Know Your Navigational Limits
Can I use my boat outside the state of Florida and still be covered by my Florida boat insurance policy? The answer is yes. Most policies cover you within the limits of inland and coastal US waters. Sometimes, Canada is included too.
Larger vessels, however, may have specific coastal limits such as from Maine to Florida only. And you can’t assume US overseas territories or foreign countries will be included – but you can ask about it because some foreign waters might be.
If you are planning a special boating trip outside your usual coverage area, then you should talk to your insurer about adding temporary cover for that trip only.
Out Of Water Coverage Rules
Florida boat ownership is steadily climbing after a slump during the economic downturn. Thus, it’s more important than ever for people to understand how coverage works when their boats are not actually in the water.
Typically, your boat will be covered (for liability purposes anyway) by your auto insurance when it is on a trailer attached to your truck. But your boat policy is not going to cover that unless you add extra coverage – and why not add coverage for the boat trailer too while you’re at it!
When parked at home, your homeowners insurance policy will cover damage, theft, and vandalism to your precious boat. Again, if you want boat insurance to also cover this, you need to add a rider to your policy to double up on this type of protection.
Boat Insurance During The Off-Season?
While you may want minimal cover for a stored boat, for the most part, there is no reason to pay for full coverage during multiple months on end when you’re not using it.
That’s why many boat insurers let you schedule to turn your policy off and back on again just like automatic lights. This works great so long as you remember the relevant dates and don’t accidentally go out boating while your policy is lying dormant.
Florida has good weather most of the year, so you may want to keep your policy “turned on” at all times. But if you are a seasonal user, a “snowbird,” or picky about having perfect weather when you use a boat – talk to your insurance agent about saving money by including an “off period” in your policy.
Unlike auto insurance, boat insurance is not mandatory in Florida. Boat registration is, but you can legally own a registered boat that is not insured (and even use it that way, though we don’t recommend it.) So there is no legal problem with seasonal no-use / no-coverage periods.
To learn more about how boat insurance works and how you can make it work for you, contact Flagler County (FL) Insurance Agency today for a free, no-obligation consultation and a free quote!