Most home insurance policies have limited coverage for boats. If you own a boat, watercraft insurance is your best bet. It covers theft, damage, and injuries or accidents while you're on the water, as well as some of your expensive watersports gear.
Every summer our team gets calls from customers after a fun weekend on the water takes a turn for the worse. Often these accidents could have been prevented with just a few simple precautions. Here are a few tips we like - courtesy of our partners at Safeco.
Always check local weather conditions before departure. TV and radio forecasts can be a good source of information. If you notice darkening clouds, volatile and rough changing winds, or sudden drops in temperature, play it safe by getting off the water.
Life Preservers Aren't Just for Kids.
It's not enough to just have life jackets on board - wear them! In an accident, people rarely have time to reach for a life jacket. This rule applies to adults, not just children. More people in their 30's die in boating accidents then any other age group. Life vests have come a long way in the style category, and you can even get vests for your water-loving dog!
Watch the Back of the Boat.
Carbon monoxide kills in minutes. Tell your passengers where your exhaust pipes are located, and turn off your engine when people are in the water. Don't let passengers "ski" or "teak-surf" by holding on to the back of the boat. Carbon monoxide detectors are standard on most new boats; you can install devices on older boats for less than $100.
Alcohol and Boating Don't Mix.
More than 50% of drownings result from boating accidents involving alcohol. You don't drink and drive your car, so don't drink and drive your boat.
Boats Need TLC Too.
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 charged fire extinguisher. Have your boat's operating systems checked yearly by a certified marine technician.
The U.S. Coast Guard reports that operator error accounts for 70% of all boating accidents. Make sure anyone who drives your boat is properly trained. You can also earn boat insurance discounts from many insurers if you complete a boating safety course.
Contact us at ALINK Insurance Services for any of your insurance needs or questions, and stay safe this summer!