Marine Damage

Marine Damage Attorneys in Florida

Homes aren’t the only expensive pieces of property damaged during hurricanes, tropical storms and other major natural disaster events. Some of the most frequently overlooked high-ticket losses are those of a nautical nature, especially boats.

If you are a Florida boat owner and you had your vessel moored in the path of a hurricane, chances are good it didn’t escape unscathed, or even floating at all.

Common Marine Hurricane Insurance Rules

Most marine insurance policies have some important requirements boat owners should be aware of prior to a storm making landfall.

  • A specific hurricane plan coverage addon is sometimes required for boat owners to get coverage in areas prone to hurricanes
  • Hurricane coverage may also be required if you want your policy to cover wind-related damages
  • Similar to hurricane deductibles for homeowners policies, most yacht and some boat policies have a specific Named Storm Deductible of 10 percent of the vessel’s value
  • You may be able to reduce your Named Storm Deductible by putting in place a Hurricane Plan for your boat and implementing it to prevent as much damage as possible

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Making a Hurricane Plan for Your Watercraft

There are some basic rules you should follow, if possible, whenever a hurricane is forecast to hit your boat:

1.
Know ahead of time what your plan is – this could include taking your boat to a designated storm refuge, hauling the boat away or securing the boat in a marina berth
2.
If you do leave your boat in a marina birth, double your lines, attach them high on pilings in anticipation of rising surge, make sure they’re securely fastened and try to choose a piling that looks stable
3.
Consider covering all rough points on ropes to prevent chafing
4.
You can protect the sides of your boat with fender boards to prevent damage if it bangs against the pier
5.
Make sure your bilge pump batteries are fully charged with backup power if available and turn off and unplug all shore power cables
6.
Make sure everything on your boat is adequately lashed down
7.
Familiarize yourself with your marina’s liability policy so you aren’t surprised by any additional charges or over rely on their coverage
8.
Take a picture of your photo for before and after purposes if you end up having to file a claim
9.
Make sure to have your lease agreement, registration, equipment inventory and marine insurance policies with you for after the storm

Salvage and Retrieval Claims

Hurricanes frequently scatter boats all over the coastal area, including on land. A series of cranes and flatbed trucks are often required to get the boat back to its proper mooring. These salvage services are not cheap and can cost upwards of hundreds of dollars per foot length of boat. Different polices treat salvage costs in different ways. Some lump repair costs and salvage costs into one bucket, meaning your salvage costs reduce the amount of repair dollars you have left. Others separate salvage and repair.

Some policies also limit the amount of money you can get for salvage based on the valuation of your boat, so for example 25 percent of the boats value.

Wreck Removal Claims

If your boat is wrecked in a hurricane, the type of insurance policy you have will dictate how much money you’ll be given for cleanup and replacement. More expensive policies that include liability limits upwards of $100,000 will pay for clean up out of that category, since as an owner your wrecked boat is considered a liability from the environmental and safety perspective. Other policies may just pay you the value of the boat and leave the removal arrangements and payments up to you to figure out.

Fuel-Spill Claims

Another aspect of liability for boat owners is the potential for a fuel-spill in the event of a hurricane. In many situations its harder to prove or identify your boat’s specific fuel spill, but it does come up in other marine damage claims relatively frequently. This category is usually lumped in with liability coverage. Top of the line coverage often provides up to $845,000 for fuel-spill liability because that is the maximum amount you as a private boat owner can be charged under federal regulations for cleanup costs.

Get Help with Your Marine Damage Claim

Boats are a huge investment, and no one wants to face a total loss of their vessel without coverage. Marine insurance companies can be just as bad as home, auto or business insurance when it comes to denying or undervaluing claims. Although the policies often have different details and peril exclusions, the excuses or rationale the insurance company may use to deny your claim will be similar.

Insurance companies may say you didn’t take adequate precautions, so the damage is on you, or your boat wasn’t properly maintained, or they’ll tell you this particular peril wasn’t covered by your policy.

If you believe your marine insurance company is going to leave you high and dry on your hurricane boat damage claim, contact Kanner & Pintaluga at 800-586-5555 to schedule a free case evaluation.

What Our Clients Are Saying

My attorney Alexis Altman, Esq., fought hard for our water damage claim when our Big Name insurance company refused to honor the claim. The end result is she won and we end up with an amazing settlement. I will highly recommend the Law Firm of Kanner & Pintaluga to all of my friends and family and any other associates who are in need of a good Lawyer.

MONA G.

Hurricane Damage Reviews
5.0
2019-07-11T07:20:01+00:00

MONA G.

My attorney Alexis Altman, Esq., fought hard for our water damage claim when our Big Name insurance company refused to honor the claim. The end result is she won and we end up with an amazing settlement. I will highly recommend the Law Firm of Kanner & Pintaluga to all of my friends and family and any other associates who are in need of a good Lawyer.
Kanner & Pintaluga were a huge help in reaching a settlement for my boss with his insurance company. John Edwards, Max and Grace wee extremely efficient and communicative. They were by our side every step of the way. He received his settlement money in no time and without issue. I would highly recommend them.

KIMBERLY D.

Hurricane Damage Reviews
5.0
2019-07-11T07:20:39+00:00

KIMBERLY D.

Kanner & Pintaluga were a huge help in reaching a settlement for my boss with his insurance company. John Edwards, Max and Grace wee extremely efficient and communicative. They were by our side every step of the way. He received his settlement money in no time and without issue. I would highly recommend them.
Adriana Nito is the Legal Assistant with my claim and she is wonderful. She has kept me up to date on all things happening . She always returns my calls if she is on another line . And she has coordinated all inspections and all needed with my claim. Thank Adriana.

ARNALDO SOSA

Hurricane Damage Reviews
5.0
2019-08-22T17:54:49+00:00

ARNALDO SOSA

Adriana Nito is the Legal Assistant with my claim and she is wonderful. She has kept me up to date on all things happening . She always returns my calls if she is on another line . And she has coordinated all inspections and all needed with my claim. Thank Adriana.
It was my pleasure to work with John Edwards and his assistant Grace. I had such a great experience, they were able to resolve my case in a few months. They made the process smooth, easy, and simple. I am very pleased with the results and I highly recommend the Law Offices of Kanner & Pintaluga.

WILLIAM SMITH

Hurricane Damage Reviews
5.0
2019-08-22T15:37:15+00:00

WILLIAM SMITH

It was my pleasure to work with John Edwards and his assistant Grace. I had such a great experience, they were able to resolve my case in a few months. They made the process smooth, easy, and simple. I am very pleased with the results and I highly recommend the Law Offices of Kanner & Pintaluga.
We had major roof damage after Hurricane Irma, like most people in Southern Florida. Every insurance company and person we spoke to were awful to deal with. We kept getting delay after delay and it seemed like we were never going to get the assistance we needed. A friend recommended Lauren Schaefer, with Kanner and Pintaluga, and we couldn't be happier with the help we are receiving from her and the KP team. We are still going through the process but everyone has been so great. The lines of communication are always open and we never feel left in the dark about anything.

DESIREE SCHMITZ

Hurricane Damage Reviews
5.0
2019-08-22T15:39:25+00:00

DESIREE SCHMITZ

We had major roof damage after Hurricane Irma, like most people in Southern Florida. Every insurance company and person we spoke to were awful to deal with. We kept getting delay after delay and it seemed like we were never going to get the assistance we needed. A friend recommended Lauren Schaefer, with Kanner and Pintaluga, and we couldn't be happier with the help we are receiving from her and the KP team. We are still going through the process but everyone has been so great. The lines of communication are always open and we never feel left in the dark about anything.
We have been dealing with open claims with our insurance company for over a year! Alexis Altman from Kanner & Pintaluga, P.A. was recommended to us in January 2019. We were able to settle the claims in under three months. The overall experience was really great. Alexis kept us informed every step of the way and explained all available options to us. I can only wish all professional services experiences were as great as the one that we had with Alexis. Thank you!!!!

ANDRES C.

Hurricane Damage Reviews
5.0
2019-07-11T07:16:35+00:00

ANDRES C.

We have been dealing with open claims with our insurance company for over a year! Alexis Altman from Kanner & Pintaluga, P.A. was recommended to us in January 2019. We were able to settle the claims in under three months. The overall experience was really great. Alexis kept us informed every step of the way and explained all available options to us. I can only wish all professional services experiences were as great as the one that we had with Alexis. Thank you!!!!
5
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Kanner & Pintaluga provide hurricane damage representation throughout Florida, including:

Boca Raton
Daytona
Delray Beach
Ft. Lauderdale
Ft. Myers
Gainesville
Hollywood
Jacksonville
Melbourne
Miami
Naples
Orlando
Tampa
Tallahassee
Panama City
Miramar Beach
Blountstown
Quincy
Fort Walton Beach
Pensacola