Whenever you take passengers out on your boat, you’re facing liability risks. There’s always a chance that a passenger could get injured while on your boat.
Boat insurance often covers personal injury liabilities and medical payments. That means that if you or someone else gets hurt while on your boat, then you might turn to your insurance. Boat insurance can provide injured parties with financial help while that person recovers. Insurance may also help a boat owner fight any unfounded legal claims made against them.
But, if passengers gets hurt because the policyholder didn’t protect them, insurance may not cover the claims. The boat owner might not have followed proper safety precautions. If that’s the case, the boat owner may have to fight legal actions or pay damage claims out of pocket.
The different stages of a water cruise come with different risks. As passengers get on and off the boat, they are putting themselves in harm’s way. There’s always a chance that someone could fall, go overboard or otherwise hurt themselves during embarkation.
Your duty to passengers starts from the time they arrive at the dock to the time they step off your boat. Any injuries that happen during that time could be your fault. Take safety practices into account when loading and unloading passengers:
- Require lifejackets. In most localities this is the law. Depending on local rules, passengers may need to don life jackets before boarding a craft.
- Make sure that passengers only get on and off the boat in the designated loading and unloading areas.
- Keep passengers away from sensitive equipment like fuel and engine tanks while boarding.
- You or your staff should be on hand to assist passengers as they board. Help anyone who needs assistance. Point out proper ways to board and get off the boat.
- Ensure that gangways or boarding stairs are correctly attached to the craft. Make sure that these attachments are properly fitted to your boat. They should not be too big or too small.
- Keep the boat tightly secured to the dock. Use strong mooring ropes and make sure that dock mooring masts are in good condition.
- Load any large luggage or parcels yourself, or enlist a team to help you. Don’t allow passengers to carry items that compromise their balance or safety. This could lead to accidents.
- Remind passengers to stay seated and stay away from the edges of the boat while others board. Tell passengers not to crowd entry and exit ramps.
As a final tip, give passengers a boat safety demo as soon as everyone is aboard. Don’t shove off until passengers know the rules.
The right precautions will protect you from insurance claims on your boat insurance. Make sure that passengers get on and off your boat in a safe way.
Casey Insurance Group can get you Miami boat insurance that will protect you at all stages of your voyage. Give us a call at (888) 537-1412 for more information.