According to the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA), there were more than 12.5 million registered boats in the whole United States in 2010, and Florida is the one leading those numbers with almost a million boats registered in the state. That is not really surprising as Florida, particularly Miami, is known for their beaches that promote a chill lifestyle.
What is surprising, however, is that although the state has the most number of boats in the whole country, insurance is not a requirement for you to register your boat. And because it is not a requirement, a lot of boat owners do choose to not have boat insurance.
But with this move is also the risk that you could lose your boat for nothing. Simple statistics will tell you that more boats in the area increase the risk of accidents as well. In a 2013 report, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission showed that 736 boating mishaps happened in the state in just one year. One hundred four of those accidents resulted in fatalities and various injuries, and 40 percent of all accidents were collisions between two or more boats.
As you can see, even if you are very careful, there are still a lot of risks related to owning your own boat. Whether it is from injuries to yourself or others, or property damage, you do not want to get caught off guard by the expenses that will come with those. That is why it is important that you protect yourself and your boat through a boat insurance policy.
What is covered?
There are a lot of insurance providers in the area and their interpretation of comprehensive insurance policy can also be different from one another. Don’t make a hasty decision about this and do your own research before signing anything.
But while there are differences, the typical boat insurance policy includes bodily injury, property damage, and physical damage liability coverage – this coverage protects you against bodily injuries and property damages to other people because of an accident that you have caused. This normally includes treatment of said injuries and may include lost wages/profit and even expenses if injuries result in death. This may also give you protection against natural calamities like storms, earthquakes, and other unfortunate incidents like accidental fires and theft.
What is not covered?
This coverage does not include your person, so your own injuries have to be covered by another form of protection. Also, the coverage may not apply if the accident occurred while using your boat commercially or if you are getting profit from the operation of your boat. You would have to get a commercial boat insurance to get coverage for that. Another limitation is that your personal effects in the boat like jewelry or electronics are not included as well. You would have to get additional coverage for that, too. You can also get additional coverage for big-ticket items related to your boat like expensive fishing rods. Last, damage due to old age and the usual wear and tear is also not covered.
While it can be a headache to research the right insurance provider, the headache that it solves if you get in a maritime accident is very much worth it.