Florida is surrounded by water. With so many boats in Florida, it should be easy to get a great insurance rate. The question is, are you getting the best coverage at the best price? We will help you “navigate” the insurance market and find the best company’s policy to suit your needs.
WHAT ARE THE REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR MY BOAT IN FLORIDA?
According to Florida boating laws any vessel with any motor, including a trolling motor, that is used on a public waterway must be registered and titled. Even non-motorized vessels 16 feet or more must be titled and registered. The only exception to this law is a non-motorized vessel under 16 feet. The law also stipulates that the purchaser of a new vessel has 30 days in which to apply for registration and title through the county tax collector’s office. During this 30-day grace period, the owner is required to have aboard his vessel a bill of sale with proof of the date of purchase.
WHAT TYPE OF COVERAGE IS AVAILABLE ON A FLORIDA BOAT INSURANCE POLICY?
- Bodily Injury Liability is an important coverage when your on the water. If you get into an accident, and injure someone, this is the coverage that is going to protect you. It will pay for the other party’s medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The cost for your legal defense can come out of this coverage amount. Check your Florida boat insurance policy to make sure you have enough coverage to protect your assets.
- Property Damage Liability protects you in the event you cause damage to someone elses property with your boat. The coverage pays for the damage to other boats, property and structures.
- Uninsured Boater coverage protects you, your resident relatives, and occupants of an insured boat in the event of a bodily injury, including any resulting death sustained in an accident caused by the owner or operator of a boat that does not have insurance (Uninsured) to cover your injuries.
- Medical Payments pays certain medical and funeral expenses resulting from a boat accident. This coverage protects anyone occupying your boat, skiing, or using a trailer. These benefits are payable without regard to fault.
- Collision coverage provides protection against damage to your boat when it collides with another object, other than an animal. Coverage is subject to the deductible amount selected.
- Comprehensive coverage provides coverage for your boat in the event of fire, theft, vandalism, and acts of nature. Coverage is subject to the deductible amount selected.
- Personal property can be purchased to cover your personal belongings while they are on the boat. This coverage normally comes with a $250 deductible.
- Fishing equipment coverage can be purchased to cover fishing equipment that is on the boat. This coverage also normally comes with a $250 deductible.
- On water towing covers the expense of having your boat towed into shore should you breakdown on the water.
- Roadside assistance covers towing expenses for your boat should your vehicle breakdown while you are towing your boat. Most towing programs will only tow your vehicle and require you to leave your boat alongside the road.
- Extended navigational limits can be purchased for boaters that intend to travel long distances. Most carriers will limit the number of miles from shore that the boat is covered. Check with your agent and your policy to verify your limits.
- Pollution coverage should there be a fuel spill that requires cleanup.
WHAT COVERAGES MIGHT BE EXCLUDED ON A FLORIDA BOAT INSURANCE POLICY?
- Most carriers will exclude coverage for personal items and fishing equipment. Statewide Insurance can offer carriers that will cover personal items and fishing equipment upon request.
- Most carriers limit the number of miles you may take your vessel from shore. Statewide Insurance can offer carriers with unlimited mileage upon request.
WHAT DOES REPLACEMENT COST AND ACTUAL CASH VALUE MEAN?
Replacement cost value (RCV) can be requested for a newly purchased boat. This insures the boat for what it would cost to purchase a like kind and model replacement boat. For older models actual cash value (ACV) may be the only coverage available. This values the boat at its’ depreciated value based on age and condition.
TIPS FOR FLORIDA BOATERS FROM THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAY SAFETY AND MOTOR VEHICLES.
Most boating accidents happen because someone gets careless, often because their attention is not on operating the boat safely. All it takes is a split second of inattention for a pleasant day to turn into a tragedy. Practice these simple tips to keep you and your passengers safe.
- Always stay alert for danger by scanning in all directions.
- Develop a “life jacket habit.” Staying on top of the water is critical, and there is rarely time to put a life jacket on should tragedy strike.
- Always wear your kill switch lanyard. Don’t take the risk of getting thrown from your boat and cut by the propeller.
- While boating is both fun and relaxing: alcohol and boating don’t mix. With all the stressors on the water (sun, heat, vibration, noise) the last thing an operator needs is alcohol to slow their reflexes.
- Make sure your passengers can operate your boat. In the unlikely event that something happens to you, you may need someone to get you and the boat back quickly.
- In the case of collision, accident, or other casualty involving a vessel in or upon or entering into or exiting from the water, including capsizing, collision with another vessel or object, sinking, personal injury requiring medical treatment beyond immediate first aid, death, disappearance of any person from on board under circumstances which indicate the possibility of death or injury, or damage to any vessel or other property in an apparent aggregate amount of at least $2,000, the operator shall without delay, by the quickest means available give notice of the accident to one of the following agencies: the Division of Law Enforcement of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; the sheriff of the county within which the accident occurred; or the police chief of the municipality within which the accident occurred, if applicable.
HOW CAN I SAVE MONEY ON MY FLORIDA BOAT INSURANCE INSURANCE?
- An easy way to save on your boat insurance in Florida is to shop around with different carriers. Statewide Insurance partners with the top Florida boat insurance companies. GET A QUOTE NOW!
- Deductible. Raising or lowering your deductible will affect your premium. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium will be. Check to see if the savings are worth the additional out of pocket expense you will have come claim time.
- Older boat. As the boat ages and the value becomes lower you may want to consider dropping comprehensive and collision coverage.
- Type of boat. Newer, more expensive boats are more costly to repair or replace, and insurance prices reflect this.
- Territory. Where you live and the type of waters you use your boat, the size of your town or city, as well as the number of claims in your area can affect your premium. This is why boaters in larger cities or coastal communities will generally pay more for insurance than boaters in smaller inland cities.
- Credit history. The amount you pay for your boat insurance could depend on your credit history. The stronger your credit, the better premium your likely to get.
- Florida offers many boater safety courses that can qualify you discounts on your boat insurance.
- Being a member of certain boater associations or organizations may also qualify for discounts on your boat insurance. Check with the insurance carrier to see which ones are eligible.
WILL MY HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE PROTECT MY BOAT?
- Some homeowners policies offer very limited coverage for very specific boat sizes and types.
- It is always a better option to purchase a separate boat insurance policy to protect your boat and your liability correctly without any gaps.