A collision with a boat dock, a bent propeller or a blown engine that leaves you stranded can turn fun on the water into frustration.
Nationwide understands that you want to get your boat or personal watercraft back into working order and your insurance claim settled quickly.
If you are involved in a boating accident:
- Stop the engine.
- Make sure everyone is wearing a life jacket and check for injuries.
- If your boat is leaking or flooding:
- Turn on the bilge pumping system if you have one.
- Use your bailers or manual bilge pumps to try to keep the boat afloat.
- Summon help using your VHF marine radio or emergency signals. Give your location and a description of your craft to the person you contact.
- Assist the other boat and its passengers if possible.
- Exchange name, address and boat identification with any other operator involved in the collision.
- Take pictures to document damages for your insurance claim.
Starting a watercraft claim
You may start a claim online or by calling our On Your Side® Claims Service at 1-800-421-3535. Please have your name, address, telephone number and policy number handy.
A Nationwide claims representative will gather any essential information, review your insurance policy, and explain coverages in your policy and your deductible.
The representative will walk you through the claims process and answer any questions related to your claim.
Minor claims may be handled over the phone and payment issued immediately. Depending on the extent of the damage, however a claims representative may need to inspect your boat or personal watercraft, document the damage and provide you with a detailed written estimate of the damage.
In some cases, you may receive payment immediately after the inspection is completed.
Settling and closing your claim
Once your damages have been estimated and reviewed with you, we’ll issue final payment under the terms of your policy, minus any deductible amount you’re responsible for paying.
The payment you receive is based on the coverage you purchased and the severity of the damage.
Is my boat or Personal Watercraft (PWC) damage covered?
Nationwide protects recreational boats, valued up to $350,000, including bass boats, sailboats, cabin cruisers, pontoon boats and ski boats – both on the water and on the road.
Like homeowners insurance, a boat policy may cover you for liability if someone is injured on your craft. Like auto insurance, boat coverage may pay for:
- Bodily injury that your boat causes others.
- Damage to docks and other boats caused by your vessel.
- Damage to your boat if you hit something or run aground.
Available options may cover theft, vandalism, fire and flood, personal property coverage for your fishing gear, uninsured boater insurance and even roadside assistance if you need a tow.
Boating safety tips to help you stay safe
Check local weather conditions with TV, internet or radio forecasts before heading out.
Make sure more than one person on board is familiar with your boat’s handling, operations and general boating safety – in case the primary navigator is incapacitated.
Tell a family member or your marina your itinerary, boat registration information, number of passengers and types of communication and signal equipment onboard.
Check your state for boating education requirements and take a safe boating course.
Take advantage of vessel safety checks from the U.S. Coast Guard or another approved waterways authority.