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.)
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.
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.
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.