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Old 29-09-2017, 11:56   #1
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Insurance Claim

Question for the forum. My boat was dismasted by Irma. As soon as I received confirmation of any damage, I filed an claim with my insurance carrier (September 12), and I reached out to a local surveyor I had used in the past to prepare a "preliminary" (limited) survey of the vessel, which I now have in hand. The preliminary survey includes photos and an assessment of the exterior condition of the vessel.

Understandably, my insurance company has been somewhat slow to respond. Other than receiving confirmation of the claim and then speaking to the claim representative on 9/12, I have heard nothing. I was told during that discussion that the carrier would assign one of their surveyors and that it is necessary for me to work with their surveyor to process the claim.

In the meantime, thanks to some of the contributors to this forum, I have spoken to the folks at US Spars about a new rig. US Spars informed me yesterday that their current lead time is 6 weeks (plus 3-4 weeks shipping), and growing rapidly. As a result, I'd like to order the new parts ASAP in an effort expedite the repair process, but I'm reticent to do so without the approval of my carrier. I should note that I have contacted my carrier for guidance, but haven't heard back yet. When they do contact me, I suspect they will tell me not to do anything prior to their survey.

So, finally, my question. Would it be foolish to order/pay for the parts and then settle up with the insurance company later? Clearly my boat was dismasted by Irma and that has been documented by an accredited surveyor. I know that patience is the word of the day, but I'd like to get my order into US Spars' queue before the lead time gets pushed out another month or more.

If I must wait for my carrier to mobilize, then that's fine. I just want to be sure I'm doing everything I can to expedite the repair process.

Can anyone here offer any guidance?

Thanks.
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Old 29-09-2017, 12:04   #2
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Re: Insurance Claim

I think it would be foolish to buy anything before your insurance company settles your claim but the best plan would be to call them. Keep calling until you find someone willing to help you.
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Old 29-09-2017, 15:12   #3
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Re: Insurance Claim

My take is this.

If insurance denies the claim, will you repair the boat yourself and continue to enjoy it anyway?

If so, go ahead and get the spar rolling, then proceed from there. If insurance will issue you a check to reimburse you, you're ahead of the game.
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Old 29-09-2017, 16:22   #4
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Re: Insurance Claim

It's not uncommon in such times that insurance underwriters go out of business. Two I know of already have. Not knowing who wrote your insurance makes it impossible to determine their reserves which, if I were you, would be the first step.

Having said that, due diligence requires doing that before choosing insurance which, unfortunately, many people do based on only a cursory reading of their terms and comparing prices, the latter being a poor reason on which to choose anything.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:10   #5
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Re: Insurance Claim

Thanks for all the replies. I was able to contact my insurance company and received authorization to replace the rig based on the preliminary survey that I ordered. I have since placed a deposit with my rig manufacturer to secure a position in their production queue.

For anyone reading, I think the best thing I have done throughout this process is taking a proactive approach to the claim, and to the work that must be done - while of course tempering my enthusiasm with the reality of the situation.

Good luck to anyone else in a similar situation, and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
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