sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Boater liability - compulsory third party concept floated

Boater liability - compulsory third party concept floated

'Boating is about fun, but there are hazards too.'    . ©    Click Here to view large photo

A high profile case in the media across WA has shone the spotlight on the issue of compulsory third party insurance for boat owners, as lobby groups push for the state government to revamp laws to provide compensation for victims of boat accidents.

A Port Hedland teenager, Chantelle Schweikert-Norman, 19, was involved in an accident off Port Hedland last October in which she was thrown across a friend’s boat and sustained horrific injuries.

Ms Schweikert-Norman’s injuries were not covered by the boat’s third-party insurance policy because it only covered damage to property, not people. She needs $20,000 to pay for surgery.

Ms Schweikert-Norman has joined forces with Perth resident Kate Campbell, who was similarly injured in an accident in 2007, to use the media to speak out about their plight. The pair and their supporters are keen for a parliamentary inquiry into whether there should be a compulsory third-party insurance scheme to help pay the medical costs of people injured in boating accidents, similar to the scheme for motor vehicle accidents.

'We want this to go through because we know there are a lot of other (victims) out there but some of them haven’t got the voice or haven’t had the urge to get something pushed across,' Ms Schweikert-Norman said.

Ms Campbell, 23, was injured when a State MP’s son crashed his father’s boat into an unlit navigational marker south of Canning Bridge. She believes it’s ironic that boats are not covered by a third-party (person) insurance scheme, but the trailers used to take them to the water are.

Together, the women and their families hope to collect a petition of 10,000 signatures to have compensation laws changed and they are currently lobbying members of WA parliament.

The WA Department of Transport General Manager Marine Safety, David Harrod says that while the Department of Transport acknowledges discussions about the merits of introducing third party insurance, there are currently no plans to introduce such a scheme.

'There are more than 94,000 registered recreational vessels in WA and while third party insurance is not compulsory to register a vessel, it is available and is an option to be considered by individual boat owners.'

The BIA WA states that it categorically does not support any extra levy on boaters.

In a statement the organisation says it 'encourages all those who have boating insurance to examine their current policy and to speak to their insurers if they do not believe they have the cover they desire for their passengers'.

'As far as introducing compulsory third party insurance, there are a number of issues which would need to be addressed before any plans to introduce compulsory third party insurance could be contemplated, such as how would the scheme be made national, who would administer it and how much would it cost the individual boat owner?

'The BIAWA is always conscious of weighing up the cost imposts being placed on boaters and their real benefits to the majority of boaters. In this instance the BIAWA supports the Department of Transport position and will not seek the introduction of compulsory third party insurance for WA boaters.'

From the insurance industry standpoint, those in the business have seen the distress and duress which can result from claims against boat owners.

Mark Crockford, marketing manager Nautilus says that 'as an insurer, I would encourage boat owners to seek adequate cover to protect not just your boat, but to protect the boat owner for negligence, damage to property or injury to people'.

The issue is putting your own bricks and mortar on the line, he explains. 'There are a lot of boats out there that are not insured. People don’t understand, if you hurt somebody and impact their ability to work, it can equate to hundreds of thousands in lost income and that person is going to want it from somebody.

'Boat registration does not cover you for injury that you may do to other people. Society has become very litigious. People won’t hesitate to go to Court, chasing assets. For the sake of a couple of hundred dollars, you can cover yourself up to $10 million.'

But Crockford acknowledges that a compulsory system would be 'very hard to establish and gather support for'.
'If not compulsory, people should consider having third party as a minimum, then they have peace of mind if they damage property or cause injury to another person.'

Peter Ryan, National Underwriter for Club Marine agrees. 'Liability cover is a strongly recommended option, but should it be compulsory? That’s a vote for the community, not the insurance industry.'

As he explains: 'We see the consequences every day. It’s not fair on the uninitiated who might be out on a boat and not know the owner is uninsured. How would they know? It’s compulsory with cars. For the amount it would cost, compared to the peace of mind to protect the third party and the boat owner, it is a preferred option.'

Why is Sydney Harbour or any busy waterway different from our roads, Ryan ponders. 'If you have kids fishing, people on a boat ramp, a swimmer or somebody in connection with the boat who is injured, it comes back to the responsibility of the boat owner.'

Contemplating how a compulsory third party insurance fee system could operate, Ryan says that 'if it were compulsory, you would charge more for a high powered boat or jet ski than other types. But it’s something we haven’t even done a feasibility study on because we haven’t got the parameters.'

'It’s up to the government or state authority to make that call.'

In Queensland, Don Jones, Chief Executive Officer at Marine Queensland says the need for a third party-styled insurance 'may be difficult to substantiate'.

'It has been briefly canvassed at some recent coronial enquiries,' he says, adding that at this point, the statistical data does not support the need for this type of policy.

'Some of the issues in Queensland would include the need to further consider issues around operator licensing as well as vessel standards. Marine Queensland is increasingly of the view that vessel descriptions and licensing should have far stronger linkages to the types of waters that are proposed to be navigated, eg. smooth, partially smooth, etc.

'The forces for changes are coming from many and varied areas such as the Australian Consumer Law, Maritime safety requirements as well as general consumer sentiment and expectation.'




by Jeni Bone

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=91034

1:31 AM Tue 22 Nov 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


News - USA and the World





























ISAF Sailing World Championships - Watch medal races live here by Dan Ibsen, Sail-World Europe & UK editor,








470 Men and Women Worlds - Vadlau and Ogar into pole position by 470 International Association Class,




ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Strong competition for RS:X fleets by Olga Maslivets, International RS:X Class Assoc.,


























2014 Chicago Match Cup - Starts tomorrow
Rio 2016 Daylight the issue for Olympic sailing regatta
ISAF Sailing World Championships - USA 470's and Lasers battle at top
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 5 video highlights
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander images by Jesús Renedo
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup - No action on day 2
470 Men and Women Worlds - Game on for Olympic Qualification
ISAF Sailing World Championships: Finns off to slow start in Santander
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Seesaw Day 5 in Santander + Video
ISAF Sailing World Championships - 470 sailors shine in Santander
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Kiwi Ray Davies returns to TP52 fleet
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam - No windsurfing action on day 1
A complete recap of the most successful Melges 20 World Championship
Rolex Big Boat Series - Prizegiving images by Chuck Lantz
ISAF Santander - Upwards path for Austrian women's 470 crew + video
18ft skiffs: Carnage compilation from the glory days of the Grand Prix
ISAF Worlds: Video from the British Sailing Team
Bart's Bash expected to set new records this weekend
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup - Marcilio Browne wins Super Session
470 Men and Women World Championships - Racing abandoned on day 2
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 4 images from Santander   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Emerging Nations Program sailors shine   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Teasing winds play havoc on day 4   
ISAF Sailing World Championships: Hot conditions in Santander on day 4   
Santander ISAF Sailing World Championships joins Bart’s Bash   
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup - Grounded fishing boat creates problems   
Marseille One Design - GC32 Armin Strom Sailing Team emerge victorious   
Rolex Big Boat Series 2014 - Ready for another 50 years   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 4   
2014 Rolex Swan Cup - Eleventh-hour victories   
Extreme Sailing Series - Kiwis clinch Act win in Istanbul + Video   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Two long races today for the J70 fleet   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Impressive to sail out of the Golden Gate   
Extreme Sailing Series - Istanbul delivers four days of great racing   
ISAF Sailing Worlds Santander - Day 3 images by Sail-World.com   
Extreme Sailing Series: Emirates Team NZ bounces back for series win   
Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds - Light winds and current test six classes   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Solid Day 3 for US Sailing Team   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 3 images by Jesus Renedo   
Marseille One Design 2014 - GC32 Armin Strom blitzes final day   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT