If I let someone else drive my boat, are they covered?

You want to take all of your friends out on the water, but you don’t want stuck behind the wheel the entire time. You consider letting one of your friends take the helm while you enjoy the sun and the fishing, but you aren’t sure if they’re actually covered under your insurance policy if something happens while they’re navigating.

Texas does not require you to hold insurance on your boat, so you aren’t going to get in any legal issues with the state when you let someone else use your boat. Unlike automobile insurance, boat insurance does not require you to name each individual person who is going to operate the boat. As long as they are legally allowed to pilot a boat in the state, your boat insurance covers any damage caused by your boat.

Since this state does not require you to have boat insurance, you may want to consider adding uninsured boaters coverage to your policy. You won’t have to worry about paying for your boat repairs out of savings if you have an accident and the other boat is completely uninsured. You simply pay your deductible and let your own insurance company handle the rest. Otherwise, you’ll be on the hook for the total liability that comes from the accident and all of the damage involved.

If your friend is hauling your boat, make sure that your insurance policy covers the boat while it’s on the trailer. Their auto insurance may not have the proper policy to protect it, and generally you need to add this type of coverage to your insurance.