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Insurance reviews urged during safe boating week

Ohio marks National Fishing, Boating and Beach Safety Week by asking Ohioans to conduct an insurance and safety review before enjoying the fun and sun at the state’s 77 beaches and 64 inland lakes and Lake Erie, this summer.

More than 4.25 million people visited Ohio State Park beaches last year.

For a fourth consecutive year in 2012, Ohio had a record number of registered watercraft (435,310) that ranked among the top 10 states nationally. Included in the total were a record 107,671 registered canoes and kayaks, representing an increase of 112 percent since 2002.

Recreational boating generates an economic impact for Ohio’s economy that was estimated at $3.5 billion yearly and supporting the equivalent of more than 26,000 fulltime jobs, according to a Great Lakes Commission study released in 2007.

Owners of boats and jet skis should conduct an insurance review with their agent. Small boats may be covered by a homeowner’s policy, but coverage for liability risk can be limited. A boat of any significant size will likely be excluded from homeowners policies for both property and liability coverage. Therefore, a separate policy may need to be considered that covers physical damage and the appropriate liability limits. Personal watercraft, such as jet skis, will likely require separate coverage. When talking with an agent, ask about safety course discounts, permitted operators and the liability of towing.

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