There are many different types of coverage for your watercraft.
However, regardless of the type you have, it is unfortunate that many individuals in Tampa Bay and throughout Florida face the issue of boating insurance denial by their insurance company. A maritime lawyer may be able to help you reverse that rejection and get the coverage you deserve. Read on to learn more about the customary types of boat coverage in the state of Florida.
This type of coverage would apply in case you cause an injury to a person or damage to property anywhere in Florida, Tampa Bay, Miami, the Keys, etc. as long as the policy contains no geographical restrictions on where the vessel can go. (Check specifically for this in your policy to make sure there are no geographical restrictions on you in Florida.) Damage to property could be to another vessel, a dock, navigational marker, or marine environment. Note: governmental agencies are very aggressive in pursuing recovery for damages to the marine environment (e.g., sea grasses, coral reefs).
Uninsured Boaters Coverage
Just like in the automobile context, you can purchase coverage for you and your party in case an at-fault vessel/boater does not have any insurance or does not carry enough coverage. This is very important coverage and is not that expensive for most recreational boats. If you do not have this coverage — and neither does the other vessel/boater — your options may be limited on obtaining recovery for your injuries or those of your party. If you are dealing with a boating insurance denial or injury case in Tampa Bay or in the State of Florida, contact us for help.
Hull Insurance (Comprehensive and Collision)
In the context of automobiles, this coverage is known as “comprehensive and collision”. If you have to look to your own policy to cover your vessel damage, you need to have hull coverage. Here are some examples where a vessel owner might need hull coverage:
- Another vessel hits your vessel and the owner is uninsured
- A tree falls on your vessel
- Your vessel is hit by lightning
- Your vessel sinks at the dock
- The forklift operator drops your boat
- Your boat is stolen
DO NOT confuse hull insurance with warranty insurance on your vessel. If your engine suffers a malfunction due to wear and tear, your insurer is not likely to cover that. Also, like all insurance, there are exceptions, and sometimes you have to fight back against your insurer to make them pay a claim. This is where having a Tampa Bay-based boating insurance denial attorney on your side is essential.
This is a must-have, especially if you occasionally have guests on your vessel. It is designed to pay medical expenses — regardless of fault of the injured person — up to a limited amount when someone gets hurt in conjunction with being on or around your vessel. When we say up to a limited amount, the most common Medical Payments coverage amounts we usually see are $1000, $5000, or $10,000. So no, it does not cover all expenses for very serious injuries, but it does cover basic expenses up to the limit you selected. “Medical Payments” coverage — known as “Med Pay” — was designed by insurers to keep cases from going into a lawsuit if the claimant wants to recover just a few dollars in medical bills. If facing boating insurance denial, contact a lawyer in Tampa to represent you.
Check Your Coverage to Avoid Boating Insurance Denial
- To prevent boating insurance denial, make sure you have complete coverage. Ask your agent about your coverage, including the following questions:
- Does it cover me if I hit somebody?
- Am I covered if somebody hits me — and has no coverage?
- Will it cover damage to my boat if somebody hits me — and has no coverage?
- Does it cover me if I cause damage to a vessel or property?
- Are my family and guests covered if someone gets hurt on the boat?
- Am I covered if a tree falls on my vessel, lightning strikes it, or someone steals it?
Two Tips When Obtaining Boat Insurance
Be 100% accurate in your application. Failure to give 100% accurate information on your application can negate your coverage when you have a claim, or when a claim is made against you. It doesn’t matter if your information was intentionally wrong or by mistake; if it is wrong in the application, the insurer may try to deny coverage when you need it most. If this happens, you will need a boating insurance denial attorney to help you receive compensation. We practice in Tampa Bay and throughout all of Florida.
Read the policy. After you get the policy, you need to look through it and make sure what you received is what you thought you were getting. Policies, whether for boating or automobiles, contain exceptions. Section A tells you what is covered, but Section B tells you what is not covered.
For assistance with boating insurance denial, contact the law firm of Frank D. Butler, P.A. We help Tampa Bay area and Florida residents with their maritime law needs. Contact us or call us today for help if your insurer has denied your boating claim at 888-262-8529.