Hurricanes can cause an unprecedented amount of damage to boats, harbors, shipyards, etc. Hurricane Matthew was particularly severe, and we hope that your boat did not suffer any damage.
However, if it did, it is a good idea to file a boat insurance claim as soon as possible. Meanwhile, when it is safe, here are some strategies you might be able to use to protect your boat and try to reduce the chance of any further damage from occurring.
Steps to Take After Filing a Boat Insurance Claim
These steps will help to protect your boat from further damage during or after a hurricane. Be sure to thoroughly document damage the hurricane caused to support your boat insurance claim before beginning this process.
Remove Personal Items and Equipment
If you can safely access your boat, take as much equipment as possible off of it to protect it from being stolen by looters or vandals. This can include electronic equipment, fishing poles, chairs, scuba gear, paddles, etc. Anything that can be carried off your boat with relative ease could potentially be a target for looters. So remove as much as you can, and prioritize the highest value items first. Be sure to note any damage to personal items in your boat insurance claim.
Clean Your Boat
This can involve removing any debris, sea weed, mud, sand, etc. If you clean it and dry it out, there is less of a chance that mildew or other types of damage will accumulate. If there is any water in the boat, then you should bail it out, or find another safe way to remove it as soon as you can. Water damage can be extremely costly. Make sure you note and document any water damage in your boat insurance claim. You can use tarps to cover damaged areas of the boat to protect them temporarily from the elements.
“Pickle” Your Engine or Machinery
“Pickle” your engine or machinery if they have gotten submerged or wet. This process involves flushing them with fresh water and then filling them back up with kerosene or diesel fuel. Pickling your engine can significantly increase the chance of saving it. Engines can be expensive to replace and difficult to move. So if you can save yours by pickling it, this can prevent major hassles. Depending on your coverage levels, taking this step could free up funds to allow other damaged areas of your boat to be included in your boat insurance claim.
Contact Your Boat Insurance Company Before Salvaging
Get approval from your boat insurance company before you sign a salvaging contract if your boat is submerged and needs to be moved. The purpose of doing this is to prevent you from accidentally getting stuck with the bill if there is a coverage problem with your boat insurance claim with the salvaging. Salvaging costs can be expensive. So it is wise to err on the side of caution when it comes to signing these types of contracts. Be safe, and make sure your boat insurance claim will cover these costs before you incur them.
Filing Your Boat Insurance Claim After a Hurricane
Hurricanes can inflict large amounts of physical damage and can also generate extreme financial losses. Boat insurance can help protect you in the event of a hurricane. However, it is wise to follow these steps to help prevent suffering further losses. Getting valuable property off your boat, cleaning your boat, pickling your engine, and not signing salvaging contracts without your insurer’s approval can all help to prevent additional financial hardship. Hurricanes are difficult enough, so it is best to take these savvy steps in their aftermath to prevent even more difficulties.
Contact a Maritime Insurance International agent for assistance with your boat insurance claim or apply for a boat insurance policy today!