Post Sandy: Boat Insurance Claims & Clean Up

Sandy's Boat DamagesAfter Hurricane Sandy hit in late October 2012 the immediate news coverage talked about the record damage to the boating industry, with losses and insurance claims for US recreational boats alone amounting to more than $650 million.

Recent news stories are tallying the cost and time involved in cleaning up the coast, which is taking much longer than anticipated.

When Hurricane Sandy hit the eastern coast of the United States the superstorm damaged much of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey among other states. Now, three months later, the waters off the New Jersey Shore are still full of debris from wrecked boats and other structures.

Challenging Work

Cleaning up the mess left behind by Hurricane Sandy is no easy task. The bay is full of boat debris and clean-up crews say that pulling wrecked boats from beneath the waves is difficult. Often mud settles on top of shipwrecked vessels, creating a vacuum effect that complicates extrication. Given the time of year, the water temperature is frigid and winter weather conditions make clean-up operations tougher.

CBS New York reported that a company called AshBritt Environmental has been hired by the state of New Jersey to clean up Barnegat Bay by the end of this month.

Huge Impact

Just as many uninsured recreational boaters realized how beneficial comprehensive boat insurance would have been following this disaster, the government needs to somehow cover the unexpected costs associated with repairing the damage inflicted by Sandy’s wrath.

News media say that Sandy has cost New Jersey nearly $37 billion. While the federal government will help to cover some of the costs, perhaps as much as 75 percent of response and clean-up expenses, many towns are borrowing to pay the bills before they receive any reimbursements.

Work Continues

Salvaging damaged boats from where they lie is not a job for amateurs as damaged boats often sink deeper into the mud, slip and move. Divers brave the elements to strap the boats, many vessels as long as 28 feet, and recovery times vary. In just over a week, according to CBS, AshBritt pulled 33 vessels of this size from New Jersey waters.

Efforts will continue for some time as there are estimated to be hundreds more boats in the water, plus parts, entire homes and other debris.

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