Bodily Injury What you need to know

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Tuesday Tips – Understanding Boat Insurance

We will cover several terms in the typical boat policy.  Boat insurance is often not regulated like a home insurance or auto insurance policy.  In fact most states don’t require minimum limits of coverage; making it even more important to understand your risks.
Why have boat insurance?  The most common answer is in case my boat is damaged or stolen. That is important especially for your loan holder.  However, the other reason is incase people are injured.
Our Second Tuesday Tip:  Bodily Injury
*Please review your policy as not all policies in the boat insurance world are created equal.

Bodily Injury (BI)

Bodily Injury claims are different from Medical Pay claims.  Bodily Injury claims are subject to “fault”, where as he Medical Payments are meant to be made as goodwill to take care of an injured party of your boat. If you, anyone in your household or anyone you’ve given permission to use your watercraft is deemed to be at fault of another’s injury, due to an accident or negligence, The Fault/Negligence is the critical piece to (BI).

*Read your policy to know if there is language about who may operate your watercraft.  That can be a whole other issue.  Also, you or anyone you allow to operate your boat should know how to safely operate your watercraft, they should know the rules and laws of the area they will be operating the craft.
Since Bodily Injury claims involve lawyers, your defense costs are also covered by the policy.  Defense costs are typically in addition to the policy limits.  Injury and death judgments are climbing any judgment above your limits are your personal responsibility. 
Remember start with the Medical Payments not to admit fault, just to provide treatment.  Determination of fault is not your responsibility it is determined by the police, Coast Guard, Legal System, etc.  Take care of the injured party first as “Goodwill”.
The legal system will determine negligence. In some cases one party is 100% at fault in other cases there can be shared responsibility and settlements may be split, based on the amount of fault each party has in the incident, often based on the state statute.

As before, Promptly contact your agent or the carrier when someone is injured on your boat, including boarding and off boarding or injured by your boat. 

At Charter Lakes we do have after hours emergency claims for emergency claims handling.  Any non-emergency claim should be called in the next business day.

Be Safe
Charter Lakes