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Will Your Insurance Pay Up When Your Boat Is Struck by Lightning?

During a thunderstorm or other severe weather, one of the most dangerous places you can be is in the water on your boat. Hopefully, you are fortunate enough to have time to dock your vessel and get on dry land before the storm begins. Your boat, however, likely won’t have that luxury and will have to fend for itself during the dangerous weather.

Not So Lucky Strike: What Lightning Can Do to Your Boat

The good news is that the chances of your boat getting visited by lightning are pretty slim. Nevertheless, lightning damage is one of the most common marine insurance claims. Should your boat defy the odds, lightning can create pretty extensive damage and can cost a lot to repair. When lightning enters a ship, it is on a mission to hit the water. As a result, it will destroy whatever comes between it and the sea. Damages that are commonly seen in lightning strikes include:

  • Electrical damage. It makes sense that the electrical components of the boat would suffer quite a bit when they meet lightning. You can expect problems with your battery, refrigeration controls, air conditioning, instruments, and just about anything that runs on electricity. On the bright side, electrical damage is typically detected immediately, meaning you likely won’t have any surprises a few months down the road and experience a malfunction.
  • Mast damage. Sailboats are especially prone to lightning strikes. When this happens, you can expect the mast to suffer major damage. Typically, wood and fiber carbon masts experience the most damage, but aluminum masts are good conductors and therefore don’t see much trauma.
  • Hull problems. Most hulls are made of fiberglass, which is exceptionally vulnerable to lightning. On its journey to find water, the lightning could create a hole in the hull;  if this infiltration occurs below the waterline, your boat could sink.

Is Your Insurance Company Making Things Difficult?

The point of marine insurance is to protect you in times like these. When your insurance company tries to play games and deny you what you are owed, you can look to the Voss Law Firm for help. Our experienced attorneys have helped many boat owners in the Woodlands get the compensation they deserve, and we want to try and do the same for you. Contact us by calling 888-614-7730 to speak to a compassionate legal professional about your situation.


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