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AAA Insurance shares boating safety tips
By AAA of Western and Central New York
National Safe Boating Week runs May 20-26, 2023, and with the recent heat wave, many Western and Central New Yorkers are looking to hit area waterways. AAA Western and Central New York urges safety on the water. Just like driving a car, operating a boat is a big responsibility and should be done with the utmost caution.
AAA also recommends boater’s insurance to keep boaters protected. A common misconception that boat owners have is that their boat, trailer, and onboard items are automatically covered, either by an existing homeowner’s insurance policy or auto insurance policy. But the truth is that most homeowner or auto policies don’t cover physical damage, liability, or theft when your boat is on the water.
“Boaters should work with a licensed insurance agent to make sure they have a clear understanding of where they are covered and where they may need additional protection before heading out on the water,” said Mike Treantis, director of insurance at AAA Western and Central New York. “And it’s important to review your insurance policy annually before boating season resumes.”
Below are some safety tips to ensure a good day on the water:
√ Take boating safety instruction and get a nationally approved boating safety education certificate. Seven out of 10 boating incidents are caused by operator error.
√ Wear a life jacket – always. And make sure every passenger does so as well.
√ Don’t drink – for the same reasons you don’t drink and drive on land.
√ Check the weather before you go and keep an eye on it while you’re on the water. Weather can go from delightful to dangerous abruptly. So, stay safe and get off the water quickly if you see bad weather approaching.
√ Have an emergency kit on the boat (stored safely so it does not become a hazard) equipped with a flashlight, duct tape, a bucket, a first aid kit, a whistle, ropes, a mirror, a fire extinguisher, and extra life jackets.
√ Adhere to the boat’s capacity restriction and keep the weight on the boat balanced.
√ Learn the rules of the water and use common sense when operating a boat. Pay attention to the moves of other boaters on the water to avoid collisions or dangerous wakes.
√ Don’t forget sunscreen and water and know the signs of heat illness.
Watercraft insurance policies provided through AAA cover various types of watercraft: powerboat, sport-fisher, sailboat, mid-performance boat, high-performance boat, bass boat, pontoon boat, ski boat, hovercraft, trawler, houseboat, airboat, and personal watercraft. Discounts on watercraft insurance policies may also be offered based on watercraft ownership experience.
You can find more insurance tips and information at www.AAA.com/Insurance.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 862,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.