Hurricane season is officially upon us and that means one thing – it’s time to talk insurance.
For those who keep your boats on coastal waterways or anywhere throughout the Southeast United States, it’s important to be prepared if and when a hurricane hits. A big part of that involves knowing what to do when it comes to your boat insurance policy.
In the past, we’ve highlighted what to do to prepare early on in the season. We’ve talked about the important steps of taking an inventory, with photos, of your boat and its contents and having a detailed storm plan on-hand and ready to go the moment a storm is forecasted – but what about after the storm has passed?
Our very own experts at Sea Insure have offered up five simple tips to filing a claim:
- Assess the damage – Once the storm has passed and it’s safe to return to your boat, make a detailed assessment of the damage. Take as many photos as possible to showcase any and all damage your boat has experienced.
- Gather necessary information – Make note of the damage to your boat and its contents. Jot down where the damage occurred and where your boat will be (repair facility, marina, etc.) with addresses and contact information. If vandalism, theft, collision or bodily injury has occurred, contact your local authorities and obtain a police report. If another boat was involved, be sure to collect the owner’s name, address, phone number and a description of their boat. These things, along with the photos, will help a surveyor assess the damage and process your claim as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- Make the call – Once you’ve gathered the necessary information, it’s time to officially file your claim. Contact your policy holder directly to begin the claims process and get back on the road to recovery.
- Don’t jump the gun – We know you want to get your beloved boat back in the water as soon as possible, but in order to quickly and efficiently process your claim and come out the other side scot-free, it’s important to follow the proper procedures. Be sure to authorize the survey of your vessel and have the damage assessed by your provider BEFORE allowing repair work to begin. Additionally, be sure not to admit any liability or incur any expense for which you or your provider may become liable without your provider’s permission, unless those costs involve protecting your property from further loss.
- Get back to boating – Once your claim is filed, your agent will take it from there! Before you know it, your boat will be back at your favorite dock and ready for countless days of enjoying our favorite pastime.
Don’t let out-of-pocket repair bills sink you this hurricane season. Make sure you’re covered for whatever Mother Nature might throw your way. Ask questions, know your policy and be proactive.
Sea Insure shared with us, it is good to have your Insurance Company information in a safe spot (not on your vessel) and be able to access it when filing a claim. For those of you that are policy holders with Sea Insure, Chris McKinnon shared some direct claim contact information to make your claims reporting a little easier:
If you are a New Hampshire Insurance Company policy holder, please call 888-760-9195 or email email@example.com
If you are a Markel Marine policy holder, please call 800-362-7535 or email firstname.lastname@example.org