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New Jersey Waterways Will Be Busy: How to Stay Safe.

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New Jersey Waterways Will Be Busy: How to Stay Safe.

A boat is traveling through the water near some boats.

 New Jersey Waterways Will Be Busier than Ever in Summer 2021! 

Now that most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in New Jersey and surrounding states, the summer of 2021 promises to be one of the busiest seasons the Jersey Shore has ever seen. Crowds will fill the Garden State’s parks, boardwalks, and beaches, and water traffic on lakes, rivers, bays and the ocean will be particularly heavy this summer.

Everyone, it seems, has the worst case of cabin fever. We are all excited to get outside this summer and enjoy the sun and fun, but this is precisely why you should exercise some caution if you’re planning to spend time boating or riding on personal watercraft.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), there are thousands of recreational boating accidents per year, which can be costly in injuries and damages. In a recent safety article by the III, contributing factors to boating disasters were listed as, “traveling too fast for water or weather conditions, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failing to follow boating rules and regulations, carelessness and inexperience.â€

The Boat Insurance and Safety article provides boat insurance basics, and states, “the best ways to ensure your years of accident- and claims-free experience is to follow boating safety practices.†Those practices are outlined below as they appear in the article:

  • Properly equip your vessel with required navigation lights and with a whistle, horn or bell. Have on hand plenty of life jackets and emergency safety devices such as a paddle or oars, a first-aid kit, a supply of fresh water, a tool kit and spare parts, a flashlight, flares and a radio. Carry one or more fire extinguishers, matched to the size and type of boat and keep them readily accessible and in condition for immediate use.
  • Before you sail or launch, check weather forecasts before heading out to ensure good boating conditions. Let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return. Check engine, fuel, electrical and steering systems, especially for exhaust-system leaks.
  • When you have passengers and/or a load, pay attention when loading. Distribute the load evenly and don’t overload. In a small boat, warn passengers not to stand up or shift weight suddenly. Don’t permit riding on the bow, seatbacks or gunwales. Make sure that every person on board the boat gets and wears a life jacket.
  • Know and obey marine traffic laws; learn distress signals and other boating signals.
  • In shallow waters, keep an alert lookout for other watercraft, swimmers, floating debris and shallow waters.
  • Don’t operate the boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or allow anyone who might be impaired to operate the vessel.

A common joke about boats is that they are simply holes in the water that you throw money into. Any boat owner knows that buying, maintaining and operating a boat can be very expensive. One of the necessary expenses is boat insurance.

While the State of New Jersey does not require boats to be insured, you should insure yours! A boat insurance policy can cover liability, damage to the boat, along with costs to remove the boat (if it should sink), and liability from fuel spills. The size, type, value of the craft, and the water in which you use it factor into how much you will pay for insurance coverage. Plus, there are numerous optional/additional coverages and discounts that may apply in your unique circumstance.

As with any insurance policy, make sure you understand exactly what perils are covered and what your policy limits are. If you have questions about boat/watercraft insurance, call Glenn Insurance at 1-888-OK GLENN. In the meantime, we hope these tips help you enjoy a safe and memorable summer of 2021!

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