Florida Boat Insurance

Deciding which boat insurance policy you need is an important step in boat ownership. Wallace Welch & Willingham is dedicated to providing you with the right protection for your craft. Not all boat insurance policies are alike and there may be important coverage questions that need to be addressed before choosing the correct policy. We are here to help you make the right choice tailored to your needs. At Wallace Welch & Willingham, we provide both the highest level of customer service as well as competitive rates for boat insurance.

Boat Insurance: Standard Coverages

There are standard marine insurance coverages you can expect to need for your watercraft. These include:

  • Marine Hull Insurance Coverage

    Option One: Agreed Value — In the event of a total loss, this coverage pays the agreed value shown on the declarations page of your policy, regardless of the craft’s actual cash value at the time of loss (less any applicable deductible).

    Option Two: Actual Cash Value — In the event of a total loss, this coverage pays the lesser of the actual cash value at the time of loss less the policy deductible or the market value you provided for the watercraft. Actual cash value is determined by the market value, age, and condition of the watercraft at the time of loss.

    A few insurance companies offer Total Loss Replacement on smaller boats; inquire for additional information.

  • Boat Liability Insurance

    This policy covers bodily injury, lost wages, sickness, or death that result from an accident. Liability insurance also covers legal fees and pain and suffering that may result from an accident if you are found legally liable. If you are liable for property damage, the coverage pays for damages to other watercraft, property, and structures.

  • Pollution Liability Insurance

    Generally, this is included in the liability section of the policy coverage. It pays the expenses necessary to contain and clean pollution. It is important to note that fines and penalties incurred from said pollution are excluded.

  • Uninsured Boater Coverage

    What if the owner or operator of a watercraft does not have insurance to cover bodily injury damages? Uninsured boater coverage protects you, your relatives, and other occupants of an insured watercraft if any sustain bodily injury caused by an uninsured boater.

  • Medical Payments Coverage

    This covers certain medical and funeral expenses resulting from a watercraft accident and protects anyone occupying (or water-skiing off of) your watercraft. These benefits are payable without regard to fault.

  • On-water Towing

    If the insured boat runs out of fuel or has a dead battery, this coverage provides reimbursement up to the policy limit. Pay particular notice to navigation limits as defined by your policy. Traveling outside these limits will void policy coverage. Always refer to your policy contract for specific definitions, terms, policy conditions and exclusions. For more information, contact the marine insurance advisors at W3 Marine.

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What Boat Insurance Limits Should I Purchase?

When you buy boat insurance, the amount of coverage for your boat, motor(s) and equipment is usually determined by your bill of sale. Most insurance companies use your purchase price as the maximum limit of coverage for sudden and accidental physical damage to your boat. It’s important to review the policy exclusions as they will vary from one insurance company to another.

Additionally, you’ll need to determine the liability limit needed to protect you and your assets should you become legally liable for bodily injury or property damage to others. We don’t suggest limits lower than $300,000, and many boat owners will desire higher limits of protection. It is relatively inexpensive to purchase limits of $500,000 or greater. It’s important to understand that your personal assets may be at risk should your policy limit be exhausted.

If you were in an accident with another boat that caused serious damage, one of the following outcomes would likely occur, depending on the insurance coverage you and the other boat owner have and the laws in your state.

The following scenario assumes both boat owners have physical damage coverage and liability coverage:

  • If you were at fault and found legally liable, your boat liability insurance would cover the damage to the other boat and 3rd party bodily injury claims up to the limits of the policy.
    – Damage to your own boat would fall under your hull/physical damage limit subject to your deductible.
  • If the other boat was at fault and found legally liable, his coverage would pay for your hull/physical damage and bodily injury claims up to the limits of his policy.
    – Keep in mind that boat insurance is not mandatory in Florida.
  • If the other boat was at fault but did not have boat insurance (or not enough to cover your expenses), your uninsured/underinsured boaters coverage may cover bodily injury claims (if you have that coverage in place).
    – Damage to your own boat would fall under your hull/physical damage limit subject to deductible.

Give ample consideration to your boat insurance purchasing decisions — and keep in mind that there are many uninsured boaters in our waterways.

Find out if you have the right quantity and quality of charter boat insurance.

Will Insurance Cover Boat Repairs?

Even a captain with the best preventive maintenance plan in place is likely to face boat repairs eventually. Whether your boat requires routine maintenance or it becomes damaged, knowing whether your insurance covers boat repairs can offer substantial peace of mind.

The following scenarios are commonly covered:

  • Roadside Assistance

    Let’s say your trailer tire blows out while you’re on the highway and now you’re not able to tow your boat with it. Some insurance companies offer roadside assistance, so they will dispatch a tow truck and help you get back on the road or to the nearest repair shop. If this is important to you, check your policy to see if you have this valuable coverage in place.

  • Removal of Wreckage

    Often, marine insurance will cover the removal of your boat if it sinks – that is, if removal is required from a legal perspective. Let’s hope that this insurance benefit is never one that you need to use.

  • Comprehensive and Collision

    If your craft is damaged or stolen, you’ll file a claim. You will pay the deductible of your insurance policy for repairs. If your deductible is $500, you pay that amount – not the $2,000 that comes back on the repair estimate. (Some items may be subject to depreciation.)

    Add-ons abound in the realm of marine insurance. By talking with your insurance advisor about your unique situation, you’ll be able to craft a tailor-made policy just for you. Whether you’re a fisherman looking to cover expensive equipment or a novice who envisions the need for multiple water tows, there are personalized policies that offer such coverage.

    Yes, insurance can cover the cost of boat repairs. It also can cover much more. Contact your insurance agent for additional information.

Boat Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of vessel are you insuring?

While you can get boat insurance from a variety of companies, if you own a yacht or commercial vessel, you should specifically seek out an insurance provider who specializes in yacht insurance or commercial boat insurance. There are many considerations when it comes to insuring more expensive and larger yachts, and an experienced yacht insurance agency will be able to create a policy that will best suit your specific needs. Same goes with a commercial vessel — many traditional boat insurance policies will not provide adequate coverage for a boat that is used commercially.

Will my boat be covered if I leave the country?

As a major Florida marine insurance agency, we are very familiar with how easy it can be to travel from the Floridian waters to the nearby islands of Cuba and the Bahamas. However, your boat insurance policy may not cover you or your vessel once you leave US waters or exceed specified mileage offshore as defined in your policy. If you plan to take your yacht outside of native waters, you want to make sure you select a policy that will have you covered. Consult with an experienced marine insurance agent who will be able to get you the best possible premium and coverage options for your travel plans.

Does my boat insurance policy cover me for the whole year?

Some boat insurance policies will allow you to “lay up” or suspend coverage for periods of non-use. This could potentially save you money if you plan to store your vessel and not use it for several months of the year. It is also important to check that your policy is active if/when you decide to take your boat out. Make sure you discuss this with your marine insurance agent.