Boat Insurance Cost in Florida: Everything You Need to Know

December 18, 2023

boat insurance cost Florida

According to one recent report, Florida takes the top spot as the state with the most boats operated yearly, and it’s easy to see why. The Sunshine State is well-known for being synonymous with water sports!

There’s nothing like a day spent down in Destin or over in Key West, relaxing on the open water or reeling one in. Yet, as most boat owners know, these vessels can be quite an investment! Even the smallest and simplest boats are costly, so it’s smart to protect yours as much as possible.

Before you begin Googling terms like “boat insurance cost Florida” it helps to know the factors that can affect the price. Today, we’re exploring how this coverage works, what you can expect, and where to start your search!

Why Do You Need Florida Boat Insurance?

As soon as you set your mind to sailing the seas, you’ll naturally be ready to hop in and take off! Administrative details like insurance might be the last thing on your mind.

However, remember that owning a boat comes with significant financial risks. You need boat insurance to cover everything from potential property damage to liability-related charges. Let’s take a look at your different options.

Boat Property Coverage

First, let’s talk about the physical property of your boat. You need a policy that protects the structure no matter where it’s at, whether you’re behind the wheel operating it, or it’s safely stored on land or in the water.

Your agent will offer you two different types of property coverage. These include:

  • Actual cash value coverage
  • Agreed amount coverage

Actual cash value coverage accounts for the natural wear and tear that your boat is bound to encounter during use. For instance, if it gets damaged and you need a quote for repairs, the agent will factor in how much it’s depreciated since you originally bought it.

If you opt for agreed amount coverage instead, you will work with your insurance agent at the time you purchase the policy to determine how much your boat is worth. Then, if you need repairs down the road, your agent will refer to that amount when calculating your payout.

Most boaters find that agreed amount coverage is preferable over actual cash value coverage. This way, in the event that your boat suffers a total loss, you’ll be reimbursed the full amount insured, not the amount minus depreciation. When considering how much to insure your boat for, think about what you’d spend to replace it with one of similar kind and quality.

All-Risk Boat Coverage

It’s nearly impossible to list all of the risks that your boat could encounter while on the water or on land. An overarching all-risk policy covers most of those liabilities. However, keep in mind that it won’t usually be 100% comprehensive in nature.

A problem could still occur that isn’t covered under this policy. Your agent will provide you with a complete list of scenarios that are omitted or excluded from the coverage. Though this isn’t always the case, the following instances are usually not covered:

  • Normal wear and tear
  • Denting
  • Marring
  • Manufacturer defects
  • Design defects
  • Animal-related damage
  • Ice
  • Freezing

If a problem isn’t explicitly mentioned on the list, it should be covered. However, it’s always important to check with your insurance agent if you have a question about any potential issue.

Consequential Damage

As shown in the list above, regular wear and tear isn’t usually included in an all-risk policy. Still, that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. A consequential damage policy will cover a loss that occurs from typical usage, as long as it’s not related to an accident, such as water damage, mold, rot, or corrosion.

Uninsured Watercraft Coverage

Uninsured watercraft coverage works similarly to an uninsured motorist policy. If your boat collides with another boat and that boater does not have any type of Florida boat insurance, this policy will kick in.

To date, only two states require boaters to purchase insurance: Arkansas and Utah. Still, it’s critical to invest in this policy if you plan to use your boat at all.

Otherwise, you could be left paying out of pocket if an accident occurs and you’re even partially to blame. Studies reveal that approximately 20% of boaters are currently uninsured, so your risk of encountering one is relatively high!

Specialized Boat Coverage

Most basic boat insurance policies will cover all equipment that comes with the boat in its original manufacturer condition. This includes:

  • Oars
  • Hull
  • Sails
  • Anchors
  • Tools
  • Trolling motors
  • Furnishings
  • Seat cushions
  • Machinery parts
  • Life jackets

Yet, we know that when you own a boat, it’s fun to invest in a few toys to make the journey more comfortable and enjoyable. Did you decide to embellish or enhance your boat with a specialty item? Common examples include expensive props and accessories or high-tech navigation tools.

Adding these can make your vessel inherently more valuable. You may choose to purchase specialty coverage to protect those items from damage, theft, or vandalism.

Salvage or Towing Coverage

If your boat is damaged and you need to remove it from the water, the costs associated with doing so can be exorbitant. If you anticipate this may occur down the road, talk to your agent about purchasing salvage coverage to help cover the costs.

Likewise, some agents will also offer towing coverage. Towing fees can cost hundreds of dollars per hour, and this policy can help you move your vessel safely across the water for less.

Add-On Coverage

While the policies above cover the property-related aspects of owning a boat, you may choose to invest in extra coverage that can offer compensation in the event of an emergency or accident. Speak to your agent about this possibility, paying special attention to the following types of expenses you may incur:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost or damaged personal effects

In addition to property damage, ask if your policy covers bodily harm. If you cause injury to another party, you’ll need coverage that can help cover any associated medical costs.

Factors That Determine Insurance Qualification

Before offering a policy, boat insurance agents will need to make sure your vessel qualifies for coverage. Some of the many factors they’ll analyze and compare include:

  • Age of boat
  • Overall value
  • Length and size
  • Speed and horsepower
  • Type of use (Is it your primary residence or a recreational vehicle?)
  • General condition (Was it built according to U.S. Coast Guard standards at the time of construction?)
  • Homemade vs. manufacturer
  • Number of owners
  • Type of water (Will you use it on the lake or ocean? What about a river or bay?)

In addition, the type of boat you want to insure matters. Your agent will need to know all about the model you want to cover, and how you plan to use it. Common examples include:

  • Outboard
  • Cruiser
  • Utility
  • Freshwater fishing
  • Saltwater fishing
  • Bass boat
  • Speed boat
  • Performance boat

The more information and documentation you can provide about your boat, the better. To ensure qualification, your agent will need to make sure it checks all the boxes, and they may have questions that you should be ready to answer.

What Affects Boat Insurance Cost Florida?

How much is boat insurance Florida? Generally, you can expect boat insurance to cost around 1% of your boat’s total value. For most boaters, that means paying anywhere between $200 annually to more than $600. Yet, this calculation is far from one-size-fits-all.

You and your neighbor might have similar boats. However, your insurance premiums could still be higher or lower than theirs. That’s because insurance agents will analyze a variety of different characteristics to determine what your boat is worth, and how much it will cost their company to protect it.

These factors can vary among insurers, but the most common ones include:

  • The type of boat you have
  • The horsepower of your boat
  • The condition of your boat
  • Winter layup requirements
  • Your level of boating safety education
  • Your primary cruising area
  • Your driving records
  • Your required liability limit
  • Your deductible

Let’s take a closer look.

Type of Boat

Some boats are relatively simple and bare-bones in nature. Other, more premium vessels may have unique features that raise their insurance premium.

For instance, a small fishing boat or sailboat won’t usually cost as much to repair or replace as a large pontoon boat. That’s because not only do these watercraft differ in size, but they’re also operated differently.

Boat Horsepower

Boats that go faster on the water are naturally at a higher risk of collision and accidents. When reviewing your policy, your insurer will need to know the maximum horsepower of the engine. If you own a powerboat, you can expect to pay a high premium.

Note that some insurers require boaters to complete an approved boating safety course and hold an appropriate license before they’ll insure the watercraft.

Boat Condition

You might think that a brand-new boat in mint condition would carry a lower insurance policy than an old or outdated one. However, the opposite usually holds true.

Newer boats often carry higher premiums, mostly because their future repair costs will be higher. While they might not require as much maintenance at the onset, if they do break down, the parts could be expensive.

Winter Layup

If you only plan to use your boat during the warm spring and summer months, ask your insurance provider about a winter layup discount. This is normally offered in areas of the country where the seasons prohibit safe boating during the fall or winter.

Boating Safety Education

Most insurers believe that if someone has attended boater safety education courses, they’re less at risk on the water than someone without that knowledge and experience.

If you’ve taken any courses to become formally trained or certified to operate your watercraft, make sure you let your insurer know. You may need to provide digital or physical copies of your certifications.

Similarly, insurers will also look at your general level of boating history. If you can prove that you’re an experienced and capable boater, you might receive a lower rate than someone brand-new to the sport.


In most circumstances, states along the coast tend to carry more expensive premiums. This is why you might pay twice as much for boat insurance in Florida as you would for a state in the middle of the country.

Cruising Area

Certain types of water and areas around Florida are more dangerous than others to boat in. Your insurer may ask you to describe where you plan to cruise as they calculate your policy. Often, freshwater boating is more cost-effective to ensure than saltwater boating.

Driving Record

You might be surprised to find that your driving records can affect your boat insurance policy, but it’s true! When crunching the numbers, your agent might need to access information on your boating records and your records from behind the wheel.

If you’ve been in an accident or gotten pulled over for a traffic violation, this could raise the price of your policy.

Liability Limit

If you need a high liability limit on your boat, you can expect to pay more for your policy each month. This is because the potential payout could be very high, which usually correlates to your degree of risk on the water.


If your boat insurance policy comes with a high deductible, then the trade-off is that your monthly premium is usually lower. You can speak with your insurance agent about ways to budget for this expense, and learn about opportunities to lower it in the future.

Learn More About Florida Boat Insurance Today

Not everyone has to think about boat insurance, but if you live in a state as scenic as Florida, it makes sense to get out on the water as often as you can!

As you can see, there isn’t a cut-and-dry answer to the average boat insurance cost Florida. Your monthly premium will depend on many factors, from the location you’re at to the type of boat you own and even your vehicle driving record!

At HH Insurance, we’re here to help you find affordable coverage you can trust. Request your quote online today and you can receive a personalized policy in just minutes!



**This blog provides a brief overview of the terms and phrases used within the insurance industry. These definitions are not applicable in all states or for all insurance and financial products. This is not an insurance contract. Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Please read your official policy for full details about coverage. These definitions do not alter or modify the terms of any insurance contract.