Essential Safety Tips for Boating at Night
If you own a boat (or better yet, as the joke goes, you know someone with a boat), you’ve probably thought about spending some evenings on the water — especially in the summertime.
It’s a great thought, of course. But, when you’re boating after dark, you need to think about staying safe, even as you enjoy the stillness of the water and the starry sky.
Here are seven things to keep in mind, both before you hit the water and once you’re out cruising around:
Have a plan — and tools to help if it goes wrong.
Don’t go boating at night in an unfamiliar place. You can’t see as well, obviously, so stick to where you know the ropes, so to speak. And because things look different in the dark, make sure you have the correct navigational tools in case you get lost.
Share your plan— Always give a friend or family member your “float plan.” Include where you’re going, your boat’s description and registration information, who’s with you and when you’ll be back.
Check – and dress for – the weather— On top of the other difficulties of boating at night, you don’t want to get caught in a storm if you can help it. And you want to be comfortable, so be sure to bring clothing appropriate for the forecast. A sweatshirt, blanket and extra towels may come in handy, even in the summertime.
Do a pre-trip inspection— This is good advice for daytime boating as well, but at night it’s crucial that your navigation lights work, for starters. You also need a horn, plenty of fuel, a radio, a flashlight, flares, fire extinguishers and life jackets for all passengers.
Slow down— Speed is a factor in many boating accidents, and the limited visibility at night makes the water even more dangerous. Remember, you aren’t going to be the only one on the water at night, so know the right-of-way rules.
Pay attention— Know how to monitor the navigation lights of other vessels to recognize which direction they are going. Be particularly cautious about small vessels, such as canoes and kayaks, as well as anchored or drifting boats. Their lights can be easily confused with lights onshore.
Don’t get distracted — or drunk— It’s never okay to drink and operate a boat, so be sure you have a designated driver. And, though you’re out there to have fun, make sure you can still hear the sounds from approaching vessels. Keep the stereo low and your ears open.
While these tips are important, there’s nothing like experience to help ensure a safe voyage. If you’re a new boater or just in an unfamiliar vessel, you may want to put in more hours during the day before tackling an area at night. Even then, start with short evening outings and work your way up to a moonlight ride. And don’t forget to turn on the lights at the dock before you go!
You’ve just been involved in an auto accident. The most important thing is your safety. If you are injured , please call for emergency help right away. Here are some additional steps to help you file a claim on your auto insurance:
- Call for emergency assistance if needed.
- Once all parties are safe it’s helpful to take pictures of the damage and exchange insurance and driver information.
- Next call your agent whether you are at fault or not
- Follow the directions your agent gives you to provide all documentation related to the accident and file your claim. You may need a police report.
- Keep copies of all your documentation and bills related to the accident. Jot down detailed notes following conversations about the accident. You need to know who you spoke with and what they said, at what date and time, and how to contact the person.
- Find out from your agent:
- Time limitations for filing your claims and submitting bills.
- Time limitations for resolving claim disputes.
- When you can expect the insurance company to contact you.
- Whether you need estimates for the damages.
- Whether your policy covers a rental car while your car is being repaired and how much it covers.
Next we will cover the steps to take to file a claim on your homeowner’s insurance:
- Report any crime to the police if its due to a burglary or a theft
- Phone your insurance professional immediately
- Have the insurance adjuster inspect the damage
- Make any temporary repairs to prevent further damage to your home or items in it
- Prepare a list of lost or damaged articles
- If you need to relocate, save your receipts, some of those costs may be reimbursed
We hope this has helped you navigate the claims’ process and answered any of the questions you may have had. If we can be of further help, feel free to give us a call here at Sentinel Assurance at 651-237-5180.
Insurance. Love it or hate it, when life happens … you are glad you, your family, your home and your belongings covered. Sometimes it can be an afterthought, so here are a few times that you need to check and/or update your insurance.
Your family status changes: If you’re marrying, expecting a baby, or adopting a child, you’ll want to protect your growing family with adequate life insurance and disability income insurance. Losing a family member through death or divorce should also prompt a policy review.
Your children grow up: When you have a new teen driver, adequate auto insurance is a must. You may be eligible for discounts. If your student is leaving for college or has recently graduated, it’s a good time to consider personal property, liability, and renters insurance for the new living arrangements.
You’re moving or remodeling: Whenever your address changes, review your homeowners insurance to make sure the new property is adequately protected. It’s also a good time to update your home inventory – whether you’re adding items such as new furniture or scaling back for a move to a smaller home. Also, be sure to update your coverage if you renovate your current home or make updates.
You’re starting a business: If you are going to rent office space or open a home-based business, include a thorough insurance review in your start-up plans. Depending on the size of your business, you may have to consider property and liability, commercial vehicle, and workers’ compensation coverage, as well as a health care plan for employees. If you’re a sole proprietor working from home, be sure to review your homeowners plan to see that your business and equipment are fully covered.
Sentinel Assurance has you covered, let us know of any updates, or simply if you are unsure on what you need for coverage. We are here for you and can help. 651-237-5180 for a free quote.