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ACE Recreational Marine Insurance Announces Hurricane Safety Tips for Boaters
Free Online Guide to Hurricane Preparation Available to Boating Community
Jun 9, 2008

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With the hurricane season already upon us, climate experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say there is a 90 percent chance for a near or above normal 2008 Atlantic Hurricane season, resulting in the need for boaters in hurricane-prone regions to have preparation plans in place. NOAA scientists predict between 12 to 16 named storms this year, with 6 to 9 becoming hurricanes, of which 2 to 5 could become major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher.1

Given the prediction of above normal hurricane activity, boat owners and the marine community should take proactive measures to minimize the potential for injuries and reduce damage to boats. ACE Recreational Marine Insurance has released its top ten list of important tips to help recreational boaters protect their vessels as well as other property on board during the hurricane season. The key factors to protecting your boat from hurricanes or any severe weather are planning, preparation and timely action, said Damon R. Hostetter, Senior Vice President, ACE Recreational Marine Insurance. The following precautionary suggestions are guidelines to be used by the marine community to help prevent injury or possibly reduce property damage.

ACE Recreational Marines Top Ten Hurricane Safety Tips for Boaters

  1. Develop a detailed plan of action to secure your vessel in the marina (if permitted). Alternatively, you may remove your boat from the threatened area or take your boat to a previously identified storm refuge. Specifically identify and assemble needed equipment and supplies. Keep them together and practice your plan to ensure it works before the hurricane season. Arrange for a qualified and capable friend or a licensed professional captain to carry out your plans if you are out of town during the hurricane season.
  2. Check your lease or storage rental agreement with the marina or storage facility. Know your responsibilities and liabilities as well as those of the marina.
  3. Owners of non-trailerable boats in wet storage have options that include the following: 1) Secure the boat in the marina berth; 2) Moor the boat in a previously identified safe area; or 3) Haul the boat.
  4. Owners of boats remaining in a marina berth can take the following precautions: Double all lines. Rig crossing spring lines fore and aft. Attach lines high on pilings to allow for tidal rise or surge. Make sure lines will not slip off pilings. Inspect pilings and choose those that appear the strongest and tallest, and are installed properly.
  5. Cover all lines at rough points or where lines feed through chocks to prevent chafing. Wrap with tape, rags and rubber hoses or leather. Install fenders, fender boards or tires if necessary to protect the boat from rubbing against the pier, pilings and other boats.
  6. Fully charge the batteries and check to ensure their capability to run automatic bilge pumps for the duration of the storm. Consider backup batteries. Shut off all devices consuming electricity except bilge pumps, and disconnect shore power cables.
  7. When a hurricane is impending, and after you have made anchoring or mooring provisions, remove all portable equipment such as canvas, sails, dinghies, electronics, cushions, biminis and roller furling sails. Lash down everything you are unable to remove such as tillers, wheels and booms.
  8. Maintain an inventory of both the items removed and those left on board. Items of value should be marked so that they can be readily identified. You should also consider maintaining a video or photographic record of the boat and its inventory in a secure location other than the vessel itself for future reference.
  9. Consolidate all records including insurance policies, a recent photo of your vessel, boat registration, equipment inventory, and the lease agreement with the marina or storage facility. Ensure that you include the telephone numbers of appropriate authorities, such as the U.S. Coast Guard, Harbor Master, National Weather Service, and your insurance agent, and keep them on hand.
  10. Do not stay aboard. Winds, during any hurricane, can exceed 100 mph and tornadoes are often associated with these storms. Above all, safeguard human life.

According to Mr. Hostetter, the more knowledgeable recreational boaters are about proactive safety practices on the water, the better. Another important preparation component is to make sure your insurance policy is current by reading the policy thoroughly. There is quite a bit of helpful and advisory information in the policy relative to what the vessel owner should and should not do if there is a storm- or hurricane-related loss or damage to the vessel. Understand the coverages, exclusions and your duties as a vessel owner, he noted.

ACE offers a free Hurricanes and Severe Storms preparation guide, which includes detailed recommendations for the owners of trailerable and non-trailerable boats to undertake prior, during and after a storm. Please to download this safety brochure, by clicking on the Boating Safety & Loss Prevention hot link, then selecting the Hurricanes and Severe Storms brochure.

ACE Recreational Marine Insurance, part of ACE USA, offers exceptional all-risk insurance coverage for vessels of all sizes  from the smallest to the largest  throughout the United States. Programs are available to protect the entire spectrum of pleasure yachts and boats, including luxury mega-yachts and sailboats, sport fishing boats, ski boats, personal watercraft, high performance vessels, and select charter vessels.

ACE USA is the U.S.-based retail operating division of the ACE Group of Companies, headed by ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE), and is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company and A+ (Strong) by Standard & Poors. ACE USA, through its underwriting companies, provides insurance products and services throughout the U.S. Additional information on ACE USA and its products and services can be found at The ACE Group of Companies provides insurance and reinsurance for a diverse group of clients around the world.




ACE North America Communications
Carla Ferrara, 215-640-4744