Sunshine glitters off the water, and your boat beckons. But to be sure the only waves you create are those in your wake, you need to take precautions and check that your insurance is all set for boating season.
Follow these basic safety rules to prevent problems and injuries.
- All on board should wear life jackets. No exceptions.
- Obey marine traffic laws.
- Learn the various distress signals.
- Stay alert, and don’t drink alcohol.
- Respect the laws of physics. Distribute the weight of passengers and supplies evenly, and don’t overload. It’s unsafe and often illegal to ride on seat backs, the gunwale or the bow. Don’t rock a small boat by standing or shifting your weight suddenly.
Check your boaters insurance policy as part of your preparations for the season, because sometimes injuries and accidents happen. A boat insurance policy can protect you financially from the liability, medical, and repair expenses that follow.
If you own a rowboat, canoe or other small vessel, your homeowners policy may provide sufficient protection. A speedboat or other motorized watercraft, however, is best protected by a recreational boat policy. Yachts (more than 27 feet long) and personal watersport vehicles require a different type of insurance.
What does a typical recreational boat policy cover?
- Damage and loss caused by a collision, fire, lightning, theft or vandalism
- Liability for injuries your boat causes to people and their necessary medical expenses
- Damage that your boat causes to other people’s property
- Damage or injuries caused by another person you let take the helm of your boat Depending on the insurance carrier, policies will have a range of options and exclusions. Your insurance agent can help you navigate the ins and outs of boat insurance so you can leave the slip knowing you have the most appropriate protection.