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Hurricanes Harvey And Irma Damage To Boats Estimated At Half-Billion-Plus Dollars

The Boat Owners Association of The United States organization estimates that more than 63,000 recreational boats were damaged or destroyed as a result of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma this summer, with a combined dollar damage estimate of $655 million to the vessels. The news was announced in press release yesterday from BoatUS, which is the nation’s largest advocacy, services and safety group for recreational boaters.

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The vessel damages from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are similar to those of Hurricane Sandy.

According to BoatUS estimates, Hurricane Irma damaged or destroyed 50,000 vessels with approximately $500 million in recreational boat damage. Approximately 13,500 boats were damaged or lost costing $155 million in boat damage as the result of Hurricane Harvey. The numbers are similar clos to those of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, according to the release, which remains the single-largest industry loss with more than 65,000 boats damaged and more than $650 million in estimated losses.

“These two storms were as different as night and day,” said Rick Wilson, the vice-president of claims for the BoatUS Marine Insurance Program, in the release. “The boats that were hit the hardest by Harvey were located on a relatively small slice of Texas coast, while we saw damage to recreational vessels from Irma in every corner of Florida.” The BoatUS Catastrophe Team recently completed two months of field operations arranging for repairs, salvage or wreck removals for BoatUS Marine Insurance program members and GEICO Marine Insurance customers.

“While Hurricane Irma’s losses are significant, it could have been much worse,” he continued. “Irma ultimately traveled up Florida’s West Coast and not the East, which was initially forecast. And while locations in the right front quadrant of the storm such as Big Pine Key and Marathon were hit hard with a Category 4 storm, Irma lost strength as it approached the mainland and swept up Florida. As the storm passed east of Tampa Bay, waters receded and came back gradually, also lessening surge damage.”

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