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What Should I Do if My Boat Insurance Claim is Denied in Florida?

If you own a boat – any boat – you need to make sure it’s insured. While some homeowner’s insurance carriers offer limited coverage for boat damage, not all companies do. Our property damage attorneys in Florida always recommend that our clients buy separate boat insurance.

At a minimum, you need to make sure you purchase a rider or supplemental insurance. Either way, if your boat suffers property damage and your boat insurance claim is denied, you’re going to have a few options. Obviously, you can file an appeal. But if that doesn’t work, you may need to talk to a property damage attorney in Florida about filing suit.

Here, we will discuss how boat insurance works. We will also explain what most boat insurance policies cover. You shouldn’t have to worry about whether the insurance company is going to pay your boat insurance claim. But that isn’t always what happens.

If the insurance company doesn’t approve your claim, you can count on our property damage attorneys in Florida to pursue the compensation you deserve.

The First Question Your Property Damage Attorney in Florida Will Ask is Whether You’re Insured

When you first meet with your Florida property damage attorney, they’re going to need to know if you were insured. They will also need to see a copy of your insurance policy. That’s the only way for them to prepare themselves to deal with the insurance adjuster who handled your boat insurance claim.

It’s also important that you provide your lawyer with a copy of your claim. If your boat insurance claim was already denied, then make sure you bring them a copy of your letter of denial. This way, they know what the insurance company’s position is and will be able to prepare your appeal.

What Caused the Damage to Your Boat?

One of the biggest things that can impact whether your boat insurance claim is paid is the type of damage it suffered. Was it hit by another watercraft? Was there a fire and your boat was nearly destroyed? There are all sorts of things that can happen to your boat, whether it’s in the water, at a marina, or at a dry dock. It’s critical that whatever policy you choose, it will cover a wide variety of types of damage.

Some of the more common events that our property damage attorneys in Florida see include the following.

  • Your boat hits a rock or some other structure and is damaged.
  • Your boat is vandalized or burglarized while you are not on it.
  • Somebody steals the actual watercraft.
  • You own a charter boat and guests cause significant damage to your boat and its contents.
  • Somebody steals your expensive fishing equipment or guidance systems.

Regardless of what caused the damage to your boat, you would hope the insurance carrier would pay your boat insurance claim. When you learn that it’s been denied, the first thing you should do is call one of our property damage attorneys in Florida. They can appeal your claim, and file a lawsuit if necessary.

Boat Insurance Policies Typically Offer Robust Coverage for Property Damage

If you do buy boat insurance, your watercraft should be protected from property damage in most situations. Of course, if you crash your boat into another craft, you can be sued for damages. Thankfully, most policies will provide you with ample liability coverage.

boat insurance concept, hands protecting a paper boat

This will cover not only damage done to the other boat or watercraft but also personal injury. However, your biggest concern should be whether your boat is protected from property damage.

Most policies offer coverage for the following types of damage.

  • Theft, burglary, and vandalism
  • Collision and property damage liability
  • Bodily injury
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Oil spills
  • Theft or damage of fishing equipment, sonar, etc. (with limits)
  • Uninsured boater coverage

One of the things you won’t find on this list is hurricane damage. Most policies do not cover hurricanes. However, you can always buy a rider or separate hurricane coverage.

Your Florida Property Damage Attorney Can Also File Suit on Your Behalf

When you receive that letter in the mail stating that your claim has been denied, you’re going to feel all sorts of emotions. You’ll be angry that they took your payments for years, and then as soon as you file a claim, they turn their back on you. You’ll also be worried about how you’ll pay to fix or replace your boat. The whole point of paying for insurance is so that, if anything happens to your property, you’ll be protected.

Reach Out to One of Our Property Damage Attorneys in Florida!

If your boat has been damaged and your boat insurance claim is denied, you need help. While you are absolutely allowed to handle matters by yourself, it may not be the best idea. When the insurance sees that you don’t have a property damage attorney in Florida handling your claim, they will try to take advantage of you.

They will try to deny your claim, thinking that you’ll walk away without a fight. Or they’ll string you along for months only to deny your boat insurance claim in the end. When the insurance adjuster learns that you’ve retained an experienced property damage attorney, they will take your claim more seriously. In fact, sometimes, the only difference between your claim being denied and being paid is having a lawyer in your corner.

We suggest that you call our office as soon as possible after your boat is damaged. If your boat insurance claim has already been denied, your attorney can still file an appeal on your behalf. If that doesn’t work, they can sue the insurance company and anyone else who may be liable for the damage to your watercraft.

We offer new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you the chance to see whether your claim should have been approved in the first place. It also helps you decide if you need legal representation.

If you want to schedule your consultation, or just have a question, feel free to contact our office directly.