Originally Posted by estarzinger
Regarding the insurance claim, if the root cause was wear, tear or corrosion
(including poor maintenance
, aging parts) many policies will not cover the loss.
Sinking the vessel may have obscured the cause.
It is also possible that the policy did not cover proper wreck removal
, which can be quite expensive, so they decided to "get rid of it cheaply".
The "root" cause does not matter in any policy. Many policies will have a direct exclusion, but all will be further based upon the result, not the root.
The reason for this is that an insurance company does not want to compensate someone for 100K on a boat that has been sitting on a mooring
for 10 years until it finally sinks. The sinking and lack of maintenance
made the loss immanent.
If your rudder
breaks and you have to be towed in, the insurance company is not responsible for the loss incurred because of the failure. It is purely a mechanical failure.
If your rudder
breaks and you end up on the rocks or sinking, then you have a covered event. Where it gets grey is whether you were negligent in maintaining the vessel. If you got a survey
prior to buying
the boat and fixed anything found in the survey
, and you have receipts to show you are actively maintaining the vessel, you will always win.
It is easier for people to think in terms of cars as a lot of the same adjustments are used. Your tire falls off and you skid to a stop, you are not covered. Your tire comes off and you end up in a tree, you are covered.
Liability is ALWAYS covered. Your mast
comes down because you did not replace a stay that you knew was bad and hits a person on your boat and does damage to the boat next to you. The liability of the mechanical failure to others is always covered.
Environmental. Most policies written anywhere in the past few years, especially commercial
, include environmental cleanup.
Remember, those excisions are not meant for most people reading this as they are active boaters spending money
on their boats. They are meant for the guy in the slip next to you who has not been out there in 5 years to check on his boat and it ends up sinking as a result.
Insurance policies are also not meant to fix things that normally break. The rudder stock separating is a equipment
failure. The rudder stock breaking and the boat ending up on the rocks is the result of the mechanical failure, but a covered loss.
is part of the liability portion of a policy. Most boaters in the US have a minimum of 300K as required by marinas
. Regardless of how you maintain your boat or the root cause of the loss, that 300K is always tapped into for salvage or "wreck removal" as you stated. This is why salvage is lucrative as the insurance company will at least pay to salvage and dispose of the boat - effectively ending their liability.
A lot of times, the insurance company will negotiate to the salvers and their insured, then pass title (even though it is effectively passed once a salvage company has made claim to it). And the salvage company will have full possession and ownership
instead of rights to and allowed to dispose of it any way they choose. In the auto world, this is when the next title is granted as salvage or rebuilt title. The insurance company paid it out as a total loss, but someone choose to repair it.
So, be careful with the term "root cause" as the results have more bearing than the root cause, itself.