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Old 03-08-2016, 02:21 PM   #1
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BoatUS Fees

Is the cost to subscribe to BoatUS towing service the same no matter where it is purchased? I know it can be purchased directly from BoatUS and from West Marine and possibly other outlets. Thanks in advance for your responses.
-David
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:44 PM   #2
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David, BoatUS and WM are the same company or parts of the same company. Believe you have to buy it from them. Should be the same price regardless.

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Old 03-08-2016, 02:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by petdoc4u View Post
Is the cost to subscribe to BoatUS towing service the same no matter where it is purchased? I know it can be purchased directly from BoatUS and from West Marine and possibly other outlets. Thanks in advance for your responses.
-David
There are occasionally deals made where memberships are discounted or even given away by merchants. However, all those I've ever seen have been simply for the Basic $24 membership which covers very little. Only $50 toward a tow. I've seen many people very confused when they got free Boat US Towing membership from a marina and then found out it didn't cover but $50 of a tow, didn't cover a jump start, didn't cover a soft grounding and didn't cover fuel delivery.
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:51 PM   #4
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It also depends in whether you're operating in inland waters or coastal areas. I paid less for coverage in the CA Delta, but needed to upgrade my coverage once I wanted to depart the inland waters. It's all on their website.
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:54 PM   #5
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David, BoatUS and WM are the same company or parts of the same company.

Ted
Not unless Warren Buffett has made an move I'm unaware of today. Boat US is owned by Berkshire Hathaway. Randolph Repass is the largest shareholder of West Marine with 26% ownership.
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Old 03-08-2016, 03:36 PM   #6
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Not unless Warren Buffett has made an move I'm unaware of today. Boat US is owned by Berkshire Hathaway. Randolph Repass is the largest shareholder of West Marine with 26% ownership.

Berkshire did sell 9B in bonds today. 10 years at 1.5%. 😄

Maybe he's gonna buy West Marine! I hope not. Retail sucks.

Disclosure-- long BRK for about 20 years.
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Old 03-08-2016, 03:52 PM   #7
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You can join wherever the membership is sold. It is probably easiest to just go on-line from the comfort of your own home (or boat).
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:04 PM   #8
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If I have my facts straight, in 2003 WM bought the BoatUS stores, but not the insurance or tow service portions of the company. That may have led to some ownership confusion.

West Marine Buys Boat U.S. Stores | Boating Industry
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:13 PM   #9
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History of BoatUS


2003 – The BoatUS Product Division – a 900+ page catalog, 62 retail Marine Centers and wholesale operation - is sold to West Marine.

2007 – Boat America Corporation, the stock company that provides the services to BoatUS., is sold by an ESOP to a Berkshire Hathaway owned subsidiary, National Indemnity Company.

2015 – BoatUS is transferred to GEICO, another Berkshire Hathaway company, to better align for growth. BoatUS Marine Insurance creates a much-needed specialized insurance policy for peer-to-peer rental networks. Aligning under one national brand, BoatUS changes the name of its West Coast based Vessel Assist towing fleet to TowBoatUS. On February 13, BoatUS Founder Richard Schwartz crosses the bar at the age of 85.
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Old 03-08-2016, 06:19 PM   #10
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Not unless Warren Buffett has made an move I'm unaware of today. Boat US is owned by Berkshire Hathaway. Randolph Repass is the largest shareholder of West Marine with 26% ownership.
Sorry if my information was dated. Like the services Boat US provides (not the insurance) and really couldn't care less about WM.

Use to own Berkshire Hathaway stock until having had some dealings with Geico. I'd would buy Altria stock before BH. At least you know up front the product there selling.

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Old 03-08-2016, 06:27 PM   #11
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BoatUS Fees

Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Sorry if my information was dated. Like the services Boat US provides (not the insurance) and really couldn't care less about WM.

Use to own Berkshire Hathaway stock until having had some dealings with Geico. I'd would buy Altria stock before BH. At least you know up front the product there selling.

Ted

Yep. Altria is selling death, up front.

What do you mean you don't know what products Berkshire is selling? Here is a list of the companies BRK owns-- it's pretty clear.

http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/subs/sublinks.html
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:11 PM   #12
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Yep. Altria is selling death, up front.

What do you mean you don't know what products Berkshire is selling? Here is a list of the companies BRK owns-- it's pretty clear.
I think he means he had a bad experience with one of them. Doesn't like the kid so doesn't like the parents.
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:47 PM   #13
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I think he means he had a bad experience with one of them. Doesn't like the kid so doesn't like the parents.
Yes that pretty much summarizes it. Only difference is that the parent acquires the kids because they approve of how the kid dose business. Had good friends badly abused by the insurance company. It's cheaper to beat people into submission with lawyers than pay honest claims.

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Old 03-08-2016, 08:04 PM   #14
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Yes that pretty much summarizes it. Only difference is that the parent acquires the kids because they approve of how the kid dose business. Had good friends badly abused by the insurance company. It's cheaper to beat people into submission with lawyers than pay honest claims.

Ted
Honestly, the business model of ALL insurance companies is to collect money and then fight giving any back on claims. Lawyers are just part of their business model. The only way to deal with them on a large claim is to use the same tactics, but with a better lawyer.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:47 PM   #15
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Honestly, the business model of ALL insurance companies is to collect money and then fight giving any back on claims. Lawyers are just part of their business model. The only way to deal with them on a large claim is to use the same tactics, but with a better lawyer.
That sounds very politically correct. Never been involved with a large claim. On the small stuff (<$50K) most insurance companies (not including health care) seem to process claims in a very professional manner. That's the way I've seen it based on experiences for myself, friends, and family. When the numbers get large or the claim looks suspicious, I would expect to see more lawyer involvement.

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Old 03-08-2016, 09:07 PM   #16
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The law here implies an obligation of utmost good faith to both insurer and insured. Insurers seem to need reminding about it, eg.Comminsure,the insurance arm of our largest bank, the Commonwealth Bank.
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Old 03-09-2016, 12:31 AM   #17
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Honestly, the business model of ALL insurance companies is to collect money and then fight giving any back on claims. Lawyers are just part of their business model. The only way to deal with them on a large claim is to use the same tactics, but with a better lawyer.

Really? Have any facts to back up your statements?

A more correct assessment would be that an insurance company is in the business of risk transference; coverages are offered for premium paid (premiums are generally but a fraction of the value of the vessel, yet will pay the agreed value of the vessel). The problem I see over and over again is that too many people do not read their policy to understand what is and what is not covered- but they run with the assumption that everything is covered.

When a claim occurs, that assumption can lead to much maligning on the internet about how "they got screwed".

I've been in the business for a long while, and recently joined GEICO Marine as the head of the charter underwriting department. Seaworthy Insurance (another BH company) and BoatUS were both bought under the Geico Marine Insurance in November 2015. We are currently streamlining all the insurance products under one standard, so the coverages offered are equitable with Chubb, Travelers, Markel, and a host of other marine specialty insurers.
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:05 AM   #18
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Really? Have any facts to back up your statements?

The problem I see over and over again is that too many people do not read their policy to understand what is and what is not covered- but they run with the assumption that everything is covered.

When a claim occurs, that assumption can lead to much maligning on the internet about how "they got screwed".
I know people do sometimes get bad treatment from insurers but the majority of people seem to have never actually read their policies and by reading them I mean every word of every page. Either one does that up front or gets surprises. There is no standard policy. Today someone was talking about a great deal here but their towing and assistance was only $2500 and they didn't know if they had any salvage beyond that or how much it was. Salvage can run into tens of thousands quickly.

I have no idea the specifics of the Geico situation referenced here. I have never been insured by Geico on anything. People think marine insurance is as simple as auto insurance with a standard policy within each state and all you need to know is the coverage amount. Now, actually the auto insurance isn't as simple as some thing and they find out when they need a rental car or have a unique situation. But whatever complexities it has, homeowners has more and boats have many many times more. Things like who can operate the boat, where it can be operated. What it can be used for. How much for towing. Whether the policy covers latent defects, uninsured boaters, deductibles on lightning strikes, depreciation on partial losses, coverage of personal effects, of art, transportation, storage, exclusions for wear and tear related items.

Here is a useful page just to look at to alert one to some of the things one needs to know about their policy. I'm not pushing anyone toward Pantaenius, just think this is a valuable list of items. Just look at the differences between their different levels of policies.

Pantaenius Yacht Insurance Comparison
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:27 AM   #19
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My boat club once got a group discount on Boat US membership, don't know if it still applies
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Old 03-09-2016, 12:38 PM   #20
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My boat club once got a group discount on Boat US membership, don't know if it still applies
There are regularly different discounts floating around on their memberships. When marinas were giving free basic in our area you could take it and then upgrade to other. Several companies have deals to offer 10% discounts on all memberships. I think Navionics is one. There are deals out there, just may not be worth the effort to find them.
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