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Old 07-10-2014, 12:14 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
That could be a good thing. Our policy is with Seaworthy Insurance, another Berkshire Hathaway CO. We couldn't be happier (other than the premiums).
Interesting!! Do you suppose it's coincidental that Boat US publishes a quarterly newsletter titled "Seaworthy".

Actually I was delighted when Berkshire Hathaway acquired Boat US. I've been a fan of Warren Buffett for many years and as a amateur investor have made stock investing a fun hobby for a lot of years.

Incidentally, I took a look at my old policies back to 2004 and was surprised that my rates haven't really changed. My first year was $973 and my current policy I renewed in June was $1043. During that time the agreed value stayed the same, The Boat Liability and Uninsured coverage doubled, Environmental sprill coverage tripled.

But then again, in the PNW we don't have hurricanes, tropical storms and the bays don't freeze over. So loss risk is probably a lot lower.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:59 AM   #42
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:37 PM   #43
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I'm with Pete on this one. I have two friends that had engine failures as a result of a latent defect (different engine manufacturers, different brands of boats). Both insured with Premier. Friend Number One went through the lawsuit process before Premier agreed to have the engine repair paid for (not including the original failed part). Friend Number Two is still fighting with Premier to get his engine repair covered... He has not been able to use his boat for over a year.

The big issue with the Premier policy (as I understand it) is they only cover damages as a result of an accident. Latent defect, to them, is not an accident. My Friend Number Two had a fuel injector fail on his Volvo diesel, it dumped fuel into the cylinder, which caused a complete engine failure. There was no preventive maintenance that could have been done, or that had not been done. Standard yacht policies cover this kind of thing. Not Premier.

This is the kind of issue that never affects people... until it does. If you're a fan of Premier, ask their CEO if they pay out if a sea cock fails and the boat sinks. Or if a water pipe connection fails while the boat is connected to city water and the boat sinks. Or if a spring on a fuel injector fails and the engine is ruined.

If you are defending Premier Marine feel free to PM me and I will give you the names of my two friends. Ask the CEO for his explanation.

Rob
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:35 PM   #44
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... I have two friends that had engine failures as a result of a latent defect (different engine manufacturers, different brands of boats). Both insured with Premier....Rob
Can you post the relevant policy wording? So few people go through the tedious reading of the Policy, it might be helpful. Why did the insurer change position in the face of litigation, is the policy open to argument?
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:12 AM   #45
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Boy did I open a can of worms!!! I went with Premire for a number of reasons. #1 I had to start somewhere. #2 The agent is a 15 minute drive from my house. #3 I was going to take possession of the boat within a week and of course it had to be insured before I could moore it at it's new home.
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Old 07-29-2014, 01:53 AM   #46
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Hi Bruce, I am on vacation in London just now (yeah, it's a tough life) so I don't have the policy wording. I believe Pete quoted it earlier. As I recall it states it will pay out for "accidents" and resulting damage. They have paid out claims for some of my friends after they have struck objects or run aground (operator error is covered!).

The problem with the policy language is how to handle an equipment failure. My friend with the failed fuel pump is a great example. A spring breaks on a fuel pump, fuel is dumped into a cylinder, cylinder fails and engine is ruined. Most yacht policies will exclude the failed part but will cover the resulting damage. Premier sent a forensic mechanic who tore down the engine and found the broken spring. He walked away from the engine at that point, leaving the engine room looking like a disaster area.

Premier denied the claim, essentially saying, "There was no accident, hence no claim." After a year of trying to work with them my friend has hired an attorney to make his case. I understand Premier's policy language, which is why I have my insurance elsewhere. The problem for most boat owners is that they assume all policies are the same and just shop for price.

I have looked at six different companies' yacht policies and none of them are the same. This is a case where you have to do your own homework.

All of my posts on this subject have been based on memory and conversations. If any of my observations are challenged and proven to be incorrect I will happily apologize and make immediate corrections.
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:00 AM   #47
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Rob, I hope England is nice, we had snow there visiting last May. You might think the spring breaking was the "accident", but that probably depends how the policy defines "accident".
My policy gives my insurer, the biggest marine insurer in Australia, the right to require me to dismantle so they can take a look, I`m guessing if they say "no" they don`t "remantle" either.
Insurance works best with goodwill both sides, if not, it`s a minefield. Reputation in business is everything, insurers should recognize that.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:51 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceK View Post
Can you post the relevant policy wording? So few people go through the tedious reading of the Policy, it might be helpful. Why did the insurer change position in the face of litigation, is the policy open to argument?
Bruce, here is the exact wording that has been referred to (PREMIER MARINE MARINERíS CHOICE POLICY
Form MCF (Rev. April 8, 2014):

(download here: Policy Form - Mariners Choice - Premier Marine (USA) )

PROPERTY INSURANCE
Insured Perils


A. You are insured against All Risks of accidental and direct physical tangible loss of or damage to the Insured
Property from any external cause
but subject to the terms and conditions of the policy and endorsements, and
excluding the following:
  • 1. Wear and tear, gradual deterioration, faulty repair or faulty workmanship, marring, scratching, chipping,
    denting, corrosion, mold, rot, osmosis, blistering, delamination, electrolysis, galvanic action, or any inherent
    vice; however we will cover consequential property damage resulting from any fire, sinking, submersion,
    demasting, collision or stranding;
  • 2. Unexplained disappearance of Insured Property from the vessel unless there are visible marks of forcible
    entry or exit;
  • 3. Insured Property lost overboard unless caused by stranding, burning, sinking or collision of the Insured
    Vessel;
  • 4. Defect in manufacture or construction, nor will we pay for the cost of repairing or replacing any part which fails
    as a result of a defect in manufacture or construction, however, we will cover consequential physical damage
    that results from a part that fails as a result of a defect in manufacture or construction, if not otherwise
    excluded;
  • 5. Any increased cost resulting from or in consequence of obsolescence; and
  • 6. Loss or damage caused intentionally by, with the knowledge and consent of, or resulting from criminal wrongdoing
    by, an Insured Person.

Basis of Claims Settlement

A. Total Loss:
  • 1. In the event of a total loss, we agree to pay you the limit for the Insured Vessel as shown on the Declarations Page.
  • 2. There shall be no recovery for a total loss unless all said property is lost absolutely.
  • 3. In the event of a total loss this policy will automatically terminate immediately thereafter, the premium will
    be fully earned and no refund will be available.

B. Constructive Total Loss:
  • 1. We reserve the sole and exclusive right to determine when and if the Insured Vessel is a Constructive
    Total Loss.
  • 2. If we declare that the Insured Vessel is a Constructive Total Loss, we will pay you the amount of
    insurance stated on the Declarations Page and, thereupon, you will transfer ownership of the Insured
    Vessel to us or to our designee.
  • 3. We reserve the right to repair the Insured Vessel as much as it can be repaired up to but not exceeding
    the amount of insurance stated on the Declarations Page for the Insured Vessel rather than declare a
    Constructive Total Loss.
  • 4. Under no circumstances will our liability exceed the amount of insurance stated on the Declarations Page
    for the Insured Vessel.
  • 5. In the event we declare and pay a Constructive Total Loss, this policy will automatically terminate
    immediately thereafter, the premium will be fully earned and no refund will be available.

C. Partial Loss:
  • 1. In the event of a partial loss, we will pay the reasonable cost of repairs or replacement.
  • 2. We have the option
    a) to make repairs or replacements ourselves, or
    b) to reimburse you for repairs or replacements paid for by you, or
    c) to pay you directly based on the lowest repair estimate received from a reputable repair facility.
  • 3. We reserve the right to repair or replace the Insured Property.
  • 4. Under no circumstances will our liability to repair a partial loss exceed the amount of insurance stated on the
  • Declarations Page for the Insured Vessel.
  • 5. Our liability for the following items shall not exceed their Actual Cash Value:
    a) sails, canvas, protective covers and fabric older than 4 years of age;
    b) batteries;
    c) outboard motors and outdrive units older than 6 years of age; and
  • Age, as used in this section, is calculated by subtracting the model year from the calendar year, and adding one (1) to
    the result.

Translations:

"Insured Perils" paragraph bolded in red above (1st red bolded area):
This wording is unique to Premier in that the word "external" is a condition of loss. If your vessel strikes another vessel, or if your boat ingests plastic into the raw water strainer, blocking cooling water and leading to an engine overheating condition, there is no question that the cause of loss is of an external nature. However, Rob's example of a engine failure due to a failed fuel pump is an excellent example of a loss not being by Premier because the cause of loss is not external of the vessel in nature. Of course, each claim will stand on its own merits, but this unique wording strengthens the policy in favor of Premier having the ability to deny a claim.

Paragraph A3 regarding property lost overboard (2nd red bolded area above):
Again, strong wording in favor of Premier. If a dinghy engine or kicker engine, stored on a transom bracket, is lost overboard during a rough passage, there is no coverage unless the rest of the conditions in the paragraph are met. Not as big nor likely a problem as the "external" wording, but something to consider.

Paragraph C2 regarding Partial Loss (3rd red bolded area above):
Premier reserves the right to repair the vessel themselves, pay you, or to select the lowest repair estimate. Note that is does not say "lowest repair estimate procured by you". Premier is telling the insured that they are in control of the repair process, and you (as the insured) have a minimal part in the process. If you have a great relationship with your mechanic, and his estimate is higher than the one sourced by Premier, Premier has the right (per the policy wording) to select the cheapest price regardless of your objections.

IMO, this takes the objectivity out of any argument that Premier may have- per their policy, they are in the repair business as well as the insurance business.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierce View Post
Boy did I open a can of worms!!! I went with Premire for a number of reasons. #1 I had to start somewhere. #2 The agent is a 15 minute drive from my house. #3 I was going to take possession of the boat within a week and of course it had to be insured before I could moore it at it's new home.
Pierce, no worries! IMO this type of discussion can be an eye opener for those who elect to read the info presented objectively to learn how their policy may or may not cover them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceK View Post
Rob, I hope England is nice, we had snow there visiting last May. You might think the spring breaking was the "accident", but that probably depends how the policy defines "accident".
My policy gives my insurer, the biggest marine insurer in Australia, the right to require me to dismantle so they can take a look, I`m guessing if they say "no" they don`t "remantle" either.
Insurance works best with goodwill both sides, if not, it`s a minefield. Reputation in business is everything, insurers should recognize that.
Well stated.

(On the "remantle"- you are probably correct. The policy would give further guidance on the issue.)
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:05 PM   #49
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I'm posting just to stay appraised as this INS thread evolves... read through all posts. I'm with SAFECO.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:24 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pau Hana View Post
Bruce, here is the exact wording that has been referred to (PREMIER MARINE MARINER’S CHOICE POLICY
Form MCF (Rev. April 8, 2014):

(download here: Policy Form - Mariners Choice - Premier Marine (USA) )

PROPERTY INSURANCE
Insured Perils

A. You are insured against All Risks of accidental and direct physical tangible loss of or damage to the Insured
Property from any external cause but subject to the terms and conditions of the policy and endorsements, and



excluding the following:
  • 1. Wear and tear, gradual deterioration, faulty repair or faulty workmanship, marring, scratching, chipping,
    denting, corrosion, mold, rot, osmosis, blistering, delamination, electrolysis, galvanic action, or any inherent
    vice; however we will cover consequential property damage resulting from any fire, sinking, submersion,
    demasting, collision or stranding;
  • 2. Unexplained disappearance of Insured Property from the vessel unless there are visible marks of forcible
    entry or exit;
  • )
Question on A2: If a thief picked the simple cabin door lock and used aligator clip jumpers to start the engine(s) that left no marks and the vessel is found later stripped; are you covered?
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:15 PM   #51
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That would be the determination of the claims adjustor. Legally speaking, the insuring company could stick to the policy wording and deny the claim. That being said, most claims adjustors (in the situation you describe) would most likely favor the policyholder.
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