As a boat owner, few things are scarier than a tropical storm or hurricane heading your way. From the high winds and hazardous debris to flood risks and severe rainfall, boats and PWCs are vulnerable to damage in a severe storm.
So, how can you stay protected from the things that are out of your control? Learn more about boat insurance and how can protect your watercraft from storm damage.
Does Boat Insurance Cover Hurricanes?
Yes, boat insurance can cover sustained damage from hurricanes and other named storms. But, this type of coverage isn’t always included in a policy by default.
Before a storm is headed right toward where you keep your vessel, check your coverage to review any exclusions or terms that may apply to hurricane damage.
If coverage for hurricane damage is included in your policy, it may help pay to repair or replace your boat if it is damaged during a named storm. Coverage may also extend to lightning, hail, windstorms, and floods. Again, check your policy’s terms and conditions for the full details.
Note: Some providers have rules in place that prohibit them from binding policies when a named storm watch or warning is in effect.
What Does Named Storm Coverage Protect Against?
Named storm coverage protects against losses that arise from a storm that has been declared a hurricane, typhoon, tropical cyclone, tropical storm, or tropical depression by the National Weather Service or the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration . Such protections are especially valuable in coastal areas.
» MORE: A Guide on Named Storms
Named Storm Exclusions
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, some boat insurance carriers include certain weather-related exclusions.
If the policy comes with a named storm exclusion by default, any tropical depression that becomes serious enough to be given a name by the National Weather Service, won’t be covered by your provider.
In other cases, your provider may offer coverage for hurricane damage, but only if you have a formal hurricane plan in place and take the proper steps to protect your vessel before a hurricane. This agreement may have stipulations you need to follow to maintain coverage for the storm.
Additionally, some carriers have navigation limits during hurricane season. This may restrict coverage if you travel with your boat to an area at imminent risk of a named storm.
Hurricane Plans for Boat Insurance
As mentioned earlier, some insurers may require a plan to protect the boat from a named storm.
Here are some things to consider for your hurricane plan:
Flooding and high winds caused by a tropical storm or hurricane can be devastating to watercraft. If your boat is at risk from these conditions in the water than it is best to remove it from the water entirely. When hauling it out, make sure that it is properly stored. Many marinas and storage facilities can offer safe protection and have storm plans of their own to haul and store as many boats as possible.
If you plan to keep your boat in the water, it’s important to reduce windage as best you can. You can do this by removing sails and covers from your boat. You can also look into hurricane moorings, floating docks, and extra lines for a fixed harbor.
» MORE: Floating or Fixed Docks