In most of the US, the summer weather has made its entrance. Even though the official start to summer is still a few weeks away, many are looking forward to the warmest season of the year. As temperatures rise, there is an increase in people migrating towards the water. For those who enjoy boating, weather makes all the difference. The more time you spend on the water, the more you recognize how important it is to have an eye on the weather. But even before the bad weather hits, boat owners need to be aware of their responsibility to secure the vessel in case of a storm.
The type of vessel, the location of the vessel, and the type of insurance coverage will all pay major factors in how a marine claim is handled. Before a loss occurs, boat owners need to take preventative measures. In the event of a tropical system, boat and yacht owners need to take special care in ensuring their vessel is as secure as possible. Of course, the way an insured protects the vessel depends on the location and the type. Because of advanced weather data, advance notice of storms is likely. VHF radio and NOAA Weather alert radios are a must, especially for those who use their boat or yacht as a home away from home. In the event of severe weather, securing the vessel becomes inferior to making sure all passengers are safe. Riding out a storm on the water can lead to the loss of life.
CREATING A HURRICANE PLAN
A hurricane plan is essential to ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers. A plan can save lives and reduce loss or damage to the vessel. Securing your boat before a loss will also make a difference in your insurance claim. Many marine policies have high standards and specific regulations about what steps you need to take before a hurricane. Some policies may require the boat to be out of the water.
Insureds also need to remember that even when a boat is stored at a marina, it is still the policyholders’ responsibility to ensure that proper precautions are taken and their hurricane action plan is followed. Owners should also have an understanding of the marina’s hurricane plan and their obligations based on their dock contract with the marina.
ENACTING YOUR HURRICANE PLAN
The Boat Owners Association of The United States, the oldest and largest association of boaters, has an insurance division that has published a 12 page guide for boat and marina owners. This guide provides information gathered from past hurricanes and explains how to secure vessels at various locations for all types of weather.
According to BoatU.S, getting your boat to dry land may mean less damage, but their guide also provides the essentials to securing your vessel in the water –complete with diagrams for securing dock lines and anchors.
The most important advice for boaters in hurricane zones is to make sure a hurricane plan is in place, and that the plan includes evacuation by the all when bad weather strikes.
AFTER THE STORM
In the event severe weather causes damage to your boat or yacht, policyholders need to be aware that not all insurance is created equal, and they should make recognize that the representatives sent to evaluate the claim are working on behalf of the insurance company. Policyholders with property damage or loss can also hire their own professionals to assist in the claim presentation to the insurance company.
A public insurance adjuster who handles marine claims can even help an experienced boater navigate their marine insurance claim. The intricacies of these types of claims can require attention to detail and experience in understanding the coverage in the policies. A public adjuster can also assist in finding the other essential experts including, marine surveyors, engine specialists, and interior design specialists, etc., who can provide a complete evaluation of the repair and accurate costs.
As the summer months approach, be safe on the water and be prepared with a hurricane plan.