Re: Apparently I'm not meant to have a boat...
If the damage was as a result of an accident, regardless of who was at the helm, my insurance will cover the repairs (or total the boat) because I have comprehensive coverage in addition to collision coverage. If there was an accident while the captain was at the helm, the insurance company may be able to go after him/his insurance for subrogation. My policy, and this may vary from insurer to insurer, says that if the damage was due to improperly/poorly maintained equipment, rather than a true "accident", then that won't be covered by my insurance.
What gets hairy here is that they wrote the policy and relied on a survey that said that the boat was in generally servicable condition. Aside from the "sea trial" when we moved the boat (in heavy headwinds) from the slip to the travellift, I have yet to be aboard the boat when she was away from the dock, and I have yet to take control of the boat in any way. She was moved by the surveyor to the lift and then blocked because I wanted the bottom painted. The marina moved her back to the slip. The captain moved her from Deltaville to Pasadena, and TowBoatUS moved her from Pasadena to Rock Hall.
I got my insurance through an agent. I'm waiting to see how things go, and may enlist their aid - we have two cars, three boats, and a home all insured through them.
Chuck, apparently many insured have "stuck" the insurance company with the costs associated with this kind of work. I had to sign something saying that I understood that if there wasn't an accident, they weren't responsible for the costs (which is consistent with my insurance policy).
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