While neither Virginia nor North Carolina require boat or personal watercraft owners to insure their vessels, a majority of people do so for their own protection. Also, many marinas and banks that issue boat loans demand that the people who use their services carry boat insurance.
Boat insurance works very similarly to auto insurance, covering liability for injuries and property damage. Filing a claim requires showing negligence such as violating right of way or speeding in a no-wake zone. Succeeding with a claim against a negligent boat operator or personal watercraft rider can result in compensation and monetary damages for medical bills, lost wages, boat repairs or replacement, and pain and suffering.
If an at-fault boater does not have a separate insurance policy on his or her watercraft, a personal injury lawyer will explore possibilities for filing claims against the individual’s homeowner’s or renter’s policy. Pursuing a civil lawsuit against the at-fault boater may also be an option, as may invoking uninsured boater provisions of a client’s own boat insurance policy.