Boating Safety….

“Accidents on the water can happen much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket,” said Virgil Chambers, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council. “It’s important that everyone wears a life jacket while on the water. There’s no reason why you, your family and friends, can’t have fun on the water while also choosing to always wear a life jacket.”

  • The majority of fatalities occur involving boats of less than 26′, in calm water with waves less than 6” and in light wind (0-6 mph), during the months of June and July, on a Saturday, between 2:30pm -6:30pm.
  • In 2013 the Coast Guard counted 4,062 accidents that involved 560 deaths, 2,620 injuries and approximately $39 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents. Compared to 2012, the fatality rate decreased 13%, the number of accidents decreased 10% and the number of injuries decreased 12.7%
  • 77% of all fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those, 84% were not wearing a life jacket. Eight out of every ten boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet in length.
  • Only 20% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction.
  • Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 16% of the deaths.
  • Twenty two children under age thirteen lost their lives while boating in 2013. 36% of the children who died in 2013 died from drowning. 62% of those who drowned were NOT wearing a life jacket as required by state and federal law.

 Safe Boating Quick Quiz

Take a boating safety class

Ensure the boat is safe

Ensure the people are safe

  • Know how to swim. If you don’t know how, learn.
  • Keep lifejackets visible and accessible.
  • A child under 13 years of agemustwear a PFD except when the child is below deck in an enclosed cabin or the vessel is docked or at anchor.
  • Each person on board a personal watercraft must wear a PFD.
  • All persons being towed behind a PWC on water skis or any other device must wear a USCG–approved PFD. Ski belts are not USCG–approved.
  • In order for a PFD to be legal, it must be: U.S. Coast Guard-approved; in good condition and of the proper size; readily accessible.
  • All vessels must carry one wearable (Type I, II, III, or V) U.S. Coast Guard–approved PFD for each person on board or being towed.
  • In addition to the above requirement, vessels 16 feet in length or longer (except a canoe or kayak) must have one Type IV USCG–approved PFD on board and readily accessible.
  • Dress appropriately (layers, avoid cotton, hat/sunglasses) (air temp + water temp <120, may want wetsuit)
  • Pack appropriate provisions- water, food, spare clothing, sunscreen, raingear, toilet paper, trash bag, first aid kit, rope, knife, whistle/horn, flashlight

Ensure the waters are safe

  • Learn “the rules of the road”….. and obey them!
  • Know the weather predictions to plan appropriately.
  • Know the water conditions.
  • Always have a float plan and leave it with a reliable person who can notify the Coast Guard, should you not return as scheduled.
  • Don’t overdo your boating fun. In 3 hours of normal boating, the noise, motion, sun, wind and glare can frequently double an individual’s reaction time.
  • Stay Sober While Boating- Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in all states and is a violation of Federal law. You are assumed to have consented to a field breath test of blood alcohol content if requested by a marine patrol officer whenever you: operate a boat or PWC on Indiana waters.
  • Know when/how to file an accident report- You are required to submit an accident report to the IN Department of Natural Resources if you are involved in a boating accident in the state of Indiana in which: someone dies or disappears; a person is injured or requires medical treatment; Property damage exceeds $200.

Personal Water Craft

  • According to Indiana law, while towing a person behind a boat or PWC you must: Only do so during daylight hours: Have a person in addition to the boat operator, observing the towed person(s) at all times; Make sure all persons being towed are wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD.
  • According to Indiana Code 14-15-11, effective January 1, 1996, all motorboat or PWC operators must have a valid drivers license to operate on all Indiana public waters.
  • If you operate your motorboat while intoxicated, recklessly, or break the PWC laws, you could have points assessed against your drivers license.
  • Each person on board a person water craft must wear a PFD.


State of Indiana specifics

  • An Indiana certificate of registration is required to operate a vessel legally on public waters unless the vessel is non-motorized (vessels using an electric trolling motor require registration).
  • All privately owned, motorized and non-motorized boats moored or operating on state park, state forest or reservoir lakes in Indiana must have a lake permit displayed on the boat.
  • Indiana law states that a person 15 years old who does not have a driver’s license must successfully complete a boater education course approved by the Department of Natural Resources and have onboard an I.D. issued by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to legally operate a motorboat greater than 10 hp or PWC.
  • On Indiana waters (including the open waters of Lake Michigan), a person who operates a boat at greater than ten miles per hour, between sunset and sunrise, commits a Class C infraction.

Our Environment -The natural beauty of our waters attracts many people to boating. Yet some boaters still dump their garbage into the water. Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Make it boat policy that no trash is discarded overboard. Federal law prohibits the discharge of any plastic trash, and restricts the overboard disposal of other shipboard trash.
  • Encourage your dock or marina to provide adequate garbage  cans and recycling bins. All ports and marinas are required by law to provide trash containers for boaters.
  • Retrieve trash encountered in the water or on shore, where possible; Participate in local beach and harbor cleanups, and leave the beach clean after your visits.
  • Share your concern with others and encourage them to help.
  • Fishing line is NOT biodegradable and should never be discarded in the water.




Use these questions to help you and your Agent review your coverage

Annual Review- Use these questions to help you and your Agent review your coverage:

  1. Has there been a change of drivers or vehicles currently listed on your policy?
  2. Have you, or any driver, changed job or school locations?
  3. Have you paid off a loan on a vehicle?
  4. Has anyone moved in or out of the household?
  5. Have you installed a security or fire alarm system?
  6. Has any member of the household started a business in your home?
  7. Have you paid off your mortgage, refinanced or taken a second mortgage?
  8. Have you made any significant home improvements? (wiring, heating system, plumbing, renovations, roof, additions, etc.)
  9. Have you purchased a second/seasonal home, rental or investment property?
  10. Have you purchased a watercraft, motorcycle, snowmobile, RV or ATV?
  11. Have you acquired any pets?
  12. Have you installed a pool, Jacuzzi, trampoline, or wood burning stove?
  13. Have you acquired any valuable collections, artwork, jewelry, furs or guns?
  14. Have you filed an insurance claim?


Discounts- Are you getting all the discounts you qualify for? Let’s make sure… just in case something’s changed since we last talked. Call us so we can review together the possible ways you might save.

  • Safety Discounts — save with select safety devices.
  • Multi-car Discount — save up to 20% when you insure more than one auto.
  • Multi-policy Discount — save up to 25% when you insure your auto and home with us.
  • Life Multi-policy discount — save up to 5% on your auto premiums with a qualified life policy.
  • College Student Discount
  • Pay Plan Discounts
  • Driver Training Discount