Your boat insurance company should be there to help you with any insurance claims following an accident. But what are the things you need to know in the moments immediately after an accident on the water?
What actions you take during the time of crisis can have a huge impact on the outcome of the situation. Preparation in the event of an accident starts before you ever leave the dock. Understanding your passengers swimming abilities, monitoring their general state of well being, noting weather or not they are wearing lifejackets, familiarizing yourself with the body of water will be on and knowing where PDFs, life rings and other safety and medical tools are located are just a few things to access before leave the dock and remain aware of for the duration of your ride.
Here are two common boating accident scenarios boat insurance company claims people hear about and some general tips on how to deal with them:
The boat hits a hazard and person has fallen overboard
There are a few considerations before you know how to react:
- Quickly consider whether the person is wearing a personal flotation device (PFD)
- Is the person unconscious?
- How old is the person who fell overboard (ie. a child or elderly person may need more immediate help)?
- Is the person a swimmer?
- Do you have a life ring, boat cushions or other PFDs to throw to the person overboard and mark the spot?
- How cold is the water? Is it safe for other swimmers to jump in and attempt rescue?
- If your boat is equipped with a GPS that has a man overboard (MOB) button, turn it on and activate it right away to mark the spot
Possible next steps include:
- Take precautions to minimize further harm to people and/or damage to property
- Return and stop safely near the spot where the person went overboard
- Try to get the person back onboard using safety equipment on hand (life ring, swim ladder, etc.)
- Confirm the wellbeing of those involved in the accident
- Don’t admit responsibility or make any promises to another party
- Take note of witnesses
- Notify local authorities – including the Coast Guard in the event of injury or death
- Report incident to Global Marine Insurance (or your boat insurance carrier)
- Allow your boat insurance company an opportunity to view damage prior to repairs
Your boat collides with another boat:
- Confirm the wellbeing of those involved in the incident, but don’t admit responsibility or make any promises to another party
- Exchange information with the person in charge of operating the other boat, just as you would exchange details with the driver of a car. Be sure to get name, address, telephone number, the boat’s name and Hull ID Number
- Give the person your insurance details and get his or her insurance policy numbers
- Take photos of any damage and the position of the boats before moving them
- Get the names and phone numbers of anyone who witnessed the collision from the shore or another boat
- Record details about anything damaged in the incident or anyone who has been injured
- All the Coast Guard to report the accident and any injuries or deaths
- Call Global Marine Insurance (or your boat insurance company) to report the accident
Protect yourself by contacting the premiere boat insurance company, Global Marine Insurance now, before you need insurance coverage. Our specialized boat insurance agents are knowledgeable about unique boat insurance coverage and strive to provide the best customer service possible long after you select a policy.