As Boats Hit The Water, Cruise With Caution And Make Sure Safety Is Your Skipper
COUNTRY Financial® Offers Six Essentials For Safe Boating
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – If your holiday or summer plans include hitting the water on a powerboat, sail boat, or personal watercraft, you’ll be joining 141.6 million Americans who went boating and nearly a quarter million registered boats that will hit the water in Illinois, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Proper protections and safety procedures are two things to consider with your recreational vehicle as you look to add a splash of fun this summer.
As watercraft owners make sure their boat and family are protected, experts suggest they talk to their insurance agent to make sure the watercraft is properly insured. One recommendation is to consider that boat insurance may be a separate policy for extended coverage, or an addition to your home policy for limited coverage of smaller boats.
“In addition, depending on your policy, liability may already be included and helps protect you if someone is injured because of the operation of your boat, you damage someone’s property while operating your boat, or you’re sued for those injuries or damages and have legal defense costs,” said Jeremy Brewer, COUNTRY Financial National Home Product Manager. “However, larger boats often need their own or additional liability coverage. Boat owners should speak to their insurance agent to ensure they have the proper coverages for their personal situation.”
No matter the size of your watercraft, COUNTRY Financial Senior Loss Control Representative Eric Vanasdale, suggests boaters take these simple steps toward a safe summer experience to provide everyone some smooth sailing this summer:
- Know the weather - Storms on open water often intensify quickly. Always check the weather forecast before departing. If you see bad weather heading your way, wait for it to pass or keep your boat docked.
- Check your tow - The excitement of being on the water makes it easy to forget transporting your boat to it in the first place. Remember to maintain your truck and boat trailer - boat trailers are often neglected because they don’t get used often which could result in flat tires, mechanical failure or burnt-out lights.
- Stay Alert, Watch for Swimmers - Operate at a safe speed and always maintain a careful lookout. Keep an eye out for swimmers and keep a safe distance away from anyone who is in the water.
- Leave alcohol on dry land - A couple cold ones could impair your judgment quicker than you think - strong sun exaggerates alcohol’s affect. Boating while intoxicated is against the law and carries penalties similar to driving while intoxicated penalties, including possible Driver’s License suspension.
- Use life jackets and other safety devices - While no one expects a boating accident to happen, it’s always important to be prepared. Make sure you have a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) approved life jacket for each person onboard and one approved throwable device for any boat 16 feet or longer. The USCG estimates 80% of all boating fatalities could be prevented if victims wear lifejackets. You should also have a fire extinguisher, floating pouch with cell phone, maps, flares and first aid kit in case of emergencies.
- Safety Check - Have your vessel checked for safety. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers Vessel Safety Checks at no cost. Coast Guard staffers will check your boat's equipment and provide information about its use, safety procedures and applicable regulations. Unsafe boats are a threat to all recreational boaters. Make sure your vessel is as safe as possible. Visit the U.S. Coast Guard web site at http://www.uscg.mil for further information. Boaters are also encouraged to make sure they are aware of the state and municipal laws that may provide additional requirements for the body of water being used.
About COUNTRY Financial
COUNTRY Financial is a marketing name for COUNTRY Life Insurance Company®, COUNTRY Mutual Insurance Company® and their respective subsidiaries, located in Bloomington, IL. COUNTRY Financial serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States and offers a wide range of insurance and financial products and services.
Watercraft policies issued by COUNTRY Mutual Insurance Company®.