Monday, July 8, 2024

Is Boat Insurance Required In Florida

Boat Insurance Requirements By State

5 Things to Know about Boat Insurance

Generally speaking, you won’t be required by your state to purchase boat insurance. In fact, only a handful of states require boaters to purchase insurance, and the requirement is often limited to boats with engines rated to have at least 50 horsepower. The table below lists the insurance requirements for each state.

Arkansas Liability insurance with at least $50,000 in coverage is required for all boats powered by engines of more than 50 horsepower.
Hawaii Only for boats parked in Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation facilities. Liability insurance with at least $500,000 in coverage is required for all boats parked in DOBOR facilities, including harbors and offshore moorings. The insurance policy must name the State of Hawaii, DOBOR as the “additional insured” or “additional interest”. The policy should cover salvage costs for grounded or sunken vessels, damage to docks, pollution containment and wreck removals.

Is It Mandatory To Have Insurance On A Boat

If youre wondering, Do you have to have insurance on a boat?, the simple answer is no. The majority of states do not require you to carry boat insurance. You may assume that you need it in cities surrounded by water. However, only a few states require proof of insurance.

The chart below lists each state and their boat insurance requirements.

Yes, just Arkansas, Hawaii, and Utah require you to have a boat insurance policy. But what about a license?

How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost

While this is an easy question to ask, it is not an easy one to answer. Boat insurance prices depend on a number of factors such as location, the age of your boat, and the size of your boat. Your insurance company will want to know where your boat is docked. For example, is your boat going to be used on lakes or in the ocean? That makes a difference because saltwater will erode a boat quicker than lake water. Also, do you live in a state that experiences winter climate? You cant keep your boat docked year-round because the water will freeze.

The size of your boat is very important. A small boat will obviously cost less to insure than a yacht. Some insurance companies classify boats into separate categories such as houseboats, yachts, motorboats, etc. These all are determining factors in deciding the cost of your boat insurance. Small boats can cost about $75 a year for insurance. Bigger boats can cost as high as $500 a year to insure. Boat insurance in Florida works the same as auto insurance. The more accidents you have, the higher the cost.

You can purchase boat insurance through the same company that provides your homeowners insurance. If you want to use a separate company, most well known insurance companies such as State Farm and Progressive provide boat insurance. To find out how much you might have to pay a year, simply go to the website and ask for a quote. Then you will be on your way to sailing the open water!

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Who Offers The Best Boat Insurance Rates

Many insurance companies offer competitive boat insurance rates. Shop around to make sure you are getting the information you need to make an informed decision. Sites like and provide reviews for many different insurance companies and are great places to begin your research. Speak with other boaters find out what features are important to them and why. Do your homework by researching different companiesâ offerings and you will be prepared to make the best decision for your needs.

Can I Renew My Boat Registration Online

Is Florida Boat Insurance Required?

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency offers online renewal of boat registrations through its website by Other types of transactions must still be processed in person at the License Office.

Please be aware that you will not receive a renewal notice from the Tuscaloosa County License Office the next year if you renew your boat registration online because the renewal will not be in our registration system.

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What Is The Best Type Of Boat Insurance

The best type of boat insurance is insurance coverage that adequately meets your legal and contractual obligations and allows you to feel comfortable about your exposure to risk. Because each individual situation is different, it is important that you determine what coverage factors matter most to you and your family. Spend time researching your options and speak with multiple insurance brokers or agencies. has an excellent review of boat insurance providers.

What Other Factors Affect Your Boat Insurance Cost

Besides where you live, several factors play into boat insurance rates, including:

  • Type of watercraft: Fishing boats, pontoon boats, sailboats, and other personal watercraft all have unique features that may affect the cost of your policy.
  • Safety measures:Completing a boating safety course may lower your rate.
  • Boats horsepower: Boats with stronger engines, like powerboats, often have higher rates.
  • Boat’s age: Newer boats are often more expensive to insure than older boats.
  • Boating history: More experienced boaters may receive lower insurance rates than newer boaters with less experience on the water.

You may be able to lower the cost of boat insurance by qualifying for discounts, including multi-policy, multi-boat, and responsible driver. Learn more about boat insurance discounts at Progressive.

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Florida Boat Registration Requirements & Fees

In order to operate a boat in Florida’s public waters, it must be titled and registered with the state, which you have 30 days to do after you’ve purchased a boat. You can apply for a boat title and registration at a county tax collector or license plate agent office, and you have the option of applying for either a one-year or two-year registration. Once you’ve received your registration, Florida boating regulations require it to be kept on-board the boat during operation. You will also be provided with boat numbers and decals, which need to be affixed to your boat.

To apply for a boat title in Florida, you simply need to complete an application and provide proof of ownership. For a new boat, proof of ownership can include the manufacturer’s certificate of origin, an official statement of the boat’s builder and the bill of sale from the dealer where you purchased the boat. If you bought a used boat, its existing title just needs to be signed by you, the buyer, and the previous owner that sold it to you. You’ll also need to pay Florida’s boat titling fees:

  • $5.25 for an electronic title or $7.75 for a paper title. You may also have the option of receiving an expedited title, which is $11.
  • $1 per existing lien on the boat to record these on the title.
  • $4 if your boat was previously registered in another state.
Boat Length

Boat Insurance In Florida

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Boat insurance isn’t mandatory in Florida, meaning it’s not required by law to own or operate a vessel. However, if you took out a loan using your boat as collateral, the lender will typically require that you have insurance to cover damages to the boat. And Florida marinas often have boat insurance requirements, so you’ll need to provide proof of liability coverage in case of injury or damages to others.

Even when it’s not required, if you own a motorized boat in Florida or one that costs over $1,000, we recommend you consider boat insurance. Many homeowners insurance policies offer limited coverage for boats and watercraft:

  • Coverage for damages to the vessel is generally limited to around $1,000 and only applies to certain causes of damage.
  • Your homeowners liability insurance may offer some assistance if you caused bodily injury or property damage to others, but there are often restrictions depending on the type of boat.
  • Personal property that you bring on the boat may be covered if it’s lost or damaged, but not if its use is exclusive to the boat.

A boat insurance policy can provide coverage for:

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    What Kind Of Boat Insurance Do I Need

    Like many other insurance policies, boat insurance can typically be separated into a few types: liability, uninsured motorist, and collision/comprehensive coverages.

    Liability insurance is the minimum standard required by most states, banks, and marinas. The boat insurance professionals at recommend buying at least $1,000,000 in liability insurance. The recommended amount of liability coverage can be even higher if you have a fast, powerful boat that is both riskier and can cause more damage.

    With uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, the standard minimum is $10,000. Ensure that you take into account any potential injuries and damages you may need to cover if you or one of your passengers is injured or your vessel is badly damaged.

    The last type of boat insurance we will cover is collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. These types of coverages should be based specifically on the value of your boat. Check with your lender or your marina to see if there are insurance policies in place.

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    How Much Is Boat Insurance In Florida

    Boat insurance rates in Florida tend to be higher than in other states, especially northern ones. The cost of boat insurance in Florida varies greatly since it depends on your boats model, age, size, and much more. But, generally, you can expect to pay from $200 to over $1,000 per year for boat insurance in Florida.

    What Affects Florida Boat Insurance Rates?

    Florida boaters often have easy access to the open ocean. Additionally, the many opulent mansions lining the waterfronts are often adorned with yachts on backyard docks. This means boats in Florida tend to be bigger and more expensive than land-locked states. More costly boats can also lead to more costly insurance to adequately protect them.

    But more increased risks in the state also play a factor in the relatively high boat insurance rates. Boating accidents are a worry, too. According to the US Coast Guard, Florida led the country in boating accidents and fatal boating accidents in 2020, with 804 recorded crashes . In addition, flooding and hurricanes are major concerns that increase rates.

    That being said, youre not completely out of luck. Always ask about what discounts are available to you. You may be able to reduce your rates by taking some boating safety courses. Many insurers also offer discounts if you own your home, discounts if you insure multiple boats, and discounts if you pay your full premium in advance.

    How to Get the Best Boat Insurance in Florida

    What Does Boat Insurance Cover

    Is Boat Insurance Mandatory in Florida?

    Depending on your policy, boat insurance is likely to cover:

    • Damage caused by a collision that is your fault or the fault of an uninsured boater
    • Bodily harm or property damage that you cause to another boater or watercraft
    • Damaged or stolen equipment kept on your boat
    • Towing of a disabled watercraft
    • Damage that occurs in the water, in storage or in transit

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    Things To Do Before Storing Your Boat For Winter

    • Take your boat out for one last ride and pay careful attention to its performance. Fix any maintenance issues that you notice. Small problems can become big problems when theyre left to sit all winter.
    • Clean your boat thoroughly. Dirt and debris left to fester for moths can damage paint, and sand or gunk can cause cracks.
    • Wax your boat, to protect it from dirt that may settle over the months of storage.
    • Change the oil and antifreeze and loosen or remove your boats drive belts, to keep them from weakening due to temperature changes.
    • Remove batteries and place them on trickle chargers.
    • Put fuel stabilizer in the gas tank and open all drain plugs to prevent flooding.
    • Fill your trailer tires to prevent flats.

    Do You Need A Boating License In Florida

    You don’t need a boating license to operate a boat in Florida. But the state law does require anyone born after 1988 to complete an approved boating safety course and have a boating safety education identification card if they want to operate a boat with 10 or more horsepower. The boating safety ID card can be obtained from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and is valid for life, so you won’t need to get recertified.

    In order to operate a PWC or jet ski in Florida, you also don’t need a license, and you would only need to have a boater safety card if youâre under the age of 22 according to state law. And you’re not allowed to operate a PWC or jet ski if you’re under the age of 14.

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    When Is Proof Of Insurance Required

    Even though most states dont legally require you to carry boat insurance, other situations may require proof of insurance for your watercraft.

    Docking your boat at a marina

    If you plan on docking your boat at a marina, many will require you to show proof of insurance before signing the contract. That being so, make sure to read the fine print and understand the requirements before proceeding with any contractual agreement.

    For example, marinas such as the Charleston City Marina in South Carolina and the Kemah Boardwalk Marina in Kemah, Texas require docked boats to have liability insurance of at least $300,000.

    Marinas like Brickyard Cove in Pt. Richmond, CA require an endorsement on your policy as additional interest or additional insured to avoid claims of negligence.

    Harbors will carry their own liability insurance so they can protect claims where they may be at fault.

    Financing your boat purchase

    If you have financed your boat, your bank may require you to carry boat insurance. If the bank is using the boat as collateral for the loan, they will require you to list them as payee for loss or damage of the boat.

    Unlike home and auto coverage, some policies dont require you to carry year-round coverage. But if you have financed your boat, your lender will most likely ask you to carry coverage even when the boat is stored. Your vessel may still be exposed to risks, such as theft and storm damage, while in storage.

    What To Look For In A Policy

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    Its best to work with an agent as youll have many policy options. You can choose an Agreed Value policy which pays for a replacement of a boat of the same kind and quality. Alternatively, a Stated Value policy compensates you for the value of your boat up to the policy limit, less depreciation.

    Boat policies are either named perils or all perils policies. All perils policies protect you against all risks, unless theyre specifically excluded in the policy. However, you may need to take risk mitigation measures such as providing them with a hurricane plan if you want them to include wind coverage in hurricane-prone Florida.

    A named perils policy typically protects you from risks such as theft, vandalism, lightning, fire, grounding, sinking, and lost or stolen belongings. Generally, your policy can provide the following coverages:

    • Personal property or vessel damage sustained on the water or trailer, less the deductible
    • Liability coverage for damages to others
    • Medical payments coverage for you and your guests after an injury
    • Uninsured boaters coverage for property damage or injuries caused by an uninsured boater
    • Towing coverage

    A boat insurance policy limits the navigational territory. If youre traveling outside of your insured territory, you may need a policy endorsement.

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    Boat Insurance Cost Factors

    Many factors are used to set the cost of a policy, and they vary among insurers. Here are some items to consider:

    • Cruising Area: Where you boat.
    • Boating Safety Education: If you have been formally trained or certified.
    • Good Driving Records: Both boating and driving.
    • Liability Limits: The higher the limit the higher the cost.
    • Deductible: The higher the deductible the lower the premium.
    • Towing insurance requirements for offshore fishing .

    Types Of Boat Insurance

    There are two basic types of boat insuranceagreed value and actual cash value. How depreciation is handled is what sets them apart.

    An agreed value policy covers the boat based on its value when the policy was written. While it can cost more up front, there is no depreciation for a total loss of the boat .

    Actual cash value policies cost less up front, but factor in depreciation. In other word, the policy will only pay up to the actual cash value of the boat at the time it is declared a total or partial loss. Eventually, as your boat ages, your insurer will likely insist on an actual cash value policyand if often gives a substantial savings.

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