Know, Know, Know Your Boat Insurance: A Landlubber’s Guide to Safety

What’s cooler than cool?  Safety!  Well, at least when it comes to boat safety and boat insurance.

I know this isn’t what anyone thinks when it comes to boats and boating, but staying safe might be easier than you think.

Avoid Boat Insurance claims by playing it safe.

Me?  In a life vest?  I’d be the laughing stock of the Yacht Club.

While none of us like to talk about it, accidents do happen while boating.  According to data from the U.S. Coast Guard, there were 4,463 accidents in 2016, with 701 fatalities.  While this may seem like a small number for the amount of boats on the water every year, these accidents resulted in a whopping $49 Million in property damage losses, a staggering fee considering the number of accidents.  Some simple boat safety tips might really help get those numbers down.  But how?

How can we minimize our risks, especially from drowning, and hopefully save our valuable watercraft in the process?

Orange is so not my color.

80% of fatalities from boating accidents were from drowning.  Of those in that regrettable statistic, 83% failed to wear a life vest.  This one simple act could save hundreds of lives a year.  Always bring life vests with you, and make sure you have life buoys for emergency situations.

Another thing we can do to prevent accidents is to drink less, or at least responsibly.  Alcohol was the number one factor in boating accidents that resulted in at least one death.  Always drink responsibly when out on the water, and try to have a designated person behind the wheel.  Remember, if you wouldn’t do it on the road, don’t do it on a boat.  Most of the time, boat safety is just common sense.

But isn’t it, like, the law of the ocean or something?

There are also safety certifications and instructional courses one can take to be safer.  While education and framed pieces of paper may seem like a good way to invite ridicule from your friends, they also help to prevent accidents and injuries.  A mere 13% of accidents involving death happened on a boat with an operator that had finished a boating safety course.  It’s just one more thing that can help save lives and prevent catastrophic damage to something as precious as our boat.

The good news is that we can be proactive and help prevent boat accidents from happening.  And, if they do happen, we can be covered from the financial losses with the right boat insurance policy.

Most boat policies are pretty similar to your auto or motorcycle policies, covering you from both damage to your boat and the liability from an accident where you are at fault.  There are, however, some unique coverages for boat insurance that you should ask your agent about.  Let’s take a look at them.

See, I told you I remembered where I parked.

First of all, you can get Total Loss Replacement coverage with some carriers.  This great feature can replace your boat with a new one of similar make and similar quality after a covered loss, getting you back out on the water, in style, in no time.

Another coverage is Replacement Cost Coverage on Fishing Equipment, with some insurance companies offering up to $10,000 of coverage for all the bait, tackle, rods and nets you can shake a fish at.  This probably doesn’t cover dynamite.  Sorry Jethro.

Fire in the hole!

You can also get 24-hour Roadside Assistance for break downs on the way to the lake or shore, and Emergency Towing and Labor for when you break down on the water.  This could really come in handy when you’re trying to impress that someone special and you forget the extra gas tank!

Two more special coverages are Property Damage Liability specifically for cleaning up fuel spills, and Med Pay for Water Skiers, both very important for those specific boating “what-ifs” that can ruin a great day out.

As many of you who watched my Package Policy video know, the more policies you have with an insurance carrier, the more discounts you get.  Boat Insurance is no exception!  In fact, there are discounts for Homeowners, Multi-Policy, Multi-Boat, Responsible Drivers, Safety Course, Claim Free and Prompt Payments.

If you want more great boat tips, watch my video below.  Or contact us with the form at the bottom of the page to get quotes on your boat today.

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