What to do in the event of a boating accident

Unfortunately accidents happen. If you happen to get into an accident on the water would you know what to do? Here are some simple things to keep in mind if you get stuck out on the water.

No one wants to file an insurance claim, but accidents happen and when they do, they are never at a convenient time. Not only are you not able to use your boat, it is disturbing seeing your boat in that condition. “This is why insuring your boat with a specialist is important,” says Tom Conroy, managing director of marine at Markel Marine. “A specialist understands what you are going through – it’s common sense.”

If you have an accident, here are some initial steps you should take and how your insurance company will work to get you and your boat get back on the water as quickly as possible:

Protect
Once you have checked on all passengers and determined that they are okay, evaluate your damage. If there are conditions that could worsen if not protected, do what is necessary to prevent further damage.

Notify
Call your insurance agent to report the accident as quickly as possible. Having the following information handy will help speed up the process:

  • Policy number
  • Date, time and location
  • Description of what happened
  • Description of damages
  • Current location of your boat
  • Contact information for any witnesses

Once the claim is filed – it will be assigned to a claims representative. As all accidents are different, the claims representative will walk you through the claim process. Depending on what happened, it may be possible to handle the claim with an estimate and a few photographs. For a more complex claim, a marine surveyor or adjuster may be needed.

We know you want to get back on the water as quickly as you can, but it is important for your insurer to be able to inspect the damage before repairs are made. Repairs should not be made until authority or claim approval is provided by your insurance company.

After the information is collected, the claims representative will evaluate your claim and be in contact to review the findings. Throughout the process, it is important to have a good line of communication and understand the steps and information that are needed to resolve a claim quickly.

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.