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Alabama Boating Laws and Regulations: An Overview

In Alabama and several other US states, any individual aged 12 and older who intends to operate a motorized boat needs to seek education. Those who are between 12 and 13 years need to be supervised by another person who is at least 21 years of age and capable of taking immediate control of the boat if necessary. Do note that completing a boating course is different from actually having a boating license.

Operators who meet any of the following criteria need not get a boating certification:

  • With a legal US Coast Guard Motorboat Operator’s License
  • Successfully accomplished a safe boating course approved by the ALEA Marine Police Division or a similar course offered by US Power Squadrons or the US Coast Guard Auxiliary
  • Aged 40 years or older as of April 28, 1994.

You need to register a boat within 72 hours after its purchase. Most powered watercraft (sailboats, mechanically propelled vessels, rental boats) must be registered in Alabama, except for the following:

  • Non-motorized boats
  • Boat trailers
  • Are registered and kept in another state (Note: Boats are allowed to operate for 90 days or less.)
  • With temporary certificates of number
  • Registered in another country and just temporarily operating in Alabama
  • A ship’s lifeboats
  • Owned by a government entity/agency
  • Have a commercial documentation with the US Coast Guard

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) also provides boat certification to ensure adherence to the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) standards. Around 90% of boats are built to ABYC Standards.

A boat safety course is usually taken by operators to save on their personal watercraft (PWC) or boat insurance. Insurance companies acknowledge the less likelihood of filing a claim for those who have taken the effort to commit to safety education and thus are open to lowering boat insurance rates. To guarantee the best possible premiums, consult with your insurance agent first before signing up.

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

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Tropical Storm & Hurricane Preparations for Condominium Associations

 

TROPICAL STORM / HURRICANE PREPARATION

CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATIONS

 

  • Provide Whitehaven with the name of the current insurance contact representing your association. (Name, Phone Numbers, and E-mail Address)
  • If you have a catastrophe contract with a general contractor contact them to assist you in securing your property when and if it becomes necessary.
  • Place loose unsecured items inside the building or storage unit. (Pool/Patio Furniture, Trash Cans, Signs etc.)
  • Place loose unsecured private property inside the individual units. (Patio Furniture, Plants, Door Mats etc.)
  • Raise elevators to the highest floor and shut down power.
  • Protect glass doors and windows with storm shutters or plywood if possible.

 

POST STORM

 

  • Contact Whitehaven to report damage. (Phone Numbers provided below)
  • Go ahead and make repairs to prevent further damage. (Make sure to take plenty of pictures and keep all receipts for the adjuster so you can include the temporary repair expenses in your claim)
  • Do not make permanent repairs until an insurance adjuster sees the property and advises you on what steps to take.
  • Provide the adjuster with current contact information of the insurance contact representing your association. (Name, Phone Numbers, and E-mail Address) This will allow the adjuster to work with one person from the association which will prevent confusion and help expedite the claim.

WHITEHAVEN CONTACT INFORMATION

 

www.whitehaveninsurance.com

 

Whitehaven Insurance Gulf Shores Office                  (251) 967-3323

Whitehaven Insurance Atlanta Office                          (770) 267-3323

Please report claims to the office numbers or through our website

 

 

EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION

 

Name                        E-mail Address                                                       Direct Line**

 

Lance Alexander         lance.alexander@whitehaveninsurance.com            (251) 967-1107

Debbie Gibson             debbie.gibson@whitehaveninsurance.com               (251) 968-3407

Cindy Gooch                cindy.gooch@whitehaveninsurance.com                  (251) 967-3426

Scott Harris                 scott.harris@whitehaveninsurance.com                   (251) 967-3425

Dora Hartsock             dora.hartsock@whitehaveninsurance.com               (251) 967-5206

Kelly Henderson          kelly.henderson@whitehaveninsurance.com            (251) 968-3404

John Sadlis                  john.sadlis@whitehaveninsurance.com                     (251) 424-1758

Barbara Schillace        barbara.schillace@whitehaveninsurance.com          (251) 968-3406

Crystal Sizemore         crystal.sizemore@whitehaveninsurance.com           (251) 967-1079

Debbie Walters           debbie.walters@whitehaveninsurance.com              (251) 968-3406

Bruce White                bruce.white@whitehaveninsurance.com                   (770) 267-3323

 

**Direct lines are transferred to the agent’s cell phone

 

 

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Car Insurance and Watercraft Insurance: How Do They Differ?

Boating is a recreational activity mainly done by the middle-class and has always been associated with adventure, bonding, and fun. According to the 2014 National Marine Manufacturers Association data, 35.7% of the US population, equivalent to 87.3 million Americans, participated in recreational boating at least once in 2014. With the enjoyment of such hobby comes the responsibility of protecting the vessel. A basic knowledge of what differentiate watercraft insurance from car insurance will help you decide the type of insurance you need for your boat:

Image source: The Watercraft Journal

  1. Car insurance protects the vehicle for its market value regardless of what is involved in the loss. On the other hand, mort watercraft insurance policies offer a predetermined and agreed value regardless of depreciation on the vessel. Thus, you will get payment for the cost of the boat at the time of purchase.
  2. Insurance for boats can be put on hold, unlike cars which need to be insured as long as they are registered under the owner’s name. This saves money especially if you rarely use your boat. Just remember not to take your boat out when it is not covered during that month.
  3. There are areas that restrict entry of boats and thus will not be included in your coverage. Make sure that you are aware where these areas are.
  4. Except for New Hampshire, all states have ordained mandatory car insurance liability laws. In fact, it is considered illegal in 50 states to drive without the proper car insurance. Though not mandatory, insurance for pleasure boats is usually required if you have a loan using the vessel as collateral. Some marinas also require liability insurance.

To save money on watercraft insurance, follow these tips:

  1. Shop around and get specific with your needs.
  2. Avail of policy discounts on safety features.
  3. Enroll yourself in a boating class. Having a certification can offer savings on your policy.
  4. Stretch out your lay-up period. Insurers can cut your premium if there are specific months that you will not use the boat.
  5. Finally, deal with an insurer that is capable of offering effective options specific to your needs. Whitehaven Insurance can deliver that for you. Get a quote now and enjoy a worry-free adventure the next time you are out on the waters.
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Ease Your Way In To The Stock Market

Heads up, you know darned well that you have to do something with your money. Something besides enjoying your weekends and getting your hands on the latest electronic gadget. That something, as you have probably already figured out is about getting up close and personal with the world of investments.

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True or False? — It Takes Money to Make Money

The short answer is YES; of course it takes money to make money. To make money in the stock market, you must have money to make the initial stock purchases. Starting a business requires money to buy inventory, marketing materials, office space and equipment. Even lottery winners had to have the seed money required to buy the ticket. The only exceptions that come to mind are inheriting, stealing or finding money.

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Wealth Building Tips for Millennials

Millennial! Another of those media driven buzzwords, used to label those between the ages of 18 and 34, while the term Gen Xers define those between 35 and 50 years of age. Boomers, the group to which I belong, are those 51 through 69. This post covers 8 key pieces of advice I proffer to this generation.

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Top Budget Hacks for Planning and Accounting

Something most rags-to riches stories have in common is that a good budget is always needed to help anyone achieve financial security. If you want to significantly improve your credit, you have to learn how to pace your spending and increase your savings. No matter how much money you have, there will always be something you can spend it all on and become dead broke again.

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Tips for Avoiding an Out of Money Experience

Do you run out of money before you run out of month? Many do, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Wealth is the result of widening the gap between what you earn and what you spend. Most of us make the mistake of ramping up our spending as our disposable incomes rise. This is self-defeating. If you do not develop a respect for money, it will always elude you.

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