Originally Posted by KC375
Genuine question, why would an insurance
company do this? If they have paid for a stolen boat that is possibly recoverable surely they would have an interest in the recovered vessel. Why would they waive that interest with no further information. That doesn’t seem a prudent business move but I’m likely missing something.
Most company's policy language give the underwriter the option to take title of the vessel when paying out a total loss (or conversely, not to not take title). It's completely up to them. There are many reasons for not wanting to take title when the location of the vessel is uncertain: liability for an environmental clean up if the boat is found on the rocks or reef; liability for storage fees
if the vessel is salvaged by a third party, liability if the missing vessel damages another vessel, or perhaps cost of repairing and selling the vessel is more than its value. In my experience, underwriters usually are interested in having the owners to sign over the title only after they have been able to inspect the damaged vessel. In some cases, the claimants buy the vessel back from the insurer using the funds paid by the policy, and undertake the repairs
Underwriters don't usually search for vessels either. In 13 years of working in the industry, I can recall
only one instance where an underwriter hired search planes to look for a vessel, and that was because it was a very high value, easy-to-spot unusual vessel. As it turned out, the planes didn't find the boat, but fellow yachties did. So in my opinion, fellow Vagabond owners who are familiar with the boats and naturally tend to check them out are probably the best bet for this particular vessel's recovery.
Even though there are often add on coverages like towing or hurricane haul out
, marine insurance it is not a maintenance
plan. The underwriter is not obligated to look for a missing boat, or repair it if it is economically disadvantageous. At its core
, Marine Insurance is a financial contract
, designed to restore the owner to the financial condition that he/she was before the loss. (Just posting
that for future readers of this thread; it seems clear that Warren understands that, and really just wants to pursue any avenue that will get his boat back, because it's worth more to him than the payout)