Do You Need Boat Insurance in California?

Last Updated on October 16, 2022

If you have a boat in California, you are not required to have insurance. However, there are many benefits to having boat insurance, including financial protection in the event of an accident or theft. Boat insurance can also give you peace of mind knowing that you and your boat are covered if something unexpected happens.

If you live in California and own a boat, you may be wondering if you need to get boat insurance. The answer is yes, you should have insurance for your boat if it is worth more than $500. Even if your boat is not worth that much, it is still a good idea to insure it because you would be responsible for any damage that it causes.

Do I need Boat Insurance?

California Boater Card

If you love spending time on the water, then you need to make sure you have a California Boater Card. This card is required for anyone who wants to operate a motorized vessel in California waters. The good news is that it’s easy to get your hands on one of these cards.

The first step is to take an approved boater safety course. Once you complete the course, you’ll be given a certificate of completion that you can use to apply for your California Boater Card. You can apply for your card online or through the mail.

There is a fee associated with getting your card, but it’s well worth it when you consider all the benefits that come along with it. For starters, having a California Boater Card shows that you are responsible and knowledgeable about boating safety. This can go a long way in preventing accidents and keeping yourself and others safe while enjoying time on the water.

Additionally, many insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders who have completed a boater safety course and hold a current California Boater Card. So not only will having this card help keep you safe, but it could also save you money on your boat insurance premiums. There’s no reason not to get your California Boater Card if you love spending time on the water.

It’s easy to obtain and comes with plenty of benefits. Be sure to sign up for an approved boating safety course today so that you can get started on the path toward responsible boating!

Boat Insurance California

California is a great place to boat. The weather is usually good and there are plenty of places to go. But, like anywhere else, it’s important to have insurance for your boat.

There are a few things to consider when buying boat insurance in California. First, what type of coverage do you need? There are three basic types of coverage: liability, collision, and comprehensive.

Liability coverage protects you if you damage someone else’s property or injure someone while boating. It does not cover damage to your own boat. Collision coverage pays for damage to your boat if it hits something (like another boat or a dock).

Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your boat from things like fire, theft, or vandalism. Next, you’ll need to decide how much coverage you need. This will depend on the value of your boat and what you use it for.

If you just take it out on weekends, you might not need as much coverage as someone who uses their boats for business purposes. Finally, make sure you shop around and compare rates from different companies before buying a policy. Boat insurance can be expensive, so it’s important to get the best deal possible.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Drive a Boat in California

In California, you must be at least 16 years old to drive a boat. If you are under the age of 18, you must have completed a boater safety course approved by the California Division of Boating and Waterways. There are no horsepower restrictions for boats in California, but there are speed limits.

In general, boats may not exceed 5 mph within 100 feet of shore, a dock, another vessel, or a swimmer.

Do You Need a License to Rent a Boat in California

In California, you need a license to rent a boat if the boat is 26 feet or longer. The license is called a Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO). You can get the CPWO from the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways.

To get the CPWO, you must: – Be at least 16 years old – Complete a boater education course approved by the Division of Boating and Waterways

– Pass a written exam

Are You Required to Have Insurance for a Boat in California?

No, you are not required to have insurance for a boat in California. However, if you finance your boat, your lender will most likely require you to have insurance. Boat insurance is designed to protect your investment and can cover damages caused by collisions, weather events, theft and more.

What is Required on a Boat in California?

In California, all boats must have registration and a Certificate of Number (DL 44) form on board. The certificate must be issued in the owner’s name and display the Hull Identification Number (HIN). If you are operating a motorized vessel, you must also carry proof of ownership, such as a bill of sale or registration card, onboard.

All boats must also have proper safety equipment onboard at all times. This includes items such as life jackets, flares, and a fire extinguisher.

Is It a Legal Requirement to Have Boat Insurance?

No, it is not a legal requirement to have boat insurance in the United States. There are only a handful of states that require any type of boater insurance, and even then, the coverage is usually very basic and only applies to motorized vessels. That said, just because it isn’t required by law doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it.

Boat insurance can protect you from a variety of potential risks, including weather damage, accidents, theft, and more. And if you finance your boat, your lender will almost certainly require you to carry some form of coverage.

What Happens If You Dont Have Boat Insurance?

If you don’t have boat insurance, you could be held liable for any damage or injuries that occur while you’re operating your vessel. This could include damages to other boats, docks, and property, as well as injuries to people. If you’re found to be at fault for an accident, you could be sued and required to pay damages out-of-pocket.

In some cases, your boat may even be seized by the court. Boat insurance can protect you from financial ruin in the event of an accident, so it’s important to make sure you’re properly covered before heading out on the water.


No one in California is legally required to have boat insurance. However, if you finance your vessel, your lender will likely require you to have some form of protection. And even if you own your boat outright, there are compelling reasons to consider coverage.

Boat insurance protects you from liability if you damage another person’s vessel or property, or injure someone while operating your boat. It also covers you if your boat is damaged or stolen. Without insurance, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars – money that most people don’t have just sitting around.

A single incident could easily ruin you financially. Boat insurance is relatively affordable, especially when you compare it to the cost of repairs or medical bills resulting from an accident. When shopping for a policy, be sure to get quotes from several companies and compare coverages to find the best deal.