Prepare Your Boat for Hurricane Season
Warm weather beckons boat owners to hitch their trailers and take a leisurely sail. Unfortunately, along with the pleasure of boat season comes the fury of hurricane season.
With a bit of foresight and preparation, you can take steps to protect yourself and your vessels from potential damage from hurricanes and other severe weather conditions. And before you head out on the water, review your boat insurance coverage to make sure you're protected.
During a hurricane, the majority of boats sink or are stranded inland. Recovery costs can range from $100 to $200 a foot, so it's important to know what your insurance contract covers in advance of a storm.
Boat owners insurance provides protection if your boat is damaged or destroyed by a storm, or personal belongings on board are lost. Other policies cover medical payments for injuries due to an accident in an insured watercraft.
Nationwide offers boat owners policies with coverage for:
- Physical damage, including permanent and portable boating equipment
- Personal effects, including cameras, fishing equipment and other items brought on deck
- Medical expenses covering everyone on board
Work with the marina to keep your boat safe
Boat owners should also know what their marina contract entails. Often, marinas share responsibility for rebuilding the marina in the event of a storm. For example, if a boat is ripped from the dock during a hurricane and smashes into the marina's storage rack, the boat owner could be partially responsible for the repair costs.
If you don't live near where you dock your boats, ask a friend or work with a representative from the marina to ensure your boat is secured before a storm hits.
As a preparatory measure, boat owners should document everything related to their prized possessions. Keep an envelope of paperwork explaining any work and upgrades, such as a new interior or recent servicing. Stash the envelope, along with pictures and receipts detailing the value of personal effects and fishing equipment, in an easily accessible place, like the boat's trailer.