Boat & Property Damage Claims Following Hurricane Matthew's Aftermath

The Atlantic coastline of Florida recently endured the torrential rainfall and gale-force winds of Hurricane Matthew. While the powerful storm was not as devastating as anticipated – it was once feared it would hit Florida with the force of a category 5 hurricane – it still caused widespread damage, mainly from storm surges and flying debris. Water crafts were especially vulnerable to catastrophic damage, and many boat owners are now faced with the complex process of creating a boat and/or property damage insurance claim.

Boat Damage Caused by Hurricane Matthew

The first thing you will need to know when filing a boat damage claim is actually what type of damage your vessel sustained. It is not enough to simply state that it was wrecked by Hurricane Matthew. The more specific you can get, the better your chances of receiving the coverage you need.

Three main types of damage caused to watercraft are:

  1. Cracks: The hull of any vessel, be it a fishing boat, yacht, sailboat, and so forth, is susceptible to cracks and puncturing if it is tossed about during a hurricane. It could slam into the piers, jetties, and other vessels, leading to expensive-to-fix hull damage.
  2. Flooding: The storm surge of a hurricane begins as a great wave tearing over the shore. Smaller vessels are especially susceptible to flooding caused by the wave. It is not uncommon to find completely sunken and submerged vessels following a hurricane.
  3. Beaching: Any boat that has been beached by the winds and/or waves of a hurricane will likely sustain significant damage. Extensive repairs or even total replacement may be necessary.

Of course, damage also includes the docks where boats are harbored or moored. If your dock or marina was damaged by Hurricane Matthew, you will also want to file an insurance claim for repairs there as well.

Your Deserve Fair Coverage

Insurance companies still need to maintain accepted business practices when handling influxes of boat and property damage claims, even after a hurricane causes hundreds or thousands to be filed within a short amount of time. You have paid monthly premiums for proper coverage and service, after all. Recognizing the signs of insurance bad faith can protect you from unfair claim results.

Some of the most common forms of insurance bad faith for hurricane claims are:

  • Denying claims without stating why
  • Refusing to send an investigator to your property
  • Giving lowballed settlement offers
  • Delaying the handling of your claim

If you have experienced any of these behaviors from your boat insurance company, you might need to think twice and question whether or not they are using reasonable methods to run their business and handle your claim. By contacting Cassidy & Black, P.A., you can get a team of Florida insurance claim attorneys on your side to strengthen your claim and fight for the coverage you need to recover from Hurricane Matthew. We serve people all throughout the state, from Jacksonville to St. Augustine to West Palm Beach to Miami. Call 305.964.8792 today.