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Old 01-07-2015, 21:20   #16
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Re: Our Boat Burned, Need Legal Advise

Here's the thing. My insurance has been great. They are ready to settle for our agreed amount of the policy. It will cover an acceptable amount for the boat. But, personals have a limit that is minimal and it doesn't cover the many expenses of purchasing a new boat, such as taxes, moving expenses, etc. It adds up to thousands that we wouldn't have had to pay had our neighbor not caught our boat on fire. I am currently waiting for the other insurance to finish there 4 month investigation and to decide if the neighbor was negligent. I am only asking if anyone has any experience with something similar. If they decide not to pay, I will sell legal council.
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Old 01-07-2015, 21:39   #17
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Re: Our Boat Burned, Need Legal Advise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burky View Post
If they decide not to pay, I will sell legal council.
I think the point most are making is simple

WHY WAIT?
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Old 01-07-2015, 22:39   #18
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Re: Our Boat Burned, Need Legal Advise

Statues of limitations do expire. The purpose of insurance is to, "Make you whole again," which, insurance companies have worked through legislation to prevent. The thing is you will take the hit. They just soften the blow. Claim should be filed as soon as you perceive, or have, a loss. "It's not urgent to you, it sure isn't urgent to anyone else." "The stockholders must be protected, and the bottom line is prettier this year, if we settle next."
Yes, I seem pessimistic, with good cause, changes nothing.

Fair winds and grace all your days.
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Old 01-07-2015, 23:07   #19
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Re: Our Boat Burned, Need Legal Advise

Do not negotiate with YOUR insurance company directly. Their goal is to pay you the least amount that you will accept Not what you are intiltled to.
Hire a Public Adjuster who works for
you and whose fee is based on a percentage of the recovery.
They more than cover their fee by using their increased negotiation skills
And understanding of policy language
You are not an insurance expert
Your average lawyer isn't.
Public Adjusters are and they work on
Contingent basis so your universes are aligned
You might be intiltled to more than you are aware of
Your insurance company won't tell you
for sure The very fact that you Think they are being
Nice and Fair tells me that you are leaving money on
the table. Hire a bulldog PA and recover your policy
limits. A very different number than what you
might be tempted to accept
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:36   #20
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Re: Our Boat Burned, Need Legal Advise

As a general principle, your neighbor is not liable to you for accidents which were not caused by his negligence or breach of some duty to you. For example, if a meteorite fell from the sky and caught your neighbor's boat on fire, and the fire spread to your boat by the wind (and not by open paint cans he left lying around on the deck), then he would probably not be liable. And if he's not liable, then his insurance will not pay. But there are a million exceptions and qualifications to that, many of which vary from state to state, so you must have qualified legal advice.
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Old 02-07-2015, 04:15   #21
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Re: Our Boat Burned, Need Legal Advise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burky View Post
Here's the thing. My insurance has been great. They are ready to settle for our agreed amount of the policy. It will cover an acceptable amount for the boat. But, personals have a limit that is minimal and it doesn't cover the many expenses of purchasing a new boat ....
Then, sadly, it appears that you may have set the insurance value too low.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:03   #22
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Re: Our Boat Burned, Need Legal Advise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burky View Post
Here's the thing. My insurance has been great. They are ready to settle for our agreed amount of the policy. It will cover an acceptable amount for the boat. But, personals have a limit that is minimal and it doesn't cover the many expenses of purchasing a new boat, such as taxes, moving expenses, etc. It adds up to thousands that we wouldn't have had to pay had our neighbor not caught our boat on fire.
If you insurance won't pay for "personals" like that, what makes you think that his will? Your last sentence (above) is a valid point, but I suspect you are going to have to lawyer-up to get these personals from the neighbor, and if he is not negligent, I suspect there will be little chance of recovery.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:58   #23
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Re: Our Boat Burned, Need Legal Advise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I think the point most are making is simple
WHY WAIT?
Yes, exactly. If your insurance company has already paid you all that they are willing to pay, and you are still not whole, then you need to be talking to a lawyer NOW! Not months from now, not weeks from now, but NOW!

Good luck.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:17   #24
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Re: Our Boat Burned, Need Legal Advise

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Yes, exactly. If your insurance company has already paid you all that they are willing to pay, and you are still not whole, then you need to be talking to a lawyer NOW! Not months from now, not weeks from now, but NOW!

Good luck.
Lawyer Up! You can bet your ass both insurance company have...they likely have full time council engaged. One large insurer that used to be a client, owned a subsidiary law firm that occupied the entire 22cnd floor of a large NYC building...the insurer was their only client.

Your friendly insurance agent and company are not your friends...despite what the ads say. Its a for profit business and paying claims does not help the bottom line.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:34   #25
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Re: Our Boat Burned, Need Legal Advise

There was a very good article in "Passagemaker" magazine on insurance coverage and also things like signing contracts for haul out. Written by people who had their Nordhavn 55 dropped. Total write off. After some legal persuasion the insurance company and the ship yard did make the owner whole.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:42   #26
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Re: Our Boat Burned, Need Legal Advise

DO NOT believe a word the insurance company (any - yours, his, the marinas) tells you. As others have said they are in the business for a profit. Hire your own lawyer to protect yours, and ONLY your interests.

Two personal experiences:

Damage to my boat. I hired a NAMS surveyor who had a relationship with my insurance company to supervise the claim and repair process. He received written commitments from my company for many repairs. Those repairs were completed. My insurance company then reduced the amount they would pay by over 75% thru a variety of "sharp legal" dealings and "fine print" details.

They said their written commitment prior to the repairs was "subject to the details of my policy" and therefore was not the actual amount they would pay.

One 'sharp detail' example: Their commitment to repair said they would pay to repaint the hull and bottom for up to $xxx. When presented the bill they would only pay to paint the port side (50% of $xxx) because the other side was not damaged. I wonder what a 10-year old boat looks like with fresh paint on one side of the hull but not the other?

A lawyer I hired AFTER the fact reviewed all the documents and said that I probably had a valid case for making the insurance company pay the entire, previously agreed to amount, BUT the cost to make it happen would exceed the Twenty of so Thousand dollars in question.

And, since the repairs were complete I was obligated to pay the yard that did the work. My attorney figured it would be a minimum of two years to get any additional money out of my insurance company. My attorney said the big insurance company has dozens of young lawyers, working for very little money, whose only job is to find ways to slow or postpone any legal decisions.

I eventually rescinded the claim and paid for the entire repair out of my pocket. My attorney repeatedly reminded me that IF he had reviewed the insurance companies commitment to pay for repairs prior to starting the repairs he would have warned me that there were many waffle words and clauses in that commitment and I had little chance of actually receiving the money once the repairs were done.

A friends boat was on jackstands in a repair yard. Big rainstorm, the boat next to him fell over and knocked his boat off it's stands. Broke my friends mast. The other boats insurance company gave him a written statement saying they would pay for his new mast.

Many months and a lot of dollars later my friend had his new mast on the boat. The other insurance company then refused to honor their commitment saying "upon further review we determined the rain storm was an 'act of God' and therefore excluded from coverage."

He went thru the same hire a lawyer process and ended up with the same result. In his case, his insurance did come thru for him and paid their share, less a BIG deductible because the rain was caused by a named storm.
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Old 02-07-2015, 16:40   #27
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Re: Our Boat Burned, Need Legal Advise

We must be living in different Americas. Here in MA on the facts above the insurance company would have ended up in court pronto and most likely be liable for treble damages for "unfair and deceptive business practices" under MGL 93A as well as MGL 176D. And would have to fork out claimant's attorney's fees and costs as well. Sure it would have taken a law suit to be filed and a year or longer to litigate but that's what the plaintiff's attorneys are for. Not just to scare a client out of a lawsuit. Here in MA an insurance company unreasonably postponing or downgrading payout where liability is uncontested (neighboring boat falling on another IS NOT an act of g-d but negligence of whoever installed or allowed to be installed improper and inadequate stands, etc) is liable up to treble damages and claimant's legal fees expended to enforce that payout.

Also I do not understand the plaintiff's attorney's reluctance to file a personal suit vs. the offending boat's owner and or marina itself. Most likely someone owning a boat also owns some real estate as well as other assets which can and should be attached in connection with any pending lawsuit. These attachments always make offending parties much more willing to negotiate.
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Old 02-07-2015, 16:58   #28
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Re: Our Boat Burned, Need Legal Advise

Sometimes personal stuff losses can be covered by homeowners policies, unless of course your boat is your home.
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