Preparing Your Florida Boat for a Hurricane

Boat Preparation Before The Hurricane 

A storm preparedness plan can save your boat from a lot of damage. There are many steps you can take to prepare your boat for hurricanes before the storm. When it comes to getting an insurance policy for your boat, the process can be smoother if you can prove that you are pro-active about protecting your property.

Put away any loose items and gear

If you have items that may fly away during a storm, it is important to stow them away ahead of time. Common items at a risk of becoming flying debris include cushions, canvas, antennae, and other small items. If you have electronics and other loose boating gear onboard, remove as much of it as you can. 

To help reduce wind damage, you should remove sails, dinghies, bridge enclosures, and any coverings. 

In case you have gear that cannot be removed from onboard the vessel, secure it ahead of time to prevent it from creating clogging and other risks. Secure and lock all hatches/port holes. If there are any leaks, it is safer to have them sealed.

Turn off and disconnect the boat

To prepare your vessel for a hurricane, turn off and disconnect any shore power cords, water hoses, and gas valves. 

Add fenders and tie lines

If you are planning for your boat to be kept in water, adding fenders can help keep it from rubbing against the dock during a storm. In addition, ensure that the necessary lines are tied, in case there is a storm surge resulting in rising tides. Note that some insurance policies may give strict rules you need to adhere to when it comes to storing your boat during hurricane season. Otherwise, you may no longer be eligible for adequate coverage. 

Move boat inland and store away from threats 

If you are storing your boat on a trailer or keeping it dry docked, make sure that the boat has been moved inland. Try to avoid any trees, since hurricanes can make even the bulkiest of trees topple. 

Review your boat insurance policy 

Different boat insurance policies can offer different coverage, and many policies written today are very strict in terms of when they will cover your hurricane damages. If you do not follow certain guidelines mentioned in the policy, your insurance claim later on may be rejected. 

For example, some boat insurance policies will require you to have your vessel hauled out of the water for extra protection, and others might require a specific line diameter for your boat. 

Remember to keep your insurance policy in a safe place in case you need the information for filing a claim. 

Handling your boat after the storm

After a hurricane, once it is safe, it’s time to assess your boat to determine whether there are steps you can take to avoid further damage. 

Photo documentation 

Take photos of the boat and any damages from the storm that it has sustained. Documenting the damage by taking photos from various angles may be able to help you with your insurance claim. 

File an insurance claim

Every boat insurance carrier is different, but typically there will be a claims hotline or an online portal. After a storm, contact your insurance agent so you can file a claim for recoverable damages. 

Avoid operating the boat

After a storm, even if your boat looks whole and safe to operate, the waterways may still hold dangerous debris and there may be invisible damages that need repair. Exercise caution after the storm. 

Hurricane risks and damages

One of the most dangerous parts of a hurricane is the storm surge. It holds the greatest chances of causing fatal injuries. A storm surge occurs when forceful wind pushes water towards the shore. Combining with normal tides, a hurricane storm’s rising tides can soar to heights that end up affecting homes, roads, marinas, and critical infrastructure. 

Storm tides pose an immense level of risk to densely populated homes on the coastlines. If you live on the coastline, make sure you have a hurricane preparedness plan for not just your boat, but also your home and family. 

If there is a storm, avoid staying aboard. It is always a good idea to check with your Florida marina for any additional safety measures and guidelines. 

Make sure you have proper hurricane coverage

Worth Insurance makes shopping for boat insurance a breeze. Let us work to find you the best value coverage plans to make sure that you and your property are adequately protected.