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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?
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Thread: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-10-2014 05:50 AM
Minnewaska
Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

Just heard a story of a dinghy that was stolen from the marina. Owner put in an insurance claim and bought a brand new dinghy in a couple of weeks. Then the police found his original dink about 10 miles down the Bay.

Got me thinking. My dink is about 8 years old. I wondered if he was available to steal mine too.

I should bite my tongue, it will end up stolen, while we're ashore having dinner. Think I will keep the key with me after all.
04-10-2014 02:45 AM
Bob142
Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

Locally a boat sank (or was sunk ) in a rather deep trench ...the insurance company side scanned where the owner said the boat when down...nothing found... the owner was then given the option of dropping the claim or the company (would) find the boat...
04-09-2014 09:41 PM
Minnewaska
Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

It's just occurring to me that coverage availability varies from state to state in the US and it's probably just as different internationally. We have some states that are very hard on what insurance companies must cover or pay and, therefore, some won't don't provide coverage at all.
04-09-2014 09:27 PM
Omatako
Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I believe this question is why it's nearly impossible to get hull coverage for an ocean crossing.
I have never had a problem getting insurance for ocean crossings. The cost is not even any higher than one would expect. What is significant is that it is nearly impossible to get segmented cover. In other words, in my experience, trans-ocean cover is only provided in the event of total loss. We have never been able to get cover for a rig failure or other partial loss.

As far as scuttling your boat, there is a lot of speculation about consequential loss. So most insurance policies have cover for public liability and that would cover things like damaging other peopleís boats and so on but will this cover a boat that is abandoned in a floating condition and then causes damaged because it is unmanned? I donít believe so. So effectively the insurer is not exposed and leaving the boat floating is no risk to them.

There is also an obligation to not leave a vessel as a navigation hazard but once again, I donít believe this can be used to motivate an insurance claim. I donít believe there is a legal requirement to send a boat that is left unmanned to the bottom.

As a personal experience, I lost a vessel in a foreign country several years ago and my insurance paid for the total loss in full but the recovery/salvage/disposal of the remains of the vessel were not paid for and were not considered as part of public liability cover. So in the event that a vessel is abandoned and not scuttled and there is consequential loss as a result does not financially expose the insurer so they would probably not see any potential saving for them. Consequently they would question the scuttling. So unless there was compelling evidence to show that the boat would have in any case been destined for the ocean floor I suspect you would be in trouble.

Having said all of this, if my boat was severely damaged in a storm but still floating and I knew that the insurer was not going to cover it because it was ďnot a total lossĒ, letís just say that my mind would be wandering into some questionable territory in terms of desirable future ownership.
04-09-2014 09:26 PM
Minnewaska
Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
......as long as the boat surveys and you present a record of competence.......
and that is likely the rub for most.
04-09-2014 08:20 PM
killarney_sailor
Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I believe this question is why it's nearly impossible to get hull coverage for an ocean crossing. It's not a question of the likelihood of a loss, its often a question of the choice of a crew to abandon ship. Of course, that's not the case with the sick baby, but is often the case with seasick crew and an injured boat, not a sunken boat. Think how many times we hear of a floating hull long after the storm is over. How would an insurance company know how to assign a premium to a risk that is primarily controlled by the insured.
There are companies that have specialized insurance coverage for offshore cruisers. We have insured with Merkel Insurance using something called the Jackline policy. No harder to get than regular insurance as long as the boat surveys and you present a record of competence. Price goes up or down depending on where you will be sailing in the coming year.
04-09-2014 07:46 PM
Shockwave
Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

Boats can be insured for passages, you may not like the rider though.....
04-09-2014 06:07 PM
Mechsmith
Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

I only carried liability insurance. If you can't afford to lose your boat then it's irresponsible to expect somebody else to.
04-09-2014 03:14 PM
Slayer
Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

Wouldn't that be spelled out in the policy?
04-09-2014 03:13 PM
jsaronson
Re: If you scuttle your boat, will insurance pay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Now that's a fine point right there. I hadn't considered that. But Faster's example of fraud (punishable by prison time) and how they were able to prove it by dredging up the boat, illustrates their dilemma perfectly.

This also makes me feel better about ocean crossings. I generally feel that insurance companies are shrewd calculators of risk, and while I consider crossing an ocean to be a fairly safe endeavor if done right, it's always bugged be that it's a nearly uninsurable venture, which leads me to wonder if I am underestimating the real risk.

MedSailor
I wonder if the sample size is too small to make it feasible to calculate the risk. They would probably want a current survey. That and the premium, and many would choose to go "bare".
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