If you are a boat owner, you likely have questions about what types of coverage are required by Florida law and whether it is worth it to purchase additional insurance.
The short answer is yes -- even if you meet Florida's insurance requirements, it is a good idea to buy additional coverage in case something unexpected happens during your next boat trip.
Do You Need Boat Insurance?
If you own a boat, you should consider insurance. Boat insurance will protect your boat from accidents and other damage. The cost of boat damage can be very costly, and you may be held responsible for damages to others if your boat is in an accident and doesn't have coverage.
Boats are considered "high risk" assets. This means that when something goes wrong with an asset of this size, they tend to be more expensive than regular vehicles due to both their value as well as their potential danger level when operating them safely without proper precautions taken beforehand.
What Does Boat Insurance Cover?
Depending on the exact policy you have, boat insurance can potentially cover all of the following:
- Boat -- defined as any type of craft used to carry passengers or cargo.
- Trailer -- an attached auxiliary device that aids in transporting boats. The most common kinds of trailers include car haulers, utility trailers and flatbeds.
- Personal Property -- the items you have on board your boat: the electronics, clothing, tools and other personal belongings are all covered under this category.
- Boat Hull -- the actual body of the boat is insured here. This would include damage caused by collision with another object or person; fire; theft; falling trees or limbs (this also applies when on land); floods or tidal waves caused by severe weather conditions such as hurricanes and tornadoes etcetera.
What Types of Coverage are Available?
As with most types of insurance, there are many types of coverage available to you. Here are the main types to consider if you want to best protect yourself, others, and your assets/belongings.
Liability insurance is the coverage that protects you if you're found legally responsible for an accident. This coverage is required by Florida law, and it can be purchased in different amounts depending on what type of boat you own and how much risk you want to take on.
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
This coverage is a mandatory policy for boats, but it's also one of the most important. This type of insurance covers injuries to yourself, other people, and your boat.
You must have Bodily Injury Liability Coverage if you:
• Operate a boat (i.e., you're in control)
• Are on board a boat that has not yet been launched into the water but an injury occurs while it was still on land (e.g., someone falls off the dock)
If you don't have this coverage and someone is injured on your boat—including yourself—you could be personally responsible for all costs related to their medical bills and lost wages if they decide to sue you for compensation.
Physical Damage Coverage
Physical damage coverage is the most common type of boat insurance, and it covers damage to your boat, trailer and personal belongings. This type of coverage can be purchased as a standalone policy or as part of a comprehensive policy. It's also possible to purchase physical damage coverage for a specific amount of time—for example, for one year rather than the typical three-year term—or for specific types of boats (such as sailboats).
Hull coverage typically covers your boat against damage caused by collisions with other boats, objects in the water, or accidents involving your own boat. In some cases, hull coverage will also cover theft or vandalism.
Florida Boat Insurance Requirements
Florida requires boat owners to carry the following minimum amounts of liability coverage:
• Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident
• Property Damage Liability Coverage: $50,000 per accident
Do You Need Boat Coverage?
If you want to be able to enjoy boating without worrying about whether you will be protected in case of an accident or theft, then it is important that you consider purchasing boat insurance. The right coverage can protect you against damage and theft while also providing financial assistance if someone is injured on your boat. Contact Fiorentino Insurance Group today to discuss your policy options.