Five (5) Common Boat Insurance Claims and How to Stay Safe
It’s almost that time of the year, activities are drifting from the land to the waterways and the thrills of the sea is all too alluring. More than anything, this is the time to pay close attention to ethics of safety. It not only saves you the cost associated with accidents, staying safe also ensures that are free from the stress of making insurance claims.
An analysis of the insurance claims throughout 2015 revealed that 32% were caused by collisions and 80% of these collisions took place during the spring-summer season. More importantly, 65% of these collisions involved yachts. So, how do you stay safe? What are the common reasons for boat insurance claims?
Remember that waterways are always seeing heightened traffic during the summer. You should avoid making collisions at all cost. Always be on the lookout when you are driving a boat. Also, you should be quick to manoeuvre whenever the need arises. If you’ll be on the water whenever a sailing race is going on, you should plan for the participants’ incessant tacking and factor this in your calculations.
Colregs, the rules governing the sea, should always be considered when you’re on the water. Irrespective of who’s right or not, everyone is responsible for avoiding a collision.
2. Weather Damage
If you leave your boat in the open, there’s a high chance that adverse weather conditions will do justice to the boat. Not only can wind destroy important parts of your boat, lightning strikes can also damage electric components. In fact, some severe cases might see the boat going up in flames. So while you keep your boat in a secure environment, always remember to have your fire extinguisher handy. You can also keep electrical items in a cooker- this will keep them insulated.
3. Striking Underwater Objects
This is always painful damage, no doubt, especially because it’s not really your fault. However, there’s always a way around it. You can install a GPS unit and keep an updated paper chart when sailing through waterways you’re not familiar with. You can also initiate correspondence with local users to know how to navigate better.
4. Boat Capsize
Most of the claims which involved capsized boats were for dinghies. Even though it is easy to overlook the damage, it is always better to be safe. You should always ensure that you put on buoyancy aids. Also, be vigilant and take note of the weather- whenever there’s an abrupt change, it is always better to stay indoors. One last thing- always carry a VHF radio for communication.
5. Damage to the Rig/Mast
Make sure everything is in order. If your boat is one which is being used for racing yearly, it is important to conduct a rig check frequently. The insurance will only compensate you for the cost of replacement, the payment won’t cover the time you lost waiting for the delivery of the mast.
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