Many Northeast Florida boat owners worry about the cost of boat insurance.  In Florida, boat insurance is not required by law in Florida but the cost of not having adequate insurance can be potentially devastating. Also, it is important to note that most Florida marinas will often require proof of liability insurance.

Some people balk at the idea of purchasing separate boat insurance in Florida if their homeowner’s policies offer protection for boats and watercraft. However, that coverage is extremely limited and wholly inadequate to manage your risks.

Boat insurance coverage offers protection for a variety of events and problems. The following are among the incidents commonly covered with boat insurance protection:

  • Accidents with other sailing vessels and/or stationary objects, such as piers or docks.
  • Fire
  • Natural disasters
  • Fuel spills and cleanup (you may require a rider policy to cover the costs of cleanups).
  • Roadside assistance
  • Passenger medical expenses
  • Fishing gear, depth finders, and other add-on equipment (varies from policy to policy)
  • Theft of the boat
  • Vandalism to the boat

You should discuss your coverage options and risk comfort levels with a trusted insurance agent so that you get sufficient insurance protection to make you comfortable actually using your boat. Don’t forget additional protection as well, such as medical payments, salvage insurance, liability insurance, personal property insurance, and more. Also, ask what your home insurance covers as far as personal effects on the boat. You might also need additional coverage to provide protection for specialized equipment you’ve added to your boat, your boat trailer, and damage done to your boat by uninsured boats.

What are the Factors that Affect Boat Insurance Costs?

Just as there are an infinite number of insurance protection options available for boat insurance, there are even more options available when it comes to the cost of boat insurance. No two boats or people are the same when it comes to your comfort level for insurance coverages and costs. These are a few of the factors that can impact the cost of insurance for your boat:

  • Type of boat (sailboat, yacht, fishing boat, catamaran, pontoon boat, jet boat, houseboat, etc.).
  • Length of the boat. Most “boats” are 26 feet long or shorter if it is 27 feet or longer, it is considered a yacht, with somewhat different insurance costs and expectations.
  • Boat’s value.
  • Deductibles.
  • Driving and boating history. Believe it or not, your driving record may affect your boat insurance costs.
  • Boating safety courses, certifications, and training you’ve had.
  • The intended area of use for the boat – whether you intend to use the boat in the ocean, on lakes, on rivers, etc.
  • Boat age.
  • Other insurance policies with the same provider.

If you own a boat in Northeast Florida, now is the time to stop asking about the cost of boat insurance and find out for certain. Contact Bates Hewett & Floyd today to learn more.