Boating is fun, but there’s plenty of responsibility involved. Every time you invite passengers on your boat, you expose them to a variety of open-water risks.
The responsible boater will take steps to protect their passengers during an excursion. These steps include following safety practices and maintaining quality insurance coverage.
Insuring Your Boat
Standard boat insurance will usually provide a degree of coverage for passengers. Make sure the policy covers all passengers on the boat. Always tell your boat insurance agent how passengers will socialize on the boat.
Make sure your boat’s liability insurance will cover passengers whether they are on or off the boat. This is critical, as some policies might exclude passengers who are being pulled on floats behind the boat.
Furthermore, never exceed the maximum occupancy requirements of your boat. Doing so places you and your passengers in danger. This may constitute negligence in the eyes of authorities and your insurance provider.
Protecting Passenger Safety
Passenger safety should be your top priority as a boater. If you don’t protect your passengers, you could assume full liability for any injuries they sustain. This responsibility could include anything from damages for negligence to criminal charges.
When protecting passenger safety:
· Make sure every passenger is wearing a life jacket. These are likely required by law; even if they’re not, every passenger should wear one.
· Show passengers the location of emergency materials, such as fire extinguishers and life preservers. Teach at least one passenger how to use these. Always include a set of instructions with the items.
· Make sure passengers are aware of any features related to operating the boat. Should you become incapacitated, a passenger might need to operate a radio or activate an emergency shut-off mechanism. Never let an untrained passenger operate the boat at any time.
· Keep a first aid kit on hand at all times. This kit should contain emergency medical supplies and common treatments, such as pills for seasickness.
· Assist your passengers as they embark and disembark the craft. Make sure passengers put on their life jackets before they board. Also, require your passengers to remain seated when the boat is in motion.
· Before departing, check all floatation devices and emergency equipment. Don’t use damaged materials.
· Use recreational equipment cautiously. If a passenger does not meet operational requirements for items such as jet skis, do not allow them to use those items.
With proper care, you can protect your boat passengers from harm during emergencies. And a quality boat insurance policy can help you add an extra layer of protection in these instances.
We’ve got you covered. Call ISG Insurance at 865-457-9907 for a free boat insurance quote.