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Old 05-01-2013
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Insurance rant - How would you respond

The insurance for my boat is reasonably priced by my current company, even after Sandy (we are in NC and where not effected by that storm). Their geographical restrictions are ok by me as they emcompass my general sailing area. They require a survey every 5 years I own the boat. I have just completed 5 years and I had the boat surveyed by an accreddited surveyor.

His findings are listed as recommendations at three levels; green - surveyor observations and general recommendations, blue - maintenance issues which are not necessarily manditory, and red - safety defects which may be manditory.

the vessel was found fit for its intended purpose with the following red recommendations:
inspect and replace the propane tanks as necessary; it is highly recommended that a pressure gauge be inserted in the propane system to test for leaks (this is just a recommendation).

have the life raft inspection brought up to date (the life raft is not required for operation, but clearly before I venture out where I might need it I will have it inspected).

the blue and green recommendations mostly consited of meeting ABYC recommendations which include warning labels for the operation of all appliances; such as the stove, the diesel cabin heater, etc.

the value of the boat was found to be nearly equal to my purchase price 5 years ago and the replacement value is 5 times that amount.

I am complying with the red safety recommendations, but after discussion with the surveyor he indicated that ABYC requirements are only recommendations and not manditory and in fact the warning label requirments under ABYC-A26 do not really apply to the appliances I have.

I then recieve a letter from my insurance company thanking me for the survey and then stating that "Within the survey, there are “recommendations” set forth to bring your boat into good repair. Even though the survey identifies these as “recommendations,” they are requirements of your insurance policy."

I am furious at their audacity to take my money and ignore their responsibililty to insure my boat based on missing warning labels that don't even apply!

How would you respond to the insurance company based on these statements?

Just ranting,
Ron
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Insurance rant - How would you respond

Wouldn't sticking a few warning labels on the appropriate pieces of equipment be a lot easier, and raise your blood pressure less, than ranting?
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Insurance rant - How would you respond

Do you have an agent or did you buy directly from the insurance carrier. An agent should be helpful in detailing that the warnings do not apply and have it noted that won't void your policy. I suspect you received a form letter.
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Insurance rant - How would you respond

SBS,
Sure in the end that is likely what I will do (eventhough the manufacturer of the diesel heater says there is no such label). But what I am ranting about is the principle that if the insurance company can require a survey and then will not determine, from that survey, what is required for the safe operation of the vessel then when the time comes for a claim (if ever) I don't believe they will at that time determine whether any of these recommendations had anything to do with the claim. They will ask one question, "did you comply with your policy in making all the necessary corrections?" If not, claim denied.
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Insurance rant - How would you respond

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnRon47 View Post
.....They will ask one question, "did you comply with your policy in making all the necessary corrections?" If not, claim denied.
I presume you don't know that would be the case, you fear it would.

Nevertheless, different carriers have very different approaches to claims. Would you be surprised that the less expensive policies are more likely to behave as you fear? That's how they save money to pass along in lower premiums.
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Insurance rant - How would you respond

Your boat has a stated or agreed value the insurance company will pay you based on that agreed value. They simply want to make sure your boat remains at that value. Yeah ok so some seem silly but remember there is some person sitting in a cubical looking at hundreds of these reports, That person may never have been on a boat in their life. Insurance companies always get a bit skiddish after a big storm.

Also a pressure gauge in your propane system is USCG law not something that is just highly recommended. The gauge is to check for leaks and you really need to have that in there for your own safety.
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Insurance rant - How would you respond

Sounds like a form letter. The person sending it may not have even looked at the surveyors report other than there was a section titled recomendations.
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Insurance rant - How would you respond

No

My survey person understands that once he puts anything on the survey the insurance company will require it

How do you expect and insurance company to understand the GRAY area of a survey report

IF there is GRAY and it does not affect boat safety they have no business on the survey and you need a better person

At this point in time there are so many ABYC things most BRAND NEW boats even from better builders would have and issue with something IF somebody looked at every possible rule and put there personal interpretation of the rules meaning into it
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Insurance rant - How would you respond

I would call my insurance agent, and even the surety representative directly. Sometimes it takes a couple of calls to get to someone knowledgeable enough to interpret the policy language for you. Discuss the specifics and listen to what what they say. You might be okay.

If you are being treated unfairly, then its time to call another insurance company.
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Insurance rant - How would you respond

Perform the upgrades/changes the insurance company asks for along with photos and receipts for proof. You don't really want to give the company an "out" in the event of a claim.
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