Safety Tips to Protect Your Recreation Property
Protecting Your Vacation Home
Many insurers provide only limited coverage for vacation homes, though unfortunately these getaways are much more likely to suffer a serious loss due to fire, burglary or weather than your primary home.
We handle Chubb Insurance, which understands the role of your vacation home in your family's life, to protect them against the unthinkable. Chubb's Masterpiece Homeowners Policy protects your vacation home the same way it protects a primary home. It provides the same comprehensive coverage, the same excellent service and the same unparalleled claims response
Features unique to a Vacation Home
A Chubb Masterpiece Vacation Home policy offers a number of features specific to vacation homes:
- Extended Replacement Cost for vacation homes, so if your home is destroyed, Chubb will pay to rebuild it, regardless of the expense
- Rebuilding to Code Coverage, for those vacation homes have been around for decades, where rebuilding a destroyed home must be to newer municipal and environmental by-laws.
- Replacement Cost on Contents: Receive replacement value for contents that are lost, stolen or damaged at your vacation home.
- Ask if your policy covers water pipes that sometimes freeze in extreme weather. Is your vacation home protected against damage from the weight of snow or ice?
- With Chubb, you may choose a Cash Option, and use the money to repair or replace what has been lost.
- Check that your insurance protects outbuildings, including boathouses, docks, satellite dishes and other outside structures. Are you covered for their replacement cost?
Protecting Your Yachts & Boats
Insuring Your Yacht
If your sailboat or cruiser plays an important role in your lifestyle, you need the best insurance package available for your particular yacht. While many insurers offer basic insurance protection at a low cost, there can be huge differences in what is actually covered.
Consider your need for these features in your coverage:
- Emergency towing and service-up to $1000 with no deductible.
- Coverage for ice and /or freezing.
- Trailers up to $3500.
- Sails-we will replace all sails that are less than three years old 'new for old', including spinnakers.
- Operating other watercraft-we cover you when you operate other watercraft.
- Tender coverage at no additional cost with no deductible.
- Fishing tackle coverage up to $10,000 subject to a $250 deductible.
- Removal of wreck when you are legally required to do so.
- Water-skiing-other companies may lower liability limits or exclude coverage when the watercraft is used for water-skiing, we don't.
- Watercraft equipment on shore. We cover it up to the full physical damage amount on the policy. Most insurers restrict this coverage.
- Full-time paid crew liability. Our policy covers the liability of all full-time paid crew members including the captain.
A Chubb Yacht Policy provides "all-risk" broad coverage, including mechanical breakdown and replacement value coverage for the expensive gadgets and furnishings you have on board. If your yacht is going to be out of commission due to a covered loss, you may need rent one, so you won't miss any of the season.
Once considered an "extreme" sport, the personal watercraft (such as a jet skis Sea-Doo, etc.) is becoming mainstream on Canada's lakes and rivers. Here are some suggestions to maximize your own and your family's protection while reducing your personal liability.
Individuals are required to have a PROOF OF OPERATOR COMPETENCY to operate a recreational boat with a motor, including Personal Watercraft, and must be over 16 years old (a passenger may be under 16 with competent operator). This Proof of Competency must be carried at all times during the operation of any power boat, including PWCs. It can be demonstrated in any one of 3 ways: (1) pass the Canadian Coast Guard test to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card, (2) proof of having taken a boating safety course prior to 1999, or (3) show a completed rental boat safety checklist, for a rented PWC.
Mandatory Safety Equipment
The following list indicates the minimal safety equipment required by law in the operation of a PWC on Canada's waterways:
- Vessel license (Make sure your PWC is properly licensed and marked!)
- Canadian-approved personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket of appropriate fit for each person on board (Choose a bright one for best visibility.) Inflatable PFDs are not approved for personal watercraft activities
- Buoyant heaving line (15 m)
- Watertight flashlight or 3 Canadian-approved flares of type A, B or C
- Sound-signaling device.
- Manual propelling device or anchor with not less than 15 m of cable, rope or chain*
- Bailer or manual pump*
- Fire extinguisher (Class 5 BC)*
*If all people on board are wearing Canadian-approved PFDs of appropriate fit, then the three last items are not mandatory.
If waterskiing or towing, you also need:
- A spotter to be on board the PWC.
- A spare seat to be provided on the PWC for each person being towed.
- A spare PFD to be provided onboard to each person being towed, if they are not being worn.
You may also not tow overnight, anytime from one hour after sunset through to sunrise.
Safe Operation Of A PWC
You are also responsible for the wake created by your boat, and must not create a wake that will adversely affect other vessels, shorelines, docks and other users of the waterway, including any swimmers and divers. You also may not travel faster than posted or unposted limits. The unposted limit is 10 km/h within 30 m from shore in the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. For this, and opening a PWC in an unsafe manner you may even be charged.
- Stop engine and unload passengers.
- Do not smoke.
- Avoid over-filling and wipe up spilled fuel.
- Make sure to ventilate the engine compartment by lifting the seat before you start the engine.
Renting and Lending a PWC
When you rent a Personal Water Craft, you must complete a rental boat safety checklist, unless you provide another accepted form of Proof of Competency. The operator must carry the rental boat safety checklist, which is signed by both the rental agency and the operator, and kept with them on board the PWC as Proof of Competency.
If you are lending your PWC, have responsibility on both the owner's part and the operator's part, and are responsible to ensure that the person borrowing your PWC understands Canadian boating rules and safety precautions as well as the safe handling of a PWC.
Protecting Your Swimming Pool
Home swimming pools have become a great means of recreation for many families, not just in the summer months, but all year round. Whether your pool is outdoors or indoors there are things you should know to maintain a well-functioning and safe pool environment. A sudden mishap can cause long-lasting pain and grief, so home pool-side safety should go beyond the common sense approach. You should provide a regimen of rules and guidelines that must be enforced by the owner as well as understood and honoured by the guests.
- Provide constant adult supervision for anyone under the age of 12 and any non-swimmer adults.
- Never leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment. Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm's length.
- Make sure adults watching young children in the pool know CPR and can rescue a child
Rescue Equipment and Procedures
- Provide at least the minimum rescue equipment: a shepherd's hook or long pole with a hook on the end, and life ring.
- Learn CPR and accident procedures, and train all caretakers and caregivers.
- Use a floating pool alarm device with a remote alarm that will sound in the house and a local alarm that will alert someone near the pool area. These devices are inexpensive and alarm batteries and functions should be checked regularly.
- Alternatively, install an alarm that detects motion through an infra-red beam. These alarms are independent of your burglar alarm systems and are designed to be easily mounted outside without doing electrical work and often come with a remote alarm for inside the home, plugged into any electrical outlet.
- Keep a telephone or cordless phone near the pool, and post emergency numbers.
- Surround your pool on all four sides with a sturdy fence that at least meets the specifications set out by law.
- Make sure the gates self-close and self-latch at a height children can't reach.
- Isolate the pool from your home. Doors leading to an indoor pool should be locked and alarmed.
- There should be no reason to open the gate to an outdoor pool, other than to use the pool itself. Other areas of your yard should be accessible without opening the swimming pool fence.
- Sliding glass doors to an indoor pool or patio where there is a pool should be locked at the top, in addition to any other locks.
Water Savvy Children
- Have your toddler trained for pool survival when he is able to crawl or walk to your pool.
- This training is not intended to teach the child to swim, but to provide some basic skills to help survive in an accidental fall into the pool.
- If you do not have your child in the water over the winter months, particularly a child under age 3 years, he will require a refresher to "remember" what was learned the summer before.
- Mark the shallow and deep ends.
- Always play safe around a pool. Falls on slippery decks, diving boards, and ladders and diving into shallow water are major causes of injury around swimming pools.
- Establish some specific pool rules covering its use and rules for when it is not in use. ENFORCE THEM!
- Avoid inflatable swimming aids for non-swimmers - they are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children a false sense of security.
- Restrict the use of the immediate pool area to swimming related activity - other play should take place outside the pool area.
- Avoid the use of excess alcohol near water or when swimming. Whirlpools and hot tubs can increase the effects alcohol has on the body.
- Keep radios, CD players and other electrical appliances away from the pool and hot-tub. Appoint ONE child watcher when having a party.
- Check the pool FIRST if a child is missing.
- Bring glass containers onto the pool deck.
- Use the outdoor pool or hot-tub during thunder and lightning storms.
- Leave toys and games in or around the pool when not in use.
- Position tables and chairs near the outside of a pool fence.
- Permit anyone, including adults, to swim alone. Set a good example for the kids.