Consider a safety course and make sure you adequately insure your vessel
On bright and sunny summer days, the allure of the water can be irresistible. If you live near a lake, river, or ocean, boating trips may be the perfect getaway when warm weather hits. But before you set sail, take some time to consider whether you and your passengers meet the required safety standards and are prepared for any unforeseen events.
Boating can be a lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous. The U.S. Coast Guard reported that last year, there were 4,168 accidents that involved 613 deaths, 2,559 injuries and approximately $55 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents. The fatality rate was 5.2 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.
Fortunately, the Coast Guard statistics also reveal that the number of accidents and fatalities seems to be on the decline, as compared to previous years. To further this trend, the Coast Guard offers online boating safety tips at www.uscgboating.org, along with the opportunity to take online boating safety courses and earn certifications.
However, the potential for mishaps and liabilities has made boat owners increasingly aware of the need for boat owners insurance.
Boat Owners Insurance 101
A typical boat owner’s policy can provide protection for your boat, motor, and equipment against damages incurred by weather, sinking, capsizing, stranding, explosion, fire, and theft.
A policy can also help safeguard boating equipment, which may include anchors, oars, fuel tanks, life jackets, dinghies, tools, and canopies.
Liability coverage is also offered as legal protection against damages inflicted by the use of your boat, and it may also cover medical treatment needed by your occupants as a result of an accident.
You may choose to add additional coverage to your policy. Some examples of endorsements include emergency services, such as towing and pre-hurricane haul-out.
Additional coverage add-ons could insure personal effects, fishing tackle, and replacement cost motor coverage.
In some cases, discounted policy rates may apply for owners who have taken boating safety courses or have good operating records; or if the age of the boat and the ages of all operators are deemed favorable.
When selecting a boat owner’s policy, ask questions. Some topics you might want to discuss include the following:
- What laws are unique to my state?
- Is my trailer covered, and which boating supplies are covered?
- Will completing boating safety courses make me eligible for discounts, and if so, which courses apply?
- Are both inland and ocean boating covered?
- Is there an age limit on operators, and who will be covered?
When applying for a boat owners insurance policy, be prepared to supply the following information:
- The age and driving record of all operators
- The year, type, model, value, power supply, and material of the boat
- The amount of horsepower, year, and value of the motor
- The manufacturer, year, and value of your trailer
Your Financial Advisor
Taking a few minutes to answer these questions can help determine the appropriate coverage that will protect both you and your loved ones. Routine safety checks should also be a part of your protection plan.
With the purchase of boat owner’s insurance, you may be a step ahead in protecting yourself from the sometimes unpredictable elements of the sea.
If you need to discuss your boat coverage options, be sure to consult with your insurance agent and financial advisor.