GEICO says make summertime boating safety a top priority

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 26, 2015 – Anchors away! The summer boating season is finally here. With thousands of boaters on the water, the GEICO Insurance Agency recommends the following safety tips to ensure you get the most out of your summertime boating experience.

Check the weather before you go – A nice, sunny day can quickly turn into a major storm in open water. Check the weather forecast before venturing out on your boat. Keep a radio on board to monitor weather updates and advisories.

Share your float plan – A float plan goes a long way in aiding officials on your whereabouts if an accident occurs. Always inform family members and friends on where you plan to go, the route you will take and the time you are expected to return.

Life jackets save lives – A life jacket is the single most important piece of equipment on your boat. The U.S. Coast Guard requires that all recreational boats must carry one Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person aboard. Life jackets should be tested once a year for buoyancy and must be the appropriate size for the intended user.

Learn the navigational rules – Our waterways don't have traffic signals. Boaters must depend on each other by learning and observing a few simple navigational rules to prevent mishaps and stay safe on the water.

Slow down – Always operate your boat at a safe speed in traffic dense areas. Be aware of navigation hazards to avoid accidents and save lives. Excessive speeding is the cause of a high percentage of all reported boating accidents.

Take a boater safety course – A boater safety course will help you learn the proper regulations and safety precautions on the water. Most states require operators to pass boater safety requirements and display their safety certificate at all times. Some insurance carriers may also offer a discount on boat insurance.

Think before you drink – Almost half of all boating accidents involve alcohol. Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) affects judgment, vision and increases the likelihood of an accident. It's also illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol.

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 27 million vehicles.

To make changes, report claims, print insurance cards and purchase additional products, policyholders can log into their car insurance policy, connect via GEICO Mobile, phone or by visiting a GEICO local agent.

Homeowners, renters, condo, flood, identity theft and life coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Commercial auto and personal umbrella coverages are also available.

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