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 Post subject: Precautions on Boat Insurance
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2012 08:32 
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Midshipman

Joined: 05 Apr 2011 17:27
Posts: 66
Thought I would share my experience over the past year on boat insurance, hoping it would avoid others the same pitfalls. I am not exaggerating this story. I'm telling this exactly the way it has happened.

I bought a policy with a well-known insurance company about 5-8 years ago as they were the cheapest I could find and did not require a survey, and they were recommended by a friend. However, we had a major storm on Lake Michigan last fall with 68-70 mph winds and 18-23' seas over a 6 hr period with continued 35-40 mph winds all the next day. Waves are reported to have been going easily over the pier head and going up the river. Due to surge at our marina, a number of boats at our marina were damaged including mine, as well as the dock and seawall. What I learned was that I had a policy that only paid for replacing parts on depreciated value with discounted reimbursement at 1 percent per year. Since my T37 is an '81, (30 years old), they paid only 70 percent of the replacement cost of every part that needed to be replaced. Labor was paid 100 percent. But I also found that I had no property damage clause in my policy and the insurance company will not cover the damage my boat did to the dock and seawall saying it was "Act of God". We've checked with 3 other insurance agents who said their companies do not recognize "Act of God" as a reason to avoid reimbursement. As a result, the owner of the condo dock that I rented is now taking me to court. I do have sufficient liability coverage and while my insurance company is providing an attorney, I have been under tremendous stress over the past year being caught in the middle of all of this.

I learned that the cheapest insurance policy is not always the best, even if it is a well-known company that is on TV ads on a regular basis. However, regardless of the company, make sure to read the fine print and know what your insurance policy will cover should you need it.

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Mark
Celtic Lady, Hull #315
Muskegon, MI


 
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 Post subject: Re: Precautions on Boat Insurance
PostPosted: 13 Sep 2012 08:49 
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Skipper

Joined: 27 Oct 2006 10:32
Posts: 826
Mark,
Your insurance company, Does it use Dennis Haysbert as a spokesman by chance? You know, the guy that is a lead on "The Unit"...trying not to directly name the company.
Just checking...............


 
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 Post subject: Re: Precautions on Boat Insurance
PostPosted: 13 Sep 2012 18:06 
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Skipper

Joined: 29 Dec 2006 09:38
Posts: 538
Worth it to check your insurance. I found out that I had a policy that was "Actual Cash Value" which sounds like what you had. This means that they do not replace or fix stuff, they pay you a depreciated amount based on the depreciated value of your boat or the part that was destroyed. A broker friend told me that he would not sell such a policy, but that there are many around. When I confronted my broker, she "checked" found that she could get me a "full replacement value" for the same price. I fired her. I expect a broker to look out for me and I consider these policies nearly fraud. I got a policy from BOAT US for about $100 less a year.

Good luck with your situation. I think I would consider counter suing the Marina owner and go for a jury trial. Cannot imagine someone suing your for damage your boat did to a marina in a storm and a jury sustaining that.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Precautions on Boat Insurance
PostPosted: 10 Oct 2012 11:13 
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Midshipman

Joined: 05 Apr 2011 17:27
Posts: 66
Yes, Dennis Haysbert is their spokesperson. And while I've avoided stating the name of the company, I have not exagerrated anything in my initial post (or this one) so it should not matter. I just stated what happened and my advice to others based on what I learned.

My sole reason for sharing this is that I want to encourage other Tartan/boat owners to read over their policy and find out what they really purchased in a policy. It is not my intent to condemn my insurance company but to encourage people to know what they are purchasing when they buy a policy.... from any company. I figured every policy is about the same except for deductibles, etc. -- I was wrong.

I will close by saying that the T37 is a very well-built boat. While I had to replace the stem-plate, the stainless rub-rail, the bow pulpit, the anchor roller, and the roller furling system (bashed the drum against the overhanging sidewalk), the hull was not affected at all. No cracks, no chips, no stress fractures. The marina repair guy was very impressed.... and so am I.

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Mark
Celtic Lady, Hull #315
Muskegon, MI


 
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