Make sure you’re covered from stern to bow with the right Florida boat insurance policy package. Yes, you read that right: we’re talking coverage options – as in, plural. You may need to opt for more than one coverage. Read below as we examine what Florida boat insurance covers, what it doesn’t, and when additional coverages are a good idea. Here’s a hint that’s a great idea: contact your marine insurance advisor to ensure your insurance package is perfectly designed for you.
Rather than viewing boat insurance as an all-encompassing protection, it’s often best to picture it as a la carte options. Pick from a ‘menu’ of coverages to arrive at the insurance combination that meets all your needs as a boat owner.
Boat insurance covers the following:
- In general, Florida boat insurance covers a watercraft that has a motor. Sorry to all you canoe, rowboat and kayak enthusiasts, but you’re likely up a creek without a paddle on this one. Typically, damage caused by risks a boat owner is most likely to encounter, such as fire, storm damage, grounding, collision and theft, are included in boat insurance coverage.
- The actual property that is often covered will include the hull, motors, batteries and safety elements (fire extinguishers, etc) Hoping to have that boat trailer protected as well? That will usually take a separate coverage, limit and deductible.
- Boat owners often want to know whether they’ll receive full recompense if their boat or elements on it are damaged. After all, insurance should cover the loss, correct? This depends. Boat owners must decide whether to insure for replacement cost or actual cash value. Policies that are actual cash value-based will take depreciation into account, and an owner, therefore, won’t receive as much if there is a loss. Electing for agreed value policy is preferred because it means if there is a total loss there is no doubt how much your claim payment will be.
- Liability coverage is an important coverage to select. Let’s say that you’re involved in an accident and are sued. This coverage then kicks in to help pay the bills. The same holds true if you damage a dock or another structure. Such damage isn’t always due to the boat owner’s negligence, either: a large wake can result in the vessel damaging property, for example. It’s not enough to declare that you’re a great captain. The boat itself can do damage with no ‘help’ at all from you. If you weren’t negligent, in all likelihood the boat liability coverage will kick in to defend you.
- World travelers, you’re going to need to update your insurance policy before you set sail – and that means opting for more than Florida boat insurance. An international coverage or rider will likely be necessary. A good example of this is if you desire to sail to the Caribbean or even the Bahamas. A foray into international waters may render your usual coverage null and void.
The right boat insurance policy will cover everything you hold dear. All it takes is a thorough assessment of the vessel and a discussion with an experienced marine insurance advisor who can navigate the coverage process for you. To avoid being over or under-insured, partner with an advisor who has experience insuring vessels like yours and who knows how to access the markets necessary to obtain any specialized coverage.
For more information about Florida boat insurance and to speak with a W3 marine insurance advisor, call 727-522-7777.
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