Hurricane season is almost here, which means now is the time to make sure that you are prepared and ready in the event of a storm. According to the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the nation’s largest advocacy, services and safety group for recreational boaters, “more than 63,000 recreational boats were damaged or destroyed as a result of both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, with a combined dollar damage estimate of $655 million.” While those storms were incredibly dangerous, even a weaker storm can cause loads of damage. So, do yourself a favor and follow this checklist to get yourself ready for the upcoming season.
The best way to protect the boat may be to move it. Smaller vessels can be kept safe on their trailer and strapped down, while larger vessels may need to be moved to a protected marina. However you plan to protect your vessel, it is good to have all the logistics in place of how and where you will move it when the time comes. If it has to stay docked or stay at a marina, do your due diligence and make sure all the lines are in good shape and that you have enough to double line it and attach to high pilings to allow for potential sea-level rise. Also, make sure that any canvas tops, furling genoas, sails, and cockpit covers are removed.
Review Your Policy
It’s essential for you to review your insurance policy annually and to understand your coverage entirely. For instance, your policy may cover a portion of the cost to move your boat.
Charge Your Batteries
Prepare for flooding and heavy rains, which means the batteries to run your automatic bilge pumps need to have as much juice as possible. Also, consider adding backup batteries and shut off all other nonessential devices that may consume electricity.
Keep Documents Safe
Compile all of your important documents and keep them in a safe place. Documents should include your insurance policy, a list of key contacts, recent pictures of the vessel, registration, inventory, lease agreement, and title or loan documents.
Stay up to date about what is going on in the tropics. Luckily with these storms, you will have time to execute your plan, as long as you stay on top of things.
Be Careful After a Storm
Being around the water after a hurricane is incredibly dangerous. There could be a downed powerline in the water or a hot wire from a generator. Do not enter the water, and contact local authorities to make sure waterways are clear and safe.
Be prepared this hurricane season by performing all of these tasks BEFORE a hurricane is heading your way. Having proper insurance is vital in every aspect of life. Whether you are at sea needing international coverage, looking for adequate life insurance coverage, going on a vacation, etc. MHG is your specialized broker. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to find the policy that works best for you. If you are interested in purchasing or have any questions about marine crew insurance, travel insurance, U.S. life and health, expatriate insurance, or property and casualty, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com.