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Katrina causes US$650 to US$750 million worth of damage to boats

By IBI Magazine/Michael Verdon

The Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) said today that damage to recreational boaters from Hurricane Katrina is between US$650 to US$750 million, and that only about half of that amount was covered by insurance.

Katrina's losses, according to a statement, surpass last year's combined US$330 million in damages caused by four hurricanes, and is above US$500 million attributed to Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Hurricane Katrina destroyed an estimated 75 per cent of the marinas along 150 miles of the Gulf Coast.

The BoatU.S. Marine Insurance Catastrophe Response Team is working in three affected states of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Carroll Robertson, senior vice president of Claims for BoatU.S. Marine Insurance, says that she expects claims activity to subside in Alabama and Mississippi in the next few weeks as boats are located, surveyed and processed for repairs or salvage.

"However, there is still a lot of work to do in Louisiana," said Robertson in a statement, who adds that the sheer size and severity of destruction, in addition to evacuations and security restrictions, have slowed recovery efforts.

The statement noted that Hurricane Rita that hit the coastal areas of eastern Texas and the Louisiana bayou on Sept. 24. Figures for boat losses attributed to this storm aren't expected for a few more weeks.

(12 October 2005)

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