PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Recreational boating activity soars during warm weather months, and so do boating accidents and injuries. According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s “Boating Statistics 2013,”1 the most recent year available, there were nearly 12 million registered recreational boats in the United States. With so many boaters enjoying the waterways, it is no surprise that more than 4,000 boating accidents, involving more than 5,400 vessels, were reported in 2013, with far more accidents that go unreported each year. In addition, more than 2,600 people required medical treatment beyond first aid and 560 died as a result of boating accidents. The total property damage in 2013 from reported accidents increased to approximately $39 million.
Though the statistics are alarming, the risk of boating injuries and accidents can be minimized. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the vast majority of reported incidents involved factors that were within the control of boat operators. To help reduce the number of preventable accidents this boating season, ACE Recreational Marine Insurance, one of the nation’s largest recreational marine insurance providers, and part of ACE Group, has released an updated list of the top ten tips to help recreational boaters stay safe.
“As you would expect, most boating fatalities occur when the waterways are most crowded with recreational boaters - more than 70 percent occurred between May and September,” said Damon R. Hostetter, Senior Vice President, ACE Recreational Marine Insurance. “That so many of these accidents are preventable only compounds the tragedy. Safe boating should be the aim of all boaters and comes from ongoing education and training, as well as hands-on boating experience. Understanding and obeying navigational rules and safety procedures have proven to help reduce injuries and property damage,” said Mr. Hostetter.
ACE Recreational Marine Top Ten Recreational Boating Safety Tips
According to Mr. Hostetter, educated and prepared recreational boaters can result in greater overall boating safety. “Another important preparation is to have reliable and comprehensive insurance in place. Few people would drive a car without adequate insurance, yet countless recreational boaters take this risk,” he noted.
Boat owners can insure for physical damage coverage to repair or replace the boat if it’s damaged or destroyed by a myriad of causes including running aground, fire, theft, lightning, or windstorm. Boat owners may be unaware that liability insurance can provide important coverage including obligations to pay for bodily injury, property damage and pollution as a result of the ownership, operation or maintenance of the watercraft. They can also protect themselves and their passengers by purchasing insurance that will cover medical expenses that become necessary due to bodily injury while the person is boarding, aboard, off-loading or being towed behind the watercraft.
Another point to consider is that boat owners can also have their vessel checked for safety—for free. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons offer Vessel Safety Checks at no cost. Since unsafe boats are a threat to all recreational boaters, it’s important for boat owners to make sure their vessel is as safe as possible. For more information, visit the U.S. Coast Guard web site athttp://www.uscgboating.org/fedreqs/default.html.
In addition to the boating safety tips above, ACE offers other free preparation guides and information on a wide range of safety and loss prevention topics. Please visit www.acemarineinsurance.com to download these safety brochures, by selecting “Pleasure Boats and Yachts” on the homepage, and clicking on the “Safety and Loss Prevention Tips” link in the “Boater Learning Center” section.
ACE Recreational Marine Insurance, part of ACE Private Risk Services, has been serving marine clients for more than 200 years, since 1792 when its predecessor company wrote its first marine insurance policy in the United States. ACE offers exceptional all-risk insurance coverage to protect the entire spectrum of pleasure yachts and boats, including classic boats, luxury mega-yachts and sailboats, sport fishing boats, ski boats, personal watercraft and select charter vessels. Product highlights are summaries only; please see actual policy for terms and conditions. Products may not be available in all states.
Any summary of information or available coverages is intended as general information and is not intended to amend, alter or modify the actual terms, limits or conditions contained in any policy of insurance or its declarations. Exclusions and limitations may apply to some losses. Coverage may not be available in all states. Coverage is governed solely by the terms and conditions of the policy itself. Insurance buyers should consult their agent, broker or other insurance professional if they have questions about their insurance needs.
ACE Private Risk Services is the high net worth personal insurance business of ACE Group, and provides specialty coverage for homeowners, automobile, recreational marine, umbrella liability and collections insurance for financially successful individuals and families. ACE Group is one of the world’s largest multiline property and casualty insurers. With operations in 54 countries, ACE provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident supplemental health insurance, reinsurance, and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. ACE Limited, the parent company of ACE Group, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACE) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Additional information can be found at www.acegroup.com, or follow ACE on Twitter https://twitter.com/ACE_GroupNA.
"Courtesy of the United States Coast Guard
2 United States Power Squadron. www.usps.org