Smooth Sailing: Preparing for a Safe Boating Season

Now that the weather is getting warmer, boat enthusiasts are eager to get in their vessels and hit the water for some summertime fun. Whether you are in it for adventure or leisure, there are some things to keep in mind. While boating can be fun and relaxing, things can quickly go south with storms, accidents, theft or injuries. In Maryland last year, there were 123 total recreational boating accidents, citing 11 fatalities, 56 injuries and approximately $1,908,016 in property damages. This is why boating insurance is crucial to protect your assets and, most importantly, yourself and your loved ones.

The Importance of Boat Insurance

Understanding the importance of boat insurance is essential for any boat owner. In the case of unforeseen events, boat insurance will help pay for damages to your boat, other boats or docks, shielding you from financial harm. Boat insurance also offers optional medical coverage for accidents and injuries ensuring that you and your passengers are protected. Additionally, if you financed your boat through a loan, the lender may require proof of insurance to guard your (and their) investment. For liability purposes, many docks and marinas mandate proof of insurance for access to certain areas, underscoring the necessity of boat insurance for seamless boating experiences and compliance with regulations.

Boating Safety Tips

Here are some boating tips to help make your boating experience a safe one: 

Boat Insurance Claims

Even those who follow these boating safety tips may incur incidents and claims. The most common boat insurance claims include:

  1. Collision Damage
  2. Weather Damage
  3. Theft and Vandalism
  4. Fire Damage
  5. Liability Claims

Below are the steps to navigate the claim process with boat insurance:

  1. Report the claim – As with any claim, you should file as soon as possible. Avoid any late reporting issues and receive quick compensation and repair so you can get back on the water.
  2. Documentation and Evidence – Carefully document all details following an incident. If other boats are involved, gather their information and insurance if they, too, have it.
  3. Evaluation and Assessment – The insurance company will assess the damages and work to ensure you are compensated fairly within your coverage limits.
  4. Repair and Restoration – Choose a repair shop or contractor to restore your vessel.
  5. Settlement – Settlements from the insurance company will be communicated prior to you receiving payment.

Reach out to an Advisor 

Whether you own a small kayak or a large yacht, boating safety is universal. Reach out to an RCM&D advisor to learn more about protecting your maritime assets. And don’t forget your sun screen!