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Old 06-22-2011
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Insurance claim issue.....

I have been insured with same company (Premier Marine in Vancouver, canada) for last 7 years and never had the need to make a claim. Two and a half weeks ago while hiking with friends got an email from the marina saying a guy who was "practicing" backing with his 32 ft powerboat (five slips away) got caught by the wind (has two engines and a bow thruster) and damaged my boat. next day I went down to the marina to check it out and found up to two feet long white scratches (my boat is dark blue) on the edge of my transom's sugar scoop and couple of places where up to a square inch in size gelcoat was missing and fiberglass was exposed. I was on this particular slip only a day after moving from another one. My neighbor (powerboater as well) was telling me he heard about this event from others while he was out over a weekend and how this guy has had issues maneuvering his boat ever since he got it.....

Contacted the insurance company next day who sent an "adjustor". I spoke with him couple days later when he advised me that the damage in his professional opinion is minimal and he offered me a "goodwill" gesture payment of $500 which I can use as I see fit and to sign a letter to close the case out. I checked with the marina and just to haul the boat out and keep it on the hard for a day costs $435 which leaves me with $65 for the repair. He kept on blabbing about the boat having "significant wear and tear" and how it is impossible to ascertain what is new and what is old damage. In essence, my transom sugarscoop is retrofitted and the gelcoat on it is pretty oxidized and pale in comparison with the rest of the boat but there was no damage to the gelcoat nor white streak marks and missing gelcoat patches. During my other two conversations with him he kept on insisting that i can not get more than that and to accept the $500 "goodwill" settlement.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with this and get my boat fixed the way it deserves ti be fixed having been insured?
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Old 06-23-2011
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Hi Petar,

I'll give you my 2 cents FWIW.

First, have you spoken with the guy who caused the damage? It sounds like you have reliable witnesses, and if he is willing to pay for repairs, one immediate problem is solved.

Second, and this may cost you some money--have the damage inspected by a reputable shipwright or surveyor. This will help you in any discussions with the guy who caused the damage; or in discussions with the insurance company.

Third, if we are talking about 2 one foot long scratches, have you considered doing the work yourself; or having a knowledgeable friend do it?

Fourthly, while it doesn't help you in this case, you may want to look at a new insurance company when renewal time comes up. I googled Premium Marine easy enough, but they are not members of the Marine Trades Association. When we completed the purchase of our boat, our broker strongly urged us to deal insurance folks who understood recreational boating and the marine industry. It was good advice.

Finally, what marina was this at? I was going to make a smart aleck remark about how we all should keep an eye out for that guy. However, most marinas really want to know about problem boaters like that. If this guy has already had problems, a complaint from you may encourage the marina to get the guy to move on--just don't send him to Port Moody!

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Old 06-23-2011
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Thanks for advice. No worries, it was in Point Roberts Marina.
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Old 06-23-2011
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Have you tried to resolve this with the individual that caused the damage? Despite having insurance for your own hull damage, the guy that did the damage is actually liable for it. Make a claim against his liability policy, if he has one. That may not be allowed in your state. If he's not willing to own up to it, pursue him in small claims court.

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Old 06-23-2011
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Petar, I don't know how Canadian insurance works but I would think you'd do the same as we do in the US: File a claim against THE OTHER GUY'S insurance.

As everyone says, he did it, he's responsible for it. Unless you've got some kind of "no fault" situation there that requires you to file against your own insurer? The guy who did it has to pay for it.

What's reasonable, i.e. repainting one side of the hull, spot repairing the scratches, painting the entire hull...that's probably going to be an issue regardless of who pays for it. You may want to ask the marina, and a local yard, what's typical up there and how to proceed to get the best recovery.

Under Canadian and provincial law.
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Old 06-23-2011
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I used to work in the water and fire restoration industry and dealt with many property and casualty adjusters. It appears that the adjuster is just trying to close files which is bad for you. First of all someone else did damage to your boat which has bee documented. Your Insurance company should be subrogating against the insurance company of the person who caused the damage. There should be no cost to your insurance company in the end as they will get their money from the other insurance company. They should be taking care of you. You could call your agent or the company and ask to speak with a supervisor and explain your story. Your insurance company should pay for a reputable yard to do the repair, make you happy, and get reimbursed form the other insurance company.

You could hire , or threaten to hire, a public adjuster who works for you and gets a percentage of the clim value for their services. The up side is that they will suck every penny they can from the insurance company because they are making a percentage. The down side is that your insurance co would likely drag their feet were you to sign with a public adjuster.

You can also tell the insurance company that you want the boat as it was before the accident and will take no less, ater all that is what insurance is supposed to do. Get you back to pre-loss condition. If the new area is visibly shinier/newer than the rest of the boat then the insurance co is likely obligated to clean/polish/and or paint the entire boat.

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Old 06-23-2011
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I'm with Capt Michael. At the least, sounds like laziness. I would escalate this as far as necessary. Token payment!? Really!
Tom K

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Northern Chesapeake Bay

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Old 06-23-2011
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Yikes.... we're with Premier ourselves.. you're making me nervous. We've not yet had a claim, their premiums are reasonable, but as you've discovered you never know how good a carrier you've really got until you need something.

I'm with the others that the guy that hit you is responsible (and/or his insurance carrier) I would not settle for what your so-called adjuster is trying to sell you.

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Old 06-23-2011
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What the adjuster is hoping for is that you will not care about the repair and you will want to pocket the $500 since they will not ask for boatyard receipts or anything. If that's indeed what you want, go for it. If not, take a firm stand, read your policy and know exactly what you are entitled to. And make it clear that you know.
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Old 06-23-2011
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What year, make and model is your boat?

Like others have said; the other guy should be held responsible for the damage.

For the damage you describe I don't think the 500.00 is that far off. 1st. the insurance is for repairs to your boat. If you owned a trailerable the insurance company would not pay to send a guy with a trailer out to pick up the boat, you would have to use your own trailer and haul the boat out yourself. Hauling the boat out is not part of the damage. But look and see if it is covered in your policy; most likely not. Just like on a car insurance policy, towing is either part of it, or it isn't.

Another thing to consider is the Marina's liability in this.... I bet they hold liability insurance for circumstances like this. I would exhaust everybody else's insurance prior to running it through my own.
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