Coast Guard Announces New Law Requiring Use of Engine Cut-Off Switches
Operators of recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length will be required to use an engine cut-off switch (ECOS) and associated ECOS link (ECOSL) as of April 1, 2021, as the U.S. Coast Guard implements a new law passed by Congress. Boaters are encouraged to check the U.S. Coast Guard website for additional information o this new use requirement and other safety regulations and recommendations.
Boat and Watercraft Insurance
Why do you need insurance for your boat, jet ski or personal watercraft in South Carolina?
You'll enjoy the water even more when you're not worried about the safety of yourself, your passengers or your investment. Here are a few things to consider:
- If you're in an accident or your watercraft is stolen, it costs money, often a lot of money, to fix or replace it.
- If you or any passengers are injured in an accident, medical costs can be extremely expensive.
- If your watercraft is responsible for damage or injury to others, you may be sued for much more than you're worth.
- Your watercraft also needs protection when it's on land. Accidents can happen while towing a watercraft.
What does boat insurance cover?
My boat caught on fire. Do I have coverage?
The typical boat insurance policy states “We cover the following property against direct physical loss or damage caused by an occurrence except as specifically excluded”. “Property” includes the boat and motor as long as the items are scheduled in the declarations page. Fire is not an excluded peril so your boat is covered if it catches on fire.
Everything I had on the boat was destroyed by fire - life jackets, gas cans, extra clothing, etc. Are those things covered?
Such items are considered “personal property” or “personal effects”. Many policies automatically include personal property coverage, with a certain coverage limit. Some carriers have this as an optional coverage for which you must pay an extra premium.
Is all my fishing equipment insured in the event of a fire?
Many policies automatically include fishing equipment if you have personal property coverage. Some carriers have this as an optional coverage for which you must pay an extra premium.
What happens if my boat sinks? Does boat insurance cover that?
Sinking is also not an excluded peril and thus your policy provides coverage for the boat and motor if your boat sinks.
What happens, though, when your boat sinks and fuel leaks out causing a pollution issue?
Many policies include Fuel Spillage Liability but be sure to read the policy terms to verify this coverage.
My boat sank in the channel and I have to remove it. Do I have coverage?
Many policies include Wreckage Removal Liability but you need to read your policy.
What else should I know about boat insurance?
Collision with a dock or another boat
You need liability coverage to pay for repairs to another person’s property if you cause the accident. (This is just like auto insurance.) Liability insurance is an important part of a boat policy but it must be added to the policy. We recommend choosing a high limit, at least $500,000. The cost is low.
Breakdown at sea
My boat broke down when I was 4 miles offshore. Do I have coverage for the commercial towing service I had to call? Many policies include Emergency Assistance, including towing on water. Other carriers make this an optional coverage which you can buy for an additional premium. Make sure that you read your policy!
Is my boat trailer covered?
Your trailer is considered “property” as long as it is listed in the declarations page.
What happens if I get into a wreck on the highway?
A road accident is not an excluded peril and thus your policy provides coverage for the boat, motor and trailer in event of a collision and turnover on the highway.
Home and auto insurance policies may provide limited coverage for personal watercraft. Talk to your C.T. Lowndes & Company insurance representative about coverage limits. You may want to consider purchasing a personal watercraft policy to protect yourself and your water vehicle in the event of an accident.
The personal watercraft policy covers:
- bodily injury
- property damage
- guest passenger liability
- medical payments
Liability limits start at $15,000 and can be increased to $300,000.
Typical policies include deductibles of $250 for property damage, $500 for theft and $1,000 for medical payments.
Additional coverage can also be purchased for trailers and other accessories.
You should talk to your insurance representative about the type of coverage that would best suit your needs.
SCDNR - Boating Information
SCDNR - Boating - Title and Register a Watercraft or Outboard Motor in SC
Boating | South Carolina Hunting & Fishing Seasons & Regulations – 2020 | eRegulations
We provide Boat and Watercraft Insurance in Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, Daniel Island, James Island, John's Island, West Ashley, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, Walterboro, North Charleston, Isle of Palms, Edisto, Myrtle Beach, Bluffton, Beaufort, Savannah, Hilton Head and the surrounding area in South Carolina.