Boat Insurance: Keeping Your Assets ‘Afloat’ on Stormy Seas
Responsible, civic-minded drivers anywhere would never consider getting behind the wheel of a car without proper auto insurance. If you’re a boat owner, taking to the water without adequate coverage is just as risky.
Owning a boat or watercraft is loads of fun—water and sun, memories and fun—but boat ownership comes with serious responsibilities, risks, and liabilities. If you own a boat, you need to secure proper coverage to protect not only yourself, but also your family, your property, and investments, too.
You’ve also got an obligation to others sharing the water with you. Suppose you were in an accident out on the water for which you’re judged legally liable for damages and/or injury to others. What would happen if you didn’t have proper boat insurance? Financial ruin is a real possibility. Don’t let it happen.
What Does Boat & Watercraft Insurance Cover?
Typically, boat insurance policies cover the most common perils related to physical damage to the boat:
Standard boat and watercraft policies also provide reimbursement for damage to numerous items related to boating. Such items include the boat itself and the motor. Additionally, coverage extends to the trailer deployed to tow the vessel to the water. The list of covered items also includes equipment permanently attached to the boat, along with anchors, oars, trolling motors, extra fuel tanks, tools, removable canopies, seat cushions, life jackets and preservers, skis and tow ropes, dinghies, and more.
Many watercraft insurance policies also cover labor costs for repairing and/or replacing the boat and any related equipment. Most standard boat insurance provides basic liability coverage, too. Florida law doesn’t require boat coverage, but not carrying some degree of coverage is not worth the risk.
Does Florida Require Boat Insurance?
Technically, no. However, Florida law isn’t the only factor to consider. If you purchase your boat on loan, for example, the creditor will likely stipulate that you maintain boat coverage. Many boat owners store their vessels at marinas or boatyards. Such facilities also routinely require owners to carry a certain degree of boat insurance.
Need another compelling reason to carry boat insurance? How about this: It just makes sense. Protecting your passengers and property and looking out for the wellbeing of your neighbors is, quite simply, the right thing to do. And what about the financial aspect of boat ownership? For many people, owning a boat can represent a sizable investment. If your boat were totaled in an accident, do you have the liquid assets to simply replace it without insurance monies?