The U. S. Coast Guard keeps detailed data on boating accidents. Three red flags stand out:
• Three-quarters of all boating fatalities are due to drowning, and eighty-eight percent of those victims were not wearing a life jacket.
• Ninety percent of the time, when there is a loss of life on the water, the operator had little to no boat safety training.
• The top accident causes are operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol.
As insurance professionals, we have a duty to not just advise our boating customers as to the best mix of physical damage and liability coverage for their boat, but to also strongly encourage any new boater to take the time to be trained as a safe boater.
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators publishes this list of boating education courses. We suggest you include in your boat renewal notices, or any new policy quote, the contact information for programs in your area.