5 Ways to Prevent a Boat Insurance Claim in North Carolina

February 9, 2024

Blog 5 Ways to Prevent a Boat Insurance Claim in North Carolina

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Never Drive Your Boat Intoxicated

We’ll start off with arguably the most important tip for boat safety: Never drive your boat intoxicated! You wouldn’t drive your car on the road while intoxicated, so why would you go out on your boat while drunk? Did you know that intoxication is, according to greatmiattorneys.com, “the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents''? It is responsible for roughly 23% of related deaths. For the safety of yourself and any passengers with you, please stay sober while driving out on the water.

Following this rule will not only help keep everyone safe, but will also help ensure that your insurance claim is accepted should something happen to your boat.

Know Your Boat

As a boat owner, this probably seems like a given, but we could all use reminders, right? Knowing your boat is a must for safe riding! This includes knowing its limits for loading, repairs that are needed or will be soon, how long it will run on a tank of gas, where the fire extinguisher is (if there is one) and how it works…

Knowing your boat is a preventative measure, and will keep you out of avoidable predicaments that end in a potentially pricey insurance claim!

Stay Aware of Your Passengers

Keep count, be aware of health and needs, watch for signs of issues

When heading out on your boat, take mental notes about your passengers. Who is on board? How many? And as you are enjoying your ride on that water, take a minute now and again to check in with your passengers. Be aware of their health and needs, and watch for signs of issues like dehydration, nausea, etc.

Ensure Everyone has a Flotation Device

This speaks for itself! North Carolina boat laws require that you have a suitably sized personal flotation device for each individual on board (read more about this law here), and federal law as well as NC state law requires that any passengers under 13 must wear their personal flotation device at all times while the boat is underway.

Have a Plan

To avoid an incident or be best prepared should one happen, it is important to have a plan when you take a trip out on the water. Having a plan includes the following things:

  • Be attentive to your environment (weather, etc.)
  • Let someone on shore know you are going out, who is with you, and when you expect to return
  • Make sure to prep your boat with things like portable chargers, flashlights, etc. in case you get stranded or are out longer than expected
  • Review boating safety with your passengers, even if you are all repeat riders

Bonus Tip: Keep Your Boat in Good Repair!

Keeping your boat in good repair means washing it regularly, checking all parts of the boat for signs of wear or damage, taking care of the motors and batteries, and making sure it is properly stored. Your boat’s owners manual should have a complete guide to proper boat maintenance. Being consistent with regular repairs and maintenance can help prevent big problems down the road.

Going out in a boat that is well taken care of will help you get the desired outcome should you need to file a claim! Not to mention, it will help prevent accidents and keep everyone on board out of harm's way.

All of this comes down to something we’ve probably all heard our parents say to us as we leave the house: “Be smart!” Get out there and make responsible, commonsensical decisions regarding your boat… and have fun!

If you have any other questions about boat and watercraft insurance, check out our boat insurance web page or contact us at Leavitt Elite Insurance Advisors!