5 Hurricane Season Preparedness Tips for Boaters

Hurricane season officially begins June 1st in the Atlantic Basin and runs through the end of November. Now is the best time for boat owners – particularly those with boats located along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts – to form a plan of action to follow if a hurricane or other named storm should threaten the area. Here are five basic tips to help ensure you will be ready the next time the forecast calls for a major storm.

1. Make sure your boat is insured. 

If your boat or engine should be damaged or destroyed by wind, debris or flood waters during a storm, the resulting repairs or replacement could cost you far more than an annual boat insurance policy. It’s important to protect your boat just as you would any other valuable asset, such as your home or car.

2. Review your insurance policy’s requirements. 

When it comes to hurricanes and other named storms, different marine insurance carriers have different requirements. If you live in Florida, for example, some companies may write into the policy that you must move your boat out of state during hurricane season in order to maintain your insurance coverage. On the other hand, some carriers won’t require you to move the boat as long as you have a good hurricane plan in place. 

“It’s largely dependent on the insurance company and the value of the boat,” said Jake Hill, Newcoast director, boat insurance. 

Another line item to doublecheck in your policy is the amount of the deductible it specifies if your boat is damaged or totaled. “Most marine insurance policies will have a separate higher named-storm deductible,” he said.

3. Make a formal hurricane plan.

Whether or not your insurance company requires it, it’s important to have a formal, written plan in place for your boat when hurricanes and other named storms threaten. Be sure to share your plan with your insurance provider.

“Insurance companies always need to know the exact mooring location where the boat is going to be during hurricane season,” Hill said. “If it is a full-service marina with a dockmaster, security and staff who will be there 24/7 watching it, then insurance companies are more inclined to allow the boat to stay there.”

If you plan to have your boat hauled out when a storm is forecast, check your insurance policy to see if the provider will pay for some or all of the haul-out. “Depending on your insurance policy, if it won’t reimburse at 100%, many of the companies will share in the cost,” Hill said.

4. Designate a backup hurricane plan executor. 

If you are a snowbird or live far from your boat’s location, designate a responsible person who is nearby to carry out your hurricane plan for you. In some cases, your insurance company may require this. “If it’s a larger vessel, say worth more than $500,000, and the insured is an absentee owner and the boat is not kept at a full-service marina, then insurance companies will want to see an absentee-owner questionnaire indicating who is going to be watching over the boat and responsible for prepping it if and when a named storm strikes,” he said.

5. Remove your valuables from the boat. 

Typically, mounted electronics, appliances and equipment that are permanently installed in your boat are included in the vessel’s value and are covered by your insurance policy. “But if there is a named storm approaching it’s common procedure to remove any kind of loose items, any personal effects, all the canvas and the cushions beforehand,” he said. 

When it comes to hurricanes and other named storms, the best policy is to hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Having a good boat insurance policy and a solid hurricane plan in place can ensure your boat will survive the storm, or it does not, you will be able to recoup some or all of its loss.

Newcoast is a leading insurance and finance provider in the marine and recreational industry. Newcoast offers competitive and customized boat loans and RV financing options, as well as tailored boat insurance plans and RV insurance programs with robust carrier options, industry-leading experience, and access to world-class partners. To obtain a loan or insurance plan that’s right for you and your boating or RV lifestyle, call (866)639-2627 or visit


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