Boat Insurance Coverage & Storm Preparation

How to protect your boat with insurance coverage and storm preparation

What does boat insurance coverage and securing your boat have to do with each other? Not only does being prepared for an emergency situation can save your boat from damage during a storm. Taking steps to protect your boat from a hurricane, major storm or flooding can also ensure you don’t compromise your boat insurance coverage. In fact, your insurance company could reject a claim if you failed to properly safeguard your boat.

Need more reasons other than boat insurance coverage to secure your boat properly? Here are some more big motivators.

  • Your boat is an investment that is better protected when properly secured
  • An unsecured boat could cause damage to other boats or property close by
  • If you are found negligent (that you failed to properly secure your vessel) you could be legally responsible for the damage caused by your boat

There are different risks associated with hurricanes or major storms that can wreak havoc for your boat. Damage might be caused by one or all of the following:

  • Surges of high water
  • High winds
  • Tidal surges and waves
  • Torrential rains
  • Tornadoes spawned by hurricanes

When you learn that a hurricane or major storm is impending, it is time to put your emergency plan into practice. It is good to have a checklist of things that you can do to protect your boat in the event of a natural disaster.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Never stay on the open water. If you are out boating when you hear of a storm coming, get to shore right away. Do not risk staying on the water and hoping for the best. The more time you have to secure your boat against the potential damage the better.
  • Secure the inside with removable duct tape, masking tape or painters tape. You can use tape to quickly seal and secure everything from cabinets and drawers to windows and vents.
  • Remove any items that could come loose. Think about anything that could be blown free from the boat and cause damage, including the mast in a sailboat.
  • Take important papers or personal possessions with you. Don’t leave any valuables onboard in case the worst happens.
  • Evacuate. Don’t stay on your boat during a hurricane or storm. Get inland to safety. If the storm hits before you get to shore put on your lifejackets and get below deck if there is lightening.
  • Experts say the safest place for a boat is onshore. After the hurricanes and major storms that have hammered the United States in the last decade, marine experts have determined the best way to minimize damage to your boat is to get it away from the water if possible. If you can get it on a trailer, take the boat and trailer to a secured indoor location if possible. Otherwise, secure the trailer and boat to a strong tree or anchor it.
  • If you have to leave your boat in the water, take precautions. Secure your boat with double mooring lines at a sturdy dock. Try to give enough slack that your boat will be able to rise with higher tides. Alternately, drop anchor in a protected harbor or moor your boat inland in a narrow cove or inlet that is sheltered by trees (called by many a hurricane hole).

In addition to having a plan to properly secure your boat if needed it’s also a good idea to check your boat insurance coverage now before trouble arises. Make sure that you have adequate coverage and the terms of your insurance would serve you should despite your best efforts the boat was damaged beyond repair or caused damage to other property. You can request a quick insurance quote on the Global Marine website or call 800-748-0224.

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