What Floats Your Boat? Safety.

One in 10 Americans own a boat and about 95% of recreational boat owners have a watercraft less than 26' long.  It is important that you understand not only the capabilities of your vessel but also your piloting and navigating skills as well.  Here is a look at the preparation and precaution that will help make you a responsible captain and boat owner:

  • First:
    • Take a safe boating course - boating safety courses are proven to greatly reduce the chances of a future accident.  Plus this will give you the confidence and the wisdom to navigate safely. Courses such as those offered by United States Power Squadrons®, can help save on the cost of insurance.
    • Stay in shipshape before hitting the water, he has contacted the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to get a vessel safety check free of charge.
    • Insuring your boat and contents – By selecting physical damage coverage on your policy, you can get protection for your trailer, equipment, and your family’s personal items on board as well.
  • On the day of your voyage:
    • Make a "float plan" -informing someone on land of his travel plans, necessary aid could reach Dave faster in the event he experiences an accident in an area out of range of any communication. This fillable form from the U.S. Coast Guard provides a checklist of details to help you complete your own float plan.
    • Make a complete list of the essentials - understanding the importance of equipment such as flotation devices, tools, fire extinguishers, flares and other safety implements can help ensure you're ready in case of an emergency.
    • Monitor the weather - before heading out on the open water, check the weather to learn about any impending weather events or craft advisories.  Continue to monitor the sky for darkening clouds or sudden temperature drops which are clues to use caution and head back to land.
  • Now, that you're on the water...

You can begin planning your next boating or fishing adventure here.  Do you have questions about boat safety or are you concerned that you may have a leak in your boat insurance policy?  Learn more about our watercraft insurance solution here.

Sources: The Hanover Insurance Group, United States Coast Guard, DiscoverBoating.com

Water Safety

On average, about ten people die from drowning every day in the United States, not including boating accidents! Top O' Michigan Solutions is dedicated to helping you safely enjoy the water during the summer months.  By keeping water safety top of mind, we can all help reduce child drowning in pools and spas.  The Pool Safely campaign reminds everyone to follow five simple steps to stay safer in and around water.  You can also Take the Pledge here to get a free Pool Safely Toolkit from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

  • Designate a water watcher every single time children in my care are in or near the water.
  • Make sure my kids know how to swim.
  • As a parent or guardian, learn CPR.
  • Always remove portable pool ladders when not in use.
  • Ensure all permanent pools have a proper fence and gate and safer drain covers.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), drownings continue to be the second leading cause of preventable death through age 15.  They advise that swimmers should keep a few safety precautions in mind:

  • Don't go in the water unless you know how to swim; swim lessons are available for all ages
  • Never swim alone
  • Learn CPR and rescue techniques
  • Make sure the body of water matches your skill level; swimming in a pool is much different than swimming in a lake or river, where more strength is needed to handle currents
  • If you do get caught in a current, don't try to fight it; stay calm and float with it, or swim parallel to the shore until you can swim free
  • Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard
  • Don't push or jump on others
  • Don't dive in unfamiliar areas
  • Never drink alcohol when swimming; alcohol is involved in about half of all male teen drownings, according to KidsHealth.org

Want to learn more about these shocking statistics and how you can prevent water related injuries or death? Head over to the NSC's website here.

Water Park Safety

Finding ways to stay cool during the summer is one goal most people can unite on.  One common way to beat the heat is by visiting water parks.  Water parks are a fun way to get away but there are plenty of risks that you should be aware of before your next visit including:

  • Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are caused by germs spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks and other locations where we swim in the water.  RWIs can include a number of infections including skin, ear, respiratory, eye, gastrointestinal, neurologic and wound infections.
  • Sunburn may seem like an obvious danger but it is worth the reminder to apply and reapply sunblock during your time at the park.  Or wear protective clothing to block the UV rays.
  • Slipping/Tripping around the pool may seem like common sense but certain parts of the water park may be more slippery than others. It can help wearing gripping water shoes or taking extra caution. To avoid tripping, you also want to be on the watch for items lying around such as towels, bags, water toys and even small children. "No running by the pool!" 
  • Learn more about some of the dangers at water parks from National Underwriter - PropertyCasualty360 here.


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