Protect Yourself and Your Passengers this Boating Season
Summer is on its way and many people in and around Central New York will be heading out on the water to enjoy the beautiful Lake Ontario and Finger Lakes. You can have plenty of fun this summer, and still be safe out on the water. It’s important to protect yourself and the passengers on your watercraft this boating season.
In 2012, the Coast Guard showed that there were 650 boating fatalities in the US. This was down nearly three percent from the year before.
The decrease in fatalities is due mostly to life vests and other measures such as boaters’ safety courses. However, alcohol was cited as the main contributing factor in boating accidents that ended in fatalities. Other factors included: inattentive operators, inexperienced operators, machine failure, and high speeds.
It is important to review insurance coverage when it comes to boats and other forms of watercraft.
There is no coverage under a home policy for yachts, large boats, wave runners, jet skis and similar watercraft. This is why separate boat coverage is so valuable. The fittings, machinery, hull and furnishings are all included with physical damage coverage.
They are covered up to a predetermined amount, and these added policies offer protection for the following:
- Damage to another person’s property
- Injuries to other people
- Injuries to boat passengers or the boat owner
- Any legal expenses resulting from another person using the boat without permission.
Even if a person has good insurance coverage, there are several tips experts provide to assist people in avoiding the need to file claims:
- Let another person know that a boating trip is planned, and give an estimated return time
- Check the weather before planning a boating trip and before heading out.
- Do not overload the boat, and always make sure weight is evenly distributed.
- Do not operate a boat or allow anyone else to operate one under the influence of alcohol.
- Ensure all passengers to wear life vests at all times.
- Make sure oars, fresh water, a tool kit, a first aid kit, flares, a radio and a flashlight are kept on the boat at all times.