase Boat Insurance?
Boat insurance can go a long way in helping you and your loved ones if disaster strikes. Most homeowner insurance policies might provide limited coverage for property damage to small boats, like canoes or smaller sailboats. This coverage is very basic, and liability is usually not included.
To make sure your boat is completely covered in the event of an accident, purchasing boat insurance should be in your best interest. A boat insurance or overall personal watercraft policy can cover the following:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- Guest passenger liability
- Medical payments
If you own special equipment for your boat, such as fishing gear, check to make sure whichever policy you choose might be able to have it covered. Some insurance policies also have a deductible in case of catastrophe or natural disaster.
When mulling over which boat insurance policy to choose for your craft, be sure to read what type of boating mishaps are not included in the policy. Some common exclusions include colliding with a submerged object and an engine overheating due to an accidental cause.
Refresher of Boating Laws
Now that you know more about boating insurance in the Garden State, here’s a refresher course of state boating laws. For starters, the age requirements include:
- Those under the age of 16, but older than 13 who have completed an approved boating safety course may operate a vessel powered solely by an electric motor or a vessel that is 12 feet or longer with an engine of less than 10 horsepower
- Those over the age of 16 who have completed a boating safety course may operate any power vessel and have a boating safety certificate
- Those born before 1979 may operate any vehicle except personal watercraft. The operation of personal watercraft by these same people requires the completion of a boating safety course and a boating safety certificate
When it comes to boating under the influence of alcohol, the penalties can be harsh. According to New Jersey’s drunk boating statute (N.J.S.A. 12:7-46), someone who is operating a boat is held to the same standards as someone driving an automobile. Someone who gets charged with boating under the influence can receive hefty fines, surcharges north of $1,000, community service, and jail time depending on how serious the charges are or whether it’s your first offense or not.
Want to Know More About Boating and the Law?
Then it’s time to contact New Jersey’s top boat accident attorney, Anthony Carbone. Our law offices are only one call or click away. You can even text us too. Text CASE4CARBONE to 797979.