In the Path – Keeping Your Boat Afloat During Hurricane Season

By following a few simple hurricane-prep steps, local boat-owners can save a lot of time, money, and energy. 

This post was sponsored by Wells Insurance. 

Adam Meyer, Director of Marine Insurance at Wells Insurance, has been in the game long enough to know that the old (and somewhat worn out) adage, “better safe than sorry”, couldn’t be more applicable than it is to boat security in the event of a hurricane.

“There’s really no way to fully protect your house in a storm. You can take precautions, but ultimately the outcome is entirely unpredictable. It’s much easier to guarantee the safety of your boat,” said Meyer.

An Ounce of Prevention – Hurricane Preparedness

There are three things that boat owners need to do soon after a hurricane watch is issued, said Meyer.

1 – Review your boat insurance policy.

Check to see if you have a named storm deductible. It’s often much higher than your regular deductible. Also, read through your policy to see if it includes hurricane haul out reimbursement coverage. If it does, your carrier will reimburse you for 50% of the haul out cost. Because hauling is considered a precaution rather than a claim, it doesn’t count against you.

2 – Devise a solid storm plan.

What will you do to protect your boat during the storm? Depending on storm severity, hauling to a local boat yard is usually the best idea. If you’re going to haul, be sure to deliver your boat early, and block it securely with multiple jack stands. If you choose not to haul, add extra lines and fenders, remove canvas and loose items, add storm lines, and be sure to check batteries and bilge pumps to make sure they’re in working order.

3 – Enact your storm plan early.

Waiting until the last minute is rarely a good idea. And, in the case of hurricane damage prevention, it’s a notoriously horrible idea. So, review your policy now. Call the boat yard early. And, take the necessary steps to put your plan into place.

Not every boat owner’s storm plan will be the same, says Meyer.

“Whatever protocol you’ve put in place, just do what’s prudent for you vessel,” Meyer said. “And, when in doubt, call your agent.”

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