H.B. NO.



H.D. 2
















SECTION 1. The legislature finds that owning and operating a recreational vessel can provide many hours of enjoyment and can be a source of income as well as a way to harvest food from the ocean. However, there are many responsibilities and potential hazards that accompany vessel operation, including the elements, other vessels, and the risk of a vessel grounding or sinking. Vessels are a serious investment and can create significant costs in the event of an unexpected accident.

Since 2002, the department of land and natural resources, division of boating and ocean recreation has expended in excess of $2,200,000 from the boating special fund to address vessels aground, derelict vessels, and abandoned vessels in waters of the State. In addition to environmental damage from grounded vessels, the State sometimes incurs all costs involved in removing a grounded vessel if the vessel is uninsured. The State has no way to recoup most of these costs because a significant number of grounded vessels are uninsured.

Since 2009, the division of boating and ocean recreation has required mandatory insurance for vessels moored in state small boat harbors as a condition of obtaining a mooring permit but has no mechanism for addressing insurance concerns, in particular, for the numerous trailered vessels that are not stored on property of the department or in a state facility.

The legislature finds that mandatory insurance coverage for all vessels required to be registered with the State and all vessels required to be documented by the United States Coast Guard operating in and on ocean waters of the State will help to ensure that in the event of injury to another person, damage to property, a grounding, or a sinking, the registered boat owner's insurance policy will be able to remedy any related costs.

The purpose of this Act is to require vessel owners operating a vessel required to be registered with the State or required to be documented by the United States Coast Guard in or on the waters of the State to obtain vessel insurance.

SECTION 2. Chapter 200, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"200-   Vessel insurance. (a) All vessel owners who operate a vessel in and on ocean waters of the State shall obtain marine insurance coverage for:

(1) Vessels required to be registered pursuant to section 200-31(a); and

(2) Vessels operated in ocean waters of the State with a valid documentation number from the United States Coast Guard.

(b) Marine insurance coverage required by this section shall have a combined single limit of not less than $         per occurrence, in such a form and content as to ensure that removal and salvage of a grounded vessel are covered.

(c) A transient vessel, except when moored in a state small boat harbor, offshore mooring area, or other facility under the jurisdiction of the department, shall be exempt from the marine insurance coverage requirement of this section for no more than ten business days after arriving in ocean waters of the State. "Transient vessel" means any vessel visiting the State for a period of less than ninety days.

(d) The department may adopt rules to carry out the purpose of this section."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.


Report Title:

Mandatory Vessel Insurance; State Small Boat Harbors



Requires owners of certain vessels that operate in and on ocean waters of the State to obtain marine insurance coverage of a specific type and amount. Provides a limited exemption for transient vessels. Authorizes the DLNR to adopt administrative rules concerning marine insurance. (HB1033 HD2)




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