Florida Boat Insurance 101

Here in Florida, the rapidly-approaching summer means that everyone is going to be hitting the water to enjoy some fun summer activities. You are going to want to make sure you are insured to protect all of your assets should things go sideways. Florida boat insurance is a must if you are going to take your vessel out onto the water. With boat insurance, you can not only protect your but all of the items enclosed in the boat, as well as yourself.



What Types of Watercrafts are Covered by Boat Insurance?


Boat insurance can cover a motorboat, sailboat or personal watercraft. While you may also have heard the term “marine insurance,” Boat and marine insurance are similar, but marine insurance deals with commercial vessels while regular boat insurance is for recreational boaters. The state of Florida does not require you to carry boat insurance. However, if you 

finance your boat, your bank will require proof of insurance that covers its full value in the event of a loss. Marinas and boatyards also require liability insurance.


Your boat insurance premium will vary based on the size of your watercraft. For example, standard boat insurance for a vessel smaller than 26’ will cost less than a vessel larger than 27’, which is classified as a yacht. Also, different boats are used for different occasions, so you may need to pay more insurance for a watercraft that is exposed to more potential dangers.

What Factors Determine the Need and Price for Boat Insurance?

There are many factors that determine what type of insurance you will require. The number of factors influencing your insurance will also determine how much you will have to pay for your boat insurance. Here are some of the factors to take into account when getting boat insurance:

  • Age of the Boat
  • Length
  • Value
  • Speed/Horsepower
  • Condition
  • Primary Residence
  • Type (Inboard, Outboard, homemade, utility, cruiser, brassboat, fishing boat, etc.)
  • Ownership (more than two owners?)
  • Where will it operate?


Along with these factors, the price of your Florida boat insurance can be determined by your cruising area, boating safety education, driving records, liability limits, and deductibles.


How Climate Change is Affecting Boating?


According to scientists at the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, the average surface temperature of the Earth has increased about 1.8 Fahrenheit since the early 20th century. This gradual warming of the plant has led to adverse reactions to our bodies of water and climate. Every year, the sea level has risen about four millimeters, due to melting ice caps and water expansion.


The ultimate effect climate change has had on boaters has to do with natural disasters. The intensity of hurricanes has increased as the plant has warmed, with a projected eleven percent increase in hurricane wind speed that will cause up 60% increase in damage. These stronger hurricanes bring more rain along with them, increasing the frequency of Category 4 and 5 storms and higher storm surges.


With this warming climate, the risk attributed to taking a boat out onto the water has increased, especially in a place like Florida which has experienced a collection of strong hurricanes in recent years. The higher the risk, the more necessary it is to protect your assets with boat insurance. Insurers can provide you with a storm plan to combat volatile weather, which includes storing your watercraft in a hurricane proof facility or towing your watercraft to a harbor outside the eye of the storm.


Insuring a Commercial Boat


Whether you are in charge of a commercial boat, charter fishing vessel, inspected charter boat, sightseeing boat, etc., the folks at Maritime Insurance International suggest you insure your investment. The size of your commercial boat DOES NOT protect it from the risks endangering smaller vessels, including the storm risks attributed to climate change.


The need for commercial marine insurance is increased with commercial vessels that you are renting out. By renting out an uninsured vessel, you are putting yourself at the risk of a lawsuit should something happen to the individuals operating your boat. Even the sturdiest of vessels needs the appropriate protection, so make sure you insure your commercial boat to avoid potential risks to your investment.

At Strassman Insurance Group, we have been providing the best boat insurance, at competitive prices, to the metro Orlando and Lake Mary area for the past twenty years. Contact us today to speak to an agent about insuring your watercraft before hitting the water this summer!



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