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  #11  
Old 11-14-2011
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Would the insurance company just give you the check of $22k and let you take care of the repair as you wish, and keep title as is?

But if you want to be honest about it I would do a cheap repair (as covered in your other thread on this site) as long as there is not structural damage, and return any unused money to the insurance company. This would keep all of our rates low and reduce insurance fraud.
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2011
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Get a check for what you can negociate and fix what you like

I've been through this. It is NOT required to total the boat. Much of the cost stems from an irrational American need to fix everything so that it is cosmetically perfect, which is rather silly on an older boat. Who knows, you might rub a dock on the same spot in a few weeks and feel rather silly about the whole thing.

I'm not suggesting duct tape, shoe gue, and house paint. I'm talking about good serviceable repairs and servicable cosmetic work. I believe in good solid work. But do what you would do if it were your money... which it is. And then take the rest and upgrade sails, pay for college, rebuild the engine, or pay for retirment.

I don't see this as fraud in any sense; it was the claims adjuster that determined the value of the loss, and you've been paying premiums.
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Old 01-16-2012
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Resolution

It turns out that I didn't have too much to say with the how the insurer resolved the claim. I received a letter from the insurer advising me that they considered the boat a total constructive loss, and offering me the opportunity to buy the "salvage" from them ($4k). I did buy the boat back. Will take the money and make the repairs.

I will not be replacing the rails. After hours of searching the internet for "aluminum rail repair," I found Rex Maugans' rail straightening device in the US patent office. Was able to track him down and buy his first production model. The initial result is promising and I will finish the work in the spring. Will still have to deal with the "scarring," but it will be straight.

The insurer cancelled the policy. In the short-term I plan to just buy liability coverage.

My plan is to take any "extra" money and invest it into the boat.

Thanks for everyone's advice.
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Old 01-16-2012
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I think the thing about this situation that confuses people is how insurance companies value things. Most of us regard a "total loss" of something as essentially meaning it is damaged beyond repair. Insurance companies instead look at the cost of professional repairs plus an additional factor averaged in for "re-do's", hidden surprises and so forth. Once these, plus any recoverable scrap value add up to equal or exceed the insured value payable by them, it is a "total loss".

It actually has little to do with the repairability of the insured item, it has only to do with minimizing their cash outlays. Another thing to consider is that most professionals, when they know they are dealing with an insurance company, jack up the price over what an individual would pay out of his own pocket - this even applies to dentists and so forth. I imagine that $13K to replace a toe rail has some of that in it.

I've seen cars totalled over a creased fender - the cost of repainting it exceeded the market value of an otherwise perfectly good car.
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Old 01-17-2012
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I'd take the $30,000 and buy the boat back, When you are doing the repair with your own money, you can cut corners that you would not permit the insurance company to do. Consider replacing the rail only on the damaged side, with something that cosmetically matches the other side...only you are likely to notice the difference.

After the repair, if your existing insurance company has any reluctance to fully insure the boat (I wouldn't blame them...), get a clean survey and switch to another company. Does your state even have titles for boats...many don't...

A fellow at my club had a similar situation, he bought the boat back for $1000, and used the insurance proceeds for a professional repair, included a full awlgrip job of the topsides and a new set of sails, and ended up with a boat far more pristine than prior to the accident, and with money in the bank.
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Old 01-17-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post

After the repair, if your existing insurance company has any reluctance to fully insure the boat (I wouldn't blame them...), get a clean survey and switch to another company. Does your state even have titles for boats...many don't...

.
This advice smacks of fraud, and

if it is in fact a CTL, and you repair it and offer it for sale or transfer - you will be in deep doo doo. Subject to prosecution in many states. If you are going to go this route, I suggest strongly that you READ the terms and conditions that you agree to, by taking the check.

For sure you can repair it and use it....but if involved in an accident, that can in any way be attributed to the CTL damages, you can and likely, will be find liable...and without insurance.

The HIN, make, model and ANY information they have on the boat and you will be entered in to the databases available to the insurance companies and made available to other insurance companies.

Whether car/truck/boat/motorcycle.....you WILL have a next to impossible time EVER insuring that boat again. Insurance companies will NOT pay twice. Once totaled, they - collectively are done with that item. To them it no longer exists, and their lawyers are better paid than yours will be.
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Old 01-17-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kd3pc View Post
This advice smacks of fraud, and

if it is in fact a CTL, and you repair it and offer it for sale or transfer - you will be in deep doo doo. Subject to prosecution in many states. If you are going to go this route, I suggest strongly that you READ the terms and conditions that you agree to, by taking the check.

For sure you can repair it and use it....but if involved in an accident, that can in any way be attributed to the CTL damages, you can and likely, will be find liable...and without insurance.

The HIN, make, model and ANY information they have on the boat and you will be entered in to the databases available to the insurance companies and made available to other insurance companies.

Whether car/truck/boat/motorcycle.....you WILL have a next to impossible time EVER insuring that boat again. Insurance companies will NOT pay twice. Once totaled, they - collectively are done with that item. To them it no longer exists, and their lawyers are better paid than yours will be.
No need for deception with anyone. Of course the insurance companies share information, and I would expect the loss and related changes of ownership would be reflected in the documentation history.
I did not suggest that the OP try to hide the history of the boat form the second insurance company, just that I believe that the insurance company presented with a good survey of a vessel, is likely to extend insurance for it, even if the insurance company knows it had a bent toe rail in the past, as long as it has been repaired to a surveyor's satisfaction.
The OP has an opportunity to own the same boat with a marred history, plus perhaps $15,000 in the bank. When he goes to the sell the boat, the next buyer will expect and get a substantial haircut on value, due to the history, but he too may end up the smiling owner of a lovely boat for $15000-18,000.
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Last edited by sailingfool; 01-17-2012 at 11:10 AM.
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  #18  
Old 01-17-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
.. just that I believe that the insurance company presented with a good survey of a vessel, is likely to extend insurance for it, even if the insurance company knows it had a bent toe rail in the past, as long as it has been repaired to a surveyor's satisfaction.
the current insurer has, or will shortly be identifying this boat as a CTL...no matter what we or the OP has put forth, toe rail be damned. It is a very small world.

Survey or not, paperwork/statements that swears it is as good as prior to the CTL...NO reputable insurance company will insure this boat for more than a few hundred dollars, if that.

Simply not going to happen. They have paid out the value of the boat, ONCE, and will not do so again. Nor will they be responsible for any liability associated with this boat.

Buyers of, or potential buyers of "bargain" boats should really ask their insurance agent for binders and get all their concerns addressed, up front. I stand by my previous post.

Caveat Emptor. And especially people who buy back a CTL.
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Old 01-17-2012
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"Whether car/truck/boat/motorcycle.....you WILL have a next to impossible time EVER insuring that boat again. Insurance companies will NOT pay twice. Once totaled, they - collectively are done with that item."
Not so simple. What an insurer will do depends very much on whether the vehicle involved was issued a "salvage title" and what the reason for the "total" was.
I had a car that was totalled because of theft, too many parts stripped. The insurer saved a few bucks by not forcing a salvage title, which is hard to remove in many states now. So the original title was never changed and once I had the missing parts restored and the vehicle re-inspected, they picked up full insurance again without any discussion.
How individual insurers, and states, deal with total losses, collision or otherwiwse, and how titles are changed, is very much an individual matter. If your state requires a salvage title, the insurer still may or may not bother with it. And some states (notoriously) make it very easy to clear a salvage title while others require special reinspections. I'm sure they make it easier on boats than on cars--but this is by no means a uniform process in the US.
And that's probably logical, too. After all, if I spend $2000 for parts, and four days of my time installing "modifications", the insurer will only recognize the $2000 added. If a SHOP does the job and bills out another $3500 in labor fees--the insurer will recognize the total of $5500, because money changed hands. If you make repairs by yourself or find some discount labor source, that's to your advantage. They pay "book" rates, they know you have the option and sometimes ability to beat those.
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Old 01-17-2012
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How many out there would buy a boat that was considered a "total loss"? I would not. Yes it may be sold at a good price, but you don't know the quality of the repair. Insurance companies are not stupid. It they thought the boat was repairable for less then their liability, then they would go that route.

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