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post #11 of Old 04-09-2014
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Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I believe this question is why it's nearly impossible to get hull coverage for an ocean crossing.
I have never had a problem getting insurance for ocean crossings. The cost is not even any higher than one would expect. What is significant is that it is nearly impossible to get segmented cover. In other words, in my experience, trans-ocean cover is only provided in the event of total loss. We have never been able to get cover for a rig failure or other partial loss.

As far as scuttling your boat, there is a lot of speculation about consequential loss. So most insurance policies have cover for public liability and that would cover things like damaging other peopleís boats and so on but will this cover a boat that is abandoned in a floating condition and then causes damaged because it is unmanned? I donít believe so. So effectively the insurer is not exposed and leaving the boat floating is no risk to them.

There is also an obligation to not leave a vessel as a navigation hazard but once again, I donít believe this can be used to motivate an insurance claim. I donít believe there is a legal requirement to send a boat that is left unmanned to the bottom.

As a personal experience, I lost a vessel in a foreign country several years ago and my insurance paid for the total loss in full but the recovery/salvage/disposal of the remains of the vessel were not paid for and were not considered as part of public liability cover. So in the event that a vessel is abandoned and not scuttled and there is consequential loss as a result does not financially expose the insurer so they would probably not see any potential saving for them. Consequently they would question the scuttling. So unless there was compelling evidence to show that the boat would have in any case been destined for the ocean floor I suspect you would be in trouble.

Having said all of this, if my boat was severely damaged in a storm but still floating and I knew that the insurer was not going to cover it because it was ďnot a total lossĒ, letís just say that my mind would be wandering into some questionable territory in terms of desirable future ownership.

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