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) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 14 million private passenger customers and insures more than 23 million vehicles (auto & cycle).

Using GEICO's online service center, policyholders can purchase policies, make policy changes, report claims and print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through the GEICO App, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent.

GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), boats, travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.

For more information, go to www.geico.com.