Florida is a slice of paradise for people who love riding on boats. Besides being a coastal state, Florida also has over three million acres of lakes and 12,000 miles of rivers and streams. Plenty for an avid boat-lover to explore. While Florida boat owners aren’t required to buy boat insurance or obtain a license to operate a boat, you must register your boat with the State of Florida and carry specific safety equipment on board. You may also be required to purchase boat insurance if you have a lien against the boat. While not officially required, boat insurance in Florida is a good idea for anyone who wants to protect their investment due to Florida’s high risk for hurricanes and storms and its busy waterways. In this blog, we’ll look a bit more closely at the average cost of boat insurance and what is typically covered under boat insurance.
What Does Boat Insurance Cover?
As mentioned above, while boat insurance is not a necessity in Florida, if you are using your boat as collateral against a loan, your lender will usually require that you have boat insurance to cover any damages to the boat. Even if the above doesn’t apply to you, if your boat is motorized or costs more than $1,000, we recommend investing in boat insurance.
If you think your homeowner insurance policy covers your boat, you may want to check again. Most homeowners insurance policies offer a limited amount of coverage for boats that only includes things like:
- Damages to the boat up to around $1,000 and only apply to certain damage types.
- Personal property that is exclusively used on the boat will likely not be covered.
- Bodily injury or property damage compensation will likely be limited, and there are often restrictions depending on the type of boat.
A much broader range of issues and circumstances will be covered in boat insurance. Some of the types of things that would be covered in a typical boat insurance policy are:
- Liability in case of damages to others.
- Medical payment coverage in case you or a guest are injured.
- Towing coverage in case you are stranded.
- Uninsured boat owner’s coverage in case you’re injured or your boat is damaged by another vessel that isn’t insured.
- Coverage for damages to the boat or your personal property, whether the damage occurred on the water or in a trailer.
Keep in mind that every boat insurance policy has a physical damage deductible. This may be a percentage of the boat’s value or a specific dollar amount. There also may be a separate deductible depending on the type of boat you have. For example, sailboat insurance often has its own deductible for the mast.
The Average Cost of Boat Insurance in Florida
The cost of your boat insurance will depend on a few factors, such as the boat’s value, where you store it, and how often you use it. However, your resident status will also play a factor in your boat insurance cost. Theft is also more common in some regions of Florida, and boat owners that don’t regularly monitor their boat may be considered high risk. If you want to keep the cost of your boat insurance as low as possible, you may want to consider:
- A higher hull deductible as this will lower your rates.
- Add an auxiliary motor if you own a sailboat for emergencies.
- Consider buying a newer boat versus an older one, as older boats often have higher insurance rates.
- Taking a boating safety course. Your insurer may provide a discount.
Your boat is a way for you to enjoy Florida’s natural beauty. Protect it with boat insurance so you can use and enjoy your boat for many years to come. At Dunham Insurance, no matter what type of insurance coverage you need, we take the extra time to ensure that you completely understand your coverage and that it fits your needs perfectly. Contact us today to discuss your boat insurance needs!