News Release

ACE Recreational Marine Insurance Announces Hurricane Safety Tips for Boaters
Jun 26, 2009

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With the hurricane season already upon us, climate experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say there is a 50 percent probability for a near-normal and a 25 percent probability of an above-normal 2009 Atlantic Hurricane season. Any probability of a hurricane or a severe storm is cause for boaters in hurricane-prone regions to have preparation plans in place. NOAA scientists predict between 9 to 14 named storms this year, with 4 to 7 becoming hurricanes, of which one to three could become major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher.1

Given the possibility 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 best defenses 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 Marine’s 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, your insurance agent, claim reporting number of your insurance carrier, 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. “Public awareness is one of the key factors in keeping safe in the event of a hurricane. Another important component is to read and thoroughly understand your insurance policy well in advance of a hurricane to ensure it is adequately meeting your needs. Understand the coverages, exclusions and your duties as a vessel owner,” he noted. “Don’t wait until the last minute to make changes as you may find out you are unable to do so due to the impending nature of the storm.”

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 learn more about ACE Recreational Marine Insurance and 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 Private Risk Services, has been serving marine clients for more than 200 years, since 1792 when its predecessor company wrote the very first marine insurance policy issued in the United States. ACE offers exceptional all-risk insurance coverage to protect the entire spectrum of pleasure yachts and boats, including classic boats, luxury mega-yachts and sailboats, sport fishing boats, ski boats, personal watercraft, high performance vessels and select charter vessels.

ACE Private Risk Services is the high-net-worth personal lines business of ACE Group, and provides specialty coverage for homeowners, automobile, recreational marine, umbrella liability and collections insurance for affluent individuals and families. The ACE Group is a global leader in insurance and reinsurance serving a diverse group of clients. Headed by ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE), the ACE Group conducts its business on a worldwide basis with operating subsidiaries in more than 50 countries. Additional information can be found




ACE Group
Carla L. Ferrara, 215-640-4744