We’re right in the thick of summer, and boat owners should all be assessing their insurance needs if they do not carry boat insurance already.
If you have a boat, you need boat insurance. Some people assume their homeowners’ policy is all they need to protect their boat. Not true. Typically, homeowners policies limited coverage for boats and may not cover injuries or accidents while you’re on the water. To make sure you’re covered for boat injuries, theft and damage, buy a watercraft insurance policy.
Tune ups aren’t just for cars. When you’re out on the water, make sure your gas tanks are vented and bilges are free of vapors, oil, waste and grease. Carry a fire extinguisher and keep it charged.
Have your boat’s operating systems checked at least once a year by a certified marine technician. The Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons also offer free vessel safety checks. For information, go to www.vesselsafetycheck.org.
Eight out of 10 boating fatalities happen with untrained captains on the wheel. Experts say most boating accidents could be prevented by an experienced driver. Make sure anyone who drives your boat is properly trained. You also can qualify for discounts on your boat insurance by completing a safety course with the Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons.
Life preservers aren’t just for kids. Hundreds of people drown in boating accidents every year – and nearly all of them were not wearing a life jacket. It’s not enough to just have life jackets on board – you must wear them. In an accident, people rarely have time to reach for a life jacket. The rule applies for adults, too; more people in their 30′s die in boating accidents than any other age group. New lighter, more comfortable and attractive life jackets available today, making it even easier to get passengers to suit up.