Getting Your Boat Ready For Hurricane Season

Getting Your Boat Ready For Hurricane Season
In Florida, from June through November, it’s hurricane season and those who own homes are wise to prepare them both physically and with high-quality homeowner’s insurance. The same goes for the millions of Floridians who own boats and would do well to get them ready for hurricane season – and that means both taking physical precautions and investing in a quality boat insurance policy.
What To Look For In Boat Insurance This Hurricane Season
Protecting yourself all year long with boat insurance is a good idea. You can’t predict, after all, when a boating accident may occur and you’ll be suddenly faced with costly boat repairs, hefty medical bills, or other resultant expenses.

But during the summer and fall, the danger to your boat posed by hurricanes and tropical storms makes it all the more imperative to get your boat covered.

A basic liability style policy will help some, but it may not be enough during hurricane season. First, you may simply need to increase your coverage limits.

Second, you may need to add extra boat salvage coverage. The cost of recovering your vessel from where the storm landed it, moving it to a boat repair facility, and then of making the actual repairs may be more than your ordinary “hull coverage” can handle. In that case, you need to add or increase your “salvage” coverage.

Third, if you plan to have your boat “hauled out” to get it off the water or properly tied down by a professional service ahead of any major storms that may threaten, then you should consider adding “haul out coverage” to your policy. If you’re able to take care of these operation on a DIY basis, however, you may not need haul out cover.

Fourth, be sure you have coverage for your boat trailer, motor, boat contents, and various accessories going into hurricane season, besides for the vessel itself.

How To Prepare Your Vessel For A Potential Major Storm
Taking action, either personally or through a professional company, to prepare your boat for a hurricane can not only help save your vessel, but it may also get you a lower “named storm deductible” on many boat insurance policies.

Prepare ahead of time by relocating, securing, and minimizing risk of damage or total loss to your boat. Then take pictures and make notes about all your preparations.

It’s often best to haul your boat out of the marina or dock because vessels stored on land fare better during a storm. Secure the boat with chained-together jack stands on solid ground and plywood pads below it if it’s set on soft ground. Get your boat to a sheltered location, be it in your garage or at a storage facility.

If you leave your boat moored, try to keep it tied tightly in place in a canal or other shielded location. And use lines that will secure it regardless of the angle the wind/water may come from.

If mooring a boat at a fixed dock that doesn’t let it ride up/down with the waves, use long lines – short lines may break or pull up the piling. And don’t be afraid to replace dock lines (old ones can lose 50% to 75% of their strength).

Finally, use multiple anchors and remove all canvas and other objects likely to increase windage.

To learn more about getting your boat ready for hurricane season, contact Flagler County Insurance Agency today!