Unfortunately accidents on the water do happen. On average there are166 boating-related deaths per yearin Canada with alcohol being present in more than 50% of them. Avoiding poor conditions staying sober and wearing lifejackets saves lives. If you are involved in a boating accident here’s what to do:
Ensure That Everyone is Okay
It’s important to keep a fully stocked first aid kit on your boat and a good idea to take first aid training yourself. After an accident check that everyone is okay. Remember that some injuries are masked due to adrenaline or hard-to-see symptoms.
Contact the Authorities
If anyone is injured or there is property damage you should contact the emergency services. In Alberta this would be 911.
Often insurers require a police report to process a claim.
Document and Details
Document the damage with photos and video if you can. Write down the details such as time of day weather conditions and any other relevant information to the accident.
You should also get the name address and phone number of the other party as well as the boat name and hull ID number. You’ll also want to get their insurance information such as policy number and insurance company.
If there are any witnesses get their names and contact information. If they’re willing ask for a written statement.
Submit a Claim
Once you’re back on dry land it’s time to submit a claim. If you weren’t able to before make sure you document the damage.
Contact your insurance company or your broker. They will help you start a claim. They will ask for all of the details above so be sure to have it available. It’s also a good idea to keep backups of any photos videos witness statements and communications.
While it’s best to avoid being in an accident sometimes it happens. Being prepared with what to do in such a situation will help keep you calm and help speed up the claims process.