$500 Million Worth of Estimated Boat Damage Courtesy of Irene

Hurricane Irene likely caused an estimated $500 million in damage to boats, according to Jim Holler, senior vice president of underwriting for BoatUS.

That figure, he said, does not include damage to boating facilities, and includes all boats, whether insured or not, in all states affected by the storm. What made Irene so powerful, he said, was not the wind, but the large geographic area it affected, the rain, the flooding and the storm surge.

Despite the losses incurred up and down the East Coast, inland areas of New York and New England and in the Bahamas, BoatUS officials said boaters and marina owners seemed to take heed of the storm warnings and take precautions to protect their boats.

“Our members and our insurers who took advantage of our named storm haul-out provision of the policy, where we will reimburse them 50 percent of the cost of hauling their boat out up to $1,000 … have fared much, much better and in most cases had no damage. The boats that are damaged, almost exclusively, are boats that were left in the water and boats that were left in the water on moorings,” Carroll Robertson, senior vice president of claims for BoatUS, told Soundings Trade Only this morning.

So far, Boat US has received about 1,000 calls from those it insures letting it know that they are taking advantage of this provision. Robertson said she expects that number to grow.

Some of the most significant pockets of calls are coming from the Hudson River Valley and Lake George, N.Y., as well as Cape Cod, Mass., she added.

“I think not only did our members take heed in protecting their boats, I think the marinas to a large extent up and down the East Coast took heed of these warnings and prepared their facilities well, as well,” Holler said.

For the complete story, go to www.tradeonlytoday.com.

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