Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 14-06-2009, 10:37   #16
CF Adviser
 
TabbyCat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: cruising in the Pacific
Boat: MaineCat Catamaran 41'
Posts: 334
Images: 1
Send a message via Skype™ to TabbyCat
Quote:
I would also wonder, if say you did have to abandon your boat and get back to shore, what sorts of burdens of proof are you then left with for claiming a loss to the insurer?
If you abandoned your boat (& lived to tell about it) you were rescued somehow (Coast Guard, fellow boater, life raft). The claims adjuster would interview the rescuer. If there's time, it's also a good idea to have photos of the boat as you left it, and your ships logs.

I want to be careful not to post information that could help someone commit a fraud, but suffice it to say that the claims adjusters are pretty smart, have seen lots of cases, and they are amazingly good at differentiating between a fraudulent claim and a real one.
__________________

__________________
Susan
IMIS - Int'l Marine Ins Svcs
http://www.MarineInsurance.CC
TabbyCat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2009, 12:34   #17
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: New Orleans
Boat: Nomoboat -- yay Gustav ;)
Posts: 248
Send a message via AIM to drew.ward
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabbyCat View Post
If I'm pretty far offshore, and the towing service does come out to help me, are they going to just give me a towing invoice which I can submit to my marine insurance company when I get home, or are they going to claim salvage?" which opens up a whole new can of worms....
Wow i hadn't thought of that, but I have to wonder if a towing company could rightly claim salvage in a case like that. They would be working on your behalf or as your agent, so I can see them having the right to place a lien on the vessel or something, but to claim salvage on a vessel they have been called out to assist or pick up...that sounds like piracy to me.

"Hey we did go out and get your boat and it's a pretty nice one so we've decided to keep it..."
__________________

__________________

drew.ward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2009, 12:40   #18
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: New Orleans
Boat: Nomoboat -- yay Gustav ;)
Posts: 248
Send a message via AIM to drew.ward
I suppose my suspicion comes from different experiences with car and house insurers. Even the big national brands are more than happy to take your money for decades on end, but make a claim and suddenly they don't want to pay it.

I was with one insurer for my car for 7 years. Not a single ticket, claim, or otherwise. After 7 years I have a single accident. Zero damage to my Jeep, $500 cosmetic damage to the other car. 6 months later they cancel my policy because I am suddenly a risk. So now I am stuck paying over $100/mo just for liability!

My mom and dad are still trying to get State Farm to do repairs on their house from Gustav (last September). Their damages are about $35K, but seeing as they pay State Farm about $7000 per year for coverage (and have had coverage with them for over 30 years) you'd think it wouldn't be too much to ask. But the whole thing has been a mess. They were nice enough to offer to replace the solid handhewn oak flooring with laminate though

I just don't want to find myself in a similar fight with an insurer when all I have to my name is a boat and the charter business that will hopefully go with it.
__________________

drew.ward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2009, 13:18   #19
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
Anyone who owns a boat really should take the time to learn the difference between "towing" and "salvage". I've read of cases where a boatowner called for towing assistance, and when the tow boat arrived, the operator assessed the situation and asked the boat owner to sign an agreement. The agreement turned out to be a salvage agreement, and an expected $500 charge for towing turned into a $15,000 salvage bill.

This is a good article on the topic, from BoatUS magazine: When Is It Salvage?.

exerpt...

Quote:
The three-pronged legal test that is used to determine if a rescue is salvage is: (1) The vessel has to be in peril. (2) The salvage effort has to be voluntary, meaning no pre-established contract or agreement to provide salvage services exists between boater and salvor. (3) The salvage effort must be successful...

...Due to the nature of salvage or the rescue of a boat, the salvor may not be able to provide a price before doing the job and, instead, will make a salvage claim once back in port. If this happens, the cost will be arrived at by one of three options: (1) Negotiation between the salvor and you or your insurance company, (2) Determination via binding arbitration (BoatU.S. has a Salvage Arbitration Program for any salvage dispute) or (3) Determination of the fair and reasonable cost of the salvage claim via litigation in federal admiralty court. The latter is used less frequently while the first two options usually result in successful resolution for all sides.
I downloaded the BoatUS Open Form Yacht Salvage Contract from their website and keep a copy of it on my boat. You really don't want to be figuring all this out when you're stuck on a reef and your boat's getting pounded to death.
__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2009, 13:32   #20
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,735
For all you U.K. sailors out there -- how does it work in your parts? I've been pulled off a hurricane -- shifted and thus uncharted sand bar in Florida more than once by Towboat U.S. We've got devilishly shallow waters and narrow channels, but we don't have your tides or your fogs. What the h*ll do I do if I make a dumb pilotage mistake and end up hard aground on the Goodwin Sands? On a spring tide? Who do you call?
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-06-2009, 09:37   #21
CF Adviser
 
TabbyCat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: cruising in the Pacific
Boat: MaineCat Catamaran 41'
Posts: 334
Images: 1
Send a message via Skype™ to TabbyCat
More on Towing versus Salvage:
1) Always ask if it is towing (not salvage) when offered a tow. Reputable companies will be upfront and let you know.
2) After you get back to the dock, if there is any doubt as to whether it was a tow or salvage, this is decided by maritime courts. Maritime law is quite a bit different than what you're used witnessing in local civil & civil courts.
The Maritime judge will look at a number of things, which are codified somewhere, but if my memory serves me correctly, most of them are as follows (not necessarily in order of importance):
1) Was the vessel in distress in any immediate danger? If unassisted by the salvor, would it sink or be irrepairably damaged?
2) What was the weather like? Were conditions worsening, staying the same or improving? Was the tide going up or down?
3) Were lives of the rescuing vessel endangered?
4) Were the lives of the distressed vessel in danger?
5) What equipment was used to rescue the vessel? Was it specialized equipment that the vessel in distress would not have otherwise been able to obtain?
6) What is the value of the vessel in distress (used to determine the amount of the award, if any)

The court looks at these factors and makes a decision. Here are some examples of how salvage cases would typically be decided (some are real cases, some are hypothetical):
a) If the vessel was on a sandbar, with no holes in the hull and the tide was falling, it would almost always be considered towing, since the tide would eventually rise, and the vessel would float off, no harm done. So there was no danger, just merely an inconvenience.
b) Same situation, but let's say a hurricane is hours away. Then it could become salvage, since the weather was deteriorating, and the boat might not have floated off on the tide before it the hurricane destroyed it.
c) Vessel hits a reef and is slowly sinking. No one is in any immediate danger of drowning, but he bilge pumps on the boat can't keep up, so everyone knows the vessel it will sink if nothing is done soon. The towing company brings out a couple of large gas powered trash pumps that are able to keep up with the rush of water, and then and tows them in. This would be salvage, due to the special equipment brought by the towing company and the imminent danger to the vessel.
d) Sailing vessel 30 miles offshore calls for help, since their auxiliary engine has died and there is no wind. They are drifting. A towing company responds. The Towing company tells the captain of the distressed sailboat over the VHF that it will be salvage due to the long distance involved and the large seas. The captain of the sailboat replies, no thanks, I can drift, I have a contract with your company, you can give me a tow, but I won't accept salvage. The towboat captain finally agrees, since he's gone all the way out there and doesn't want to leave the sailboat stranded out there. So the moral of this one is that there is sometimes room for negotiation. (By the way, this one I personally heard take place on the VHF off the coast of SC).
__________________

__________________
Susan
IMIS - Int'l Marine Ins Svcs
http://www.MarineInsurance.CC
TabbyCat is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bluewater Insurance Conch Cruzer Boat Ownership & Making a Living 20 29-07-2012 14:50
Towing bridle Aquah0lic Auxiliary Equipment & Dinghy 4 16-01-2009 09:47
towing companies mangomuffins General Sailing Forum 23 07-06-2008 05:25
Towing Near Miss Knottygirlz The Sailor's Confessional 20 28-11-2007 11:16
Towing service irwinsailor Seamanship & Boat Handling 4 26-06-2006 14:42



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:04.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.