How Does the Boat Insurance Claim Process Work?

By purchasing an insurance policy for your boat, you’re protecting yourself and your assets in the event of various on-water emergencies. 

Accidents, storms, and unexpected mishaps can occur, potentially causing damage to your beloved vessel. That’s why we’ve compiled information about the boat insurance claim process to help you feel as prepared as possible for any event on the water.

How to Navigate the Boat Insurance Claim Process

Below, we’ll review each step of the boat insurance claim process in detail. You can expect to take part in most of these steps, depending on the claim.

Step 1: Reporting the Claim

First, you will need to report your claim to your insurance company. Ensure you understand your boat insurance coverage so there are no surprises.    

This step needs to be completed as soon as possible because the sooner the claim is made, the sooner you can be compensated and/or have your boat repaired. 

To report a claim, call your insurance company’s claim department. Claim department phone numbers are typically on your insurance card or the provider’s website.

You may also need to report your boating accident to local authorities. This is required if:

  • A person is injured, missing, or passes away due to the accident
  • More than $2000 worth of damage is caused.
  • A boat is totaled or destroyed in the accident.

Step 2: Documentation and Evidence

Thoroughly document all pertinent details following a boating accident or any other incident that necessitates the submission of a claim. It is imperative to capture as much information as possible to ensure accurate and comprehensive reporting.

If other boats are involved, you should get the owner’s contact information. Ask if they have boat insurance coverage and write down their plan information. Document the state of their watercraft if possible. 

Afterward, be sure to save any estimates of damage or medical bills that you receive. If police reports are involved, save your copies as well. More documentation is always better in the boat insurance claim process. 

Insurance Claim Process

Step 3: Evaluation and Assessment

In this step, your insurance company will inspect the level of damage that your watercraft has sustained. This may include photographs, repair visits, or in-person viewings. 

You should provide as much relevant information as possible throughout the claim process. Your adjuster will work with you to ensure you get the compensation and/or repairs you need as long as they fit in with your pre-chosen boat insurance coverage.

Step 4: Repair and Restoration

In this step, you must choose a repair shop or contractor to fix your boat. This individual or team will continue working with your insurance company to ensure adequate payouts.

Step 5: Receiving the Claim Settlement

If checks are sent directly to you, you will receive them in the mail. It will be communicated beforehand how much can be used for repairs, medical bills, and other relevant expenses. 

How to Prevent Future Claims

You can lower your risks of filing a boat insurance claim by:

  • Maintaining the upkeep of your boat to prevent breakdowns and accidents
  • Keeping safety equipment, such as first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and throwable flotation devices , to prevent onboard injuries
  • Taking boating education courses to master accident prevention practices

By staying informed, being proactive, and working closely with your insurance provider, you can confidently navigate the claims process and ultimately get back on the water sooner. 

This article and video are sponsored by Progressive Insurance®

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