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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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Tomfl

Hurricane Action Plan For Insurance Company

31 posts in this topic

Buying a boat is a lot harder than I thought. Now BoatUS (and other insurance companies) want me to provide a "hurricane action plan" to get insurance. My first thought was get out of the way but I suspect they want a little more than that.

 

While I live in Florida my plans are to cruise the Bahamas and Keys for the most part. Hopefully I will have enough lead time to get someplace like Indiantown or Green Cove Springs and secure the boat there (a Seawind 1000).

 

Any suggestions on what is entailed in producing a "hurricane action plan" welcome.

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This sounds like a nice, bullshit way for them to refuse to pay a claim later. Maybe your action plan should simply say "Move to Kansas".

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Any suggestions on what is entailed in producing a "hurricane action plan" welcome.

 

I know someone at BoatUS and asked. The below was this persons immediate off the cuff (non-official) response. I asked if they had any examples they could share that they specifically liked/approved . . .so I may get a bit more direction from them.

 

"Basically, we want people to picture a hurricane coming towards them and to tell us what they would do. They can go to our Hurricane Tracking website and download the brochure on boat owner's hurricane prep: http://www.boatus.com/hurricanes/hurr_prep.asp and then tell us what they would do based on that. In the case where someone is not cruising but in a marina, they might say they would haul the boat, or that they would move to a larger slip and double the lines with added chafe protection. This guy's situation is complicated by his being out cruising, so he probably would need to say something like, "I'd get to the nearest hurricane hole and anchor with three anchors of xx weight, take my sails off, clear the decks, add chafe protection on the snubbers…"

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...he probably would need to say something like, "I'd get to the nearest hurricane hole and anchor with three anchors of xx weight, take my sails off, clear the decks, add chafe protection on the snubbers…"

 

...and get onto shore and into a sturdy building well above sea level. At least, that would be my plan.

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This sounds like a nice, bullshit way for them to refuse to pay a claim later. Maybe your action plan should simply say "Move to Kansas".

No good..... What happens when the tornado rolls through?

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This sounds like a nice, bullshit way for them to refuse to pay a claim later. Maybe your action plan should simply say "Move to Kansas".

 

he should consider himself lucky that there is anyone at all willing to risk their money by writing insurance on boats that spend hurricane season in Florida.

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On the Move to Kansas note .. Here in Muskegon both I and the boat next to me were damaged when the spin off sent straight line winds and large waves down Lake Michigan . .I broke a bow line and the chocks on both sides . .but having double tied I was ok beyond that . .the boat next to me broke lose and with the water levels as they are the port side of the boat went under the dock . .bending a couple lifeline stantions and rubbed on gelcoat and fiberglass for several hours

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This sounds like a nice, bullshit way for them to refuse to pay a claim later. Maybe your action plan should simply say "Move to Kansas".

 

he should consider himself lucky that there is anyone at all willing to risk their money by writing insurance on boats that spend hurricane season in Florida.

 

Unfortunate but true. The after year Florida and the gulf coast too 5 or 6 hits, my insurance on the Chesapeake almost doubled. When I questioned the increase, I found that the damage the previous year cleverly deleted the "catastrophic reserves" and that premiums had to go up for all areas with any hurricane history and the risk calcations changed. At the same time, many insurance companies chose to stop insuring any property in Fl as the premiums wouldn't cover the risk. USAA, for example will only provide homeowners insurance for active duty on orders.

 

Ultimately insurance is a shared risk with a processing charge that isoderated by competition. When the calculations go upside down, the rates have to go up or the provider exits the market.

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First you get out of the house while you can

 

post-22850-0-61997700-1353029410_thumb.jpg

 

and follow the instructions I found in Charleston.

 

post-22850-0-92219700-1353029126_thumb.jpg

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BOATUS asked me what I was doing a couple days before Sandy and offered to pay half for a haul-out.

I said HELL NO to that kind offer and explained last hurricane the hauled out boats all got loose when the tide came up. They were happy with my plan of being on a mooring with all the canvas off and it worked out fine. The other moored boat in the creek with canvas up got loose, missed me, and ended up on our beach.

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If you live in the hurricane belt and intend buying a boat but don't already have a clue what to do as a hurricane strategy, maybe you should consider joining a hotrod club for you entertainment instead of a sailing hobby that will have an adverse impact on my insurance premiums and generally bring the entire sailing community into disrepute.

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Seriously,

I know of someone that had a boat in North Carolina and lived out of state. His insurance company wanted a plan for hurricanes and his was something like this:

1. I will sink a heavy mooring in a protected creek at location xxx.

2. In case of a forecast hurricane the marina will remove my sails and canvas and then take the boat to the mooring.

 

If I were running an insurance company coverage would be VOID if there was a named storm and your boat still had a dodger or jib up. I am not trolling here like our antipodean friend, but getting your boat wrecked DOES hose every single one of us in some way, so please take some care to get this right. You also need to rethink "get out of the way". Sandy was about 1,000 miles across!

post-9077-0-40554900-1353071992_thumb.jpg

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If you live in the hurricane belt and intend buying a boat but don't already have a clue what to do as a hurricane strategy, maybe you should consider joining a hotrod club for you entertainment instead of a sailing hobby that will have an adverse impact on my insurance premiums and generally bring the entire sailing community into disrepute.

 

If you are on CA and intend on commenting on a post you might want to consider reading the post you are comment on. Most readers of my original post with an IQ above room temperature would understand "getting out of the way" is the first choice of many boat owners. Since my original post also mentioned going to Indiantown or Green Cove Springs if getting out of the way was not an option most readers with an IQ above room temperature would understand I possess knowledge of Florida geography and am able to identify what many think is one of the better places for a boat to be when a hurricane hits Florida, Indiantown. I really don't want to start a discussion on the best place to hole up, just saying Indiantown has a lot of street cred as a marina and a place not subject to as much storm surge as some of the coastal locations.

 

My post was not so much as what to do when (not if, when) a hurricane comes; I have been through that several times with my Dad's boat. Rather I was asking about what would be the best way to produce a written plan that would make insurance companies happy.

 

I just got finished with a boating course that probably did not increase my knowledge or seamanship abilities, but it did lower my insurance rate by close to $US500. We all know that often times the powers that be often make rules that are not really connected to reality, but they are rules. This was what I am trying to do, comply with the rules the insurance company has.

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Any suggestions on what is entailed in producing a "hurricane action plan" welcome.

 

I know someone at BoatUS and asked. The below was this persons immediate off the cuff (non-official) response. I asked if they had any examples they could share that they specifically liked/approved . . .so I may get a bit more direction from them.

 

"Basically, we want people to picture a hurricane coming towards them and to tell us what they would do. They can go to our Hurricane Tracking website and download the brochure on boat owner's hurricane prep: http://www.boatus.com/hurricanes/hurr_prep.asp and then tell us what they would do based on that. In the case where someone is not cruising but in a marina, they might say they would haul the boat, or that they would move to a larger slip and double the lines with added chafe protection. This guy's situation is complicated by his being out cruising, so he probably would need to say something like, "I'd get to the nearest hurricane hole and anchor with three anchors of xx weight, take my sails off, clear the decks, add chafe protection on the snubbers…"

 

Thanks for the link. Lots of details there about what BoatUS is expecting.

 

As I put in the original post my basic plan is to go to Indiantown or Green Cove Springs depending on where it looks like the hurricane will hit. If I am on the West Coast I would go to Spring Creek. Once the boat is secure in a marina you basically strip the boat of everything possible, put valuables in the camper van and drive to New Mexico, or in the alternative stay close to the boat in a location that is as high as possible.

 

But it turns out a lot of what BoatUS is looking for is more cookie cutter, stuff like certification of the professional hired capt. and crew if you have one. Not to say I have a problem with this, just that knowing beforehand what BoatUS is looking for in the plan helps a lot in developing one.

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If you live in the hurricane belt and intend buying a boat but don't already have a clue what to do as a hurricane strategy, maybe you should consider joining a hotrod club for you entertainment instead of a sailing hobby that will have an adverse impact on my insurance premiums and generally bring the entire sailing community into disrepute.

 

I suppose you were born with sailing experience eh? Just squirted out of the womb wearing foul weather gear, grabbed the tiller before your first suckling and crossed the ocean before you could walk. Hey, we all start somewhere pal so back off unless you have something constructive to say.

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I always like my hurricane plan.

 

Strip the canvas

 

Put the boat in the slip facing the anticipated highest winds (slip has a N/S orientation)

 

Retrieve storm lines and double all. Extra springs in direction of anticipated wind.

 

Pull shore power cable. Shut down dock power.

 

Pull powerboats.

 

Pre-op house generator

 

Remove Insurance Policies from file

 

Pour 2 generous fingers of scotch and read the policies.

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Well, there is the need for a formal plan for the insurance company. More important, however, is to understand what your REAL plan is. I have both a house and a boat on the east coast of Florida. I used to take me one full day to prepare the boat, and one full day to prepare the house. Now, with the kids gone and unavailable for free labor, I have to rethink some things and timing. For example, I need to replace the storm shutters on the second floor with accordians - there is no way I can get some of those shutter up without help. On the boat, the main is 14 foot on the boom and 47 foot on the hoist - with full battens. Can I strip that by myself, and how long will it take. Looks like when the five day circle hits my area I need to start the hurricane prep.

 

More importantly for you, if you want to take the boat somewhere else, how long will it take? What are the logistics of the move (i.e. how will you get from the boat to shore, from shore back home)? If you are going to put the boat on the hook, how many, how big? Where will you keep them so you can quickly load them on the boat when a storm approaches. What other prep work do you need to do? House? Family? You need to think through how all of this will work, not for the insurance company, but for you.

 

Congrats on the Seawind, by the way, great boat, great performance and lots of fun.

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Are you working with a Marine Insurance broker?

 

When my wife needed to return to the states from Mexico for medical treatment just before we were going to head back to the US for Hurricane season my broker in San Diego (Douglas K Smith) was able to help me get coverage to summer over in Mexico even though the port my boat was in (Barra de Navidad) wasn't on my insurance company's list of approved summer harbors.

 

I really think that it can be a good idea to work with a professional on something a complex as marine insurance.

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Caution, newbie here, do not know what I'm talking about.

 

I have heard, though, that in Florida the best way to survive a hurricane in a boat is to head up river, and tie up in between two very sturdy mangrove trees (like double mooring buoys). The surrounding trees provide some lee, and they're about as sturdy a support as you'll find.

 

Then again, having your boat break free surrounded by tree trunks doesn't sound like the best situation.

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Caution, newbie here, do not know what I'm talking about.

 

I have heard, though, that in Florida the best way to survive a hurricane in a boat is to head up river, and tie up in between two very sturdy mangrove trees (like double mooring buoys). The surrounding trees provide some lee, and they're about as sturdy a support as you'll find.

 

Then again, having your boat break free surrounded by tree trunks doesn't sound like the best situation.

 

Mangroves are incredibly tough trees and I have tied a boat to them for a hurricane (really minor one, it turned out) so I endorse the plan if getting completely out of the way is not an option.

 

However, it does remind me of the guys who tried to ride out Andrew aboard a big sportsfish in Caesar's Creek in S. Biscayne Bay. As I remember the story, one went out to stop the transom door from flapping the whole transom off the boat, was swept away and not seen again. Another disappeared without explanation. One was later found in a tree in a large cooler. The boat wound up in the trees. The lesson I drew is that it's ALWAYS possible for the humans to get out of the way, just not always possible for the boat.

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Also note this advice is VERY location specific.

Here in Maryland winds so far have NEVER exceeded what we get in bad thunderstorms and waves can only be so big in a protected creek. Our hazzards are the surge and OTHER BOATS that get loose.

Patrolling the marina all night and adding lines to the boats around me as needed served me well in Isabel. In Miami in Andrew ----- not so much.

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Seriously,

I know of someone that had a boat in North Carolina and lived out of state. His insurance company wanted a plan for hurricanes and his was something like this:

1. I will sink a heavy mooring in a protected creek at location xxx.

2. In case of a forecast hurricane the marina will remove my sails and canvas and then take the boat to the mooring.

 

If I were running an insurance company coverage would be VOID if there was a named storm and your boat still had a dodger or jib up. I am not trolling here like our antipodean friend, but getting your boat wrecked DOES hose every single one of us in some way, so please take some care to get this right. You also need to rethink "get out of the way". Sandy was about 1,000 miles across!

 

With that much freeboard, I wonder how much windage the bimini actually added. Not that it shouldn't have been removed, just that the result may have been the same.

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Lucky for him our club got the boat dragged off and back to his dock. I have no idea if the owner even knows the boat came across the creek. Next time he goes out he will be like "WTF - I thought I left the boat on the mooring and now she is back at the dock. Hey - why is the mooring buoy tied to the boat* and not connected to the mooring?"

 

 

*memo to mooring owners: they need an annual exam. The chain rusted through right under the mooring buoy.

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It's the first I've heard of any insurance company requiring this. My insurer (ACE) doesn't. My policy includes haulout coverage, which IMHO is the best plan.

Remove the canvas and anything else that creates windage. Blatten everything down and duct tape the seams. Then have the boat hauled and tied down.

Could that plan fail? Sure, a tree could or another boat could fall on my boat. But that's why I have insurance.

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So, what happens if you submit your general hurricane plan but because of a unique situation, you need to deviate from it and don't have time to notify and get approval from the insurance company. If there is damage or a loss (even if you made the right call) can they deny your claim?

 

Seems like an easy out for the insurance company ...

 

-Avocet

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Don't forget step one:

 

Put on Brown trousers.

 

If you keep your boat on a swing mooring get it upsized and spec'd as a hurricane mooring for you boat.

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It is NOT the best plan for where I live, but certainly YMMV.

Around here, the marina is going to be VERY busy at the time that insurance would pay for a haulout and a lot of low lying marinas will have your boat floating loose when the tide comes in.

 

 

It's the first I've heard of any insurance company requiring this. My insurer (ACE) doesn't. My policy includes haulout coverage, which IMHO is the best plan.

Remove the canvas and anything else that creates windage. Blatten everything down and duct tape the seams. Then have the boat hauled and tied down.

Could that plan fail? Sure, a tree could or another boat could fall on my boat. But that's why I have insurance.

post-9077-0-81886100-1355087193_thumb.jpg

post-9077-0-05352100-1355087207_thumb.jpg

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My experience as well although our marinas are generally above any expected surge.

 

Unless you have an annual slip/dry storage contract, it's hard to get a hurricane haul out due to limited capacity and time available to haul. For Isabel, I was " on the list" at 4 yards and didn't get hauled.

 

My slip has little fetch, 6 well set pilings and is 1.5 times the boat's beam wide. I'm probably better off there than on the hard.

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