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  #1  
Old 04-09-2014
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If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

As we all have heard, Rebel Heart was scuttled, and it was reportedly at the direction of the Coast Guard. I have no idea if they were insured or not, but it brings up a bunch of questions for me about insurance.

1. If you scuttle a boat, will insurance pay? Does it matter that the CG told you to do it?

2. If you scuttle a boat in the shallows, as a tactic to prevent it being broken up by beach surf, will they pay?

3. If you abandon your boat at sea, and they never find the boat, will they pay?


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

I'd say (hope?) that very few would have experience in that area!

Obviously if you deliberately 'scuttle' the boat for the insurance claim that's fraud and if caught not only will there be no coverage they would also be charges.(not the case here, obviously)

As a safety measure dictated by CG etc that ought to change things.

I think overall that the percentage of insured offshore voyagers is relatively low, the 'loss rate' equally low I doubt there's much data available for these scenarios.

There was a celebrated case some years back locally - a boat was lost in Haro Strait (deep, strong currents) and the skipper recovered in a dinghy. Ultimately a tenacious insurance investigator suspected foul play, the boat was found, recovered (basically 'trawled', snagged and hoisted to the surface successfully on a second attempt) All through hull hoses were found to have been cut off and valves open.

No insurance for you!!
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Old 04-09-2014
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Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

I believe this question is why it's nearly impossible to get hull coverage for an ocean crossing. It's not a question of the likelihood of a loss, its often a question of the choice of a crew to abandon ship. Of course, that's not the case with the sick baby, but is often the case with seasick crew and an injured boat, not a sunken boat. Think how many times we hear of a floating hull long after the storm is over. How would an insurance company know how to assign a premium to a risk that is primarily controlled by the insured.
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Old 04-09-2014
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Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I believe this question is why it's nearly impossible to get hull coverage for an ocean crossing. It's not a question of the likelihood of a loss, its often a question of the choice of a crew to abandon ship. Of course, that's not the case with the sick baby, but is often the case with seasick crew and an injured boat, not a sunken boat. Think how many times we hear of a floating hull long after the storm is over. How would an insurance company know how to assign a premium to a risk that is primarily controlled by the insured.

Now that's a fine point right there. I hadn't considered that. But Faster's example of fraud (punishable by prison time) and how they were able to prove it by dredging up the boat, illustrates their dilemma perfectly.

This also makes me feel better about ocean crossings. I generally feel that insurance companies are shrewd calculators of risk, and while I consider crossing an ocean to be a fairly safe endeavor if done right, it's always bugged be that it's a nearly uninsurable venture, which leads me to wonder if I am underestimating the real risk.

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

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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Now that's a fine point right there. I hadn't considered that. But Faster's example of fraud (punishable by prison time) and how they were able to prove it by dredging up the boat, illustrates their dilemma perfectly.

This also makes me feel better about ocean crossings. I generally feel that insurance companies are shrewd calculators of risk, and while I consider crossing an ocean to be a fairly safe endeavor if done right, it's always bugged be that it's a nearly uninsurable venture, which leads me to wonder if I am underestimating the real risk.

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I wonder if the sample size is too small to make it feasible to calculate the risk. They would probably want a current survey. That and the premium, and many would choose to go "bare".
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Old 04-09-2014
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Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

Wouldn't that be spelled out in the policy?
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Old 04-09-2014
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Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

I only carried liability insurance. If you can't afford to lose your boat then it's irresponsible to expect somebody else to.
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Old 04-09-2014
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Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

Boats can be insured for passages, you may not like the rider though.....
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Old 04-09-2014
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Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I believe this question is why it's nearly impossible to get hull coverage for an ocean crossing. It's not a question of the likelihood of a loss, its often a question of the choice of a crew to abandon ship. Of course, that's not the case with the sick baby, but is often the case with seasick crew and an injured boat, not a sunken boat. Think how many times we hear of a floating hull long after the storm is over. How would an insurance company know how to assign a premium to a risk that is primarily controlled by the insured.
There are companies that have specialized insurance coverage for offshore cruisers. We have insured with Merkel Insurance using something called the Jackline policy. No harder to get than regular insurance as long as the boat surveys and you present a record of competence. Price goes up or down depending on where you will be sailing in the coming year.
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Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
......as long as the boat surveys and you present a record of competence.......
and that is likely the rub for most.
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