17 million people who took boating trips in 2016 were first-time boaters. Being a first-time boater can be fun, but can go wrong (and costly) when you aren’t aware of how to properly handle a boat. In 2016, there was 4,463 accidents that involved at least 701 deaths, 2,903 injuries and $49 million in property damages, according to the American Boating Association.

For insurance agents, it’s important to push for boating safety courses; it could make the difference between life and death in some cases, and the difference between claims and no claims in the majority of cases. To some boaters, it may seem like a waste of time, but it could make a huge difference for a recreational boater, particularly one with less boating experience. Not only will the courses benefit your clients’ safety, but they can also possibly lower insurance premiums for your clients and reduce the number of claims that your agency is required to pay out. As an insurance agent, know exactly what to offer your clients. Here’s how your clients could benefit from a boating safety course, courtesy of Insuramatch:

About the Courses

Boating safety courses are offered all over the country, making them readily available for boaters of all ages. The U.S. Coast Guard has a lengthy list of those courses online. Courses are provided online and in person, depending on how one wants to take the course. Some courses are free, while some are provided at a cost.

What You’ll Learn

Boating safety courses will cover all of the basics about boating; this includes everything from the different types of boats to safety equipment that’s needed onboard to properly navigate the water. Other topics that will be covered include boating law, problems you may encounter on the water, safe boating, how to store a trailer and a boat, and hunting, water skiing, fishing and river boating.

Boating Safety Course Accreditation

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) reviews recreational boating courses every year in the United States. When taking a course approved by this association, you’re raising your chances of a safer boating experience. Only 13 percent of all recreational boating deaths happen to those who take a NASBLA course.

Saving on Insurance

Taking just one boating safety course can save an individual up to five percent or more on their insurance policy each year. If your agency does not already offer some sort of incentive for their clients to take a boating safety course, we strongly recommend it. In the long run, by reducing claims and accidents, your agency will benefit as well.

About Merrimac Marine Insurance

At Merrimac Marine, we are dedicated to providing insurance for the marine industry to protect your clients’ business and assets. For more information about our products and programs, contact our specialists today at (800) 681-1998.