Florida Boat Insurance – Unique Concerns

If you are a boating enthusiast in Florida, boat insurance coverage should match the unique concerns of the sunshine state. There are risks and liabilities in Florida that boaters in other states may not worry about encountering. (Check with your marine insurance professional before you enjoy a boating holiday in Florida.)

Wildlife

One concern is the many species of threatened or endangered fish and wildlife. At the state level, these critters can be considered either threatened or of special concern. There is also a federal categorization, ranging from endangered to threatened. Additionally, there are some protected by management plans (intended to help conserve them).

You might be surprised to learn which vertebrates and invertebrates are on Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species List. Imagine the devastation if you accidentally damaged the habitat of protected birds, reptiles, mammals, or mollusks. Any time boaters go out on the water, they need to be careful not to threaten the conservation of fish or wildlife. Spillage of fuel or wreckage, for example, could wreak havoc on this unique ecosystem.

Recreational Zoning

That’s not all. Some humans do not want to be disturbed either. Several counties in South Florida recently tried to have a Senate bill passed that would create recreational zones along busy waterways. The reason? Overnight anchoring in these busy zones would not be permitted. Proponents of these restrictions say that waterways are not that different from busy highways, where vehicles can’t just stop and stay for a while. They advocate for establishing designated areas where dropping anchor is allowed.

Boating Collisions

Finally, it seems that recreational boating in Florida is more dangerous every year. Statistics show nearly a 15 percent increase in accidents from 2016-2017, continuing an upward trend of recent years. Fatalities have continued to increase annually, and alcohol is often a factor.

Anyone boating in Florida should keep in mind the unique challenges boaters might encounter here. Being prepared is the best way to reduce the risk of accidents and fatalities — wearing life jackets, taking boat safety classes, and carefully observing routes (as it may be tempting to focus more on having fun). It’s also important to check that your policy offers adequate Florida boat insurance coverage.

Are you planning a boating trip to Florida? Permanently moored in Florida? Contact the Florida boat insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance to review your needs.

2018 Hurricane Season

According to climate forecasters, 2018 is not a year to skimp on boat insurance or marine business insurance coverage.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently announced that odds are 75 percent in favor of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season being close to or above the typical season. (Hurricane season on the Atlantic coast runs from the beginning of June to the end of November.)

While some people are skeptical of weather forecasting accuracy, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center relies on the latest satellite and computing technology to forecast hurricane season.

Data indicates as much as a 35-percent chance of higher than normal hurricane intensity. Forecasters have analyzed the information and are calling for 10 to 16 named storms with winds gusting to roughly 40 mph (if you’re taking bets, they’re giving this a 70 percent chance).

Of these, somewhere between five and ten are expected to reach winds gusting at around 75 mph, becoming hurricanes. As for those that grow even stronger, to gales of over 110 mph, they anticipate somewhere between one to four major hurricanes this year.

The Atlantic storms have grown in strength since the mid-nineties, underscoring the wisdom of ensuring that your boat insurance coverage protects you in the event of a hurricane or significant wind storm.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency regularly reminds Americans to be prepared BEFORE disaster strikes. For boaters, they recommend paying attention to FEMA alerts (you can download their app) and tuning in to local news for updates, so you’re not taken by surprise.

Additionally, FEMA encourages everyone to review their insurance, taking precautions to get coverage for natural disasters like flooding. If you wait until the storm is forecasted in your area, it’s likely too late to obtain marine insurance coverage.

Be proactive and review your boat insurance coverage or marine business coverage now, at the start of Atlantic hurricane season. Contact the marine business insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance and find out if you are adequately insured.