Stay Legal on the Water
Hurray for spring and boating season! Although we are inland, Arkansas has an abundance of lakes, streams, rushing rivers, lazy rivers, and rich water resources perfect for fishing and exploring. If you’re new to boating or boating in Arkansas, read our quick guide to Arkansas’s marine insurance requirements. The guide also includes how to store your boat and which of your boating accessories (such as a trailer) require extra insurance or registration.
Storing Your Boat
When Not in Use
It’s best to store your boat out of water. Constant exposure to water can cause your boat to rust, which may ultimately lead to holes and leaks. Storing your boat on a trailer is an easy way to transport it to different bodies of water. Keep your boat covered, whether that’s in a shed, garage, or simply with a tarp.
Remove your battery and place it on a trickle charger to keep your battery from running down when your boat’s not in use.
The End of the Season
Are you storing your boat for a long while or at the end of the season? You’ll want to drain out the fuel, replace it with new fuel, and finally add a fuel stabilizer. You may want to choose a climate-controlled facility to help protect your boat from cracking in the long-run.
Storing your boat clean helps cut down on rust and mold. Pressure wash the hull and use a soft-bristle marine brush to clean the underside. Make sure you don’t leave any food or perishables in the compartment. No need to invite wild animals (however cute they may be!) to nest in your vessel. Use a weatherproofer if your boat will be stored outside.
Finally, shrink-wrap your boat! Yes, really! It just puts a waterproof layer between your vessel and the elements.
Boat Insurance In Arkansas
In Arkansas, all boat-owners must carry liability insurance on vessels with engines of over 50 horsepower, and you are required to register all boats with engines or sails that will use public waterways. If you’re hauling your boat on a trailer, you’ll also need to register and present a title for the trailer. You do both of these with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.
Your insurance provider must be licensed for Arkansas, and your policy must meet our state’s $50,000 coverage minimum. If your boat is over 27 feet long, you may need to purchase yacht insurance, rather than simply boat insurance. (You can check out the Arkansas Handbook of Boating Laws for more info.)
Types of Policies
Boat Owners Insurance is available from Farm Bureau Insurance. We insure most non-commercial boats and watercraft.
You may also want to ask your agent about uninsured boaters insurance and medical coverage in the event of a collision or boating accident.
Coverage for your boat equipment is included in the policy, and there are options to increase the coverage amount. Fishing gear and contents of a houseboat are other optional coverages available to you.
Keep up your insurance off-season. Fire, vandalism, theft, and tornadoes are still threats to your property, even if that property is in storage. And you’d be surprised at the damage (particularly engine damage) rodents or even a nest of insects can do!
Insure Your Boat with Farm Bureau Insurance
We’ve outlined why you need boat owners insurance above. Homeowner’s insurance does not cover most boats, so you need a separate policy. (The exception may be small craft, such as limited coverage on a canoe or sailboat.)
To learn more about coverages for your boat, contact a Farm Bureau Insurance agent.