In the photo above, BoatUS Catastrophe Team Member David R. Wiggin doing work in the field near St. Augustine, Florida, after Hurricane Matthew. The BoatUS “Cat” Team is made up of professional surveyors, claims processors, transportation providers, and crane and barge operators who are working in areas from Florida to South Carolina recovering BoatUS Marine Insurance Program-insured vessels affected by Hurricane Matthew.
BoatUS reports that while there are some localized areas of dock destruction and boat losses, damage to recreational boats as a result of Hurricane Matthew has not been widespread. “Damage turned out to be less than anticipated because the storm’s wall stayed offshore, but I’d also like to think boaters played a part as well in reducing damage,” said BoatUS Vice President of Public Affairs Scott Croft. “They had plenty of early warning to prepare.”
Recreational boaters are not required by law to have boat insurance. So while boaters debate if hull coverage (that covers damage to their boat) is right for them, having liability insurance coverage can prove to be a wise move. This vessel was fortunate to be covered through a BoatUS Marine Insurance Program liability insurance policy. Blown deep into dense mangroves by Hurricane Matthew near St. Augustine Florida, its removal is paid for though the policy’s liability coverage (up to policy limits).
The boat’s owner also has the benefit of salvage assistance provided by the BoatUS Marine Insurance Program’s Catastrophe Team which arranges for safe haul-out and secures the professional assistance and equipment necessary, such as barges, cranes, and transport services. Not all boat insurers offer this level of service after a storm, according to BoatUS Vice President of Public Affairs Scott Croft.
“Can you imagine the owner trying to recover this boat on his own?” asks Croft. “That’s why having BoatUS liability coverage, at a bare minimum, is a wise move.”