We are lucky to live in one of the few states in our nation not covered in snow and ice at this time. And we know how to enjoy our great (almost year-round) sunny weather, much to the envy of those living in the Midwest and on the East Coast. But hey, it’s not our fault we’re smart enough to live where the living’s good!
And that’s why we wanted to post about boats and marinas. With a very long coastline, California has several marinas up and down the coast, and Orange County itself features Dana Point Harbor, Newport Harbor and Davenport Marina in Huntington Beach. The point is that not all of Orange County or California residents own boats, but we definitely have access to them.
So, if you own a boat, there are a few things you should know about, especially in regards to insurance. Boats are costly hobbies, and that’s probably why the saying goes that the two best days of owning a boat are the day you buy it—and the day you sell it. We’ll let you know if that’s true if we ever buy one!
- It’s not always safe. In 2013, there were 4,062 recreational boating accidents that caused 560 deaths; 2,620 injuries; and almost $40 million in property damages.
- There’s five top reasons all those accidents happened in 2013: Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed and machinery failure. (We’re pretty sure a few of those may have been alcohol-related.)
- But happily, that’s less than 2012: Boating accidents decreased by 10 percent, deaths by 14 percent and injuries by 12.7 percent. Good news!
- It’s California—be clean. Although most marine policies offer coverage for pollution, not everyone buys it. And that will be costly, especially if the boat sinks and spills oil or fuel. But that’s not the only pollution facing California Marinas at the moment—there’s human waste and copper paint on the bottom of boats. Check with your marina; they may require you to have this coverage.
- What a wreck. Yep, if that boat sinks, especially in a navigable waterway, it’s your responsibility to get it out of the way. And if you don’t have wreck removal coverage, your bank account could have a serious leak.
- Jet-setting? Did you spring for a couple of jet skis instead of the yacht? That’s good budgeting, but be warned that they are the most frequently stolen watercraft. There were 5,537 watercraft thefts in the U.S. in 2013; that’s down 6 percent from 2012.
- We’re not the worst. California has about half of the watercraft thefts that Florida does (628 vs 1,310 in 2013), followed by Texas (382), Washington (208) and Georgia (182).
- Pulling ahead. Are you transporting that boat or those jet skis? Are you insured if you back that trailer into a Ferrari? Make sure your policy covers accidents and damage when you’re towing equipment—that means motorcycles and ATVs, too.
Have any questions? We’re always here for you, whether you have your policy with us or not. Just give us a call on 714-838-1911 during our office hours, and a real live person will pick up the phone to help you. And if you’re going out on the water this weekend, have a great time! Just be careful.