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Having a boat in Florida is a wonderful thing. After all, who doesn’t love spending a day out on the waves and enjoying all the shorelines Florida has to offer?

Still, having a boat in Florida is a big responsibility, especially because you have to be able to contend with, as well as anticipate, what Mother Nature is going to do – as one Florida boat operator found out.

Even though the boat operator was too late to save his boat from the clutches of Hurricane Sally, his saving grace was his boat insurance claim. He had taken the time to find the right boat insurance and it paid off when a catastrophe hit.

That’s why when you own a boat in Florida, you need to make sure you have the right policy. Here’s what you need to know about boat insurance in Florida, what to look for in a policy, and what to do if you think your boat claim isn’t being handled fairly.

What Kind of Florida Boat Policy You Need

In Florida, you aren’t required by law to carry boat insurance unless you’re running a business with employees from a boat, in which case you need worker’s compensation.

For the average boat owner, however, it’s a good idea to have some coverage to protect you and your boat – from inclement weather like hurricanes at the very least.

It’s also important to note that many marinas have stipulations for insurance. You may need to provide proof of liability coverage in order to have your boat there.

Furthermore, some homeowner’s insurance policies may cover a boat that is being stored at your home, but you cannot rely on this type of insurance when your boat isn’t at home.

Besides specific requirements from various entities involved with your boat, the two primary reasons to personally consider a boat insurance policy are for accident coverage, and in case of loss.

For an Accident

Florida is home to some of the most beautiful waterways in the world, so it makes sense that there are a high number of other vessels always out on the water. That also means that there are a high number of accidents in Florida waters each year, something you should protect your and your boat against.

In Case of Loss

Florida also is distinguished as having one of the highest rates of boat damage and loss in the United States. Due to this, it’s a good idea to protect your finances against potential losses that you could encounter due to weather or accidents.

What Type of Florida Boat Coverage To Get

You can tailor a boat insurance policy to fit your needs. You can opt for different levels and types of coverage. At the very least, it’s a good idea to make sure your insurance covers injuries and damages. You should also look for a policy that covers:

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Collision damage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Property damage liability
  • You can also add:
  • Uninsured coverage
  • Medical payments
  • Roadside assistance
  • Damage to a dry dock
  • Fishing equipment
  • Oil spills

When Your Florida Boat Claim Isn’t Being Handled Appropriately

When you file a claim on your boat insurance and you don’t feel things are progressing as they should, then you may be onto something. Insurance companies should be responsive to your inquiries and should not delay payment of a claim.

If an investigation needs to happen, then that should also be done in a timely manner and be complete. If this isn’t done, then it might be time to contact a lawyer for help.


About the Author:

Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2020 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2017, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019.