Everything you need to know about boat insurance.
Even though Florida enjoys warm weather year-round, it is always fun when the summer rolls around. Outdoor recreational activities are especially nice. Boating affords you the pleasure of the warm sun, and a cool breeze. There’s nothing like being out on the water. Escaping the challenges of the workweek. Fishing, sunbathing, and swimming. This is Florida living at its finest.
You cherish these moments and the memories that are created. But do you treasure your boat the same way? Just like any other investment, you need to protect your boat so that it can bring you the joy and independence you cherish. Having the right insurance coverage for your boat can provide you the peace of mind in and out of the water. Although boat insurance is not required in Florida, chances are you will need to address breakdown, accidents, and damage. If you took out a loan using your boat as collateral, or are financing your boat, the lender will typically require you to carry insurance. If you intend to dock your boat in a marina, chances are they will require you to carry boat insurance. Many people choose to cover their boats under their homeowner’s policy, but this is a bad idea. In an accident, the claim will go against your homeowner’s insurance and will result in a claim and higher premiums in the future.
What is boat insurance and what does it cover? A boat insurance policy can provide coverage for you and your boat should something unexpected happen. The policy can include coverage for damage to your boat or its equipment as well as injuries to people and damage to property or other boats. Boat insurance covers most vessels with engines or sails, and some may cover “personal watercraft” like Jet Skis, wave jammers, Wave Runners, and houseboats.
Why do you need boat insurance? The short answer is for financial security. If an accident occurs and you have insurance, you will be responsible for paying the deductible. The insurance will cover the rest. Without insurance, you could get stuck paying out of pocket for the full cost of repairs to the boats, legal costs, and medical bills. This could include you and the other person and has the potential of harming your finances. Boat insurance is specifically designed to protect your boat almost anywhere you go, over land, out in the water, and in storage.
What types of insurance can I get for my boat? Just like auto insurance, boat insurance can be customized to fit your specific needs and budget). The size, type, age, value of your boat, and where the boat is housed and used will determine the coverage that’s best for your vessel. Like most insurance, your coverage can be tailored to meet your needs. Some companies offer big discounts, accident forgiveness and disappearing deductibles.
In general, most boat policies are designed to cover:
· Bodily injuries sustained by you or someone else
· Property damage to your boat (for example theft or vandalism)
· Property damage by your boat (for example, damage to another boat if your boat causes an accident)
· Coverage can be purchased for your trailer in cases of accident and breakdown
· Medical payments in case you or a guest, sustain any injuries
· Uninsured boat owners’ coverage in case you're injured, or your boat is damaged by another vessel that is not insured
· Towing coverage in case you're stranded and need to be towed to a port
Does boat insurance cover hurricane damages? This can vary, depending on the specifics of your policy and what insurance company you’re working with. Generally speaking, wind damage (including wind from hurricanes) is covered under standard homeowners and boat policies. Water-related damage, like flooding or storm surges, is calculated and insured differently. Some companies offer Hurricane Haul out Coverage (reimburses some or all of the expense of having the boat hauled in the event of a hurricane, tropical storm, or tropical depression).
It is important to remember that if a hurricane or other severe conditions are in the forecast, stay out of the water and get your boat to a safe spot to weather the storm.
If you’re ready to buy boat insurance, our agents at Monroe Insurance are ready to assist you. We can talk you through your coverage options, so you understand what fits your needs and budget.