Memorial Day weekend is a time for fun on Florida’s waterways, but it is also a time of increased risk of serious injury or death. Now is the time to prioritize safety and ensure that you’re properly protected with the right insurance coverage before you hit the water.

Boating Safety Tips:

  • Life Jackets: All vessels are required to have onboard a wearable USCG-approved personal flotation device (PFD) for each person. The PFDs must be of the appropriate size for the intended wearer, be in serviceable condition, and within easy access. Children under 7 MUST be wearing their life jackets while underway. It’s a good idea to match life jackets to kids before your boating trip – or expect to be ticketed!
  • Weather: Summer storms can pop up fast so keep an eye on the radar. If you are headed offshore, don’t forget to check the NOAA marine forecast.
  • Safety Gear: In addition to all vessels being equipped with life jackets, boaters are also required to have a whistle or horn. In addition, the FWC recommends buying, registering and having an emergency locator beacon onboard. You will get a 25% discount on your boat registration if you have a registered EPIRB or PLB.
  • Know the Laws: Familiarize yourself with Florida’s boating laws, including no wake zones, speed limits, and right-of-way rules. Learn more about regulations related to boaters, personal watercraft, skiers, divers, and snorkelers at MyFWC.com/Boating.

The Importance of Boating and Trailer Insurance:

While practicing safe boating habits significantly reduces the risk of accidents, unforeseen events can still occur. That’s where boating and trailer insurance come into play. Here’s why it’s essential:

  • Protection Against Accidents: Keep in mind Florida doesn’t require insurance on boats – if you get injured by an uninsured boater, you’d better have your own policy in place. Boating insurance can provide coverage for damage to your vessel or personal property.
  • Liability Coverage: Liability insurance protects you in case you’re held responsible for causing damage to another person’s property or causing injury to someone while boating.
  • Trailer Coverage: Having a trailer break down on the side of the highway is no fun in and of itself, but a staggeringly high tow bill on a holiday weekend will make the experience that much worse. Protect yourself from a hefty bill, as well as theft, damage, or accidents, with trailer coverage. Two of the best-known carriers are AAA and Good Sam.

As Memorial Day Weekend and the start of summer approaches, make sure you review your gear as well as your insurance for both your boat and trailer. Ensure that you’re fully covered and protected. Boating safety and insurance are key to making sure that you have a worry-free experience while on the water. As always, stay safe and have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Have you or a loved one been in a Florida boating accident? Suffered an injury while on the water? Call an experienced Treasure Coast boat injury lawyer at Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, toll free at 1-888-491-1648, or use this online contact form. We can provide you with a free and confidential case evaluation.