WASHINGTON, D.C., June 14, 2012 – The weather is always a major concern for boaters, especially in coastal areas where hurricanes and tropical storms are a constant threat. According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), federal forecasters are predicting there will be nine to 15 named storms in 2012, and nearly half of them could be hurricanes. With hurricane season upon us, boat owners are encouraged to take necessary preparations to minimize the potential for injuries and property damage.
GEICO recommends the following tips.
- Create a plan – Have storm plan in place that details how and where your boat will be anchored during a hurricane. Once you’ve created your plan, practice it to ensure all parts of your plan are do-able.
- Stock up on supplies – Make sure that you have enough supplies (duct tape, rope) and other necessities at the beginning of storm season. Keep in mind that shortages can inevitably occur once a hurricane watch or warning has been announced.
- Check the weather forecast – Closely monitor all local and national weather advisories and updates. Be prepared to act immediately when an alert goes out.
- Move your boat – One way of protecting your boat during a storm is to remove it from the water to a safe location farther inland. Once you have moved your boat inland, either store it in a garage or tie down the boat securely using heavy ropes or chains to solid structures.
- Ask out about Hurricane Haul-Out protection – Insurance carriers know it’s much wiser to haul boats out of a danger zone than to take the risk and ride out the storm. With Hurricane Haul-Out protection, your policy could pay or reimburse a certain amount of the cost (availability and limits are subject to the policy terms and conditions) to have your boat moved by professionals to a safer location if a hurricane watch or warning is issued for your area.
- Docking at a marina – If your boat is normally moored in a marina, check with the marina to determine their storm plan as well as your lease agreement. If your boat can't be removed from the water, ask if it can be moved to a larger slip. A boat in an oversized slip with proper tie-downs has less chance of chafing against the sides of the slip.
- Take an inventory of your items – In the event of a storm; make a photo or video inventory of all fixed items of value that will be left on your boat so they can be easily identified. Remove all detachable items such as sails, canvas, antennas, electronic devices and cushions which are susceptible to damage. Any items that cannot be moved (tillers, boom, wheels) should be lashed down.
- Secure all important documents – Remove all boat records such as insurance policy, boat registration and any other important documentation to a secure location away from the vessel.
GEICO recommends that boat owners do not try to ride out a hurricane by staying aboard their boat or going off-shore. Hurricane winds and conditions are extremely violent and life threatening. Policyholders are urged to call the GEICO Insurance Agency at 1-800-841-3005 if they need any assistance with coverage or claims. For more information, please visit http://www.geico.com/information/safety/hurricane_preparedness_for_boat_owners/
GEICO Insurance Agency offers protection against risks such as natural disasters, personal injury, theft, accidents, property damage, vandalism and liability, featuring competitive rates, online quoting, multi-policy discounts and multiple pay plan options. Coverage and policy option availability are subject to the terms and conditions of the policy. For more information on boating, go to www.geico.com/information/aboutinsurance/boat/.
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the third-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 11 million private passenger customers and insures more than 18 million vehicles (auto & cycle).
GEICO's online service center helps policyholders take care of policy sales, policy changes, claims reporting and to print insurance ID cards.
GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for boats, life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.
For more information, go to www.geico.com.