If you own a boat without insurance, you could be in for some expensive surprises

Unlike car owners, which are required under law to purchase insurance for their vehicles, there’s no such requirement for boat owners– but perhaps there should be, considering all the expensive things that can happen to them. Accidents, lawsuits, regular wear and tear, equipment failure, and natural disasters are just a few of many costly types of situations that boat owners may have to contend with.

In addition to the general expenses and liabilities of boat ownership, South Florida boat owners should also consider concerns like hurricanes, tropical storms, sun damage, and the high risk of boating accidents due to crowded harbors, bays, and waterways. This incredible variety of expenses means that being an uninsured South Florida boater is likened to the legal version of driving without a seatbelt; incredibly risky, with almost no upside. Still not convinced? Keep reading to find out more in-depth information about the risks posed to boaters in South Florida.

Accidents can lead to costly litigation and other surprise expenses

More than 4,000 boating accidents appear each year in the United States, costing millions of dollars in damage and taking hundreds of lives. In 2015 alone, boating accidents caused $42 million in damage and took 626 lives. That means that even if you and your boat survive a boating accident unscathed, if it causes injury, property damage, or death to others, you could be liable for millions of dollars of damages and could even face criminal charges for crimes like negligence or manslaughter. Even small accidents that don’t affect other individuals can be costly– and several accidents over a few years can easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars for many boat owners.

Natural disasters like tropical storms and hurricanes can decimate a costly investment in just a few hours

Hurricanes are one of the most known and greatest feared natural disasters in Florida; and while the state has been mostly spared from damage in recent years, hurricanes like Andrew and Wilma have cost tens of billions of dollars in damage and affected millions of lives. Since boats are mostly kept outside, often docked on water or stored in driveways and yards, they are especially vulnerable during periods in which wind currents and tides can be incredibly violent and unstable.

In the aftermath of major South Florida storms like Hurricane Andrew in 1992, boats have been found miles from their docking area, often torn to shreds or otherwise in seriously damaged condition. However, hurricane-induced boat damage can lead to more than the loss of a valuable investment; in many cases, boat owners can be sued for damages if their boat causes damage to people or property after being blown away during a hurricane.

Wear and tear and routine equipment failure can be expensive to fix without the right insurance coverage

Boat maintenance can be one of the most expensive parts of boat ownership, often costing owners more than 10% of the boat’s value. That means a $150,000 boat could easily cost $15,000 a year to store, clean, and fix– and that’s without any major accidents, upgrades, or equipment failures.

While insurance won’t usually pay routine maintenance costs, it can help pay for bigger failures of routine equipment like a boat’s computers and navigation system, engines, and vital infrastructure components like heating, plumbing, and AC. Age-related equipment failures in these areas can cost thousands of dollars even on small boats, and repair price tags often reach many tens of thousands of dollars in midsize or large boats.

So, unless you have a big wad of disposable cash that you’re happy to spend on routine repairs, it can definitely be wise to have a boater’s insurance policy. A good policy will be able to take care of some of the larger, more expensive equipment and system failures that you might face, which can significantly reduce the overall expenses that you face as a boat owner.

Gain peace of mind and protect your investment by purchasing a comprehensive boater’s insurance policy

Being a boat owner can be incredibly rewarding, but as you probably know, it can come with some serious headaches as well– and one way to reduce them is to purchase a reliable and comprehensive boater’s insurance policy. Purchasing a policy can simultaneously protect your investment, reduce expensive boat maintenance and repair costs, and help you defend and deflect the threat of litigation in the case that your boat is involved in an accident that causes injury or property damage to others.

If you’re a boat owner without boat insurance, now is the time to act; you could be just one accident away from a ruined boat, a lawsuit, and a huge repair bill– all completely preventable with a reliable, affordable insurance policy.

To learn more about how boater’s insurance may be able to save you money and give you greater peace of mind, contact Avante Insurance today for a free consultation.