Florida has clear, crisp waters and a vivid tourism industry. Visitors flock to the state for the warm weather and the many watersports available. With the high number of boaters on the water, it's no surprise that the state has some of the highest boating accidents in the nation. Unfortunately, many of these boaters do not have boat insurance. Boat insurance isn't mandatory in Florida. However, it's a wise idea to purchase coverage if you plan on enjoying the waters or carrying passengers.
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Florida Boating Statistics
- There were more than 700 boating accidents recently in FL.
- The majority of recent accidents occurred in the bay/sound, while at idle speed.
- Most recent accidents involved collisions with other boats. The number one cause of these accidents was not having a proper lookout.
- Open motorboats were most commonly involved in recent collisions in FL.
- There were more than 800,000 boats recently registered in the state of FL.
The state has the highest number of boating accidents in the nation. Whether you spend the night on the water, run a charter operation or just use your boat a few times a year, chances are that you or someone you know has been involved in a boating accident. Boat insurance is one way to have peace of mind and protection while enjoying the waters in Florida.
What Is Boat Insurance?
Boat insurance is a set of policies that offers coverage for some of the most common incidents that occur while boating. A typical boat insurance policy may provide the following coverage:
- Bodily injury liability: This coverage protects you from paying out of pocket for injuries you cause. This does not cover damage to your vessel.
- Property damage liability: While boating, if you damage someone else's property, this coverage can help pay for the costs to repair the damaged property.
- Physical damage: This coverage protects your boat and trailer from damage, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive: This coverage closely resembles auto coverage. It covers non-collision events, weather-related events, theft, and vandalism.
- Underinsured/uninsured boaters: Unfortunately, many boaters do not carry boat insurance. If you're involved in a collision with an uninsured/underinsured boater, you'll be responsible for paying for the damage out of pocket. This coverage helps with those costs.
- Equipment: If you have equipment such as skis, towables, or gear with your vessel, equipment coverage covers that equipment.
- Fuel spill/wreckage cleanup: The majority of waterways require you to remove your vessel if it's involved in an accident, even if it has sunk. Additionally, if your boat is responsible for a pollution spill, you are liable for remediation. This insurance coverage can help pay these costs.
If you purchase 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.
What Types of Boats Does Boat Insurance in Florida Cover?
Insurance companies understand that there are a number of different types of boats out on the waters in Florida. Here's a brief list of the boats that you can cover with boat insurance:
- Bass boats
- Jon boats
- Fishing boats
- Speed boats
- Charter boats
You can get boat insurance coverage for other types of boats as well. Speak with an agent about which coverage is right for you and your vessel.
How Much Is Boat Insurance in Florida?
On average, boat insurance can cost from $100 to $500 per year. Many factors go into calculating your quotes for boat insurance in Florida. When searching online for boat insurance, make sure to be aware of the following:
- Boat type
- Boat model
- Boat length
- Boat engine size
- Boat value
- Whether your boat has a trailer
- Where your boat is stored
- How often your boat is used
- Your driving record (on and off the water)
- Any safety courses completed
- Equipment on boat
- Desired coverage
- Deductible preferred
Insurance companies use all of these factors, plus many more, to determine your individual policy quotes. These answers will help insurance agents determine your personal risks and coverage needs.
What About Boat Insurance Discounts in Florida?
Just like many other insurance policies, there are discounts available on boat insurance in Florida. 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
Each insurance company offers its customers different discounts, so be sure to speak with your insurance agent about any discounts you may not be aware of.
How To Purchase Boat Insurance in Florida
When you decide to purchase boat insurance in Florida, it's critical to have a knowledgeable professional by your side to make sure you have the proper coverage for all the incidents that can occur. A reliable agent is always available to discuss coverage options, suggest discounts or policy changes, and even help you file a claim.
Contact your local agent for more information.