Thursday, May 30, 2013

What are the most common boat claims ?

There are a few claims that keep popping up.  One marine insurance claim department I contacted felt that about 80 percent of their claims are the result of hitting a submerged object.

Think about it.  The more storms there are, the more rivers that flood, the more stuff is floating in the water and under the surface. Submerged objects will result in damage to lower units, propellers, keels, and hulls.  Sometimes sinking does occur. If you think or know you hit something, make sure you check bilge area and monitor the bilge regularly to make sure there is not any damage that could result in submersion or, in other words…sinking.

Using information from marine insurance claim departments and organizations like Boat US, a few of the other common claims I discovered are:

Theft of assorted boat equipment and parts (portable or permanent).  Items like out drives, electronics, outboard motors, and trailers are some of the most popular parts.  Leaving the trailer unattended in the parking lot or the cockpit uncovered is an invitation for a thief.  Check your policy, many do not cover items stolen from your boat unless it was permanently attached or in a locked compartment. 

Grand theft boat.  Snatching the whole boat is another big claim.  While there are cases of theft from a slip or mooring, trailer-based boats are the ones that are usually turned in on a claim. Boats, like cars, are often stripped and the parts sold a piece at a time.  Remember the phrase “the sum of the parts is worth more than whole” well that’s true with boat parts.  Plus if you take all the parts off the boat, the parts are harder to track down. 

Collision claims.  Collisions with anything are bad.  Collisions with pilings, docks, and other boats can be deadly.  Collisions are not the same as hitting submerged items. Collisions are just that, colliding with something else either moving (another boat) or stationary (like a dock).  You can help stop collisions by watching where you are going, learn the rules of the area and use your charts.

Grounding or running aground.  Most claims departments indicate that often more damage is caused by trying to accelerate through the sand, mud or rocks than by just stopping and waiting for help.  Using a tow service or an alternative method to get unstuck like air bags, reduces the risk for further damage. . 

Now is a good time to repeat - carry up-to-date marine charts and plan your cruising routes to avoid accidental grounding.

No comments: