Uninsured Florida Boaters in Accidents
Physical Damages – What is Covered?
On a boat insurance policy, physical damage coverage pays for the repairs to your boat that are necessary as a result of damage caused by a wide range of perils. The best policies provide “all risk” coverage, which means that if the cause of loss is not specifically excluded, it is covered.
Typical causes of loss that are covered include: weather-related perils such as wind, rain, hail, lightning and wave action; fire; loss or damage caused by theft or vandalism; and collisions with docks, submerged or floating objects or other boats. It is wise to select a policy that continues to cover your boat while it is stored on land, or while you transport your boat over land by trailer.
Physical Damages – What is NOT Covered?
All boat insurance policies have exclusions. The boat owner has the responsibility to maintain their boat, and so normal wear and tear is often excluded under a boat or yacht policy. Other exclusions can include gradual deterioration, weathering, insects, mold, animals, and other marine life. The number and type of physical damage exclusions vary from company to company, so take the time to compare to avoid surprises later. For instance, some companies include coverage for damage caused by zebra mussels, while some do not.
Also, it is important to know that most policies will not cover a defective item that directly causes damage to your insured boat, but will cover the resulting damage itself. For instance, if your water pump is defective and causes damage to your boat, the water pump itself is excluded, but the damage to your boat will be covered. Other policies can also have machinery damage exclusions while others do not. If your machinery is damaged by improper use, and a policy without a machinery damage exclusion will cover the engine; those with a machinery damage exclusion would not cover the loss. Whatever the case, make sure you are up do date with what you are covered for in your boat insurance policy.
Medical Liability Insurance
Medical Payment coverage is extremely important and something you should make sure you have adequate limits of coverage for. Medical Payment coverage will pay for first-aid treatment, ambulance, hospital, and other costs resulting from someone being injured on your boat, even if you are not legally responsible. It is important to research whether the coverage applies while someone is boarding or leaving boat, and while being towed behind your boat, such as while water skiing. Check to make sure that injuries to you and your family are also included in this coverage. Given equal amounts of insurance, coverage on a “per person” basis may be preferable to coverage on a “per accident” basis.
Should You Cancel Your Policy During Lay-up?
Once the boating season is over, and you have your boat cleaned up and tucked away for storage, you might think about saving a few dollars and cancelling your boat insurance policy. After all, what could possibly happen to your prized possession during the winter months when it’s locked away in the garage or in a storage facility? The answer: Quite a lot.
Contrary to popular belief, the amount of claims filed during cold-weather months is shocking. Over the last three years, nearly two out of every ten claims filed from Minnesota to Maine were filed during the fall and winter months. In the off-season, several situations emerge, each potentially costing thousands of dollars in damages. Without the proper coverage, boaters would have to pay for out of their own pockets.
Personal Injury Compensation for Boating Accidents
At Rue and Ziffra, our Florida boating accident lawyers will work with the nation’s leading boating accident experts to help you when your injuries or the property damage to your boat was caused by a negligent party. As a boating accident victim, you may be entitled to receive personal injury compensation for medical bills, ongoing and future medical and recovery care, lost income, pain and suffering, and other related damages.
Boating accidents are unlike other personal injury cases in that–depending on which body of water the accident occurred in–they can either fall under the state of Florida’s jurisdiction or under US maritime law. This can affect the outcome of your case and who can be held liable for damages. This is why you must retain the services of a personal injury law firm that knows how to properly handle boating accident cases.
If you are a boat passenger, boating operator, a personal watercraft rider, or a swimmer who was injured in a boating accident caused by another party’s negligence, please contact us.