Summer Safety Tips & Insurance Risks
Having a summer pool party, a boat trip out on the lake (maybe Lake Conroe???) with some friends, or inviting your neighbors over for some burgers on the grill seem like pretty harmless evens. After all, who hasn’t held or participated in one of these at some point. Let’s face it…these types of events are going to happen so being prepared and safe are important.
I was reading an article today, titled ‘Drowning looks different than you think’ (here’s a link to it – http://yhoo.it/9vSaBN) that really made me start to think about something that happened to me when I was a kid. I went to the pool one afternoon with my dad and brother at our apartment complex (meaning no lifeguard on duty). I had just learned how to swim the summer before and I felt pretty confident in heading over to the deep end. Seconds later I panicked and was drowning. I tried yelling for help to others in the pool and the adults poolside, but it seemed like nobody could hear me. I was so close to the side. I just couldn’t reach it. A guy at the pool just happened to see me and grabbed my arm pulling me to the side. I was embarrassed, but nobody else even noticed.
Here are some tips you should be aware of –
• Always fence in a pool in your yard keep the gate locked. As a pool owner, you are liable for anyone who comes on to your property and into your pool–even accidentally.
• Never leave your kids alone, even if they can swim.
• Keep safety equipment (life preservers and a shepherds hook) close by.
• Tell your insurance agent if you install or plan to install a pool. Some homeowners policies exclude pools. Also make sure to have adequate liability insurance.
• Have a fire extinguisher near, but not on the grill at all times.
• Avoid wearing loose clothing while grilling and always wear shoes.
• Cover the grill to avoid to corrosion and rusting in both the controls and gas line, which can make grill controls hard to read and make the starter button difficult to depress. Consider using a grill with an automatic starter rather than a button starter.
• Keep children away even long after the fire has been extinguished. Fire pits can hold heat for several hours after the flames are gone.
• Understand your liability and risks. The homeowners insurance policy is not designed to cover significant watercraft exposures and consumers should contact their agent to see if coverage can be added or if they need a separate watercraft policy that fully covers damage to the boat, liability and uninsured boaters.
• Many people rent boats and even with a watercraft policy, be aware that there may be no coverage for rentals.
• Never use a boat that is not equipped with fully operational safety equipment onboard (life preservers for all occupants, a well-stocked first aid kit, powerful flashlight, two-way VHF radio, fire extinguisher, flare kit and a local area water chart).
• Never exceed the passenger capacity.
Filing a claim on an insurance policy is never something we anticipate when we think about our summer activities, but it’s important to know our insurance risks so we can be prepared.
Please contact us if you have questions about your home insurance policy, watercraft (boating) insurance policy, or any other insurance policy.