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SaltwaterSuzi/CapnLarry
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Hi, Folks,

I haven't posted anything in quite awhile, but I've got an idea for a topic which may prove enlightening for all. Or maybe not. But here goes:

Most insurance companies are really good at accepting premiums. But some aren't so good at making good on claims.

I would be interested in hearing from those of you who have had boat insurance claims, and your experiences. Give us all the gory details, whether it was a simple thing like two boats bumping and some gel coat scratched, to getting hit with lightning, to collisions which caused sinking, injuries, etc.

How well (or poorly) did your company stand behind you? How long did it take to satisfy the claim? What's the name of the company?

Rule #1: Only first hand experience - unless you know the party very well and have access to the details. We don't want any "I heard about this guy who..." If you have to malign a company, make sure you're not exaggerating - we don't want any lawsuits here. Just the facts.

Cap'n Larry
 

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Hey there!

Nice to see you guys back on the board. You helped me out last summer when we were agonizing over whether to buy a Beneteau. Thanks so much for your help, and glad to "see" you again.

On the insurance, I have a fair amount of experience, sorry to say. :)

The most significant concerns a lightening strike we had a few years ago. We had a direct strike to our Freedom 45, while we were aboard in Essex, CT. Lots and lots of damage. The electronics were shot of course, but we also learned, the hard way, that we had an interruption in the grounding system. So, the lightening hit the mast, traveled down the headstay (our only stay on the boat), to the anchor and anchor chain, and then blew out at the bow. We had a hole the size of a nickel or so. Thankfully, it was above the waterline. We also lost our SSB tuner (but the transceiver was fine), altnerators, and all the usual things you lose when a gazillion volts of electricity pass through you. And now I'm bald also, for which I blame the lightening. ;)

Being aboard was a surreal experience to say the least. It was over so fast that we didn't have time to get scared, thankfully. It was me, my wife, our two very young boys, and another couple. We were below enjoying dinner, when BAM!!!, the loudest noise I've ever heard, and I've been pretty close to the stage for some serious Van Halen concerts I'll tell ya.

We got off the boat, with that acrid smell of wire burning and smoke in the air, but not before making sure we were watertight and were not sinking. I covered the hole in the hull with, what else, duct tape. I called a friend in the area, borrowed a car, and drove the family home. The next day I drove back to the boat, checked her out during daylight, and then arranged a tow for her all the way back to Mamaroneck, NY to have the repairs effected at McMichael's Yacht Yard.

All in, the bill was about $80,000. Our carrier was fantastic, and paid every nickel (save deductible), without much fuss at all. The carrier was New Hampshire Insurance Company.

Of course, after that, they dropped us and we had to go to another carrier. I never could understand how an insurance company could "blame" an insured for a lightening strike. What was I supposed to do about that? Stop the lightening?

Where are you guys these days?
 

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Lost my rig in a microburst in a night race in June of 2008. Rig snapped in 3 places and blew over the side in less than 3 seconds. We had to cut it away before it did any more damage to boat. Lost rigging, vang, backstay adjuster, boom and 2 sails. My local marine insurance agent and the underwriter (Ace) settled the claim in full in 3 weeks. Settled for replacement cost of everything less depreciation on the sails less deductible. Ace was very professional and prompt. No hassles. I've insured my next boat again with ACE. They are top notch.
 

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" Settled for replacement cost of everything less depreciation"

I have not had a claim BUT have allready run into this issue on my 1995 powerboat

It is still in perfect condition BUT if i have a grounding now that damages the outdrive they hit you with BIG depreciation after 15 years
 

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I wasn't very clear. They settled for replacement cost on everything other than the sails which they gave me the depreciated cost (50%). I have no complaints. Even if you have replacement cost insurance some items are excluded.
 

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I have always used Boat US for my boats - power and sail. One claim for theft of several items was effortless. I received replacement cost for all items.
 

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When we bought a new boat last year, Progressive (through a local broker) offered us a rate that was 40% lower than all the other quotes we got. One month later, Hurricane Ike comes along. I was a bit worried at first---was my "discount" insurance going to make good? Indeed they have. Their service has been exemplary. They have covered over $20k in repairs with little effort on my part. One thing that helps is that the manager of the local boatyard that I'm using has a good working relationship with one of the head local adjusters for Progressive (they've been working together a lot since Ike!).
 
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