This year’s boating season has kicked off to a great start: Bright blue skies, glorious sunshine and summer-like temperatures during the past week or so have accompanied Washington’s boaters on their first spring cruises.
Keep yourself and your passengers safe with these 5 Tips:
(Find more information about Boating Safety over in our “Living Proactively” section.)
1. Always have a Float Plan!
Whether you are planning to be gone for the day or spending 2 weeks cruising down the coast, it is always a safe choice to fill out a Float Plan form with your itinerary and time of return, and leave it with a person of trust.
Instruct them to contact the Coast Guard or other rescue organization if you don’t check in as planned or within a certain time frame.
This is true for big boats, day trips, even kayakers, and especially when you head out by yourself.
2. Insist that Every Passenger Wear a Life Jacket
No matter the age, every person on your boat needs to wear a life jacket that is appropriate for their height and weight. Especially for children, be sure that the life jacket fits snugly and won’t slip over the child’s head.
3. Complete a Boater’s Education Class
Since the passage of this law in 2005, boating safety courses are mandatory for operators of boats with 15 or more horsepower. In 2013, all boaters aged 50 and under are required to have a boater’s education card. The course can be taken in classroom or online.
4. Get a Vessel Safety Check
The US Coast Guard Auxiliary and the US Power Squadrons offer free vessel safety checks at various locations. All you need to do is schedule an appointment.
5. Have Boat Insurance
A boat insurance policy covers liability and property damage in case of an accident. Some perils covered on a boat policy may include:
- Damage to your boat and/or marine equipment.
- Pollution damage due to fuel spills after an accident.
- Liability incurred by your boat hitting another boat, dock or swimmer.
- Medical expenses for injury to you and passengers as a result of a boating accident.
- Injury caused by a negligent uninsured boater.
Note: Boat policies vary from company to company. Not every boat policy will include every item above. Be sure to read your policy and check with your insurance agent for personalized information.
Many boat owners falsely believe that their boat is covered on their homeowner’s insurance policy. This is not true! Very few boats are covered on a standard Washington State homeowner’s insurance policy, and only under very special circumstances. Protect yourself on the water (and on the way to the water) with boat insurance.
About McClain Insurance Services:
McClain Insurance Services is an independent insurance agency located in Everett, WA. The agency has represented a number of regional and national insurance companies (including PEMCO, Safeco, Travelers and Progressive) since 1977. McClain Insurance Services offers great insurance options to customers in Snohomish County and Washington. Our convenient full-service website and team of licensed, professional brokers make insurance shopping personal, easy, quick and hassle-free.
Independent agents work with you to customize an insurance plan that meets your needs and fits your budget. They can help with all your personal insurance needs: Auto, Home, Renters, Life, Umbrella, Earthquake, Flood, Boat, Motorcycle and RV Insurance.
McClain Insurance Services is a Trusted Choice agency and a member of the Independent Agents Association of America, the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County, and the BBB. They are also Charter Members of NSACE – National Society of Agents for Consumer Education.