The consequences of unexpected weather are typically out of our hands. Obtaining quality boat insurance coverage can help limit exposure to the risks of these weather-related events.
Your policy could help cover costs arising from storm damage in several situations. This could include coverage if your boat is damaged in a weather-related incident caused by:
- Named storms
» MORE: What Does Boat Insurance Cover?
In some cases, your policy may extend coverage to personal property kept on the boat - such as fishing gear and ski/wake equipment. It’s best to read through your policy to figure out what kind of storm coverage you have and whether it helps cover belongings and equipment on your boat as well. Contact your insurance carrier if you want to add or increase this coverage.
Will boat insurance cover damage from a storm?
If your boat is damaged in a hurricane or named storm, your boat insurance coverage may help pay to repair or replace it, depending on the details and limits of the policy. Hurricane season is typically quite busy (and stressful for many boat owners). It’s important to be prepared for any tropical storms, depressions or hurricanes headed your way with comprehensive named storm coverage.
- Tropical Depression: a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained winds of 38 mph or less
- Tropical Storm: a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained winds ranging from 39-73 mph.
- Hurricane: a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or greater.
Named storm coverage provides financial protection from damage caused by a named weather-related issue. It’s still essential to take any necessary precuations to store and protect the vessel from a weather threat - even if you have this type of coverage. An insurance company may want to know your plan in the event of a storm, including where the vessel will be hauled and stored.
» MORE: A Guide on Named Storms
Some insurers will even offer hurricane haul-out coverage. This endorsement may reimburse you for some or all of the expenses of having a boat hauled in the event of a hurricane, tropical storm, or tropical depression.
Damage caused by a named storm can be catastrophic, resulting in costly repairs. If boating in a storm-prone area, named storm coverage will be one of the most important components of your policy.
Common Weather-Related Coverage Options
It’s always helpful to have quality coverage that can protect you against risks like perilous weather conditions. Here are some coverage options worth considering:
- Named Storm Coverage
As mentioned earlier, named storm coverage provides coverage for damage to your boat caused by a tropical depression, storm, or hurricane named by the National Weather Service.
- Flood Coverage
There is usually a distinction between the damage caused by a storm and damage caused by flooding. It’s important to include flood coverage, along with named storm coverage in your policy. This will cover you for inland flood damage caused by heavy rain and other flood-related conditions.
- Freeze Coverage
You can also add freeze coverage to your policy. Even if you store your boat for the winter, indoor facilities may experience power outages during extreme weather. This may cause your boat to freeze and lead to unwanted damage. Freeze coverage for boats protects against circumstances just like that. It’s pretty inexpensive to add to your policy and can help avoid unwanted expenses.
Tip: it’s still important to take the necessary precautions to protect your watercraft from harsh weather. Insurance companies will require you to properly winterize your boat to be eligible for this coverage.
- Wind and Hail Coverage
Wind and hail coverage may cover repair costs if your boat’s structure and personal equipment sustain damage from strong winds or hail. This may be a byproduct of a hurricane, tornado, or winter storm.
Limits and Deductibles
Keep in mind that your policy will have a deductible that applies before it pays for damages above that point.
Additionally, as with other coverages, there’s likely a policy limit will apply. This limit is the maximum amount the policy will pay for damage to your property. The specific amount will be outlined in your policy and should be reviewed every year.
Boat insurance coverage may help you pay for the damage on an agreed value or actual cash value basis.
Agreed value coverage helps you repair or replace damaged property without adjusting for depreciation. The “agreed value” amount typically reflects the value of the boat when you purchased your policy. It is the maximum amount your policy will pay toward a total loss.
Actual cash value coverage will determine the value to repair or replace your insured property, subject to the policy limit, and then apply depreciation based upon to the age of the property.
Other Tips to Protect Yourself From Storm-Related Expenses
- Register for your community’s alert system,
- Prepare a disaster supply kit
- Read the section of your policy that addresses named storm, wind/hail, and flood coverage. This should clarify what you are and are not covered for. If you have questions or want to change/add coverage, do so before storm season begins.
At SkiSafe, it’s very simple to review your policy, and change or add coverage. Doing so directly on our website will only take a few minutes. You can also reach out to your local agent or broker.
If you prefer to speak to a SkiSafe underwriter before making any changes, they would be happy to assist by phone, email, or live chat.