Reporting a Boating Accident

When it's Required to Report a Boating Accident

Boats docked in a marina

On the water, accidents can happen to even cautious, well-trained boaters. If you are involved in a boating accident, it is important to know the requirements for reporting the event to the proper authorities.

Reporting requirements

After an accident, U.S. federal regulations (33 CFR 173.55) require the operator of any vessel that is numbered or used for recreational purposes (in this case, a boat) to submit an accident report. Individual states may have their own requirements for reporting accidents, but, in general, you must report an accident when:

  • A person dies
  • A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first-aid
  • A person disappears from the boat under circumstances that indicate death or injury
  • Damage to the boat and other property totals more than $2,000, or there is a complete loss of the vessel

Who should report

The boat operator must submit the report to authorities in the state or U.S. territory where the accident happened. If the operator is unable to do so, then the boat owner must submit the report.

Reports should be made within 48 hours of the accident if a person is killed, injured, or missing. If only the boat or property was damaged, you have up to 10 days to report the accident.

Disclosures

State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates) is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites hyperlinked from this page. State Farm has no discretion to alter, update, or control the content on the hyperlinked, third party site. Access to third party sites is at the user's own risk, is being provided for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any of the products which may be referenced on such third party sites.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm™. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.