With more than 1,300 miles of coastline and numerous lakes and rivers, it's no surprise that boating is very popular in Florida. With nearly one million registered vessels, this state is home to more boat owners than any other in the nation. If you are among them, you may want to consider buying boat insurance.
In most cases, boat insurance isn't mandatory in Florida. However, it's a wise idea to purchase coverage if you have invested a lot of money in your boat or if you plan on enjoying a lot of time on the water. A local independent insurance agent can help you find the best and most affordable policy.
What Is Boat Insurance and Why Is It Important?
Boat insurance is a lot like car insurance. It can protect the investment you have made in your boat and can cover your liabilities if you cause a collision while out on the water.
Boat insurance comes in handy more often than you might think. The US Coast Guard reports that boaters in Florida are involved in an average of 700 accidents on the water a year.
In fact, in a recent year, boating accidents led to 514 injuries, 72 deaths, and more than $13.2 million in property damage in Florida alone. That's a lot of losses for the uninsured.
How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost in Florida?
Florida is one of the more expensive states for boat insurance. On average, policies in this state cost about $348 a year. Your actual rates may be higher or lower than this average based on the following factors.
- Your boat's type, model, length, and engine size
- Your boat's current value
- Where your boat is stored when not in use
- How often you use your boat
- Your driving record (both on and off the water)
- Whether your and/or members of your household have completed a boating safety course
- The types of coverage you want
- Your preferred deductible
The only way to find out how much a boat insurance policy will cost you is by contacting insurance companies and requesting customized quotes. At your request, an independent agent can do this for you.
What about Boat Insurance Discounts in Florida?
Just like many other insurance policies, there are a few incentives that can help Florida boaters save money on their policies. Below is a list of the most common boat insurance discounts.
- New customer discount
- Multi-policy discount
- Loyal customer discount
- Safety course discount
- Security system discount
- Good driver discount
- Good credit discount
Offered discounts can vary from on insurer to the next, so be sure to ask about them when requesting quotes. You do not want to miss out on savings for which you qualify.
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What Does Florida Boat Insurance Cover?
There are boat insurance policies designed for motorized boats, and less expensive policies designed for non-motorized vessels. This means that you can find a suitable policy to cover any kind of boat including but not limited to the following.
- Kayaks and canoes
- Bass boats
- Fishing boats
- Speed boats
Boat insurance providers will typically include, at a minimum, liability and property coverage as a standard part of their coverage. They will also offer a variety of coverage options for you to choose from so you can tailor your policy to meet your specific needs. A solid boat insurance policy will include the following.
- Boat liability insurance: This provides coverage for other people's injuries and property damage if you are responsible for a collision while out on the water.
- Medical payments insurance: This can cover the treatment of injuries sustained by you and your passengers if you are injuring in a boating collision, regardless of fault.
- Physical damage insurance: This covers the cost to repair or replace your boat if it is damaged or destroyed in a boating accident, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive insurance: This covers the cost to repair or replace your boat if it is damaged or destroyed in a non-collision event like a hurricane, tornado, or property crime.
- Underinsured/uninsured boaters insurance: This can cover damage to your boat and the treatment of injuries sustained by you and your passengers if you are in a collision caused by an uninsured or underinsured boater.
- Equipment insurance: This can cover loss or damage to gear equipment such as water skis, towables, or fishing gear that you keep on your boat.
- Fuel spill/wreckage cleanup: If you cause a boating collision, you are required to remove your vessel from the water. Also, if the accident involves a a pollution spill, you are liable for remediation costs. This insurance can cover these expenses.
If you have purchased your boat with a loan, the financer will likely require you to carry insurance on the vessel until the loan is satisfied. Additionally, if you use the vessel for commercial purposes in Florida, such as chartered fishing, you are required to have boat insurance.
How to Purchase Boat Insurance in Florida
When you are shopping for boat insurance, it is beneficial to have a knowledgeable professional by your side. Independent agents can help you be sure you have the proper coverage and that you are getting it at a good price.
These agents are available to discuss your coverage options, suggest discounts or policy changes, and even help you file a claim. There are nearly 1,600 independent agents with offices in the Sunshine State. Find an insurance agent near you to start comparing customized boat insurance quotes.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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