“With the start of this year’s boating season, there are plenty of simple things boaters can do to protect themselves, their passengers and their property,” said local Allstate agent Andrew J. McCabe. “From following basic safety measures to re-evaluating their insurance coverage, boaters can enjoy a memorable and fun season while making it safe for everyone.”
Boating safety starts with one of the easiest measures – simply wearing a life jacket, a practice Allstate has endorsed for years.
Although the law requires boaters to carry Coast Guard approved life jackets on board their vessels, 90 percent of all boaters who drown are not wearing life jackets.
Allstate recommends all captains take the Allstate Safe Boaters Pledge this year. In addition to making the wearing of life jackets a rule, the pledge – approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Safe Boating Council – recommends the following steps:
• Take a boating education course
• Don’t mix drinking and boating
• Know the weather and water conditions
• File a boat plan, and give the information to a friend or relative who can call for help if your don’t return as scheduled
• Observe the nautical rules-of-the-road, including speed limits
• Get a courtesy vessel safety check
• Report emergencies via channel 16 on a marine VHF-FM radio
• Don’t discharge oil, trash or sewage into the water
• Properly insure your boat and make sure it has sufficient coverage
Although laws don’t require insurance for boats the same way they do for cars, the numbers make a compelling case for boat insurance. Through October 2007, the national average boat-liability claim was $23,583, and the average physical damage claim was $5,214, according to Allstate’s watercraft-line claim files.
“Boat insurance can help protect you from unexpected expenses that could reach well into the thousands,” McCabe said. “Allstate offers a variety of options that provide security and peace of mind.”
Boat insurance should cover physical damage to your boat, motor or trailer; offer medical payment coverage in case someone is injured; and provide liability protection in case someone gets hurt or injured while boating.
With a long track record of providing comprehensive and affordable boat insurance, Allstate has the experience, knowledge and options to customize your coverage and help keep costs down. For starters, in some states, take an approved boating safety course and you’ll save 5 percent off your insurance. And if you have other Allstate insurance, your premiums can come down even more.
With Allstate, you don’t need exotic riders if you take your boat on a trip – we provide coverage across the U.S. up to 100 nautical miles of the United States and Canada. And while some companies exclude accidents that occur in tournaments or competitions, Allstate’s policies can provide coverage of boats in fishing tournaments.
Our coverage includes wreck removal coverage that helps cover the cost of removing your boat after an accident, and emergency services coverage for those instances when you breakdown and need a tow.
Other options include:
• An “agreed value” option that provides non-depreciated coverage
• Uninsured watercraft coverage that protects you if you’re hit by someone without insurance
• Personal effects coverage that includes things like expensive fishing equipment, water skis and other recreational and personal items
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