A well-functioning boat reduces your chances of accidents when you are out on the water.
If your boat suffers from malfunctions or stress, you face safety risks for both you and your passengers. You can even pose problems to other boaters on the water, and even others on land.
Before you take your boat on the water, make sure that the boat’s vital systems function correctly. Doing so can help you reduce the risks you pose to your insurance company.
Boat Maintenance and Insurance
If you don't maintain your boat, you could face challenges from your boat insurance.
Most boaters carry liability coverage. Liability protection covers risks that their boats pose to others. Boat insurance can protect collision, injury and liability risks. However, boat insurance is not ironclad.
If you fail to maintain your boat, defects could lead to damages that harm your boat or other people. Your boat insurance company could hold you negligent. Insurance may even deny your claim.
To avoid claim denials, check your boat’s vital systems before you embark on an excursion.
Vital System Checks for Your Boat
Your boat contains many vital systems that you need to check before an excursion. Make sure you take the time to look them over.
- Walk around the boat’s hull and look for any signs of leaks or structural weakness.
- Inspect the boat’s engine and oil systems. Should these leak or have corrosion, they could break down, and even start fires. Always remember to fill up your fuel tanks before a trip.
- Make sure that the boat’s steering system works efficiently. You might check the system for signs of strain, mold or rust, depending on the type of steering you use. Do a rudder check to ensure that it rotates properly.
- If you use sail power, check the sail, its posts and its roping. These systems should show no signs of wear and tear.
- Make sure your boat’s navigational systems calibrate correctly. Do a test to ensure that magnetic compass headings, radar, and other aids work.
- Check the boat’s light system. Ensure that navigational beacons, running lights and other illuminators fully function.
- Establish and maintain reliable radio contact if your boat has the capacity to do so.
- Make sure your boat’s emergency systems work correctly. Check your fire suppressants, evacuation plans, and lifesaving equipment. Make sure that your life jackets, preservers and rafts do not show signs of weakness.
As always, keep a first-aid kit on your boat to ensure that you can attend to emergency situations if they arise. Also abide by all transport rules as outlined by your insurance policy and local laws.
McInnis Insurance Services, Inc. can issue a boat insurance policy that will keep you safe on the water. Call us at (844) 926-0860 for more information.