Accidents can happen, and for those who frequently boat for pleasure, boat insurance is crucial to keep them protected. When you purchase a boat, your initial thoughts are to have fun with it. You want to take the boat out and show it off to your family and friends. However, it’s important to make sure that boat owners know the issues they’ll face and that you, as the insurer, know how to answer them.  In 2014, the U.S. Coast Guard estimated around $39 million in property damage as a result of recreational boating accidents, with 4,064 accidents that resulted in 610 deaths that year.  There’s also other things to worry about besides boating accidents, such as natural disasters and theft. Here are the most common boat insurance claims, with some advice to share with your clients on how to prevent them.


Theft is a fairly big problem in insurance claims, but there are ways to prevent it. In a typical recreational marine insurance program, theft will likely be covered. Boat insurance covers both the loss of a boat and the loss of belongings as well, according to the Insurance Information Institute. 90 percent of boats are stolen off their trailers, according to Seaworthy. The best way to prevent theft of a boat or the property on it is by making it difficult for it to steal. If it’s not an easy catch, then a robber isn’t going to be too interested in it. Taking extra precautions such as always removing the key from the ignition or storing your boat in a place that’s not accessible will also help keep a boat safe in the long run.

Fire on Board

While it might seem unlikely, it does happen. Fire is only second to theft in insurance claim payouts. A fire or explosion, while rare, is a significant problem because it often results in the complete loss of a boat and belongings. You can’t recover things if there’s a fire or explosion that decimates everything on board. Making sure all of your electronics and gas appliances are up-to-date is one way to prevent a fire from happening on a boat.

Hitting Another Boat

Hitting another boat is problematic because it can result in your boat sinking, or their boat sinking. It’s a huge issue that can completely ruin your boat. If you’re taking your boat into crowded waters, where accidents like this often happen, it’s important to stay alert, according to Insuramatch. Be careful with your speed, and if you can, take some boating safety classes to prepare yourself for venturing out into open water.

Weather Damage

Weather damage is the worst claim because it’s the one claim that you can’t be prepared for. There’s no way to prevent extreme weather from occurring. Always check the weather forecast before heading out on your boat.

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.