As the cool weather is behind us, peak boating season is soon to be upon us in South Florida. So, before you take out your new boat or clean up the old one for the new season, make sure you have the proper boating insurance in case of a boat accident.
(1) Insurance While Storing Your Boat on Land
If storing at home, do not rely on your home owner’s or auto insurance policy to cover damage, injury, or theft of your boat. Most home owner’s policy provide very limited coverage, typically between $1,000 and $1,500 for theft, damage, or injury that occurs while your boat is at home
If you store your boat at a marina, you will need boat insurance that conforms to the marina’s policy, which may include coverage for theft, damage, or injury that occurs while your boat is being stored at the marina.
(2) Insurance While Transporting Your Boat
Now that we have storage of your boat covered, we now have to transport the boat from your home to the boat ramp. While trailering your boat, should you get into an accident for which you are at fault, your auto insurance policy will cover the accident. It is a good idea if you will be trailering your boat to have an auto insurance policy that does more than cover liability to protect your boat. If another driver is at fault for the accident, naturally their policy will cover damage to the vehicle, trailer, boat, and any injuries. If the at fault driver has no insurance, once again your auto insurance will cover the resulting damage or injury.
(3) Insurance While on the Water
While out on the water enjoying your boat, any liability, damage, theft, or injury incurred will be covered by your boat insurance should you be at fault or if the at fault party does not have insurance. If the at fault party has insurance, their boat policy will cover the damage or injury.
While Florida has no requirements for boat insurance, it’s a smart idea to purchase boat insurance as your home owner’s insurance is unlikely to cover much, if any, theft, injury, damage, or liability incurred while operating your boat. Your auto insurance policy will cover your boat only while transporting the boat, making it very limited in scope. So, before heading out and enjoying that new boat you just purchased, make sure to contact an insurance company and get your new purchase covered.
Tips for lowering boat insurance rates:
- Having a clean driving (automobile) record
- Passing a US Coast Guard approved boater’s education course
- Having a safe boating record
- Bundling of auto insurance, home owner’s insurance, and boater’s insurance normally results in lower premiums