In Florida, if you keep your boat at a local marina or boatyard they may require you to carry boat insurance. But, what about all those private lakes around our state? Many of our clients tell us “I live on a private lake, I don’t have to have insurance on my jet skis/boats”. It is true that if you live on a private lake it is unlikely that you will be pulled over by Marine Patrol to verify your vessel is insured BUT that does not mean you do not have a need for boat or personal watercraft (PWC) insurance.

Thanks to our “endless summer”, Florida has the highest number of registered boats in the US. Having more boats and watercrafts means that we also have the highest number of boat accidents resulting in property damage of more than $9 million in 2016. Your home insurance won’t be able to cover you in case your boat gets damaged or you cause damage while operating it. You will need to take out a boat insurance to protect your personal watercrafts.

What is PWC Insurance?

PWC insurance in Florida helps insure you and your personal watercraft like small boats and jet skis against accidents, vandalism, and other liability. The team at Seibert Insurance Agency can help you get the right personal watercraft policy to suit your needs.

Why You Need Boat/Jet Ski Coverage

Imagine if you had your friends over for a day on the lake…it is a beautiful day out, you are swimming in the lake and waterskiing and then your friends ask if they can drive your jet ski. They tell you they know what they are doing so you let them drive it. You fail to remind them that on a jet ski, you have no brakes and you have to hit the gas to turn…before you know it they are headed the wrong direction around the lake and are head on with another boater because they want to jump that wake that the boat is putting out. They get too close and let off the gas, try to steer away but keep moving straight towards danger and then crash into the boat. Now, your neighbor’s boat is damaged, people are injured inside the boat, your jet ski is wrecked and the driver of that jet ski is critically injured.

Did you know that you are responsible for all that damage simply because you own the jet ski? Because you are. You have just put all your personal assets at risk if you have no insurance on your jet ski. Did you know that most jet ski/boat insurance is less than $500 per year?

Because insurance needs differ depending on what kind of personal watercraft you own and would like to insure, it’s important to know the details in your Florida insurance policy to see what is covered and what is specifically excluded.

What’s Generally Covered by Boat and PWC Insurance?

Your personal watercraft or boat insurance policy typically protects you against many common liability losses whether you operate it or loan it to another person like in the above example.

  • With proper boat and PWC insurance, you may be covered for:
  • Damage to another watercraft or dock
  • The negligence of another driver while using your PWC
  • Towed water skiers who become injured while using your craft
  • Physical damage to your boat or PWC
  • Injury to you caused by an uninsured watercraft operator
  • Bodily injury or death to another person caused by you

If you have a boat, jet ski or any other recreational vehicle that is not insured – call Seibert Insurance Agency near Tampa, Florida today for a quote to protect your assets.

Gasparilla is around the corner and summer will be here before you know it, which means days spent on the water. Being cautious and practicing proper boat safety won’t always protect you from possible accidents that can occur on the water. This makes it the perfect time of year to consider your boat insurance options. Keep reading to learn what can impact your boat and personal watercraft (PWC) insurance costs:

There are many different factors that will affect your boat insurance rates such as size, features, and type. Aside from these few factors, there are a few more to consider when shopping for Florida boat insurance that is right for you.

Storage Location

Where you keep your boat can play a role in your boat insurance rate. For example, if you store your boat in a shed in your backyard, you may face lower insurance rate rather than someone who stores their boat on a dock.

In Florida, hurricane-prone areas may also influence your insurance rates. Boats that are in hurricane-prone areas are unfortunately more likely to be damaged than those that are stored more inland.

Driving Record

Insurance companies will normally check DMV records of all the drivers for their overall driving record. Insurance companies will usually consider things such as DUIs (and BWIs) and reckless driving convictions when determining the cost of your boat insurance rate.

You may face a higher boat insurance premium if you have a poor driving record. This means you need to be careful whether your pirate invasion is on land or by boat because that Gasparilla DUI/BWI could come back to haunt you when getting PWC insurance in Florida.

Boat Ownership Experience

The more experience a boat owner has, the better insurance rates they will be able to procure at our independent insurance agency. Someone with 15 years of boat ownership experience may have a lower boat insurance rate than someone who is a new boat owner. Also, having many claims on your record will result in higher boat insurance rates.

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Where you plan to go on your boat will affect your insurance rate. Taking your boat and staying close to shore is considered less of a risk than someone who plans to take their boat into international waters. So for those of you who do most of your boating in a local or community lake, your boat insurance may be lower-but you still need to make sure you’re properly insured.

In order to minimize costs, it is important to look into all the ways to get great boat insurance rates and we can help you do that! At Seibert Insurance in Tampa, FL we treat you like a person, not just a policy. Our independent agents will help you find the right boat or PWC insurance to meet your coverage needs and budget.  Get a hassle-free quote today from a local insurance specialist!

Did you know that water damage is the most common cause of loss under a home insurance policy?  Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most destructive.  At Seibert Insurance Agency, we understand how important your home is to you and your family, and we will do everything in our power to help you protect it.

We’ve been on the other side of unexpected water damage and know how scary it can be to see water gushing from places water shouldn’t be coming from. Fortunately, there are several easy, inexpensive (yet effective!) things you can do to prevent water damage from occurring.  Because water damage is so common, we’re sharing more tips to help you prevent water damage to your home.

1.Check the hoses on appliances.  Replace rubber hoses with steel braided hoses on your toilets, washing machine, and any new appliances (standard hoses on new appliances are not as durable as they used to be).  Don’t trust your handyman skills?  No problem!  Most plumbing companies will replace these hoses for less than a couple hundred dollars.  This small expense can save you thousands in water damage and deductibles.

2. Make sure your water pressure is not too high.  For about $6, you can purchase a gauge that will help you test your pressure for the appropriate level (which should be between 60 and 80 PSI).

3. Check your water before you leave home.  A lot of water damage occurs when no one is home.  Never (and we mean never!) let your washing machine or dishwasher run while you are out.  Water leaks can happen in an instant and a lot of damage can be caused in just minutes.

4. Make sure your water pressure is not too high.  For about $6, you can purchase a gauge that will help you test your pressure for the appropriate level (which should be between 60 and 80 PSI).

If you’re going out of town, it’s a best practice to turn off the water to the house before you leave. No one wants to come back to a flooded home!

5. Stay on top of home maintenance.  Florida summer rains can lead to roof leaks and more severe damage if you’re not careful. Our Tampa insurance experts recommend you examine your roof every few months as damaged shingles will allow water to come in and claims may be denied if you can’t say when the roof damage occurred.

If any roof shingles are worn, curled, or missing, replace them immediately.  Also, keep water from leaking into the walls or floor of your bathroom by replacing cracked tiles and re-grouting when necessary.

6. Know your home. Quick: Do you know where your water shut off valve is for the house?! It is extremely important to know! And you’d be amazed how many Florida homeowners and renters have no clue.

If you are home and a pipe bursts, you will want to immediately shut off the water to prevent further water damage.  Also, stay on top of that water heater!  Seventy-five percent of water heaters fail before they are 12 years old, so make sure you know the age of your heater.  As it gets older, it’s a good idea to have it inspected by a plumber.

What to do After a Water Loss?

We understand that accidents happen; that’s the reason you carry insurance in the first place. In the case, you have a water loss and need to file a claim, call your home insurance carrier or agent ASAP. We can refer a list of contractors that will help with repair work. If you happen to use your own vendor or contractor, DO NOT sign your policy rights away via an “Assignment of Benefits” to the contractor.  This is a new scam that is occurring in Florida and it can end up costing you big time.

Call Seibert Insurance in Tampa, FL

At our Tampa independent insurance agency, we want to make sure you’re prepared for all of life’s accidents. These water damage prevention tips should help you to minimize your risk of home damage and insurance rate hikes.

If you would like a quote for flood insurance or home insurance, please contact Seibert Insurance Agency at (813) 960-4672 for a hassle-free insurance quote today!