A Study in "Hurt" Boats: The Top Ten Costliest Ways Boats Come To Grief

Putting Thousands of BoatUS Insurance Claims Files Under a  Microscope

ALEXANDRIA, Va., October 23, 2013 – It’s a cross between the CSI and Cold Case TV show crime dramas: taking a look back through the  thousands of dusty, old settled boat insurance claims files to identify  patterns that can teach today’s boaters how to avoid becoming a statistic.  That’s exactly what the BoatUS Marine Insurance publication, Seaworthy, did in the recent feature,  “Top Ten BoatUS Marine Insurance Program Claims,” which appears in the October 2013 issue.
“The last time BoatUS did such a detailed analysis was in 2005,  and this kind of information is not available from anyone else in the industry,”  said Seaworthy Editor Beth Leonard, “The time seemed right to revisit our  findings and share them with boaters so they can learn from other’s mistakes.”  Here’s the list of the top ten claims in terms of dollar value over the last  eight years, along with some tips that could help prevent becoming a statistic,  or if you’re simply unlucky, lessen the damage: 
#10. Lightning: Make sure to haul out  your boat after a lightning strike to check for “exit wounds” that can  compromise the hull’s integrity.
#9. Theft: 90% of boats are stolen on  their trailers. Make it as difficult as possible to simply hitch up and run.
#8. Injury: Many injury claims involve  inexperienced guests. Be sure to warn your non-boating friends about wakes,  waves, slippery surfaces, and other hazards.
#7. Grounding: Accurate charts – whether  paper, electronic, or on a mobile device – and a depth sounder are your best  defense against grounding.
#6. Collision: Most collisions result  from some combination of three factors: inattention, blind spots, and too much  speed.
#5. Fire/explosion: Faulty wiring causes  most fires; most explosions result from fueling issues.
#4. Striking a submerged object: If you  hear a loud clunk from down under, stop and look in the bilge, and, if you find  any water coming in, haul out the boat to check for structural damage as soon  as possible.
#3. Weather/wind: Keeping your boat in a  well-protected location away from trees is the best way to protect it from  non-hurricane weather damage.
#2. Sinking: Check, squeeze, and tug all  fittings below the waterline at least once a season to make sure your boat  stays afloat.
#1. Hurricane: A well thought out  hurricane plan can keep your boat safe in all but the most extreme storms (see www.BoatUS.com/hurricanes).
Go to www.BoatUS.com/toptenclaims for the full story.


About  BoatUS:
BoatUS – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the  nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a  million members with government representation, programs and money-saving  services including towing services and boat insurance. It’s Damage Avoidance  Program, a BoatUS member benefit, helps boaters learn how to prevent injury or  vessel damage using real-world examples from the BoatUS Marine Insurance claims  files and other boating safety resources. All BoatUS Insureds receive a  subscription to Seaworthy, with pages  filled with case studies that provide insight into how to avoid accidents,  breakdowns, injuries and the “unexpected” circumstances that can  jeopardize the safety of your boat and guests. For information about BoatUS, the BoatUS  Marine Insurance program or to get a free quote online, go to www.BoatUS.com/insurance  or call 800-283-2883.

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