One out of every three pleasure boats in Norway is uninsured, and experts warn that can ruin a household’s economy in case of an accident. A surprisingly high number of Norwegians, however, are now using life vests while on board.
A survey conducted by analysis bureau YouGov for insurance firm Codan Forsikring shows that only 57 percent of those questioned have insured their boats. Around a third said they don’t have insurance while around 15 percent said they were unsure whether the boat they used was insured.
Many assume their household insurance will cover their boats, but that’s not always the case, while others think their boats aren’t worth insuring. Still others, according to a report on state broadcaster NRK this week, said they think boat owners avoid the cost of insurance because it’s not mandatory.
It is now mandatory, meanwhile, to wear a life vest while on board a boat that’s less than 24-feet long. NRK reported that police in Norway have monitored 2,000 boats so far this summer and only issued citations in 68 cases nationwide, for failure to wear a life vest.
In the popular southern coastal town of Kragerø, police have only cited one boat passenger so far this summer for failing to wear a life vest. Local police are pleasantly surprised.
“It’s almost unbelievable, since the life vest rule is new,” Jon Aslak Moe, a police officer on board the local patrol boat in Kragerø. “We thought we’d have more to deal with here, but almost everyone is wearing vests now. That’s very good.”