Florida has the highest number of registered boats in the country, and consequently has the highest boat accidents.
There were a total of 684 boat accidents reported in Florida in 2016 with the property damage of more than $9 million.
Unfortunately, your home insurance won’t be able to cover you in case your boat gets damaged. You will need to take out a boat insurance to protect your holiday getaway vehicle. Although boat insurance isn’t required by law in the State, you are likely going to need it if you are taking out a loan or keeping your boat in a dockyard.
What is boat insurance?
Boat insurance is somewhat a combination of home and auto insurance.
If someone gets injured on your boat, it will cover the medical expenses of that person. Similarly, it covers any bodily injury or property damage that your boat does by hitting someone or something.
There is also an option of additional coverage for personal property on the boat in case of theft, fire and flooding, and for uninsured/underinsured boater accidents.
Agreed Value vs. Market Value
Boaters have the option of choosing between agreed value and market value coverage.
The agreed value is a value chosen at the time of purchasing the insurance, and is paid when something happens to the boat.
The market value is the replacement value of the boat. For example, if you bought a boat in 2007, and your boat was considered a total loss in 2013, then you will get the market value of the boat minus 6 years of depreciation.
Opting for market value will reduce your premiums, but for a new boat the agreed value is better.
Is the boat covered everywhere?
The answer is yes. But not necessarily by boat insurance.
The boat insurance only covers the boat when it is in water. When you’re moving it on the road by trailing it at the back of your car, the auto insurance will kick in if any accident occurs. If the boat is parked inside your house, then any damage will be covered by the home insurance.
However, keep in mind that there are navigational limits. The limits are decided by the insurance company, but it mainly includes the inland waters of US and Canada. In case of a larger boat, the limits may exceed, but any policy is unlikely to cover any waters which have security concerns.
How to save on Premiums?
Lay-up: you can cut down on the insurance premium payments by taking up a lay-up. Lay-up is the period where you do not take your boat out, usually winters. Any damage caused to your boat during this period will not be covered by the boat insurance and you won’t have to pay the premiums either.
Boating class: if you are a trained boater, it means you are a safe boater. Insurance companies are likely going to give you discounts for having proper training for driving a boat.
Be specific: there are several types of boat insurance available and make sure to get the right one. Don’t get yacht insurance if you have a small fishing boat. This will save you a lot on premiums.
You can always contact us at 941 747-7283 for any further assistance. We can also get you an instant quote for your boat insurance in Sarasota.