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Avoiding Common Yacht Insurance Claims

If you subscribe to the ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure philosophy, knowing what the most common yacht insurance claims we assist with can help you take steps to mitigate your risk. 

Here are the most common types of yacht insurance claims:

Striking submerged objects: What lurks beneath the water can cause quite a bit of damage to a yacht. Yacht insurance claims due to collisions with submerged objects are not unusual. Rocks, coral, submerged trees, stumps, floating logs, and other debris can become serious hazards. It pays to be cautious while in unfamiliar territory and vigilant in looking for possible threats. Download the latest marine navigation charts to ensure you know what to expect regarding safety depth contours and tides – and talk with other owners and captains who are more familiar with your planned route. If there’s been a recent storm, be especially careful to look for wreckage and debris in the water.

branch in water - yacht collision danger

Adverse weather events: Mother Nature is responsible for many yacht insurance claims, unleashing high winds, big storms, hurricanes, lightning, and deep freezes. If you’re on the water or your yacht is moored when a storm hits, being tossed around can result in extensive damage. Lightning claims seem to be on the rise in the last few years. We’re seeing lightning deductibles on policies now as the cost and sophistication of electronics affected by power surges drive up claims.

It is essential to check the weather in advance and monitor it while you’re on the water. When docked, take steps to secure your yacht safely, perhaps investing in quality bumpers, a boat lift, or a suspension system to protect your marine investment during stormy weather. 

Create a storm plan. Docking in a protected cove, stipping excess gear from the deck, and doubling up on dock and mooring lines is helpful. If there is a hurricane or tropical storm, hauling your vessel from the water is likely the safest plan. Ask your yacht insurance specialist about hurricane haul-out coverage. It reimburses all or some of the expense of having your yacht hauled out due to an impending tropical storm, tropical depression, or hurricane. 

Collisions with other boaters: Many times, one of the vessels involved in a collision was moving too fast, or the captain was distracted. Sometimes a yacht will collide with a motorboat or someone riding a jet ski. In addition to property damage, liability is frequently part of the yacht insurance claims process when there’s been an accident of this nature. It’s wise to ensure whoever is operating the yacht is attentive, doesn’t speed, and understands boating safety. Taking a course that covers boat safety for larger vessels is very helpful.

Vandalism or theft: Luxury vessels are unfortunately a common target for vandals and petty thieves, generally when a yacht is moored. Thieves are typically after quick-sale items like electronics, jewelry, and sports equipment. Keep these items securely stored and away from easy view through windows. Covering your yacht when you’re not using it can deter would-be vandals and thieves, who generally look for easy access. Similarly, a sound security system and docking where there is full-time security can also mitigate your risk of vandalism or theft.

Fires on board range from faulty wiring or ignited fuel to mishaps in the kitchen or decorative candles left unattended. Fire can quickly spread on a yacht, causing significant damage from the fire and smoke. Be vigilant with fire safety and ensure that you follow guidelines for fire extinguishers on board. Inspect your vessel routinely for any problems or deterioration of wiring or the engine.

Do you have adequate yacht insurance coverage if any of these things happen to you? Contact the yacht insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance today for a complimentary review of your marine insurance needs.

Best of the 2022 Miami International Boat Show

Our yacht insurance specialists recently attended the 2022 Miami International Boat Show.

If you weren’t able to attend, here are some of the highlights that we enjoyed:

Quick sale: Within the first hour, the Pathfinder 2700 Hybrid Bay Boat sold for just over $250,000 becoming one of many boats snapped up fast by eager boating enthusiasts. Pathfinder is known for its angler-driven design team, and they sure do know how to build an inshore fishing boat. 

Clean energy: It was interesting to see electric motors (no gas needed). One that caught our eye was the Yamaha Harmo Electric Outboard, a 48-volt electric motor (this is said to equal the thrust of a gas 9.9hp motor). 

Virtual economy: While the show’s vendors sell boats, yachts, accessories, and motors that are thoroughly modern, there was arguably nothing more futuristic at the 2022 Miami International Boat Show than the limited series of 100 megayacht NFTs. If you’ve never heard of an NFT (some of our yacht insurance specialists confess this was new information), it’s a non-fungible token used in the virtual economy. Each NFT has unique digital identifiers that cannot be replicated, copied, or divided. These digital assets are recorded on a blockchain, a virtual certificate of authenticity and ownership. The megayacht NFTs on sale offered superyacht options for the metaverse! (We have to ask: Do they need virtual yacht insurance for NFTs????)

Innovative accessory: If you’re looking for gift ideas for yourself or other boating friends, we were impressed with the handy and practical Ugowear Dry Pack. This completely waterproof dry pack is ideal for holding your phone, tablet, or other special items that you need to keep dry. They’ve been on the market for approximately seven years, and reviews were very positive.

The 2022 Miami International Boat Show was informative, engaging, and inspiring. It sure makes you want to get out on the water.

Are you getting ready for another season of recreational boating? Contact the insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance for the most competitive boat and yacht insurance quotes from the top-ranked marine insurance carriers.

Yachts & Boats – New Fire Extinguisher Regulations 4-20-2022

Fire extinguishers in boats can save lives and protect your property. Did you know there are new regulations for them effective in April this year? The U.S. Coast Guard announced these new regulations for fire extinguishers on boats. The changes relate to the expiration dates of fire extinguishers and the minimum classification of fire extinguishers to be carried aboard vessels.

Here’s what you need to know:

The new regulations go into effect on April 20, 2022.

All disposable – (non-rechargeable) – fire extinguishers are subject to a 12-year expiration (which aligns the U.S. Coast Guard regulations with those set by the National Fire Protection Association). You can check for the date a fire extinguisher was manufactured on either the bottom of the container or next to the URL label; it must be replaced if it is 12 years past the date it was manufactured.

Did you know the length of your vessel matters? Owners must ensure that their boat or yacht has a minimum number of fire extinguishers on board. The required number varies based on how long the vessel is. You can review the minimum number required by the new U.S. Coast Guard regulation. Pro tip: Many safety-conscious boaters will have more than the minimum number of fire extinguishers on board. 

If your boat was built in 2018 or later, you must:

Carry 5-B, 10-B, and 20-B classified extinguishers – though if the vessel is 26-65 feet, there are varied requirements, so check the link above.

If your boat was built in 2017 or earlier, you must:

Replace any old B-I or B-II disposable fire extinguishers with the newer class fire extinguishers once they reach the 12-year expiration date. Refer to the link above.

If your boat was built before 1952, there are special rules for the types of fire extinguishers you must have on board. Refer to the link above.

The regulations for any rechargeable and fixed-mount fire extinguishers remain the same. Remember to have them regularly serviced by a qualified technician. 

Remember that all fire extinguishers onboard your boat should be in good serviceable condition. The fire extinguisher’s pressure gauge indicator must be operable. The lock pin needs to be in place. The discharge nozzle must be clean and ready to operate (no obstructions), and there shouldn’t be any visible signs of damage or corrosion.

If you are unsure about any of these new regulations or have questions about whether your fire extinguishers are adequate, contact your local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons to arrange for a vessel safety check. 

Are you getting ready for the 2022 boating season? Make sure you and your boat are covered. Contact the marine experts at Global Marine Insurance for comprehensive coverage from the top carriers in the industry. 

Spring Boating Checklist

It’s almost Spring. Getting ready to go out on the water means more than just de-winterizing your boat and reviewing your boat insurance. Here’s a helpful list of some tasks on your to-do list. If you plan to employ the help of a professional make sure to plan ahead, the growing popularity of boating has created a lot of demand for the marine service industry.

  • Boat Prep: either you or a trusted maintenance professional should complete the following:
    • Fluids replaced as mandated by the owner’s manual
    • Wipers checked and replaced if needed
    • Complete boat inspection (including the engine)
    • Detailed cleaning – a great way to identify any concerns
    • Electronics test
    • Safety equipment – replace batteries and check the condition
  • Boat Insurance Coverage: review your boat or boat insurance to ensure that you have enough coverage. For example:
        • Does your policy provide agreed value coverage?
        • Have you updated your policy to reflect any updates to the boat? For example, a new stereo system, electronics, or engine upgrade.
        • If you will be trailering your boat, do you have ample coverage while your boat is on the trailer?
  • New Operators: Do you have a new driver in your home this year? Before you put new operators at the helm, make sure they are comfortable with the boat. Seriously consider enrolling them in a boating class.
  • Safety:
    • Education: Spring is an excellent time of year to review boating safety with your family, including rescue basics, signs of drowning, what to do in the event of an accident, and general boating protocol.
    • Unfamiliar waters: Know the water in which you will be boating.
      • If water temperatures are cold, do you have an extra set of dry clothes?
      • Is the area known for floating debris or sandbars?
      • Are your boating charts updated?

Completing your spring boating checklist will leave you confident and better prepared to have a great time out on the water. Take the time to run through the tasks and address any relevant to you. In the long run, it’s well worth the effort. Click here for a quick boat insurance quote.