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Claims for Property Damages to Boats


If you own or lease a boat that was damaged by an oil spill, you may submit a claim for that damage. (For information on other types of property damage, please see Claims for Property Damages.)

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Example of Boat Damage Claims

You may submit a claim for the cost of removing oil stains from your boat, including its upholstery, so that your boat is restored to it the condition it was in before the oil spill.

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Claim Requirements

To be valid, a property damage claim must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be able to prove the damage was caused by an oil spill that falls under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. (See the General OPA Claims Requirements page for more information.)
  • You must prove that your boat damage was caused by the spill and that the amount you are claiming is appropriate:
    • Show that you owned or leased the boat at the time of the spill.
    • Show that the boat was injured or destroyed as the result of the spill.
    • Show the value of the boat both before and after the spill.
    • Show the cost to repair or replace the boat.
  • You must show that you have presented your claim to the responsible party of the spill, unless that party is not known or unless the NPFC has advertised for claims.
  • The claim must be for a sum certain (specific dollar amount).
  • You must submit the claim within three years of the date the damage was reasonably discoverable.
  • You must submit the claim in writing and sign it.

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Examples of Supporting Documentation

You must provide evidence that supports your claim, and you can use whatever documentation you believe best supports that claim. Listed below are examples of documentation often submitted with damage claims for boats:

  • Photographs of damage
  • Date and evidence of last hull painting
  • Vessel name
  • The year the vessel was built
  • Copy of boat title or other proof of ownership
  • Vessel length
  • Vessel construction (wood, fiberglass, aluminum)
  • Location where boat was contaminated by oil
  • Date and location of boat cleaning
  • HIN or VIN (Hull Identification Number or Vessel Identification Number)
  • Any other documentation you feel supports your claim

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How to Submit Your Claim

  1. Develop a document or complete the Optional Claims form that describes your claim, including the dollar amount you are claiming, and sign the document in ink.
  2. Attach supporting documentation, such as those listed above.
  3. Mail your claims package to the NPFC.

ATTN: CLAIMS ADJUDICATION
NATIONAL POLLUTION FUNDS CENTER
US COAST GUARD STOP 7100
4200 WILSON BLVD STE 1000
ARLINGTON VA 20598-7100

The Sample Damage Claim (400 KB PDF) shows sample documentation that someone might submit if his or her boat were damaged by an oil spill and required cleaning.

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Last Modified 10/22/2013