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Old 02-11-2020, 11:35 AM   #1
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Insurance Nightmare - BoatUS

Anybody ever have a similar experience with a 3rd part filling a claim on their policy? Back in October I was returning to my slip and I accidentally touched my neighbors boat. He wasn't around at the time and I let him know about it the next time I saw him which was about a month after the fact. He was pissed at the marina for not notifying him. He then accused me of going on his boat to repair all the damage that was caused. Several marina personnel looked at his boat and said there was no damage. I touched the fluke on his anchor with the side of my boat and had a minor scratch on my boat. I had my boat repaired and it was less then $300 to repair. The other boat owner filled a report with the local police and they refereed him to FWC who has jurisdiction on the water. Witnesses on the dock told the FWC that I just touched his boat. Well after several months I get a phone call from BoatUS saying there is a claim against me. I called BoatUS for 3 days and left messages but they did not return my call. Finally. I got thru to someone in claims and they told me the claim (over $5000) was payed off and the file has been closed. They said all the information was submitted along with pictures of the damage and they didn't need to talk with me. It seems the other boat owner is having previous damage that was not done correctly repaired at my (insurance) expense. It is impossible to get a hold of anyone in the organization that can tell me why they would not contact me before paying off and closing the claim. Should I look for a new insurance company?
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:48 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. D. I would first try to find out what the $5K settlement was for and ask for a copy of the work orders for what work was done and yes, for sure, they should have contacted you and explained exactly what was going on. Sounds like some sort of insurance fraud on the part of your neighbor IMO. What does FWC say?
I'd also try to find another marina with friendlier neighbors.
Did your marina notice any damage to the other boat? Did they do any repairs on the other boat?
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:57 AM   #3
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Since it’s after the fact there is zero anybody is going to do. Case closed.

Why in the world your insurance would pay a claim without contacting you is beyond me but I suppose if the other party sent in photos, etc... then it sounds reasonable.

This says a lot about your dock neighbor.
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:14 PM   #4
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Seems very strange. He makes a claim but the insurer doesn't verify who caused the damage.
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:30 PM   #5
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Did you contact your insurance at the time of the accident? Did you take photos?

This is a reminder to notify your insurer anytime there's an incident and to always take photos. Then follow up.

Now, unfortunately, what they choose to pay on their own is not something you have control over. $5000 is a very small amount to them on a boat claim and a quick and easy settlement. They may have been defrauded. You haven't been.

Had you been told their plans of paying $5000, then what would you have done? Not really anything you could have. Had you talked your insurer out of paying then the other boat owner could have come after you for payment.

Insurers overpay small claims every day. No, you shouldn't look for a new insurance companies. You should be thankful you have one who resolves claims against you with no problem even if you feel they overpay. None of us were there to see the damage they were shown. Neither were you, for that matter. However, it'd done, it's over, and you hit another boat and incurred no cost.
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:41 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Mr. BB. "...incurred no cost." Other than his premiums may go up and he will NOT have a claims free record if he chooses to switch insurance companies. Granted, there are things he should have done as you mentioned BUT he may still have to pay higher premiums for what may have been his nasty neighbors fraud.
Fraud is but one of the reasons all of our premiums go up and there is still NO proof that any damage was done to the other boat.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:01 PM   #7
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Greetings,
Mr. BB. "...incurred no cost." Other than his premiums may go up and he will NOT have a claims free record if he chooses to switch insurance companies. Granted, there are things he should have done as you mentioned BUT he may still have to pay higher premiums for what may have been his nasty neighbors fraud.
Fraud is but one of the reasons all of our premiums go up and there is still NO proof that any damage was done to the other boat.
He admitted hitting the other boat so some minor damage, just not what they paid. So, if insurance goes up it's the result of him hitting the boat, not the amount of the claim. He wasn't going to be claims free regardless.

If he does have higher premiums and the insurer tells him it's because of the $5000 claim, then he can sue the other boat owner for damages, but unless or until that all happens, he has no recourse and no position.

At this point, he's incurred no damage. At the time he does, he can sue if he can prove the damage.

Now, let's assume based on the information we have from only one party that the insurer paid too much, was taken advantage of. Had the insurer refused to pay, then he might have incurred real damage when the other boat owner came after him. There was no police report, no coast guard report, no dialogue at the time of the accident.

The OP did nothing to resolve this in advance. Just left a note. If there was no damage to the other boat then why leave a note and his insurance information? By providing insurance information, he encouraged the other party to contact his insurer. He apparently didn't do so himself so they only had the other party's statements to go on. Had he contacted them in advance and told them there was no damage and he had witnesses, then he would have more reason to complain.

I cannot fault Geico in this situation. Customer gives third party his insurance information after hitting his boat. Third party contacts Geico. Geico settles small claim.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:03 PM   #8
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Fraud is but one of the reasons all of our premiums go up and there is still NO proof that any damage was done to the other boat.
If I'm Geico, I accept the fact he gave the other boat his insurance information as evidence there was some damage.

Also, no proof that there wasn't damage done. Perhaps even more than OP realized.

$5000 claims are not what is pushing up our rates.
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:41 PM   #9
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I didn't read that he had supplied insurance information. Did I miss that?
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:44 PM   #10
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How about getting a simple statement from the marina stating what DID happen and what damage was seen. Either they piss you off by saying they don't want to piss off the other guy...or vice versa.


Get the FWC report and see what the withnesses say and how it would look to the insurance company.


Then if so inclined, call the insurance company and request to talk to their fraud people and go from there.


But in reality...even a "touch" in some instances can quickly et expensive. So without knowing what the guy claimed and what exactly was fixed...hard to say what I would do.



The insurance company probably saw this as a threshold claim and it was easier/cheaper to pay than investigate beyond covering the claim.



I know all too often that a thing or two gets fixed by insurance that was damage not sustained in the case in question....usually people don't complain, argue, deny...whatever...they just smile and go along.
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:12 PM   #11
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I would have taken photos at the time showing the condition of the other boat and immediately sent them to the insurance company. That may have prevented the insurance company from paying out a bogus claim.
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:26 PM   #12
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I didn't read that he had supplied insurance information. Did I miss that?
I didn't see it either, but clearly he must have as they contacted his insurer.
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:40 PM   #13
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Maybe the marina gave it out. They definitely have it.
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:00 PM   #14
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I had a guy back into my car. He admitted fault and gave me his license, registration and insurance information. He did not ask for my information.

I contacted his insurance company and filed a report and claim. He did not report the accident to his insurance company. The insurance company could not get hold of their insured.

At two weeks, I contacted the Insurance Co. Their insured still could not be contacted. I emailed the $3,500 repair estimate to them along with a 2 weeks, and counting, loss of use and diminished value claim. They told me to get the car repaired ASAP, which I did.

I was reimbursed for 26 days loss of use and $3,000 for diminished value.

The insured contacted me about a month later complaining about the loss of use and diminished value claim. He did not know what those were.

You should report incidents to your insurance as information, without making it an official report so they are aware of the situation. You can make it official later if a claim comes in.
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:28 PM   #15
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Also just because the anchor was "tapped" does not mean there was no other damage inside the boat. Did attachment bolts get bent? Did the fiberglass crack inside?
This type of accident happened in my marina a few years ago. The damage inside the boat was more than anyone expected.
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:51 PM   #16
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Greetings,
Mr. jl. Exactly. That's why I suggested finding out who did the $5K's worth of work. At least if Mr. Dj finds out the particulars he can rest easy regarding his neighbor (honest or not?). THAT would be MY concern. Not that I did the damage but what kind of people I was berthed with.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:46 PM   #17
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More info is needed, as has been attested to.

Was insurance info exchanged? If not, how did the claimant obtain said info? If obtained by the marina, there may be a breach of contract involved, as the marina should have contacted the OP and maintain a written record of what transpired.

It'd be good to get GEICO's record of the event (your right as a policyholder) and followup.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:54 PM   #18
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I would be surprised they would pay out any claim without an Adjuster making a damage report. Did they get an Adjuster? If so the insurance Co. would go by that.
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:43 PM   #19
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If obtained by the marina, there may be a breach of contract involved, as the marina should have contacted the OP)
I'm not aware that any marina where I've been a tenant, home or transient, has promised me any such thing. They only promised me that I couldn't have the slip without giving them a copy of my proof-of-insurance and federal document and that they'd kick me out if I don't keep their copy of each up to date!
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:47 PM   #20
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The OP reported that there were witnesses on the dock. With witness statements and pictures, Gieco has all it needs to settle. Apparently, one of the witness’s thought it was more than just a touch.
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