Is Boat Insurance Required in Florida?

If you own a boat or are thinking about buying a boat, you may be wondering if boat insurance is required. The truth is that Florida doesn’t legally require boat owners to have insurance. However, it’s still a good idea to get a policy if you own a boat.

Your Lender May Require Boat Insurance

While boat insurance isn’t required by law in Florida, if you took out a loan with a financial institution to purchase your boat, your lending company may require you to have insurance to ensure that the boat is repaired in the event of an accident. If you’re not sure if a lender requires boat insurance, you can read your paperwork or call the lender and ask.

Why Boating Insurance in Florida Is a Good Idea

Even if you’re not required to have boating insurance, you may want to consider it. To determine if boat insurance would help financially protect you, ask yourself how you’d pay for repairs to your boat if you were in an accident. How would you pay for repairs to your boat if it were damaged in transit, while docked or while being stored? What would you do if someone were injured on your boat and sued you for medical expenses? These are all items that can be covered by boating insurance, depending on your policy.

Boat Insurance Coverages

Most boat insurance policies come with these types of coverages.

  • Bodily Injury – Helps pay for medical bills if someone gets injured in a boating accident determined to be your fault.
  • Collision – Pays for the repairs to your boat if you collide with another boat or object.
  • Comprehensive – Helps pay for damage caused to your boat that is not the result of a boating accident.
  • Medical Payments – Helps pay for any medical expenses to yourself or others on your boat who get injured.
  • Property Damage – If someone’s property is damaged while aboard your boat, it helps pay for repairs or a replacement.
  • Uninsured and underinsured Boater – Helps pay for repairs to your boat if a boater who is uninsured or underinsured collides with your boat.

Additional Boat Insurance Coverages

If you have additional considerations that are not covered by one of the above-listed coverages, you may need additional coverage. Additional types of coverage may include:

  • Consequential Damage – Covers losses due to wear and tear rather than an accident.
  • Cruising Extension – A good idea if you plan to leave US waters.
  • Salvage – Pays for the removal of your boat from the water due to damage.
  • Specialized – coverage for a specific part of your boat, like if you have upgraded motors installed.
  • Towing – Pays for the towing of your boat if it is in danger and not operational.

Items that Affect the Cost of Your Boating Insurance Policy

Boating insurance doesn’t have to be expensive. The cost of your insurance and the monthly premiums are determined by how much coverage you need, your deductible and:

  • Your boat’s age
  • The length of your boat
  • The assessed value
  • The horsepower of your boat
  • Whether or not it meets the US Coast Guard Standards for the year your boat was built
  • Whether or not your boat is your primary residence
  • The type of boat
  • How many owners has the boat had
  • The body of water where the boat will be operating
  • How often do you use your boat
  • The reason or purpose for your boat

How to Choose the Right Florida Boat Insurance

How you use your boat and how often you use your boat factor into the cost of your premiums. When getting ready to purchase boat insurance, determine how often your boat will be used and how you’re using it. For example, if you only plan to use your boat on the weekends and plan to store it during the winter months, your boating insurance would be less expensive than if you planned to use it all year and keep your boat on the water. Additionally, you’ll want to determine an affordable deductible. The higher your deductible, the lower your premiums. However, you want to make sure this is a dollar amount that’s always affordable for you.

Getting Boating Insurance from Fearnow, Serving Florida

If you need boat insurance, our agents at Fearnow can help you get the right types of coverage with the right limits. We can look through numerous boating insurance policies to help you find the right one for your watercraft, commercial vessel, or recreational boat. If you have other types of insurance with us, you may be eligible for a multi-line discount.

To get a quote for boat insurance and to have your questions answered, call our agents at Fearnow by dialing 813-689-8878.