UPDATE: We always like to update and repost this article during the summer months.
During the summer months the chances that someone will be injured in a boating accident are very likely. Unlike cars, boat operators are not required in Kentucky to have an operating license or driver education. This increases the chances that an operator of a boat will be involved in an accident, whether or not it’s his fault.
Thousands of boats take to the lakes and rivers of Kentucky each year without insurance. Did you know that if you’re injured in a boat accident you might not be entitled to recover your lost wages, medical expenses, disability, or pain and suffering? Unlike car insurance that is mandatory, boat insurance is purely optional. Chances are you could be riding on an uninsured boat or injured by one. If you are not the owner, you should ask the owner if the boat is insured. If you are the owner, operating a boat without insurance isn’t worth the risk. If you injure someone on your boat, you could be liable for damages.
Like cars, boat insurance is available. If you are considering buying boat insurance, make sure that it includes liability coverage to protect you in the event that you injure your passengers or people riding on another boat. It should also include medical payments coverage to pay medical expenses incurred by those injured on your boat that is not involved in an accident. You may also wish to purchase uninsured watercraft coverage if you or your passengers are injured by another boat that does not carry insurance.
Unfortunately, this uninsured watercraft coverage is optional and must be purchased in addition to the coverages mentioned earlier. However, many insurance policies offer discounts similar to car insurance for experienced boaters or those who have taken operation classes.
If you own a boat or plan on riding one this summer, make sure it has insurance in case of a boating accident. If it does, make sure it has the optional uninsured watercraft coverage in the event the accident is caused by an uninsured boat owner or operator. Given the speed and the lack of safety restraints or features, injures suffered in boating accidents can be catastrophic and even result in death. Don’t take chances. Make sure your boat is insured.
For more information on boater safety, visit the boater education website BOATED.