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Old 18-09-2018, 12:20   #1
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Check your insurance policies...you may not be fully covered!

Quick story. I just got off the phone with my State farm agent about the insurance on my boat.

My boat was washed up onto the finger pier alonside my slip during the hurricane. The dockmaster told me that they had to "cut away part of the pier" in order to get my boat back into the water. They are sending me a bill to cover the repair to the dock.

My insurance agent told me that "unfortunatly we cannot cover this due to the fact that I was renting the slip". To be honest, I think this is some ******** but I don't know what I can do at this point since this exclusion is buried deep within the policy.

Interesting however is this is a direct quote from State Farm's own website about boat liability coverage:

"Liability coverage. This coverage applies if your boat causes injury to others or damage to other boats, docks, or structures. Keep in mind that the injury or damage can be due to direct contact with your vessel or situations caused by your vessel, such as large wakes. Good liability coverage may provide protection against lawsuits, including the payment of settlements and legal fees."


Anyway, check your policies. Don't learn the hard way that you are not covered if you damage your slip.
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Old 18-09-2018, 12:52   #2
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Re: Check your insurance policies...you may not be fully covered!

Obviously, we do not know your policy or conditions of the accident, but ... in general, in the US, the State Department of Insurance / Commissioner is the consumer advocate with insurance companies. Having worked in insurance back in the day, I know that insurance commissioners and auditors were feared by insurance companies because of the broad, and very subjective, enforcement authority. Insurance Commissioners are elected officials in the state, and insurance companies do not vote. Regardless of where they are headquartered, insurance companies must respond to whatever state insurance regulator in the state in which they sell. So call the state complaint line, and get some service for all that tax money you've paid. Also, better hurry because after every natural disaster, these complaint lines are overwhelmed by all the other folks that got told, "... paragraph 49 of your policy says that we don't owe you anything for your missing roof"!

South Carolina -- https://www.doi.sc.gov/8/Consumers
North Carolina -- https://www.ncdoi.com/Consumer/
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Old 18-09-2018, 12:59   #3
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Re: Check your insurance policies...you may not be fully covered!

It should be covered under the salvage terms of the policy, since this occurred while recovering the vessel.
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Old 18-09-2018, 13:00   #4
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Re: Check your insurance policies...you may not be fully covered!

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Originally Posted by John_Trusty View Post
in general, in the US, the State Department of Insurance / Commissioner is the consumer advocate with insurance companies. Having worked in insurance back in the day, I know that insurance commissioners and auditors were feared by insurance companies because of the broad, and very subjective, enforcement authority. Insurance Commissioners are elected officials in the state, and insurance companies do not vote....

South Carolina -- https://www.doi.sc.gov/8/Consumers
North Carolina -- https://www.ncdoi.com/Consumer/
What he said.

After Fran went through Raleigh last century a coworker was canceled by his home owners insurance. There had been no claims they just canceled him because he lived in Raleigh. He was looking to find other insurance and I suggested he talk to the insurance commissioners. He did and his insurance was no longer canceled.

The response by the OP's agent does seem like BS to me. I would call the state ASAP.

Good Luck,
Dan
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Old 18-09-2018, 14:14   #5
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Re: Check your insurance policies...you may not be fully covered!

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It should be covered under the salvage terms of the policy, since this occurred while recovering the vessel.
Good point. Thanks Paul.
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Old 19-09-2018, 04:32   #6
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Re: Check your insurance policies...you may not be fully covered!

I'm not a lawyer or insurance expert. But maybe damage to OTHER people's property is covered, but not things which "belong" to you (either owned or rented.)

Very often with insurance policies and laws, what one paragraph giveth, another paragraph taketh away. You need to read the whole thing in totality.
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Old 19-09-2018, 04:58   #7
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Re: Check your insurance policies...you may not be fully covered!

It's certainly a valid legal argument that you were not renting the dock which had to be cut from your boat. You were renting a space in the marina called a slip. The dock itself was never owned or rented by you.
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Old 19-09-2018, 05:51   #8
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Re: Check your insurance policies...you may not be fully covered!

As someome who went through Katrina, and followed the resulting lawsuits, your problem started with the words “State Farm”. Google State Farm Katrina lawsuits.
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Old 19-09-2018, 06:13   #9
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Re: Check your insurance policies...you may not be fully covered!

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As someome who went through Katrina, and followed the resulting lawsuits, your problem started with the words “State Farm”. Google State Farm Katrina lawsuits.

Why people choose an insurance underwriter based on price such as with State Farm, Nationwide, etc... and then wonder why they have problems with a claim is a mystery.
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Old 19-09-2018, 07:07   #10
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Re: Check your insurance policies...you may not be fully covered!

This should be part of 3rd party liability and the reason why you have liability insurance in the first place. Also the concept of salvage.



Also, look at the fine print of your marina rental agreement. I doubt it states that you rent the pier or dock.
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Old 19-09-2018, 07:53   #11
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Re: Check your insurance policies...you may not be fully covered!

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Why people choose an insurance underwriter based on price such as with State Farm, Nationwide, etc... and then wonder why they have problems with a claim is a mystery.

Well, I have my eyes open and realize that State Farm has, in the past, refused to pay claims for storm damage on grounds that seem awfully flimsy to me.


Nonetheless I insure through State Farm. Boat, car, house.


It is difficult if not impossible to find solid information on claims service in the event of catastrophic losses, but there are anecdotes that indicate that all the major companies are now refusing to pay claims that an average person would consider valid. Boutique insurers charge more and purportedly have better history, but it's hard to know for sure how much better they are.
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Old 19-09-2018, 09:20   #12
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Re: Check your insurance policies...you may not be fully covered!

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
Also, look at the fine print of your marina rental agreement. I doubt it states that you rent the pier or dock.

That's a good point since most marinas won't allow for the storage of dinghies on the finger pier or anything else that could obstruct the marinas walkway. You're renting the space between the finger piers. State Farm seems to be cutting hairs so why shouldn't you?


Also, do you have an umbrella policy? We have a large umbrella policy which covers liability and our boat is included. This way if one insurance company fails the other should pick up the difference. In theory.......


Good luck to you and hopefully your boat wasn't too damaged.
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Old 19-09-2018, 09:29   #13
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Re: Check your insurance policies...you may not be fully covered!

This isn't abnormal, particularly when there are a large volume of payouts due to a storm. Appeal the results. They have an internal process to follow appeals. I've heard of many cases where they are simply hoping you'll accept the initial rejection and walk away, but ultimately approve the claim on appeal.
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Old 19-09-2018, 09:56   #14
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Re: Check your insurance policies...you may not be fully covered!

It seems to me that the language you quoted covers you. I didn't see any exclusion for a "rented" dock. If a boat damages a dock in a storm, it is likely to be the one it "rents". I would pursue this further in small claims court. I think you will find a sympathetic judge.
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Old 19-09-2018, 10:02   #15
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Re: Check your insurance policies...you may not be fully covered!

I have found that all insurance is only as good as your agent. I had State Farm for everything for 30 years and was happy with them. When my agent retired, it was like nobody knew me. My homeowners doubled in three years and when my mother passed they refused to renew hers while the house was in escrow and empty. I don't buy on line. I truly think you need a good agent between you and sociopathic corporations. An agent might have stated your claim in such a way that it went through by default.
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