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Our beautiful 43' sailboat sank at the brokerage dock where she was listed for sale. Overnight. She was in great condition, and well maintained, at least when she was in our care. We've been all over her after the fact, while she was on the hard, and haven't been able to find the cause. (She was pumped out and re-floated, in the slings, and we weren't there -- boatyard gave us 3 hours notice to make the 3 hour trip, and the "notice" was emailed, so we had no idea ). Here's my question--do we have an advocate in this nightmare? Our insurance broker (who had been pretty good about maintaining contact over the last 10 years as long as it concerned us paying our premiums) has gone quiet. We seem to be at the mercy of the people to whom he sold our policy, and they're not giving us any love either. We're not sure how to handle this. I'd put the barfing smilie here but it's kind of annoying.
 

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More details of where it happened and the insurance company concerned?

Any recent work on seacocks, water pumps or prop shaft? I saw a boat sink because the prop shaft and not been keyed in properly and when they hit reverse parking her the shaft backed out and nobody noticed before they went home!

If she sank and you can't find the cause it is a good bet that someone hid the cause!

Phil
 

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I would put some pressure on your agent to step up and give you some customer service. Of course, the agent is not liable, as he is just the "agent."

Really strange that no cause was found. Sounds like it should be covered, no?
 

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Yikes, a terrible situation. FWIW, William Buckley relates a situation in his book "Airborne" where his yacht sank at a dock, and after recovery no cause could be found... on a cruise sometime later one of the guests stepped below and found a foot of water in the cabin. He discovered that the electric bilge pump was running hard - in reverse. If I remember the discharge line lacked a siphon break or it was blocked.

On some vessels, if the head water intake level is left up, the bowl will overfill and start to fill the boat.

A loose or defective sink discharge hose is another common source of flooding.

You (or the insurance company) may just need someone to play the Sherlock Holmes and find the cause.

Regardless the cause, I would expect the insurance company would have to pay up. The financial hit for you may depend on whether your policy has a declared value for a total loss, that figure then replacing any likely sale price.
 

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Well you won't really know anything till they find the cause. That is likely the reason for your agents silence. There is nothing he can commit to until it is determined what happened. If they find it was something like a toilet that was left back flooding by someone who was looking at the boat, then they will likely try to charge your broker's insurance company, if it was determined that it was caused by lack of maintenance causing a seacock to break they may deny any coverage altogether (normally there are exclusions in the insurance for things like corrosion). Or if it is found to be a covered event then they may just write you a check for the covered amount. I am not saying any of the scenarios above is what happened, or even possible just that the insurance guy is likely waiting for an evaluation before saying anything. Is this your KP-44 you posted about in the past? If so I am extra sorry as it is one of my favorite boats of all time and likely what I want to get in about 10 or so years to prepare to cruise off into the sunset on.

Here is a thread to read:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/168849-i-hate-boats.html

It is a LONG LONG thread and about a different issue, but has a happy ending (well I don't think it has ended yet, but on it's way) but if you read it you will see what is involved in a major insurance claim. Not like a car accident where the guy has a laptop and a printer in the Gecko car and they pay you on the spot. Strange though it should be obvious what caused it. And if they do pay you, send me an PM and if it is located in the North East perhaps we could work out a deal if you buy it back from the insurance company. You may want to pay for a survey to be done so you know for sure what caused it and what needs to be done to bring the boat back. The surveyor works for the person paying the bill so the insurance companies surveyor may not find in your favor.

One last word, I have never heard of a broker that did any maintenance while they had a boat at there brokerage dock. So if it was there long, it may have deteriorated, but I doubt they are liable for maintenance at all unless specifically agreed upon ahead of time. I know when I have looked at boats, I have heard things like "Oh I should tell the owner that there bilge pump is out" or "we told them to replace that last month, thought they had already."
 

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May I suggest , perhaps bit early, an attorney needs to time of ownership and liability. The insurance may string you out for months and months. Much like Medsailor thread.
Especially if it is a large claim. Remember insurance companies do Not like to pay. I am sure more facts will surface. All parties have liability insurance , even if they say they don't.
Good Luck
 

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She was pumped out and re-floated, in the slings, and we weren't there -- boatyard gave us 3 hours notice to make the 3 hour trip, and the "notice" was emailed, so we had no idea ).
NO PHONE CALL???????

Sounds like your broker definitely dropped the ball :mad:

I wish I could say I was surprised. He and I would definitely be having a conversation...
 
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Here's my question--do we have an advocate in this nightmare? Our insurance broker (who had been pretty good about maintaining contact over the last 10 years as long as it concerned us paying our premiums) has gone quiet. We seem to be at the mercy of the people to whom he sold our policy, and they're not giving us any love either. We're not sure how to handle this. I'd put the barfing smilie here but it's kind of annoying.
Kind of hard to jump on the band wagon about poor response time from your insurer or insurance broker when you give us no time line.

The underwriter will send a surveyor to investigate and then make a determination based on the surveyors report. If you are unhappy with their determination, valuation etc. hire your own (better qualified) surveyor to argue against them.
 
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another reason insurance is a rippoff
Did you even read Medsailor's thread? I think that proves the benefit of having insurance if your boat is worth anything.

But I suspect that facts don't matter to you. You'll just go on your anti-insurance rants no matter what the facts say. :mad:
 
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I stopped doing marine insurance investigations several years ago because I was so frustrated and angered that ninety percent of the claims I investigated were either grossly exaggerated or outright fraud. Too often the underwriters paid out on these claims because it was cheaper than fighting them.
 

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The OP used the term insurance broker. That may be how they refer to all insurance salespeople, however, it technically refers to an individual who sells insurance on behalf of an insurance carrier, but has no ability to act on their behalf. An Agent, on the other other hand, does the same, but can act on the carrier's behalf. Such as binding coverage. In the end, both brokers and agents typically represent several carriers and good ones can help you understand who provides the best coverage, claims processing, etc. Not just the best price, which is too often buying the worst coverage or claims support.

If your broker/agent isn't helping now, they should be kicked to the curb for any more of your business. Helping with claims is partially where they earn their keep.

You're going to have to determine the cause of the flooding, as it could impact your claim. Not every cause is covered in every policy.

Good luck.
 
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You might wanna look into a private insurance adjuster,they usually work on a contingency fee and would certainly be in your corner and know the Ins games ropes.I've dealt with them in other ways never for boats,but I'm sure they're there.
 

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I don't get it; your insurance agent sold your policy to someone?
That's what insurance brokers do, they are not insurance companies but trade around.

We recently had a case here in Norway.
Boat was insured through a broker in Lemma Europe Insurance Company Ltd
Lemma went bankrupt Lemma Europe | Liquidation | Insurance | business News on SuperyachtNews.com
A few days after the boat was a total loss ($ 5000000)

The boat owner had to drag the broker to court and won.
There where two reasons he won
1) The broker did not inform the boat owner about the bankruptcy
2) The broker had not made it clear in the paperwork that they only sold insurance..

In Norway we have security systems in place that will protect the customers if an Norwegian insurance company is going broke, but that was not the case for Lemma registered in Gibraltar.
 

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I'm thinking good thoughts for you.

The broker is on vacation. On Monday he is going to make everything right.

The Insurance company just can't find your policy due to taking over another company but on Monday it will show up.

Then it is just a matter of issuing the check.

I'm thinking about Jan 1st.

That's the way it is going to go down.
First priority is to start checking out new boats you don't have any time to waste.


I know these things.
 
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