Perils of a Pleasure Boat Insurance in Spain - SailNet Community
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 07-10-2007 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 8
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Perils of a Pleasure Boat Insurance in Spain

How many pleasure boat owners know that many Insurance Companies in Spain refuse to face an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in case of a conflict? The boat-owners are hereby losing all help and benefits from the EU and Spanish Consumer Protection Laws.

The ADR Scheme is a fast, efficient and cheap arbitration system created for all EU-citizens (except pleasure boat owners) for Consumer Protection. The system also includes translation services at very low costs. It´s called Sistema Arbitral de Consumo in Spanish and is unfortunately voluntary for the Insurance Companies.
This exclusion of boat owners from the Consumer Protection Laws is done by taking advantage of articles in the Insurance Laws, which classifies pleasure boat insurance as a “High Risk”. (Spanish Law 50/1980, Art.107.2 y Art.44.)

These companies neglect the distinction between “el pater familias”, who only uses his boat a few summer months for his personal and private recreation and leisure, and the “ordenado comerciante” who uses his boat to earn money.
THE ADR SYSTEM DOES NOT INCLUDE “HIGH RISK”.
Most people associate the insurance-related expression “High Risk” to risks that always involves millions of Euros in Insurance Indemnity Claims, as in case of an airline-crash or a passenger ship disaster. Not the small indemnity claim for the loss of a pleasure boat at the value of a Caravan car or a bungalow on Costa Blanca.

In addition, the Insurance Companies get the benefit of “libertad de pactos” which implies the right to choose applicable Laws by means of which the boat owner might find himself in a situation of inferiority and defencelessness in Court. It´s not surprising that Insurance Companies, adopting this moral code, are in the habit of refusing to take part in dispute resolutions Out-of Court through the ADR-System.
A clause in the Insurance contract might promise that conflicts could be solved by arbitration, but that does not mean arbitration through the gratuitous ADR-system, but a considerably more expensive arbitration and not including translation service. (Only a scarce 6,3% of the Spanish Insurance Companies are coherent with the ADR-System.)

That leaves no other alternative to the discontented client with a damaged boat, but to take legal actions against the insurance company. This procedure is often very costly, lengthy and tiring.
Most people give in and pocket their pride.
(Every year about 1500 pleasure boats suffer such grave accidents in Spanish waters, that rescue actions by the Spanish Salvamento Marítimo are necessary. More accidents happen in marinas and boat yards, not accounted for in the statistics.)

Pleasure-boat owners, who only use their boats for private recreation, are not aware of their weak position - until they have a disagreement with the company.
Then they discover they do not even have the right to an independent “legal aid” included in their boat-insurance. “Legal aid” usually is included in a common “Consumer Insurance” (car- house- property-or travel-insurance, etc.) Neither do they have the help of a “P&I Club” as the merchant ship owners have.
EU has excluded the right to have a “Legal Expense Insurance” included in a common Pleasure Boat Insurance in respect of disputes or risks arising out of the use of sea-going vessels. (Directive 87/344/CEE.)

The issue of insurance-disputes hereby seems to be assigned to Rules with roots in typically mercantile Maritime Insurance Laws and Commercial Codes, which are certainly not as consumer-friendly as the European and Spanish “Laws for the Protection of the Consumers and Users”.
Many of the Rules concerning Maritime Insurance and Commercial Codes have their origin in the circumstances prevailing in the 19th century, when it was a trend amongst unscrupulous ship owners to cheat their insurance companies by overvalue their cargoes and overloading their ships, and which finally resulted in the famous “Plimsoll-Rules”. Now it appears as if some insurance companies adopt a moral code of cheating small pleasure-boat owners, by the hidden use of paragraphs referring to these archaic Rules.

Pleasure boat owners, who only use their boats for their own leisure and recreation, in general believe that their pleasure boat-insurance is “Consumer Insurance” in the intents of the “Laws for the Protection of the Consumers and Users”, as in other European countries, and not “Maritime Insurance” in the sense of “High Risk” and Commercial Codes.
That’s why the pleasure-boat owners are easy prey for these companies.
And also why these companies top the insurance companies´ “League of Reclamations.”

The European Consumer´s Centre is aware that here does exist a flaw in the legislature and considers it a duty for the Spanish and European Authorities to take the matter up. 

The motive to publish these lines is to provoke a change in the legislature that will distinguish clearly between the Laws concerning pleasure boats exclusively for private use, and the Laws concerning pleasure boats engaged in commercial activities (charter, transport, competition, tutorage etc. Spain has a special Register for commercially engaged pleasure boats. (A-6)) , besides to influence the Insurance Companies to adhere to the ADR-System and introduce fairer terms in the contracts.
The motive is also to launch a debate and spread knowledge about the exposed position, in what owners of pleasure boats find themselves, in case of conflict with some of the insurance companies.
This ought also to be a task for Nautical Clubs, Consumer Associations and Yachting Magazines and others to encourage.

I apreciate comments and opinions on this topic.

Don Quijote del Mar
e-mail:donquijotedelmar@gmail.com
DonQuijotedelMar is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 Old 07-10-2007
Telstar 28
 
sailingdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,290
Thanks: 0
Thanked 15 Times in 12 Posts
Rep Power: 14
         
Hmmm.. it seems like you post about this same issue every few months, and nothing else...

Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
sailingdog is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 11 Old 07-10-2007
moderate?
 
camaraderie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: East Coast
Posts: 13,877
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 16
     
Well...DonQuixote was rather obsessed with tilting at windmills eh dawg?
camaraderie is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 11 Old 07-10-2007
tdw
Super Fuzzy Moderator
 
tdw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 16,622
Thanks: 15
Thanked 106 Times in 99 Posts
Rep Power: 10
     
Yep, five posts, all virtually identical. Axe to grind ? Trolling for email addresses ? Or just another one of those wankers who inhabitat the world of late night talk back radio ?

Andrew B

“Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.”
― Terry Pratchett, Nation

Malo 39 Classic
tdw is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 11 Old 07-10-2007
Senior Member
 
RickLaPaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 407
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
 
Does boat still float? Perfect. Insert body A into vessel B and steer a course for country C.

(That'll be a thousand Euros, please. P/M me for mailing address)..............
RickLaPaz is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #6 of 11 Old 07-14-2007 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 8
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Perils of a Pleasure Boat Insurance.

A small Swedish pleasure-boat got stranded on a beach on Ibiza in a violent and totally unannounced storm, which stranded four (4) yachts in the area and caused twelve (12) emergency turn-outs by Salvamento Maritimo during a few dramatic night hours.
The Insurance Company, was contacted and promised prompt salvage actions….
Under the veil of discretion, the Spanish Insurance Company will be named “the COMPANY” in this true story, but can be any Company adapting the same moral code.

Salvage actions was DELAYED SIX (6) DAYS, during which the boat bumped against the rocks by every wave and received more damage! The boat was then salvaged and transported in an unprofessional manner to an expensive boat-yard, chosen by the COMPANY, and received still more damage! The COMPANY blamed the delays on “fiestas y permisos”! 

The COMPANY could now be sure that the repair costs would exceed ¾ of the insured value and thus be considered as “total constructive loss”.
The COMPANY´s surveyor considered the boat underrated. The boat was insured to a value equivalent to comparable boats for sale on the Spanish boat-market and in accordance with the COMPANY´s agent in the base port.
When the tender for the repairs finally arrived, 24 days later, from the COMPANY-picked boat-yard, it was impudently high priced. 
A comparison with a well-reputed boat-yard on the Spanish mainland showed that the repairs could be done on the Mainland boat-yard for less than half the price and with 5 years guarantee. 
The boat-owner felt as caught in a trap.
The COMPANY-picked boat-yard demanded an absurd sum for releasing the boat from the boat-yard, increased the lay-up-fee 37 %, and threatened to bring the boat to a scrap-yard. 
The transport from Ibiza to the boat-yard on the Mainland would be very expensive.
The COMPANY´s offer of indemnity, 54 days later, for “total constructive loss”, was reluctantly accepted. A number of questions concerning the course of events were sent to the COMPANY.

The COMPANY then made huge deductions for insured but undamaged equipment remaining aboard, salvage and transport, and told the boat-owner that he was still owner of the boat and its equipment and responsible for all pending and future costs from the COMPANY-picked boat-yard.
A few weeks later the boat-owner visited Ibiza by car to pick up personal effects and the insured but undamaged equipment, which the COMPANY had deducted from the indemnity.
When he came to the boat-yard, the COMPANY-picked boat-yard manager PREVENTED HIM FROM PICKING UP HIS BELONGINGS FROM THE BOAT! 

One month later a friend, well initiated in insurance matters, told the boat owner that he was being cheated by the COMPANY and helped formulate a claim.
The claim was sent to the COMPANY and resulted in a poor consolation, called “calculation error”.
The claim was recommitted and the afore-mentioned questions repeated.
Appeals were made to the Spanish consumer organization OMIC, to Dirección General de Seguros (DGS), to The Spanish and Swedish Consumer Commissions for “unfair terms in consumer contract”, to the Spanish Financial Ombudsman (El Defensor del Pueblo). All in vain.
A clause in the Insurance Contract promised (?) that possible conflicts could be solved by arbitration procedure. An application for arbitration was sent to la Junta Arbitral de Consumo.
In a letter to La Junta Arbitral de Consumo, the COMPANY explicitly refused to take part in an arbitration and gave an empty promise to take immediate contact with the client. 
At the time of writing, more than three months later, no contact has been taken.

Boat owners and others ought to be able to draw their own conclusions from this true story.
My advice is: Read the rest of this article and check your Boat Insurance Contract with your Company.
For more details e-mail: donquijotedelmar@gmail.com
DonQuijotedelMar is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #7 of 11 Old 07-14-2007
moderate?
 
camaraderie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: East Coast
Posts: 13,877
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 16
     
The one note samba continues!
camaraderie is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #8 of 11 Old 07-14-2007
.
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 10,851
Thanks: 0
Thanked 5 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 13
         
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuijotedelMar
A few weeks later the boat-owner visited Ibiza by car to pick up personal effects and the insured but undamaged equipment, which the COMPANY had deducted from the indemnity.
and how, my amigo did he drive to Ibiza??? in one of those James Bond cars????

Now I understand the "COMPANY" being so difficult...the guy that grounded the boat believed he was driving his car.....

The car insurance COMPANY has a similar complaint there...about this guy that drove a car to Ibiza, and now claims his spark plugs are wet.....
Giulietta is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #9 of 11 Old 07-24-2007 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 8
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Perils of a Pleasure Boat Insurance in Spain.
“Well, what happened to the boat?”, some reader might wonder.
To avoid losing both the boat and the received indemnity over time to the COMPANY-picked boat-yard, the boat owner donated the boat to a Navigation School on the Mainland in exchange for the pending and rising demands from the COMPANY-picked boat-yard. 
Besides being repaired at the same boat-yard, the boat received a total renovation, an echosounder, a speed log, new VHF radio equipment, a new life raft and rescue-equipment, a full painting job, and a complete official survey for a Sea-Worthiness-Certificate and a Spanish Matriculation. 
From a reliable source, the expenses for the repair-jobs did not come up to the costs demanded from the Swedish boat owner. The difference amounted to more than 3000 €. 

I apreciate serious comments and opinions on this topic, since I´m ignorant in jurisprudence, but quite experienced as a seaman.
Taking the case to Court in spite of being more or less broke, or keep on warning unknowing pleasure boat owners in the hope of getting a relevant opinion some day? Please read again and have a good think before you give an opinion.
Don Quijote del Mar.
DonQuijotedelMar is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #10 of 11 Old 07-24-2007
Semper Gumby
 
GySgt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 350
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
 
Send a message via MSN to GySgt
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuijotedelMar View Post
Perils of a Pleasure Boat Insurance in Spain.


I apreciate serious comments and opinions on this topic, since I´m ignorant in jurisprudence, but quite experienced as a seaman.
Taking the case to Court in spite of being more or less broke, or keep on warning unknowing pleasure boat owners in the hope of getting a relevant opinion some day? Please read again and have a good think before you give an opinion.
Don Quijote del Mar.
Lets see:
1. Don't like Spain...move
2. Don't like Spanish insurance....don't buy it
3. Never try to navagate open waters to an island in a car
4. Stay off the rocks.... seriously
GySgt is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Making Passage w/o a Rudder wind_magic Seamanship & Navigation 60 07-16-2010 01:23 PM
What can you tell from the numbers? brazilnut Boat Review and Purchase Forum 10 07-01-2009 04:09 PM
Confessions of a bottom feeder PracticalSailor Gear and Maintenance Articles 9 06-18-2008 04:33 PM
Boat Insurance perils in Spain and elsewhere in Europe. DonQuijotedelMar General Discussion (sailing related) 0 06-17-2006 01:04 PM
Replacing Our Boat Sue & Larry Buying a Boat Articles 0 07-31-1999 08:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome