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AAA says 1 in 3 Boaters Do Not Have Insurance


AAATampa, FL – The Memorial Day weekend is not only the kickoff to the busy summer travel season, but it is also the unofficial start of boating season.

Being safe on the water is a primary concern, but it’s important to have the proper insurance coverage in case you are involved in an accident.

Boating accidents caused $39 million in damages in 2014

Boating accidents caused $39 million in damages in 2014

“More boats in the water means a higher likelihood of a boating crash this holiday weekend,” said Gene Calkins, Vice President of Insurance Agency, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Rivers and lakes will be loaded with boats. So, it’s a good idea to have insurance in case the unexpected should happen.”

In 2014, there were 4,064 accidents with 610 deaths, 2,678 injuries, and approximately $39 million dollars of property damage as a result of recreational boating accidents, according to the US Coast Guard (USCG). There are an estimated 11.8 million recreational vessels registered in the United States.

However, only two-thirds (67%) of owners in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee have boat insurance, according to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey.

Survey of Boaters in FL GA and TN

“Unfortunately, not everyone has a proper insurance policy to cover the cost of any injuries or property damage that may occur,” Calkins continued. “Many people wrongly assume their homeowner’s insurance is all the coverage they need for their boat. However, most homeowner’s policies have minimal coverage for small boats with either no engine or a very small engine.”

Top 5 Contributing Factors in Boating Accidents

Alcohol use ranks fifth in total boating accidents (277), but is the lead contributing factor in accidents involving deaths (108).

“Drinking while driving is just as illegal in a boat as it is in a car,” Calkins said. “What’s worse is many boaters who spent the day drinking on the water, still have to drive their car home from the docks. Whether you are on the road or the water this Memorial Day weekend, be sure to have a designated driver if you plan to drink.”

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among boat owners living in the Southern Region of The Auto Club Group (Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee) from April 15th – May 1st, 2015. A total of 305 residents completed this survey. Total results have a margin of error of ± 5.6 percentage points.

About The Auto Club Group

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America.  ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to approximately 9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.

ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 55 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.




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