The onset of spring sends many of us to the water to enjoy our watercrafts, which brings us to the important topic of boating/watercraft safety. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, eighty eight percent of reported fatalities in 2018 happened on boats where the driver had not received boating safety training. Your boat will need insurance for watercraft liability, damage to the hull, and personal property.
Boat policies can cover damage to your boat, motor, trailer, and personal effects in the boat. Available coverage includes liability, medical payments, coverage for injury to a water skier and damage to the boat itself, sometimes called hull coverage. Availability varies by state and by insurance company. Even though boat insurance premiums are low, shopping your rate can sometimes save a substantial amount.
Here are some things to think about before you take your watercraft out:
Trip Pre Planning
· Have a first aid kit and fire extinguisher onboard.
· Make sure your gas tanks are vented and bilges are free of vapors, oil, waste, and grease.
· Carry Coast Guard approved life jackets.
· Service your motor at least once per year, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
· View the hull for damage.
· Consider taking a safety course.
· We know you have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind.
· Follow all safety rules.
· Be aware of weather conditions.
· Have operable boat lights. Always test boat lights before the boat leaves the dock and carry extra batteries.
· Never allow passengers to ride on gunwales, seatbacks or outside of protective railings, including the front of a pontoon boat. A sudden turn, stop or start could cause a fall overboard.
· Follow speed laws around houseboats and docks.
· Know your boat's capacity and how to properly load it. An overloaded or improperly loaded boat can cause safety problems.
· Have a working marine radio on board at all times and know how to use it.
· Ventilate after fueling. Open hatches, run the blower, and check for fuel fumes before starting the engine.
· Infants and young children are at a higher risk for hypothermia, so if you are taking a baby on a boat, just take a few extra precautions to keep your baby warm.
Boat or Marine insurance is available for small boats, yachts, high performance powerboats, live-aboard houseboats, catamarans, or pontoons. Marine insurance will cover intended use including personal recreation, commercial, or charter vessels.
Call our office for more information on how these discounts may apply to your situation. If you added any other personal items of value, you may want to review your personal property limits to make sure you are covered correctly. Craven Insurance is a family owned, locally operated independent insurance agent and broker. As an independent insurance agent, we can provide the best possible insurance products and prices from a number of different insurance companies. We love our local Washington state communities in Whidbey Island and Lake Stevens, but we’re happy to provide coverage for you no matter where you are