We all know that liability insurance is necessary for cars, trucks, and other street-legal vehicles, but what about water-faring vehicles? One could argue that the open sea (or your local lake) is just as dangerous as the highway, but many people don’t buy liability insurance for their boats because it isn’t required by law.
This is often a mistake.
A Serious Error in Judgment
My father-in-law purchased a sailboat several years ago, eager to realize a childhood dream of sailing the open water of Lake Conroe. A few weeks after he bought it, he took it out after dark one night, and he accidently crashed with another boat who didn’t see him.
Since he hadn’t yet gotten around to pricing liability insurance for the boat, he was responsible for the entire cost of fixing both vessels. Not only did this result in a serious tongue-lashing from my mother-in-law, but it taught a very valuable lesson about insuring one’s assets.
Why Liability Insurance for Boats is Important
As you are probably aware, liability insurance protects a boat owner from damage he or she causes to someone else or his property. If you crash into a boat dock, for example, or take out another boat on the water, liability insurance will pay for that damage-up to your limits, at least.
Many people avoid buying liability insurance for their boats because, after all, it doesn’t pay for damage to their own property. What they don’t realize, though, is that you don’t get to choose whether or not to repair the damage you cause to someone else. If you don’t pay for it, you’ll probably find yourself on the wrong end of a civil lawsuit.
Not as Unlikely as You Think
It’s easy to hear about a boating accident and say snidely to yourself, “I would never be that stupid.” And maybe you wouldn’t. But not all boating accidents are avoidable-or even the fault of the offending party.
What if you experience some type of mechanical failure while boating that causes you to hit someone else? You didn’t do anything wrong while you were out sailing with the family, but your negligence in keeping the boat in good repair results in your culpability. This is why it is a good idea to buy liability insurance for boats.
This also makes a good case for other types of boat insurance. If you damage your own vessel (even through no fault of your own), you will have to cover those expenses out of pocket. Insurance is designed to protect you from financial hardship as a result of an accident.
Talk to your insurance agent about the costs, features and benefits of liability insurance for boats, and while you’re at it, get a quote for comprehensive and collision coverage. This way you can use your boat without worrying about potential hazards.
It was years ago, but I still remember one of the worst dates I ever went on. It was partly my fault for agreeing in the first place, as I wasn’t terribly attracted to this guy, but he was oddly sweet in his own creepy way and we had some things (if not much) in common, so I figured he was worth a shot.
I was wrong.
After months of him not so subtly dropping signs of his interest in me, and my overwhelming pity slowly converting any rational thought in my head to a resounding “Why not?” I agreed to a date.
He wanted to take me to dinner and then a movie. This would have been fine, except that we both had food allergies and they conflicted with each other. This meant that even if we did decide to date, kissing could turn deadly very quickly, or we’d both need to drastically change diets. So, to begin with, everything about this was a terrible plan.
We stuck to the movie idea, because then if we weren’t getting along, we could just ignore each other. Ignoring him during the movie was not an option.
This is because he was screaming. He was screaming like a tiny little girl who had just gotten scared by a giant tiger. He screamed every time a gun was fired. Since we had agreed on the film together by watching some trailers, I couldn’t understand this. He knew it was a movie about people with guns shooting other people with other guns. This was not a surprise twist.
After a while, people started leaving the theater. I was tempted to do so myself, but I figured there was a reason he was responding this way. I asked him if he was okay or if he needed to leave. I told him it would be okay if we left. I wouldn’t hold it against him. He happily responded that he was fine and having a good time. He even said the movie was very well done. Okay. So, was he just being a jerk? Was this a nervous tick I had somehow not noticed over the year or so of knowing him? I did my best to just go on watching the movie.
Once it was thankfully, finally over, I asked him if there was something I should know. Had he been in a war zone at some point? Was there some other trauma or problem? We could talk about it. We could work through this together and find him help if he wanted it. I was more than happy to be there for him in his time of need, or just move on at least knowing what it was.
His response? “I’m just like that about violence. Everyone should be.”
So we left. My friend had shown up at this point, to make it less date-like if I was unhappy. She was willing to vanish if I gave her the word. I opted to let her stay. He thought he was going to get both of us at once. This was not okay.
By the end of the evening, he drove me home and walked me to the door. We stood there awkwardly for a moment before I blurted out that, no, I didn’t want to go out with him again. We didn’t have enough in common and he really wasn’t my type. I think I even added that I shouldn’t be his either.
He leaned in. I said, “No, seriously.” He kept creeping in towards my face.
I asked him why he thought I would kiss him goodnight or ever date him again. He responded by telling me that he was sure I’d change my mind. He winked and everything.
I ran inside and slammed the door. I felt bad about it, until I saw him the next day. He was happily announcing how well our “first date” went. I didn’t argue. My friends knew the truth and he was allowed his fantasies. Eventually I transferred to a different college anyway.
To this day, he still calls me every once in a while to see if I’ve changed my mind yet.
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