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Boat Insurance in Miami, Florida: Is it Required and Why You Should Consider it

Apr 25, 2023

Boating in the sunny Miami, Florida waters can be an incredible experience, and owning a boat is a dream come true for many. However, one critical question must be asked: have you insured your boat? While it may be tempting to save a few dollars by skipping insurance, just like a car, boat insurance is a crucial aspect of responsible ownership and safe boating. 

What IS Boat Insurance

Before we dive into why it is important to have boating insurance and the risks that come when one opts out of it, let’s discuss what boat insurance is. 

Boat insurance is a coverage that insures and protects your boat against damage or liability costs. Boat insurance covers motorized watercraft, even on a trailer in the driveway. However, if your boat is on your property when the damage occurs, it may be covered by a tiny portion of your homeowner’s insurance policy.  

Depending on the type of coverage you select, your insurance may cover any loss, damage, or theft to the boat. Boat insurance can also assist in covering the costs of damage to another person’s boat or property if your watercraft was at fault.

Florida Boating Laws and Boat Insurance

Thousands of boaters call Florida home, and with its extensive waterways and stunning shoreline, it’s easy to understand why. However, like with any risky activity, there are laws and regulations to safeguard everyone’s safety. Boat owners in Florida are obliged to follow particular rules and regulations to operate their boats lawfully, and one of these restrictions refers to insurance coverage.

According to state law, boat owners in Florida are not obliged to carry boat insurance. However, there are several instances where it is required. For example, if you finance your boat through a lender or marina, they may want insurance to safeguard their investment. Furthermore, if your boat is involved in an accident that results in considerable damage or injury, you may be forced to provide proof of fiscal responsibility. 

It’s crucial to note that just because boat insurance isn’t required in Florida doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about getting it. If you do not have insurance, you may be personally responsible for any accidents or damage caused by your boat. This might lead to financial catastrophe and the loss of all the memories and joy you gained from your boat. As a result, it is strongly advised that you consider getting boat insurance to protect yourself and your boat in the event of an unanticipated catastrophe.

What Boating Insurance Coverages

When you purchase boat insurance, what your policy covers will depend on the insurance agency and your chosen coverage. It’s essential to understand the options available and determine the most appropriate coverage for your vessel. Factors to consider include the size, age, type, overall value, and where the boat will be used and stored.

Generally, boat insurance policies will cover the following:

  • Bodily Injury: If you or someone else is injured while on your boat, your insurance will pay for the medical expenses associated with treatment and recovery.
  • Property Damage: Similar to auto insurance, if your boat is involved in an accident that causes damage to your boat or someone else’s boat, your insurance can help cover the repair expenses.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: This type protects your boat from non-collision incidents, such as theft, vandalism, or damage caused by natural disasters like hurricanes or storms.

It’s important to note that under a boat insurance policy in Florida, any stolen or damaged personal items held on the boat may or may not be covered. Therefore, it’s essential to carefully review the terms and conditions of your policy to fully understand what is and isn’t covered.

Additionally, some boat insurance policies may offer additional coverage options, such as towing and emergency assistance, coverage for fishing equipment, and protection for uninsured boaters.

When choosing a boat insurance policy, it’s essential to work with an experienced insurance agent who can help you understand your options and find a policy that fits your needs and budget.

What Boating Insurance May NOT Cover

While boat insurance is designed to cover accidents, vandalism, and theft, certain damages are not covered. Understanding these limitations is important to ensure you have the right coverage for your vessel.

Some damages typically not covered by boat insurance include general wear and tear, corrosion, weathering, mechanical or electrical breakdowns, mold, mildew, and intentional damages caused to the boat. If you experience these issues, you will likely need to pay for repairs or replacement out of pocket.

In addition to these limitations, other restrictions are associated with boat insurance in Florida. For example:

  • Your boat may not be covered during hurricane season, and you will need to move your boat to a safe location during this time of year.
  • Some insurance agencies may require you to be at least 20 years old to receive boat insurance.
  • Coverage in the Bahamas may only be available at an additional cost.
  • Faster boats, such as speedboats, will generally be more costly to insure than slower boats, such as sailboats.
  • You may need to get a separate deductible for potential wind hazards if you want your boat to be protected against damage sustained from high winds.

It’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of your boat insurance policy to understand what is and isn’t covered and what restrictions apply. By doing so, you can ensure that you have the right coverage for your vessel and are prepared for any unexpected events that may arise.

The Cost of Boat Insurance

Like any other insurance policy, boat insurance has variable costs based on various criteria. An insurance professional can assist you in precisely determining the cost of your coverage. To determine the amount of coverage required and the degree of risk involved, they will ask you several questions about your boat, including its size, type, age, storage location, navigational region, total worth, and average usage. The good news is that boat insurance is typically less expensive than vehicle insurance, with Progressive reporting that the average cost of boat insurance in Florida is roughly $652 per year or $54.33 per month.

You may also obtain discounts on your boat insurance coverage, making it even more reasonable. One method is to take a boating safety course to demonstrate that you are a lesser risk. Another option is to undergo a marine assessment to assess your boat’s age, worth, and coverage needs to minimize extra coverage expenditures. Adding safety equipment to your boat, including fire extinguishers, life vests, highwater alarms, personal locating beacons, and visual and sound signaling systems, can also cut your rates by lowering the chance of damage to your boat.

It is critical to remember that selecting the highest potential deductible given by your agency to save money might be disastrous in the long run. While it may reduce your yearly premium, the monthly payments and deductibles figures are not comparable. If you have an accident, you may pay more than if you had chosen a smaller deductible and a higher premium. In the long run, getting a low deductible rate is usually advisable to guarantee that you are protected in the event of a mishap.

Is Boating Insurance Worth the Investment?

Like any other sort of insurance, boating insurance is ultimately determined by your unique circumstances and risk tolerance. However, examining the financial implications of an accident or theft affecting your boat is critical.

Boats may be expensive, and repairs or replacements can be costly. You would be liable for absorbing these charges out of pocket if you did not have insurance. Furthermore, if you are judged accountable for damages or injuries caused by an accident involving your boat, you may face hefty legal and medical expenditures.

Where to Get Coverage

If you own a boat in Miami, Florida, you need to protect it with a comprehensive boat insurance policy. Here are some of the top boat insurance providers in Miami that you can consider:

#1 Del Toro Insurance Agency: With over 30 years of experience, Del Toro Insurance Agency is a top-rated boat insurance provider in Miami. They offer a range of boat insurance coverage options to suit the needs and budgets of all boat owners. Del Toro Insurance Agency also offers discounts for boaters who take boating safety courses and have safety equipment on their vessels.

#2 Allstate Insurance: Allstate is a well-known insurance provider that offers boat insurance coverage for Miami boaters. Their policies offer comprehensive coverage options, including liability, personal property, and medical payments coverage. Allstate also provides discounts to boaters who complete boating safety courses.

#3 Progressive Insurance: Progressive is another popular choice for boat insurance coverage in Miami. Their policies offer coverage for liability, medical payments, and uninsured/underinsured boater coverage. Progressive also offers discounts for boaters who complete boating safety courses.

No matter where you receive your boating insurance policy, always try to shop around, get many quotes, ask questions, and speak directly to an agent. 

Happy boat insurance hunting!

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