The Top Ten Costliest Casualties in 2013

This ketch washed up onto the beach during Hurricane Sandy in 2012

It’s a terrible feeling, calling your insurance company to file a new claim. You feel it in your gut, maybe in your heart rate and definitely in your wallet. The good news? There are plenty of other sailors with whom to commiserate. To put things in perspective, BoatUS has just released its top ten most expensive claims of the past five years, along with tips on how to avoid incurring the same damages on your own boat

Seaworthy, the BoatUS Marine Insurance and Damage Avoidance Report created a similar breakdown in 2005. Claims are ranked using the amount of money paid out per category between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2012. Since the claims were ranked in 2005, there have been several large storms including Hurricanes Sandy and Irene, which have a clear effect on the results. The lineup looks a little different when we look at average payout per claim. The first few made the top because they typically result in total loss.


Ranking by Total Cost of Claim Type

Ranking by Cost Per Incident Ranking in 2005 Tip to Avoid Damage
1) Hurricane 7 1

Haul out before the storm hits if possible

2) Sinking 4 3

Check all fittings below the waterline at least once per season

3)Weather/wind 9 5

Make sure the boat is well secured to the dock and watch for chafing lines

4) Striking submerged object 10 2

Check for bilge leaks after a strike to prevent a much more expensive sinking claim

5)Fire/explosion 2 4

Inspect wires, make sure your fire extinguishers are ready to go, and don’t ignore the smell of raw gasoline

6) Collision 8 6

Pay attention, even when the autopilot is steering, and know the rules of the road

7) Grounding 6 7

Track your location on up-to-date charts and keep a depth sounder on hand

8) Injury 3

Brief your passengers on potential dangerous situations and how to avoid them

9) Theft 1 9

Take the wheels off your trailer during storage

10) Lightning 5 8

Pray to Thor, god of thunder



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