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  #1  
Old 03-13-2004
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chopsy is on a distinguished road
Insurance claims...how long?

I have an insurance claim with my insurance carrier (Allstate) for fire damage to my boat. It has been 3 weeks since I filed my claim and still I have no word from them. I keep calling and they claim to have no answers to my questions. I wonder what others experiences have been with a claim on a cruising-size boat. I have a 41 footer with lots of wood and traditional looks. Am I being unreasonable? Does the settlement process begin at one month?

Looking forward to hearing other hard-luck stories. (walking up-hill, both ways to get to the Insurance dealer, barefoot, in the snow, carryling a 1000 pound Westerbeke on your back, etc....)

Thanks!

Paul G
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Old 03-13-2004
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hamiam is on a distinguished road
Insurance claims...how long?

Unfortunately, Ive had several boat insurance claims as well. First question, did you get the insurance thru an agent or some other way? Its best to have an agent as they have leverage with the insurance company and you paid them via your premiums so they have an vest interest in you. My advice would be to keep pushing them and, in that doesnt work, start makeing calls to you state insurance regulator. Get the name of the person you are talking to and escalate your inquiry to his supervisor, etc. Good luck.
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Old 03-14-2004
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jgeissinger is on a distinguished road
Insurance claims...how long?

Allstate is a Direct Writer, meaning that the agent who wrote the policy for you only represents Allstate. If you are not getting a proper response from him, and you are most defintely not, after three weeks, you should contact the company''s 800 claims reporting number. If you have already done that and are still getting no response, try again and use the phrase "bad faith". Insurance companies that do not respond promptly to claims are guilty of bad faith and the penalties are severe. I am a 20 year+ California Insurance agent. I have no vested interest at all in anyone''s boat policy, but just in my own personal opinion I would never use Allstate for something like a boat or yacht policy. Good luck.
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Old 03-15-2004
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noreaster is on a distinguished road
Insurance claims...how long?

my brother and cousin are both all state agents. And yes I am insured by them my home my boat and auto and have had claimes with no problems so I would have to say it might be the agent you are dealing with every field has good and bad people. if you would like their # I would be happy to give it to you maybe they could help assist you.And they dont just take your money the will sit down and explain your policy to you in detail.in fact my brother will often help people who dont even have allstate fair winds and good luck
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Old 03-16-2004
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chopsy is on a distinguished road
Insurance claims...how long?

Thanks all for the tips. I especially like the "Bad Faith" one. We have 5 policies with Allstate, 2 cars, 2 boats, and our house. $ years on-time premiums paid, never a single claim. Now, we have a claim and we just don''t seem to matter. We have contacted the claims office and they are "Processing" our claim. It has been tooth and nail to get information from them. Promises to call, and they never do. When I call, Our claims rep just gets aggrivated at my asking questions and trying to keep the ball moving. They will not give out an single opinion or piece of information until "We have a nimber". Well, how long do they have to acquire this magic number? I had it in the first week. They insist on providing their own estimates, not knowing ANYTHING about a blue water boat. For example, I told them that the boat was 50 feet overall length and weighed in at 30,000 pounds, they asked if the trailer was damaged and could I pull it to a repair facility. Yeah, I said...I''ll do that with my Dodge DART! So, due to the combative nature of our claims adjuster, I have refused to call her and now await her to call me with their "number". over a week has passed, I have the estimate from the yard that they contacted to bid the job ( contacted them directly), and still no call from Allstate. I do see this as "Bad Faith" and horrible customer service. I cannot recommend Allstate for a yacht. Sadly, when I get their settlement, they will loose all 5 of our policies.

Thanks for the tips and reading my venting!

Paul G.
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Old 03-16-2004
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hamiam is on a distinguished road
Insurance claims...how long?

You have to move your claim up the food chain. With all due respect to all the insurance people out there, my father worked for Travelers Insurance for over 30 years and told me that the company would do anything they can to not pay a claim or to pay less. One of the tactics is to drag out settlement. Call the woman back. Get the name of her supervisor and call that person. I didnt catch what state you are in but call the office of insurance oversight and he some advice from them. You should not have to wait this long. Even if you got hit by someone else and its his fault, your insurance company should pay you and then go after his insurance company to recover the money. After all this hassle you will be treated to either an increase in rates, at best, or cancellation of your yacht policy at worst. So, start shopping around now. I would try insurance offered by BoatUS/West Marine or Defender as they are very familiar with boat claims. Good luck.


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Old 03-16-2004
tm3 tm3 is offline
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Insurance claims...how long?

If you do not heard from a claim rep. or since many ins. co''s. have no experts on board use vendors to handle claims I would do:
1) Attempt to find out what claim rep. within the co. is handling your claim and see what the status is. Did they assign a vendor and who it might be. Sometimes it''s the outside vendor who creates the problem. Also cite attorney involvement if claim does not move forward.
2) If nothing is being done by the claim rep. or the vendor contact the branch Claims Manager and call him with all facts of your claim and cite "BAD FAITH" and "ATTORNEY" if your claim does not move forward in a timely manner.
3) Contact the Branch Manager and cite the same issues and cite "BAD FAITH" and "ATTORNEY" if claim does not move forward.
4)If you are still having issues and don''t want to involve an attorney contact your state insurance dept. and file a complaint.
5)Many insureds have also gone the route of making contact with the co''s. Home Office trying to get in contact with someone higher up and making waves something Claim & Branch Managers don''t like since it does not look good for them.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-20-2004
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chopsy is on a distinguished road
Insurance claims...how long?

Hello all!

Well, as of late last night, Allstate has decided to change their minds. I used nearly all of the suggestions listed in this thread. I did call the state insurance commission and they encouraged me to file a complaint. I did so. Either that did the trick, or my luck is just changing. Until yesterday, Allstate wanted to consider my boat a "Total Loss" and sell it for scrap! I only got a phone message that Allstate has a settlement to offer, no real numbers yet. My agent tells me I need to wait for the other boat owner''s insurance (State Farm) to make a settlement offer (which could take a long time???) and to take their settlement. He says that State Farms settlement will be "More Generous" and allow for loss of use, appearance allowance, etc. to avoid me suing their insured boat owner. Does any of that sound true? Should I take Allstate''s settlement or wait for State Farm?

Paul G.
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Old 03-20-2004
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hamiam is on a distinguished road
Insurance claims...how long?

Paul, I think you should tell us how the damage happened and the extent of the damage. If the damage is extensive, you may, as heart breaking as this sounds, want them to declare the boat a total loss. You dont want to get into a situation where they cut you a check for X amount and, lo and behold, the repairs come to a much higher number. You policy should be "agreed hull value" ; ie not deprecation. Generally, you insurance company should make you whole and to the extent that the damage was fully the fault of the insured of another insurance company, go after that insurance company for the loss. (There is a technical, insurance term for that but it escapes my mind right now.) You should get your own guy to access the damage to the boat; depending on the damage (much like a car involved in an accident) the boat may "never be the same." I would hate for you to accept a settlement and then find out it is for far less than the actual cost of the repairs. Good luck. I wish I had better advice for you. You might call you state insurance people back and see what they have to say on the subject. Your tax dollars pay them so they should be responsive.
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Old 03-20-2004
tm3 tm3 is offline
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Insurance claims...how long?

Paul,
From what I can remember and personal experience your insurance co. is responsible for you & your insured boat. It is their responsibility to make you whole, meaning return the boat to the condition it was in at the time of the loss. If the damage is in excess of the boat value as cited in your policy then they can consider it a total loss and pay you only that amount. They might add extra depending on what was in or on the boat at the tme the loss occurred if you can prove it meaning receipts, etc. and any additional coverage you might have in the policy. ( personal property, etc. )
If you are nt satisfied with the numbers from your ins. co. you also have the option of getting your own estimates and challenge your ins. co. in an "arbitration" request. Meaning a neutral person decides after your ins. co. and your independent adjuster/estimator provide him/her their cases.
Regarding the wording "loss of use" that means paying you for the time that your boat is out of service and I was under the assumption that "loss of use" is related to "business use". Again meaning your boat is used for business purposes. As for "appearence allowance", that I never heard of.
But those terms give me the impression your boat is repairable.
Has the other insurance co. contacted you directly if the loss was the result of their insured?
Normally he other insurance should have contacted you if it was their insured''s fault and surveyed the damage giving you numbers then leaving it up to you as to accepting their offer or going through your ins. co.
There are other issues such as "no fault", policy language, etc. that can come into play. You really need to read your policy many times and make sure you understand the wording and what it means.
Possible a little more info. about how the loss occurred and extent of damage might help as "hamiam" suggested.
Again I cite ugh, "attorney".

tm3
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