Winter Boating Safety Tips

“yacht”If you’re missing the waves and have your boat insurance in place, winter boating can be a wonderful escape from the ordinary. It just takes some pre-planning to ensure you stay safe!

 

Here are some winter boating safety tips from our boat insurance professionals:

 

Lower your risk of hypothermia: Obviously when the temperatures dip below freezing, your risk of life-threatening hypothermia increases. Plan for the cold and dress appropriately with lots of good warm and waterproof layers, a hat, and good gloves. You might want to consider a float-coat, which is great for safety because they come with a built-in Personal Flotation Devices (PFD). Pack an extra change of clothing for each person on board because if anyone gets wet or falls overboard, you’ll need dry clothing urgently. Also, plan to have a fully stocked first aid kit and warm beverages like hot chocolate or foods like soup available.

 

Refresh your first aid smarts about hypothermia: Take a minute to read about the signs, symptoms, and risks of hypothermia. If you are far from shore, you must act quickly to remove any wet clothing, get protection from wind and cold, and start trying to warm the victim with warm, dry clothing and blankets – or your body heat. Warm liquids can help, but not if they are caffeinated or alcoholic.

 

Leave a float plan with someone you trust: This should hold true for every single trip you take on your boat, but it becomes even more important when boating in the off-season. Here’s everything you need to know about filing a float plan so that if something goes wrong, your rescuers will know when to raise the alarm and where to look to find you.

Gregg Reynolds Insurance agent sailing

Be prepared before you leave the dock: It’s never fun to run into trouble out on the water, but it is crucial that you make sure that everything is in good running condition and your boat is fully-stocked if you go boating in the winter. Take the time to check things like your battery power, plumbing, and fuel lines. Test to make sure your VHF radio works and that you have an adequate supply of emergency signal flares on board – or an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). Before you leave, you might want to check that your boat insurance policy is current and offers you adequate coverage.

 

Watch the weather: Keep an eye on the skies and an ear to the weather reports while you’re out on the water. It’s easier than ever to get accurate weather information for boaters these days, but if it looks like storms are brewing, then trust your gut and get back to shore.

 

Ready for some frosty fun with winter boating? Contact the marine insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance to review your policies before you embark on winter boating adventures.

Seattle Boat Show

Our team at Global Marine Insurance Agency is excited to sponsor the upcoming 20SBS_Deckhand Sponsor17 Seattle Boat Show, to be held January 27th – February 4th. This indoor and outdoor boat show is the largest on the West Coast with over 1,000 watercraft on display. While you’re there, visit us at booth #E715 and enter to win an Orca cooler.

Visit the website to plan your visit.  Check out the extensive list of special events including the Chowder Chomp and Kids Aquazone or attend one of the educational seminars. Whatever you choose to do, don’t forget to visit us at booth #E715 and enter the drawing to win the Orca cooler.

 

Preventing Boat Theft & Vandalism

Boat on TrailerThere are ways to protect yourself from vandals and thieves before you face having to make a boat insurance claim.

Here are some ways you can make it harder for people to damage your marine investment:

Keep it secure – The best option is in covered storage, such as a locked garage, rented storage unit, or secure boat storage facility. If you have to store your boat outdoors, try to keep it out of sight or blocked by another vehicle so it doesn’t look easy to steal. Something as simple as a trailer hitch lock (or the kind of trailers that have a removable hitch) or removing one wheel from the trailer will deter would-be criminals. Make it difficult for someone to steal your boat by taking another security step like locking it to something with a secure lock and chain, installing a motion-activated floodlight, or installing a video surveillance camera. If your boat is stored outdoors you may also want to invest in a motor lock.

Engrave it – The problem with boat thieves is that they quickly sell stolen vessels, sometimes chopping them up and selling off the parts. Make sure your boat, trailer, and accessories or electronics are identifiable by engraving your boat’s hull identification number (HIN) or your name somewhere that isn’t very noticeable. This way, if it is stolen, you have a way to prove without a doubt that it is your property. Don’t forget to record your HIN somewhere for safekeeping (like with your boat insurance policy).

Take inventory – Take the time to photograph and document everything that you have from the boat itself down to your GPS or first aid kits. You need a complete list of everything that’s on board, including the make and model number or other relevant details. If you have receipts, keep them with this list for safekeeping in the event you are a victim of theft or vandalism. You’ll have a complete inventory to hand over immediately not only to your boat insurance agent, but also to the police. Make sure the original is in your safety deposit box or somewhere equally safe and have a copy tucked away on your boat for easy reference.

Make things secure before storing your boat – Again, prevention means making it difficult for thieves to steal from you. When away from your yacht put valuables in locked cupboards or secure lockers below deck. If you are storing your boat for the winter, we recommend removing everything of value and keeping it somewhere secure. Always lock motors and fuel tanks to the boat because these are popular targets for thieves. Remember to close window blinds or curtains so people can’t easily see what you have inside.

Naturally, we recommend that you take safety and security precautions with your boat, but also make sure that you have the right boat insurance to cover you adequately in the event of theft or vandalism. Make sure that you fully understand the deductible you would have to pay as well as any limitations to the coverage such as due diligence requirements.

Be sure to ask your boat insurance company if your policy covers you for agreed value or market value. This is one of many important things you need to know about boat insurance.

To find out more about your boat insurance options, call the marine insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance to review your needs and discuss policy coverage. We specialize in recreational and commercial boats and work with the best insurance carriers in the marine industry.

Secure Your Yacht for a Storm

image002Boatyard and yacht insurance claims made in recent years after massive storms demonstrate that there are important steps to be taken to secure your vessel.

 

While nature is still somewhat unpredictable, we can learn from the successes of others how to increase the odds of weathering the storm with minimal damage.

 

Head for high ground. Stats show that boats kept in the water during a hurricane or significant storm do not fare as well as those taken ashore – and out of reach of any potential surge. Many boat insurance claims are filed after boats left on lifts or hoists are damaged during severe weather conditions. It is safer to have your vessel hauled to high ground; there are even dry-dock facilities designed to withstand hurricane force winds as high as 140 miles per hour.

 

Secure boats taken ashore. Just because you’ve taken your yacht or boat out of the water doesn’t mean it’s safe from high winds. Even on shore boats can be blown over, so it is important to make sure that they are properly anchored to something secure. Strap them down with strong tethers that don’t have significant stretch.

 

Reduce windage. Whether your yacht is ashore or your boat is in the water, reducing windage is a very important preventative measure. Strip off anything that could catch the wind and up the odds that your boat will survive the storm.

 

Pick marinas carefully. If bringing your boat or yacht ashore is simply not an option, choose your marina with care. A marina that is well sheltered is always preferable because any marina vulnerable to surge offers little protection for boats no matter how well they are secured. Boatyard insurance analysis shows that many vessels come through hurricanes with minimal damage when kept at floating docks with tall pilings. This is likely because the floating docks permit the vessels to rise and fall with the surge whereas fixed docks or floating docks with short pilings stretch and stress the lines. It is advisable to add extra lines if the weather forecast is particularly dire.

 

Inspect dock lines. The reality is that old dock and mooring lines deteriorate after months and months of exposure to salt, dirt, UV rays, and general wear and tear. Be proactive and invest in new, strong lines that will be better able to withstand chafing and high winds during a hurricane or severe storm.

Whatever you do, don’t wait! Have a hurricane plan and be prepared to take action. It’s much easier to execute an existing plan during an emergency situation than it is to come up with a last minute plan.

When was the last time you reviewed your boat or yacht insurance coverage? Now is the time to ensure that you have the right coverage for your marine investment in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. Be aware that when a storm is announced, many insurance carriers implement temporary bans so last-minute changes to your policy aren’t an option.

 

Be prepared for stormy weather. Call the marine insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance to review your boat or yacht insurance or boat yard insurance coverage. We specialize in recreational and commercial boats and work with the best insurance carriers in the marine industry.

 

 

I’m Buying a Boat, What about Insurance?

_lee3734When you’re buying a boat, you’re probably thinking more about the places you’ll go and the things you’ll see rather than which boat insurance policy will give you the best coverage.

 

We don’t want to spoil your dreams of sunshine, gentle waves, and good times with friends and family, but you need a boat insurance policy to protect your investment before you hit the water.

 

If it’s your first time shopping around for a boat insurance policy, here are some facts you need to know:

 

Investigate specialized insurance – while you may be able to purchase insurance for your boat through your homeowners insurance company the policy may not provide ample coverage. It’s a good idea to compare a quote with a marine insurance specialist and ask detailed questions about coverage.

 

Boat safety features – if your boat has safety features like wireless auto tethers or depth finders, or if you have taken boating safety courses, it is worth mentioning this to your insurance specialist when you discuss your boat insurance policy. There are some safety features and training courses that could help reduce your rates.

 

Variables – rates will vary depending on a variety of factors, such as the age of the boat, the kind of vessel, and how powerful the engine is. A company that specializes in marine coverage will know and understand the risks and liability issues unique to recreational and commercial boaters.

 

Agreed Value Coverage – this means you and your insurer agree on a value for the boat, which will be the payout if something happens. Conversely, if you are insured for market value, you will get the depreciated value in the event of a loss.

 

Seasonal boat use – if you live where you’re not boating all year round, make sure that your insurance covers you for time on the water and out and check if a longer lay-up period (time out of the water) reduces your rates.

 

Special situations – check to see if you will have coverage while towing or transporting your boat, if you travel anywhere with your boat on land or in water while it is in storage or docked at a marina, in the event of a natural disaster, or if it is damaged by vandals or thieves. It is also important to have liability coverage for any passengers you might have on your boat as well as for anyone you might encounter in the event of an accident.

 

If you are in the market for a boat insurance policy, call the marine insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance to review your needs, discuss policy coverage, and present the best options available to consider. We specialize in recreational and commercial boats ranging from motor yachts, skiboats and sailboats to passenger boats and commercial fleets.

Boat to Be in the Moment

Do you ever wish that you could just unplug? Research shows that about nine in 10 American adults own cell phones (about two-thirds use smartphones) and many feel constant connectivity and distraction to be the new normal.

family ski boat

As convenient as it may be to look up things like local goods and services (like boat insurance!), society seems to be losing human connection thanks to devices and Wifi.

 

It’s time to reclaim down time and there’s no better way to be really present with those you love than to go out on the water. Listening to the waves and looking out at the horizon is relaxing and good for the soul in a way that staring at images on your phone can never be.

 

American teens have adults beat for hours online. Stats show that teens enjoy nearly 10 hours of screen time a day while tweens rate somewhere around six hours. It’s easy to see that social media, games, and other online diversions are probably getting MUCH more attention than family members and friends in real life.

 

Boating together – with cell phones and devices locked away while you’re on the water (except if you’re using any of the handy new boating apps!) – puts you and your loved ones in close proximity with no outside distractions. Whether your goal is to enjoy some adventure or relaxation together, out on the water is the perfect environment to enjoy shared experiences and make some wonderful memories.

 

Of course, to really relax and enjoy your boat you’ll want to feel confident that you have the proper boat insurance coverage so you don’t spend your trip worrying about how you would pay for damages if something went wrong. The boat insurance specialists at Global Marine Insurance now what questions to ask to determine the best coverage to protect you and your marine investment.

 

You also want to know that you’re paying a good price for your boat insurance. When you contact Global Marine Insurance, we compare several A-rated boat insurance carriers to find you the most competitive rates for the best coverage available.

 

If you want to know whether your boat insurance policy offers you comprehensive coverage for the best rate, call the marine insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance to review your needs, discuss policy coverage, and offer you a choice of coverage solutions to consider. We specialize in recreational and commercial boats, ranging from yachts and sailboats to passenger boats and commercial fleets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boat Yard Insurance FAQs

It takes a lot of hard work to run a boat yard and very specific boat yard insurance to ensure all that sweat and toil isn’t jeopardized by unexpected accidents, storms, or other damaging events.

boat-yardThe risks a boat yard operator faces are unique to a marine business, requiring boat yard insurance that offers protection for assets and marine facilities, employees, and clients on the water and on land.

It takes an insurance broker experienced in marine businesses to fully understand the complexity of coverage requirements unique to each boat yard. There are various policy options available, which can be customized into a comprehensive insurance package.

Here are some of the options available, which Global Marine Insurance specialists will source from our A-rated boat insurance carriers (we always looking for the most competitive rates for the best coverage!):

  • General liability – sometimes even excess coverage is purchased to offer coverage for the premises, liability for a product, or work in progress
  • Property
  • Marine liability – protecting you from claims of liability and property damage (including property your marine business cares for or controls)
  • Marine hull, protection and indemnity – securing replacement value coverage for any vessels, equipment, machinery, or other accessories you have is often wise as well as liability coverage in the event a third party is injured
  • Boiler and machinery – highly specialized equipment is often best covered by policies specifically designed for the risks associated with it
  • Marine cargo insurance – if you ship or store goods, obtaining coverage that protects the cargo from point of origin to the destination (including if it is lost, stolen, or damaged in some way) is advisable
  • Commercial property – this protects the buildings, contents, and even loss of income in the event of things such as fire, storms, floods, damage caused by vandals, etc.
  • Pollution – boat yards are in a unique situation where pollution could have a detrimental effect on the running of their business; there is liability insurance available for things such as storage tanks and there is also coverage for site pollution for certain circumstances
  • Employees – many states require boat yards acquire special insurance coverage for workers compensation issues and employee practices liability is another option many employers will choose
  • Commercial automobile – if you have a vehicle for boat yard business, it should be covered with a policy that includes liability, comprehensive, collision, and more
  • Umbrella liability or a broad Bumbershoot liability policy – to offer your boat yard higher limits of liability insurance

Global Marine Insurance has been insuring marinas, boat yards, commercial and recreational vessels, and a wide range of marine businesses since 1989. Contact our marine insurance specialists to review your boat yard insurance needs and policy coverage options.