Safety Devices and Boat Insurance Ensure a Worry-Free Family Vacation

If you just bought a new boat for your family to enjoy on the waters around Fort Myers, FL, your local agent at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. reminds you that you need more than a boat insurance policy to be fully protected on the high seas.

Minimum Safety Requirements for Boats Under 16-feet

State and Federal regulations apply when you take your new recreational boat out to see. Before registering your craft you must undergo an inspection and demonstrate that at the least you have enough flotation devices on board, a fire extinguisher, flare, noise maker, appropriate marker lights, and a backfire prevention device on your motor. If your boat is larger than 16-feet, there may be additional safety items required. Check with your local Coast Guard unit for details.

Recommended Equipment for Peace of Mind

Just because you meet the minimum requirements does not mean that you shouldn’t consider adding even more safety items and technology upgrades. A radio and GPS location beacon can summon help when you need it. Cell towers don’t exist off the coast. Think about an extra flotation device such as a raft or ring if you have space.

Boat Insurance Takes Care of Expenses After an Accident

Finally, don’t forget to discuss boat insurance with your Fort Myers, FL area agent. Not only will your policy help to repair or replace your boat, but it can also help to cover medical and property damage expenses in the case of an accident while at sea. Your friends and family will want to enjoy the time on the water without worrying about what happens if something goes wrong.  An effective boat insurance policy from SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. will protect your wallet in time of need. Give us a call and ask us for a quote today.

Is Boat Insurance Mandatory in Fort Myers, Florida?

Being a resident in Fort Myers, FL has many perks, one of which is the luxurious privilege of boating in the spectacular coastal waters. Such an experience can get to your head and lead you to throw caution in the wind. After all, Florida does not require boats to have insurance, neither are boat owners needed to have licenses to run their boats. However, you cannot be too careful and insuring your boat can save you lots of headache in the future. So before you dismiss boat insurance, you might want to reconsider.

Instances where you need Boat insurance in Fort Myers Fl

  • If you are struggling financially, need to take a loan and offer your boat as collateral, the lending institution will need you to have boat insurance cover.
  • You may be aware that most home insurance policies cover boats and watercraft. However, such insurance policies have an upper limit for covering the boats. You should, therefore, check the value of your boat, and if it beats the limit, a boat insurance cover will come in handy.

Choose a reliable Boat insurance provider

With the many agencies offering boat insurance, you might be caught up in deciding which one is suitable for you. SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. offers you a comprehensive variety of boat insurance policies. While you may not know which one suits your circumstances, we have highly-trained personnel who will advise on the best route to follow.

SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. upholds integrity and transparency; therefore we lay out our terms and conditions. Whatever the policy states and you do not understand, we never hesitate to break it down for you. So, don’t wait until an accident happens to start rushing for a policy. Visit us today for more details and let us help you secure your boat, for your peace of mind.

Collision and Liability Insurance for Your Boat

Living near the Gulf is one of the great joys of being a Fort Myers, FL resident, and when you have a boat, the water is even more fun! At SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. we provide a comprehensive range of collision and liability insurance policies for your boat and other watercraft. While the requirements for boat insurance can be quite limited, we recommend that all of our clients carry comprehensive coverage.

Some Advantages of Collision and Liability Insurance for Your Boat

Protecting your boat from damage and theft is always a smart idea, and this protection can be found in basic boat policies. If you are also seeking liability protection to protect you in the event of injury or damage caused by your boat, there are comprehensive policies available. In fact, the most complete coverage will also cover events such as repair and tow in the event that your boat malfunctions while you are out on the water. 

Having liability insurance can help you in the event that your boat causes damage that is not due to a collision. We offer both types of protection because of the risks associated with liability damages in today’s society are too great to go uncovered. Comprehensive coverage will protect you from all manner of mishaps, from dents and dings to damage and injury caused by your boat. Owning a boat is a wonderful way to spend time with family and friends and enjoy all that our beautiful area has to offer. 

Interested in Learning More about the Benefits of Boat Insurance?

We strongly advise all of our clients to carry adequate coverage for their boats and would welcome the opportunity to review boat policies with you. If you are in the greater Fort Myers, FL area, contact SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. to learn more.

Providing Liability Insurance for the “6-pack” or “Charter Boat Captain’s License”

The Coast Guard Auxillary defines the “6 Pack License” as follows. “This license is properly termed “Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels” (OUPV) and is commonly referred to as the “6-pack” or “Charterboat Captain’s License”. The word “uninspected” means that the equipment required and the design of the boat are less regulated. “6-pack” refers to the 6 passenger limitation placed on the license. OUPV licenses are issued with a particular route. Your license can be for the Great Lakes, Inland routes meaning bays, sounds, rivers, lakes, etc. of the US or Near Coastal routes out to 100 miles offshore. All OUPV licenses are for 100 Gross Tons vessels (about 100 feet, more or less). The OUPV license may be upgraded to a Master license.”

In a nutshell, the 6 Pack Liability Insurance is typically provided under a “Charter Boat Policy”.  The policy language specifically addresses chartering, clients and crew.  Read your policy….they are not all alike.  The Hull and Liability Insurance typically follows the boat, not the Captain.  If a 6 Pack Captain contracts to be the captain of a non-owned vessel, the Yacht Insurance Policy for the non-owned vessel should be amended to include crew coverage for one or more and endorsed for charter.  This process and the resulting policy endorsement language may be different from policy to policy.  Scuba diving, snorkeling, parasailing, and similar activities are typically excluded,  but may be endorsed to the policy.

Let us quote your Charter Boat Policy ….We will make sure that you have the correct coverage.  Call SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc. at 239-265-9577 or email to request an application.

Do You Need Boat Insurance If Your Boat Is In Dry Dock Storage?

If you currently have boat insurance, or you are considering purchasing boat insurance, you may have questions about your coverage. For instance, you may want to know if you boat insurance covers damages that occur in dry dock or in storage.

Dry Dock And Storage Damage

If you put your boat in storage or in dry dock, the facility would be liable for any damages, which would be covered by their liability insurance. Your boat insurance generally does not cover damages that occur outside of the water. If you are storing your boat at home, your homeowners’ insurance policy may cover any damages if they occur on the property. 

Know Your Policy

It is important to know the limits of coverage for your boat insurance policy. That is why you should purchase your insurance through an insurance agency that has your best interests at heart. A reputable company will explain all of the terms and conditions and make sure you understand before you make your decision. They will also walk you through every step of your purchase and even the claims process. If you live in or around Fort Myers, FL, SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. can help you get the right coverage for your needs.

Don’t purchase boat insurance without knowing what you are buying. Seek the assistance of a professional insurance provider and ensure you have the proper coverage as well as answers to all of your questions. For assistance with boat insurance, if you live in or around Fort Myers, FL, SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. is ready to help. Call or stop by to speak to one of our agents today.

What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. can help you with all of our insurance needs in the greater Fort Myers, FL area. If you are preparing to purchase a boat, you are likely looking into purchasing boat insurance. If you have never purchased this before, you may be unsure of what all boat insurance covers. Here are a few of the things that are covered by boat insurance.


It is much harder to steal a boat than something like a car or motorcycle. But this does not mean it cannot be done. Boats can be stolen and if yours happens to be a victim of theft, you want to ensure you are covered. Boat insurance helps to cover you against theft so you don’t invest in something and lose out on that investment.


Accidents happen when you are on the waterways. If you hit a boat or a boat hits you, damage can be done. Boat insurance helps to pay for any damage you do to another owner’s boat, any damage was done to your boat by an uninsured watercraft, or even any damage is done if a vehicle rear ends your boat while you are transporting it to a waterway.

Bodily Injury

Waterways can be crowded. People are boating, on jet skis, tubing or swimming. Unfortunately, people are not always visible. There are blind spots when you are navigating a boat, just like there are cars. You can hit a person who gets in your way or that you do not see. These accidents can be catastrophic, not only to the person but to your wallet as well. Boat insurance helps to protect you financially against lawsuits brought on by these types of accidents.

If you are ready to purchase boat insurance in the greater Fort Myers, FL area, call SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. today. Let our trained professionals find you the best boat insurance policy to fit your needs.

Customs Busted Up My Boat! Who Pays?

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Any coastal boat owner who’s been on the water for a decent length of time knows the power of the Coast Guard. Essentially operating as a federal police agency in both American and international waters, the Coast Guard has a tremendous amount of power in its role of protecting the country’s water borders. And that gives the agency the authority to stop boats and board them if necessary to search for contraband. Unfortunately, the coastal areas have been plagued with a rising number of entry attempts by those trying to bring drugs into the U.S. No surprise then, the Coast Guard has been ramping up its efforts to arrest and stop violations. That can also mean more folks who are entirely innocent get stopped and searched.

The Coast Guard search process isn’t always a gentle one. If there’s enough to raise suspicions, a search could involve opening up cabinets and containers of the boat, which usually ends up in some damage. While a general coverage policy can take care of boat damage caused by another party, damage caused a law enforcement search can be problematic. If there was indeed a viable reason for a search, all bets for coverage are off; most polices are voided by illegal activity. If there was no reason for a search, an insurer is going to want some kind of documentation from the Coast Guard stating the search was in error, and that’s very unlikely. Instead, the best one might get is a brief letter stating a boat owner is no longer under investigation, and these often take the help of an attorney to get.

The best approach is to find out how a boat policy will work on a law enforcement search before the trip happens. Those in the Fort Myers, FL area can drop in and ask SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. how boat coverage would work, getting a clear answer for planning purposes.

Call SWFL Insurance Agency for the best Boat and Yacht Coverage…..239-265-9577

Don’t forget to check your insurance before going boating

When it comes to great places to go boating, it’s hard to beat Fort Myers, FL. The tropical air, sunshine, and opportunities to enjoy the water make the area a prime recreation spot for anyone who owns a boat or other type of personal watercraft. But before you take the boat down to the water and head out on an adventure, it’s important to make sure you’re doing things safely. One of the ways to do that is through making sure the boat is properly stocked with a first aid kit, life jackets, and other important items. The other way to be safe is through insurance.

While having good insurance on your boat can’t prevent an accident or other problem on the water, it can certainly protect you financially if something were to go wrong. Even if you’re not at fault there can still be damage to your boat and harm done to you or your passengers. If the other boater doesn’t have good insurance, that could leave you vulnerable to serious monetary problems. Those kinds of concerns are easy to avoid when you check and update your boating insurance before heading to the water.

By choosing a policy from SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. you can receive plenty of information on which policy would be right for you and what you should choose to cover your boat adequately while still giving you a good price for that protection. You’ll be financially safer, and you’ll also have the peace of mind that comes with proper insurance coverage. Then you can get out on the water in and around the Fort Myers, FL area and really focus on what fun in the sun is all about, without any financial or insurance worries.

Yacht, Boat Insurance and the Total Loss

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In the event of a total loss, your boat insurance policy may pay you based on the Agreed Value, Actual Cash Value or the Replacement Cost Value. In explaining how these three policy forms are different, I will use a three-year-old boat, insured for $40,000 which was destroyed by fire.

Agreed Value

Agreed Value is easy. You and the insurance company agree on the value of the boat before the loss. Using our example, you would be paid $40,000. If the current value of the boat at the time of the loss is $20,000 or $55,000, you would be paid $40,000, the Agreed Value of the boat.

Actual Cash Value

Actual Cash Value is the value of the boat at the time of the loss. A boat insurance company will pay the insured value or the Actual Cash Value of the boat at the time of the loss, whichever is lower. In our example, if the Actual Cash Value of the boat is $25,000, this is the most you will be paid. If the Actual Cash Value is $55,000, then you would be paid the insured value of $40,000. The Actual Cash Value is determined by the insurance company from sources such as a used boat price guide and other boats listed for sale.

Replacement Cost

The newest option is Replacement Cost. A Replacement Cost policy agrees to replace your boat with a new boat. You are required to purchase this coverage when the vessel is new and the coverage is only available until the vessel is two or three years old. Our $40,000 three year old boat has a Replacement Cost new today of $45,000. The Replacement Cost policy would pay $45,000 for a new boat. Some policies may specifically state they will pay a percentage over the amount the vessel is insured for, 20% for example. Once the boat reaches the age where replacement cost is no longer available, the policy form will be changed to Agreed Value or Actual Cash Value.

We know boats..let us find the best policy for you..We will shop and compare coverage

Call 239-265-9577 or Email



The Boat and Yacht Insurance Policy ….How they Pay differs widely by Company

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When discussing insured value and how a boat insurance policy will pay, most people think about a total loss. This is important but the majority of claims are partial losses. Depending on how your policy responds could cost you several thousand dollars above your deductible.

A boat insurance policy has two different ways to pay in the event of a partial loss. One is to replace the damaged items new for old without deducting for depreciation. The second is to depreciate the damaged items in the event of a loss.

Depreciated Value is defined as Replacement Cost less depreciation. Most boat insurance companies use a non published depreciation schedule that applies to partial losses. An example may be 7% depreciation per year on a stern drive or 15% depreciation per year on canvas. You will want a policy that pays replacement cost for a partial loss when available.

Each insurance company will apply Replacement Cost and Depreciated Value differently. Read your policy carefully.

Some boat insurance companies do not provide replacement cost coverage for partial losses. If the boat is insured on this policy form, then no matter the type of loss, the replacement parts are subject to depreciation. If the part costs $2,000 and is subject to 20% depreciation, you would be paid $2,000, less $400 depreciation, less your deductible.

Some boat insurance companies provide replacement cost for partial losses until the boat reaches a certain age. The age will vary with each insurance company. Once a boat reaches that age, all partial losses are settled on an actual cash value.

Most boat insurance companies that provide replacement cost for partial losses name specific items that are subject to depreciation. Canvas, sails, cloth, trailers, and plastics are examples of specifically named items. These items generally have a limited life span. They also specifically name items to be depreciated based on the item’s age. Outboards, stern drives and internal machinery are examples of items that change from replacement cost to depreciated value based on their age. Each insurance company has different specifically named items and different ages when items change from replacement cost to actual cash value. Review the specifics of your policy for details.

Replacement Cost for a partial loss is what you want when available. A depreciated value can cost you several thousand dollars. Below are examples to help explain how replacement cost vs. depreciated value work.

Example 1 is an 11 year old boat with a $250 hull deductible that hits a submerged object. The replacement cost of the damage to the prop, shaft and strut is $5000.

Insurance company A provides replacement cost coverage until the vessel is three years old. The damaged prop, shaft and strut are 11 years old and subject to depreciation. Insurance company A will deduct 50% depreciation or $2500 from the $5000 replacement cost. You would be paid $2,250 ($5,000 replacement cost, less $2,500 depreciation, less your $250 deductible).

Insurance company B provides replacement cost coverage with specific named items subject to depreciation. The prop, shaft and strut are not specifically named items and are therefore settled on a replacement cost. Insurance company B would pay $4750 ($5000 less your $250 deductible).

Example 2 is an 8 year old stern drive boat with a $500 hull deductible that hits a submerged object. The replacement cost to the stern drive is $8000.

Insurance company A provides replacement cost coverage until the stern drive is six years old. They will apply 60% depreciation (7.5% per year) to the $8000 replacement drive and then apply the $500 deductible. Insurance company A will pay $2700 ($8,000 less $4,800 depreciation, less $500 hull deductible).

Insurance company B provides replacement cost coverage until the stern drive is 10 years of age. They will pay $7500 ($8000 less the $500 hull deductible).

Example 3 is a boat with a $500 hull deductible that suffers wind damage to the fly bridge enclosure. The fly bridge enclosure is 2 years old and the replacement cost is $5000.

Insurance company A provides replacement cost until the fly bridge enclosure is three years old. They will pay $4,500 ($5,000 less the $500 hull deductible).

Insurance company B provides replacement cost but specifically names canvas as a depreciated item. Insurance company B will apply 20 percent depreciation to the replacement cost. They will pay $3,500 ($5000 replacement cost, less $1,000 depreciation, less the $500 hull deductible).

There are other items to consider. For example, if the stern drive has to be replaced, most companies will apply a reduced depreciation if you agree to a remanufactured stern drive. This can save thousands of dollars in depreciation. We represent one insurance company that applies no depreciation for a remanufactured unit. Also, depreciation is only applied to parts (real property). Depreciation is not applied to labor, storage charges and other non real property items.

In the case of a Total Loss, please review this article  Yacht Boat Insurance and the Total Loss

We know boats..let us find the best policy for you..We will shop and compare coverage

Call 239-265-9577 or Email