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Old 05-24-2020, 05:04 PM   #1
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Experience with Merkel Insurance?

I recently signed with Merkel Insurance, having gotten ticked off at BoatUS/Geico because of their nasty depreciation policy on anything less than a total loss.
Merkel was suggested by a local boat insurance broker and seems ok, but I'm curious... Anybody with opinions (hopefully based on first-hand experience) regarding claims, premium increases, or anything else bad or good? This is insurance just for SF Bay and outside 30 miles. Full coverage--agreed value on hull, liability, pollution, towing, etc.
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"Everything on your boat is broken. You just don't know it yet."
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:44 PM   #2
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I have Markel and have for 6 years. I haven’t had a claim so can’t comment on that but the premium has hardly moved if it has at all.

Ken
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:24 PM   #3
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I had Merkel for three years; no claims, no complaints until they declined renewal this year without explanation.
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldersalt View Post
I recently signed with Merkel Insurance, having gotten ticked off at BoatUS/Geico because of their nasty depreciation policy on anything less than a total loss.
Merkel was suggested by a local boat insurance broker and seems ok, but I'm curious... Anybody with opinions (hopefully based on first-hand experience) regarding claims, premium increases, or anything else bad or good? This is insurance just for SF Bay and outside 30 miles. Full coverage--agreed value on hull, liability, pollution, towing, etc.
Thanks
Oldersalt

"Everything on your boat is broken. You just don't know it yet."
Markel is a solidly rated insurer. They are a domestic company based out of Pewaukee, WI, and enjoy an AM Best rating of A.

One thing unique to Markel is that they offer 2 forms of Agreed Value policies:
  • straight Agreed Value (AV): this is agreed value for total losses and partial losses subject to the depreciables listed listed in the policy language.
  • Agreed Value for Total Loss/Actual Cash Value for partial loss (ACV/AV): this is agreed vlaie for total losses and Actual Cash Value for all partial losses.

ACV/AV will save you quite a bit on the yearly premium, but will hit you much harder on the depreciation side for any partial loss.

You'll want to check your policy language carefully, as may agents will offer you a policy based on the pricing alone and not explain the "rest of the story". This too often leads to difficult conversations in the event of a claim.
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