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The Most Common Insurance Claims -- And What You Can Do to Avoid Them
By badriance - Published March 30, 2009 - Viewed 1934 times
One of the more ambitious projects here at Seaworthy was to pour through the BoatU.S. Marine Insurance claims files -- all of the claims files from the past 8 years -- to select the top ten reasons boat owners file insurance claims. The criteria we used in making our selections was based equally on the number of claims filed as well as the dollar amounts of the claims. Above all, Seaworthy is a damage avoidance publication, so the following is a brief summary on how to keep your boat from becoming a statistic.
#10: Theft of Equipment
A boat in a marina is like a shopping mall to a thief; radios, GPS’s, propellers, autopilots, dinghies, even engines and outdrives are all conveniently available in one place. But thieves don’t like to work (hence, why they’re thieves) and will target any boat that promises the largest return for the least amount of effort. Here’s the key to protecting your boat: By making a theft require time-consuming “work”, he or she (the thief) will likely go elsewhere. For example, outdrives are frequently stolen, but the addition of some heavy locking nuts on the outdrive means a thief will need hack saws (work) and will then look elsewhere. Other candidates for locks include props, outboards and trailers.
Cabin locks (and sturdy hasps) are essential. Keep curtains closed and expensive items (and alcohol!) out of view. Many thefts take place in marinas and private storage facilities because thieves can rip off many boats in a few hours. Select a facility that is well-lit and has security cameras and a guard.
Winter lay-up is a favorite time for “shopping” since far fewer people are around. When possible, bring home electronics, small outboards and other valuable equipment and store them where they’ll be safe.
Note for BoatU.S. Policyholders: theft coverage only exists for equipment carried aboard, which is considered normal for the safe operation or routine maintenance of the boat. Items such as fishing gear and other personal items are only covered if optional, inexpensive Personal Effects coverage is added to the policy endorsement (call 800-283-2883 for more information).
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