One of the best activities to do during the summer is taking a boat ride out to sea or a fishing trip.  Before heading out make sure your boat is clean, equipped and maintained.  Most importantly your boat should be insured to protect it along with your passengers on board.  In the event of an accident you do not want to risk injuring your passengers or damage to your boat.  Liability and medical coverage will protect you if other boaters are not properly insured.  The following will inform you on coverage and maintenance for your boat along with safety for your passengers.

Insurance Coverage for Boats

Your boat is covered in the event of a loss or damage.  Remember insurance coverage is only for boats and most watercraft with motors such as yachts and leisure crafts, fishing boats and paddle boats.  Smaller watercrafts may have limited coverage under your homeowner’s policy.

  • Collision damage will repair or replace your boat in the event of damage or loss.
  • Property damage liability will cover damages you caused to someone else’s boat, dock or other property
  • Bodily injury liability covers any injuries you may cause to an individual while in use of your boat.  This coverage includes medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering and any legal expenses
  • Comprehensive coverage compensates you if boat is stolen, damaged or vandalized in an accident that is not collision.
  • You can purchased additional coverage such as medical payments, personal property and roadside assistance.  You can also purchase coverage that protects you and your boat from injuries and damages in accidents caused by uninsured or underinsured individuals.

Protecting Your Watercraft

  1. Before heading out check weather forecasts in your area to avoid any incidents.
  2. Inform a friend or family member of where you are going and when you expect to come back.
  3. Inspect your boat for any leaks in its engine, fuel, electrical and steering systems.
  4. Keep several fire extinguishers accessible and properly maintained for use in case of an emergency.
  5. Make sure your boat has the required navigation lights including a whistle, horn or bell. Also consider additional safety devices such as a first aid kit, fresh water, spare parts, flashlight, flares, and a radio.

Protecting Crew and Guests on Board

  1. Everyone on board must wear life jacket.
  2. Inform yourself on marine traffic laws and learn distress signals.
  3. Always be alert of swimmers, other watercraft, debris and shallow waters.
  4. When loading distribute weight evenly and do not abruptly stand to avoid shifting weight on a small boat.
  5. Do not operate any watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.