Lightening strike - insurance considerations - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 08-01-2009
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Lightening strike - insurance considerations

Hi Guys -
I just learned that my new I (to me) boat was struck by lightening 2 days ago. Among the things that I know were damaged were the VHF (powers up but not functional), the Radar scanner, the electrosan marine sanitation processor, one of the electrical bilge pumps and, teh air conditioning unit. The anenometer was blown off too and the masthead is obviously suspect. ALso suspect is the battery charger which appears to be working but not regulation the charge.

My question(s): have any of you been through this from an insurance claim perspective? What things should be considered that might not be immediately apparent? Standing rigging? Is taht an absolute "must replace" after a strike and will the insurers agree? How about the mast wiring? What problems might be lying concealed that I need to find prior to filing (or finalizing) a claim?

Thanks!
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Old 08-01-2009
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Here are a couple of starters.

You need a haulout and a hull examination. Where did it exit?

Also if you have a steel boat it can be turned into a powerful magnet rendering compasses useless. [ Ask me how I know]
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Old 08-01-2009
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It exited through the keel at the forefoot --m probably the closest exit point from the bottom of the keel mast plate (where the copper ground deadends). There was a small hole in the fiberglass at that point (not through the keel, but about 3/4" x 3/4". The boat does have a lightening grounding plate but no signs of exit there.
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Old 08-01-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blowinstink View Post
Hi Guys -
I just learned that my new I (to me) boat was struck by lightening 2 days ago. Among the things that I know were damaged were the VHF (powers up but not functional), the Radar scanner, the electrosan marine sanitation processor, one of the electrical bilge pumps and, teh air conditioning unit. The anenometer was blown off too and the masthead is obviously suspect. ALso suspect is the battery charger which appears to be working but not regulation the charge.

My question(s): have any of you been through this from an insurance claim perspective? What things should be considered that might not be immediately apparent? Standing rigging? Is taht an absolute "must replace" after a strike and will the insurers agree? How about the mast wiring? What problems might be lying concealed that I need to find prior to filing (or finalizing) a claim?

Thanks!
It will really depend on you Insurance Company. If you have a third party (which from my perspective is not BoatUS) insurance you can expect different results.

The first thing you need to do is take pictures and have previous pictures before the damage.

Secondly, call it in immediately - your claim can go from 36 hrs to 2 yrs, but sooner is better.

What will happen.

Insurance will record your verbal affidavit, when you call to make the claim.

They will send out a appraiser of their choosing. You can always select to have one of your own however - the supplied is no cost (transparent), and if you select and counter with your own then it is initially out of pocket but may / should be refunded.

Depending on the yard you elect to take it too to repair.. and the overall adjusters experiences with such yard yields some outcomes.

If an appraiser states not to go the particular yard - ask why. If he is ok with the yard again ask why. It effects how the experience will go for you.

The appraiser is the middleman between the yard and your insurance. I do not need to harp on that relationship.

Your insurance is actually third tier even if they are paying. Between you discussion and the appraisers - you have choices.

First off: Make a very detailed list of actual and suspected damages. Make that know to both the adjuster and the insurance com0pany as you know your boat better than anyone (or I hope)

Be honest with your dealing with your broker - and if seems fishy - ask for an manager. If you have BoatUS I can almost garuntee that will never be an issue..(REF MY GROUNDING)

Document everything to the best of your ability, have receipts handy and any eye witness accounts documented..

Depending on your carrier this will be the easiest or hardest event of your insurance experience . Remain calm - stand by your expectations.
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Old 08-10-2009
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What did you do Blowingstink? What did the adjuster say?

Just wondering; were you plugged in? Are you sure it was lightening and not a power surge?

If it was a direct lightening strike I would think you would see damage to the mast. The LectroSan has a breaker, radar can get messed up by a power surge. Course computers can be damaged.

I think you should make sure this is the time you want to file insurance. Boatyards love to talk about "lightening strikes"...just the term turns them on because it means "blank check" to them. Power surges are common. Have the wires melted to your bilge pump etc? Your course computers and other electronics can also get damaged by electrical surges.

Let us know how it's progressing.
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Old 08-10-2009
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The boat should be hauled and the hull, rudder and through hulls inspected. The stick should be pulled and wiring replaced. If you have a furler, the foil should be inspected to see that the sections are not fused together. Check the headsail for burning. Then there's all the electrical problems, don't forget the alternator. Don't ask how I know all this.
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Old 08-10-2009
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Don't ask how I know all this.
The boatyard told you to do it?
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Old 08-10-2009
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Hi Guys. I thought this thread was gong to die quietly . . .

The damage was pretty extensive. Yes it was definitely lightning. AMong other things, there is scorching on the mast. The insurer has been good so far -- but rubber hasn't met road yet . . . so to speak.

Never thought to check the furler -- thanks -- that's exactly the sort of advice I was seeking.

I'll know more soon and will fill you in then.
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