It’s boating season. Don’t let an accident sink your summer fun.
If you own 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 have limited coverage for boats and may not cover injuries or accidents while you’re on the water. To make sure you’re covered for a boat injuries, theft and damage, buy a watercraft insurance policy.
Tunes ups are not 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 boats 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.vesseslssafetycheck.org.
Eight out of 10 boating fatalities happen with untrained captains at the wheel. Experts say most boating accidents could be prevented by an experienced driver. Make sure anyone who drives your boats is properly trained. You also can save up to 15 percent on some boat insurance policies by completing a safety course with the Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadron. Check with your insurance agent to ask if your boat policy offers such a discount.
Carbon monoxide kills in minutes. A typical engine puts our as much carbon monoxide as 188 automobiles – and passengers exposed to high levels can pass out in minutes.
Turn off your engine when there are people in the water and don’t let passengers “ski” by holding on to the back of the boat. You also can install a carbon monoxide detector for your boat for less than $100.
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 jut have life jackets aboard – you must wear them. In an accident, people rarely have time to reach for a life jacket. This rule applies to adults, too; more people in their 30’s die in boating accidents that any other age group. New lighter, more comfortable and attractive life jackets are available today, making it even easier to get a passenger to suit up.