Why do I need boat insurance?

Posted by Kaitlin Gertner

Depending on the type of policy and the insurance company, your boat insurance policy may range from minimal coverage to superior protection. Be sure to consult with your insurance advisor about what your policy consists of. Below are a list of coverages that may be included, or may be able to be added:

Property Damage Liability (PD) coverage pays for the cost to repair or replace damaged property belonging to another person that you are legally obligated to pay for as a result of a boating accident. 

Bodily Injury (BI) coverage pays for the cost of medical bills and lost wages by an injured individual as a result of a boating accident. 

Medical Payments (MedPay) coverage provides for necessary medical care you require as a result of a boating accident, regardless of who is at fault. 

Comprehensive coverage applies for incidents such as vandalism, flooding, and fires that may damage your boat. Although many individuals consider or choose to only insure their boat during the summer months, these incidents can also occur on land, and by maintaining an annual policy you will continue to be protected. 

Collision coverage applies if you hit another object and cause damage to your boat as a result. 

Uninsured or underinsured boater coverage provides coverage if an uninsured or underinsured boat collides with your boat and injuries are incurred as a result. 

Towing & Labor coverage is reimbursable and paid per occurrence depending on the amount of coverage chosen. Coverage applies when work is performed at the time and place of disablement. 

Equipment coverage may also be purchased to protect your gear on board or while it’s being transported on or off your insured boat.

While many individuals consider cancelling coverage during months that their boat is not in use to save money, it can often save you money in the long run to continue your coverage and renew annually. Some companies lower your deductible each year when you renew your policy, and some even eliminate it after a certain number of years, provided there are no claims.

We would also recommend considering purchasing an umbrella policy to provide additional liability coverage. If you own a home, cars, business, etc. you want to ensure that your assets are properly insured.



Boat Safety

If you live in Florida, chances are you will be a passenger on someone’s boat or a captain of your own at some point in time. While there are tons of useful boat safety resources on the US Coast Guard’s website, we wanted to share with you a few critical items before getting out on the water this summer.

Always check the weather before embarking on a boat outing. Florida summers may bring harmless light sprinkles, but they can also bring severe thunderstorms, so be sure the check to forecast and bring a weather radio aboard. Signs that a storm may be brewing include sudden wind shifts and choppy water.

Have the appropriate safety equipment on board at all times: a fire extinguisher, enough U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets for all boat passengers and a first aid kit. It’s also advised to check all boat lights to ensure they are all operable.

Do not overload your boat – Doing so will increase your risk of taking on water or capsizing. Check your boat’s capacity limited located on the plate near the boat operator’s steering area.

Abide by all boat traffic rules, especially if traveling in the intercostal waterways, and please boat responsibly. Although boating is a fun sport, it is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol affects your judgment, vision balance and coordination which can put yourself and your passengers in harms way.

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