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Old 09-26-2015, 10:47 AM   #41
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I'm not sure about the value of BoatUS coverage. I recently received a quote from BoatUS.

BoatUS offered me 60% of the liability coverage, 50% of the medical payment coverage, 50% of the personal effects coverage, and twice the deductible. All for only $1000 per year more than my current insurer (New Hampshire)
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Old 09-26-2015, 11:02 AM   #42
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Sir,

I've read many of your responses during my time here, and have always enjoyed your open, honest and professional opinions and advice. For all that you do, I thank you.

And with that said, I would like to respond to your comments below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pau Hana View Post
The cynicism about insurance always amazes me.
Why?
Most of the underlying skepticism has been brought about by it's own actions.

Quote:
Insurance companies are a business, like any other, and are in business to make a profit.
.

Very true, but at what lengths will they go to make that profit? Where's the benefit to the customer/client to reduce/minimize claims? Certainly not in lowered premiums in most cases (I know that's a wide brush, so my apologies in advance).

Quote:
challenge/problem I often see is that the public sees insurance as an ATM machine and its assumed that every single event that generates a claim is automatically covered
Again, very true.
Unfortunately, this attitude is in large part perpetuated by our legal system.

Between the types that claim to be "for the people", the defenders of the abused, protectors of the accused, the Champions of the victims, and the dozens of other tag lines out there, who line their pockets feeding off of and fueling the greed of those people looking for a "quick buck", and the propensity for criminal enterprise of certain groups within our society, the insurance companies have been forced to examine claims more thoroughly over the years.

Unfortunately, in my line of work I have seen all too often the result of an overzealous adjuster firsthand. The times where a legitimate claim is dragged out far too long, putting the insured through more hoops than a 3 ring circus dog, and in some cases, leaving them with massive debt or huge inconvenience/safety issues while they wait.

Just think back to the several storms that ravaged certain parts of our state in the mid 2000's, and the blue tarps that remained in place for years to follow.

That kind of "service" does nothing to promote a warm fuzzy feeling among the populace, and forces the client to "lawyer up" just to obtain what is rightfully owed.

I know that there is fraud even then. I've seen it. We've investigated it. People claiming losses that don't exist, and overstating values. It's a sad situation.

Then look at the position (iirc) State Farm took, claiming massive losses and trying to cut and run! But when there's a surplus, do they rebate the customer? Of course not. It's a risk. A cap shoot, offset by statistical analysis.

We pay to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our assets against what may happen, and the company takes on that risk for a price. Roll the dice.

Quote:
Doesn't work that way. The policy language (that almost nobody reads) spells out in detail what is and what is not covered.
Again true, but try reading it. To the untrained, it's generally a Mish mash of legalese. Line after line, paragraph after paragraph, page after page, of exceptions, exclusions and limitations. In the end, many people still have no idea what is and is not covered, so they rely (or should) on professionals such as yourself to make sure they're properly covered. I actually had an agent tell me once, "don't worry about it." "It's all standard wording" "You're in good shape. " I immediately found another agent!

Fortunately for us, there are people such as yourself that care, and appear to look out for the good of the individual rather than just their bank account. Again, thank you!

Quote:
in my experience as a broker/agent, I see companies looking for ways to pay a claim- above and beyond what the policy language stipulates...
After all the above, I do have to say that not everyone in the industry is like those depicted above, any more than every cop is crooked, every priest a pedophile or every financial consultant/broker a crook! It was with a very wide brush that I painted.

Again I'm proud to know that there are those like yourself who try to look out for us, as well as companies that take care of their clients with minimal hassle or delay, and I'm starting to see more "safety" and longevity discounts being provided by some companies.

Now, if we could start putting some of the fraudulent claimants in jail (or deporting them as would be the case for many), rather than just denying the claims, and cracking down on the frivolous litigation, those that'll settle because it's quicker and more cost productive for "them" (yes, I know a few personally), then maybe we could clean up the image a bit.

your thoughts sir, and thank you.

OD
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Old 09-26-2015, 12:47 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueYonder View Post
I'm not sure about the value of BoatUS coverage. I recently received a quote from BoatUS.

BoatUS offered me 60% of the liability coverage, 50% of the medical payment coverage, 50% of the personal effects coverage, and twice the deductible. All for only $1000 per year more than my current insurer (New Hampshire)
Until comparing all the elements of the policies and not just those you mentioned, one couldn't really offer an opinion.

Regardless, Boat US often isn't the cheapest or the best. They are reputable, but even their policies have things people often overlook. They do have a large base of satisfied customers. They also do cover certain things that many of the less expensive policies don't.

I'm objective when it comes to them as I've never insured through them. However, I have compared their policy provisions to some others that claim to offer more for less. Just a few examples of things that they include and some others don't-Salvage, Fuel Spill, Uninsured Protection, Marina contract liability (where the marina requires you to sign a contract that you agree to be held responsible even if you're not at fault-yes, crazy but many marina contracts are blatantly one sided).

I had a neighbor recently bragging about how much money they saved and how good their policy was, so I looked at it out of curiosity. Salvage limit was $5000 as was environmental. It also had a seaworthiness clause and another that made it clear that if damage was incidental to something else such as a mechanical failure then it wasn't covered. There were other clauses that placed such a high burden of proof, especially on liability.

Your New Hampshire policy may be great. All I'm saying is that just knowing the factors you mentioned and not knowing their policy in detail, no one could know whether the price is good or not. I assume you did review all the details and determined it was.

A few examples of exclusions that you may have and not be aware of and many of these are on the best of policies:

-Theft of items on board may only be covered if locked and if evidence of forced entry.
-Collision with or damage caused by sea life or vermin. A common lake issue. Muskrat eats bellows, boat sinks.
-People are familiar with war exclusions but there are also strike and labor unrest exclusions or demonstrations or riots. You can buy war insurance as a rider.
-Damage caused if you're towing another vessel
-Medical claims of someone trespassing

A big item to be sure you're covered on is your tender or dinghy. Not just it's value but liability when operating it.

OD wrote "To the untrained, it's generally a Mish mash of legalese. Line after line, paragraph after paragraph, page after page, of exceptions, exclusions and limitations." So true.

I've been accused justifiably of using spreadsheets for everything. However, when comparing marine policies I did use one. I had every item I could find in any of the policies, covered or not, listed. I had a column for each policy and went down and checked yes or no or dollar amount on each item. What a revelation it was. Probably way too much overkill but I certainly learned some things.

One thing I was just reminded of too. Everyone who is considering cruising to Cuba check your policy. The first draft of one I received excluded the waters of Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela and the Panama Canal.
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Old 09-26-2015, 02:19 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pau Hana View Post
Travelers would know about the claim if (A) the insured reported the claim (towing and assistance is covered to the policy limits) or; (b) VA filed a claim as a result of services rendered and expanded their definition of how the client was assisted.

I think something is rotten in Denmark....
That's about it. We turned in the claim, received the check and forgot about it. Until the letter came and we started this dance. I think I will request a copy of the paper work from VA just to see what they have as a description of services.
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:03 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowboat 37 View Post

That's about it. We turned in the claim, received the check and forgot about it. Until the letter came and we started this dance. I think I will request a copy of the paper work from VA just to see what they have as a description of services.
OK ...Why would you file a claim for a simple tow?
Did you get billed multiple thousands of dollars?
It sounds like you may have hoisted your own derriere.
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:01 PM   #46
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If you re-read my original post you will see that there was no towing of any kind. That's my problem with the language in the letter that I am referring to.
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:13 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowboat 37 View Post
If you re-read my original post you will see that there was no towing of any kind. That's my problem with the language in the letter that I am referring to.
So did you have Traveler's plus separate Vessel Assist coverage or was Vessel Assist engaged under your Traveler's policy? Who turned this into Traveler's. That's the part we're not understanding. For most of us, we have US Boat Tow/Vessel Assist or Sea Tow and would be using them but not turning this in as an insurance claim.
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Old 09-28-2015, 02:38 PM   #48
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Slow boat. Do you have a towing service contract ( BoatUS or SeaTow)? Or do you simply have insurance? Did you pay the 'vessel assist' that day? Or was this covered by a contract?
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Old 09-28-2015, 04:20 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
Until comparing all the elements of the policies and not just those you mentioned, one couldn't really offer an opinion.

Regardless, Boat US often isn't the cheapest or the best. They are reputable, but even their policies have things people often overlook. They do have a large base of satisfied customers. They also do cover certain things that many of the less expensive policies don't.

I'm objective when it comes to them as I've never insured through them. However, I have compared their policy provisions to some others that claim to offer more for less. Just a few examples of things that they include and some others don't-Salvage, Fuel Spill, Uninsured Protection, Marina contract liability (where the marina requires you to sign a contract that you agree to be held responsible even if you're not at fault-yes, crazy but many marina contracts are blatantly one sided).

I had a neighbor recently bragging about how much money they saved and how good their policy was, so I looked at it out of curiosity. Salvage limit was $5000 as was environmental. It also had a seaworthiness clause and another that made it clear that if damage was incidental to something else such as a mechanical failure then it wasn't covered. There were other clauses that placed such a high burden of proof, especially on liability.

Your New Hampshire policy may be great. All I'm saying is that just knowing the factors you mentioned and not knowing their policy in detail, no one could know whether the price is good or not. I assume you did review all the details and determined it was.

A few examples of exclusions that you may have and not be aware of and many of these are on the best of policies:

-Theft of items on board may only be covered if locked and if evidence of forced entry.
-Collision with or damage caused by sea life or vermin. A common lake issue. Muskrat eats bellows, boat sinks.
-People are familiar with war exclusions but there are also strike and labor unrest exclusions or demonstrations or riots. You can buy war insurance as a rider.
-Damage caused if you're towing another vessel
-Medical claims of someone trespassing

A big item to be sure you're covered on is your tender or dinghy. Not just it's value but liability when operating it.

OD wrote "To the untrained, it's generally a Mish mash of legalese. Line after line, paragraph after paragraph, page after page, of exceptions, exclusions and limitations." So true.

I've been accused justifiably of using spreadsheets for everything. However, when comparing marine policies I did use one. I had every item I could find in any of the policies, covered or not, listed. I had a column for each policy and went down and checked yes or no or dollar amount on each item. What a revelation it was. Probably way too much overkill but I certainly learned some things.

One thing I was just reminded of too. Everyone who is considering cruising to Cuba check your policy. The first draft of one I received excluded the waters of Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela and the Panama Canal.
Good Points, I am going to talk to my insurance broker this week to get answers about things like muskrats and salvage.

Thanks
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Old 09-28-2015, 04:40 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by BlueYonder View Post
Good Points, I am going to talk to my insurance broker this week to get answers about things like muskrats and salvage.

Thanks
If you haven't read your policy, do so. Unfortunately, coverage isn't based on what a broker says, but on what the policy says. Now he is a good source to verify and explain what you read. The other way to approach it is to have him sit down and go through it with you page by page.

The big problem is that companies compete on price with policies that may appear equal on the surface but aren't even close. I had an acquaintance who got two quotes and then asked me what I thought. At my urging he got copies of their policies and they were both horrible, just one worse than the other. The cheapest wasn't as bad as the other. I went through a game with him of him playing the insured and me playing the insurer and had him describe incidents. I gave him reasons on 5 out of 10 that I wasn't going to pay, or at least require a lot of proof upon investigation. Now a good insurer would have probably only denied 3 or 4. But there were at least 3 that were clearly not covered by the policy and there could be no real debate.
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:17 PM   #51
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I've read the policy. It is written for lawyers. I am primarily concerned about this clause:

b) We shall not cover any loss or damage arising out of:

2) Any wear and tear, gradual deterioration, weathering, inherent vice, insects, animals, vermin, mold, marine life, electrolytic or galvanic action, corrosion, dampness of atmosphere, gelcoat or fiberglass blistering, wet or dry rot, or extremes of temperature;

There seems to be a lot of ways to get out of paying a claim in this list. Does "extremes of temperature" get them out of covering freeze or ice damage? What exactly is inherent vice? I have coverage for a "hidden defect". what if that defect is hidden corrosion?

BoatUS claims that even if the cause is not covered (such as a muskrat eating through a hose) they would cover the damage caused by a sinking, but not pay for a new exhaust hose. I am waiting for BoatUS to send me a copy of the full policy. So far I have only seen a declarations page.
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Old 09-28-2015, 07:44 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by BlueYonder View Post
I've read the policy. It is written for lawyers. I am primarily concerned about this clause:

b) We shall not cover any loss or damage arising out of:

2) Any wear and tear, gradual deterioration, weathering, inherent vice, insects, animals, vermin, mold, marine life, electrolytic or galvanic action, corrosion, dampness of atmosphere, gelcoat or fiberglass blistering, wet or dry rot, or extremes of temperature;

There seems to be a lot of ways to get out of paying a claim in this list. Does "extremes of temperature" get them out of covering freeze or ice damage? What exactly is inherent vice? I have coverage for a "hidden defect". what if that defect is hidden corrosion?

BoatUS claims that even if the cause is not covered (such as a muskrat eating through a hose) they would cover the damage caused by a sinking, but not pay for a new exhaust hose. I am waiting for BoatUS to send me a copy of the full policy. So far I have only seen a declarations page.
Exclusions are where you find the differences between policies. One situation I've seen close to what you mention is engines winterized but apparently not well done and freeze. I saw one insurer cover it because the owner had attempted to winterize. The other said it wasn't covered, a clear exclusion.

Consequential damage is a huge area. You described it perfectly in the exhaust hose sinking. Engines fail and boat washes into rocks before they get it anchored or the engines running. Manufacturers defects can be a huge issue. A couple of Bertram owners found themselves not covered when several of the boats delaminated and had various problems and damage. Implied warranty of seaworthiness is a very dangerous clause.

The policy you quoted is basically telling you they will probably not cover it if your boat sinks in it's slip.

Think of the Northern Marine sinking. I don't know who their policy was with and haven't heard the resolution of the claim. Does the policy cover obvious negligence on the part of the manufacturer? Does it cover a boat sinking that clearly was not seaworthy. Some policies would cover and then try to recover from the builder. Some policies would say, "not covered, you should go after the builder." With a bankrupt builder that's not comfortable. Boats dropped on lifts is a risk.

Another thing a good broker should help you greatly with is history of paying claims. If your broker hasn't observed history, then you need another broker. Peter can tell you stories about who pays easily, who drags it out, who doesn't pay because he's fully immersed in the business. Someone who isn't full time in marine insurance isn't likely to know. The perfect policy is lousy if the insurer always drags it out. I observed so many people getting in trouble with their insurance by buying it from their auto and home broker who knew nothing about marine.

I actually got good information from a maritime attorney. I'm not suggesting hiring one for this, but I already was using one so asked. He knew who he was having to sue regularly and who he wasn't.
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