Insurance Disputes Sailboat Repairs

Strimar

Member
75
1
Anyone have any experience in dealing with insurance adjustors? Repairing a sailboat where the other party has admitted liability and my insurance company is handling the claim on my end. All the yards and the builder recommend painting the entire hull since they can't guarantee matching the gel coat (that will last) in the damaged area on the port side. Insurance say they will pay for painting one side only (the damaged side) so they are happy if I have one side painted with Awlgrip and the other side gel coat. Their solution if I want the entire hull painted I will have to pay to paint the other side. Kind of sucks as I did no wrong but will have to pay around $7000 to have the boat looking ship shape again.
 
Most policies don't leave any wiggle room and are very specific in compartmentalized repair under complete loss. The flexibility of the insurance company is usually directly related to the at fault parties ability to pay and them getting their money back. Your broker is supposed to work for you and get your vessel back whole again, that would be the first point of pressure if you feel you are not being assessed fairly.
 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
10,169
6,361
Canada
This is pretty common practise. Actually better than most policies. Some have a "patch & paint clause" where only the repaired area is painted. You can't really see both sides of the boat at the same time can you?
 

Strimar

Member
75
1
Most policies don't leave any wiggle room and are very specific in compartmentalized repair under complete loss. The flexibility of the insurance company is usually directly related to the at fault parties ability to pay and them getting their money back. Your broker is supposed to work for you and get your vessel back whole again, that would be the first point of pressure if you feel you are not being assessed fairly.
That's where I am at at the moment. They have a marine surveyor and of course he works for the insurance company.
 

Strimar

Member
75
1
This is pretty common practise. Actually better than most policies. Some have a "patch & paint clause" where only the repaired area is painted. You can't really see both sides of the boat at the same time can you?
Not the way I care for my boat, like everything pristine, not a fan of patch work.
Depending on vessel size, $7k for a full paint including yard fees is a hell of a deal...
No that is for the one side, they will pay for only the damaged side. But I am not a fan of gel coat on one side and paint on the other.
 

F18 Sailor

Super Anarchist
2,678
255
Annapolis, MD
I don't think you are going to win with the insurance company. Gelcoat can be color matched and last for 5+ years in normal climates. Less in the tropics, and its much harder if it is a dark color.

Sure, it would be better to re-spray the whole boat, its just a question of is it worth it to you; you're going to be paying for it.
 

BobJ

Super Anarchist
1,230
183
I went through this with Awlgripped topsides. The trick was to work it out with the yard before the estimate went to the insurance company. The adjuster agreed to paint the whole side since Awlgrip can't be patched (plus it was Flag Blue), but would not pay to paint the other side. I was able to negotiate a very reasonable upcharge for the other side, largely based on the yard having to do only one set-up for spraying, etc. A good relationship with the yard manager also helps.
 
Always worth looking at the payout and shop it around options to get your costs down as well. Sometimes you can find a moonlighter who does good work at a much lower rate but it will take longer as they will be working it in around other projects. There were two boats doing this last time we hauled out, they were parked on the hard for hurricane season so not in a hurry, the yard let one of there regular guys do pickup work on his own so he would work on each boat a little after work every day, had a couple moths to finish so no weather push etc.
 

Ringmaster

Anarchist
My house was damaged by a hail storm years ago and the insurance company at first only wanted to replace the siding on 2 sides. I told them I wouldn't stand for a two tone house. Contractor got involved and convinced the insurance co. to pay up to do the whole house. Stand your ground.
 

Navig8tor

Super Anarchist
7,673
2,062
My house was damaged by a hail storm years ago and the insurance company at first only wanted to replace the siding on 2 sides. I told them I wouldn't stand for a two tone house. Contractor got involved and convinced the insurance co. to pay up to do the whole house. Stand your ground.
Houses and boats are completely different animals with very different policies.
Insurance got its start when clubs would get together and bet whether the sailing ship or its cargo would make it therefore marine policies have more hooks and clauses than most domestic.
Most insurers hate being on the hook for a complete paint job especially if damage is just too one side.Think you are lucky to get insurer to pay for one complete side.
As mentioned upthread perhaps take the money and see if you can get a complete repaint but I would imagine you’ll be contributing some of your own time towards prep or some other component to keep an awlgrip job under 14k total.
 

CriticalPath

Anarchist
719
207
BofQ
Here's a recent tale from the flip side...
  • Last summer we bought a 48 year old boat I'd long admired, in part due to it's pristine condition.
  • Insurance survey valued boat at twice the typical market value for the boat and age.
  • Insurance company bound us at the survey value.
  • Three months after purchase the port foredeck and side decks were damaged (mostly cosmetic) in four locations.
  • Reported damage to insurance, they appointed a marine surveyor to inspect the deck.
  • Insurance company presented their surveyor's recommendation that they'd pay to repair and refinish the port half of the boat's deck.
  • In a subsequent chat with the surveyor, we discussed how the insurance company had recognized the boat's superior condition through it's willingness to provide coverage well above typical for the boat and age, and that partial refinishing of the deck would be an aeshetic eyesore that would negatively impact a large portion of the boat's agreed value.
  • I received a new offer the next day for a full deck refinish of foredeck and side decks which I agree is fair and equitable coverage.

This is in Canada, and my broker looked hard and long to find the best coverage possible for our unique situation.


Cheers!
 

MR.CLEAN

Moderator
46,806
4,826
Not here
Boat insurance is not no-fault. The insurance company only determines the amount you receive if you let them.

General boaty advice - not legal and not specific to any jurisidiction, and this informational advice does not create an attorney-client relationship with me and anyone reading it.

1) The contract controls. If you are unclear about what it says regarding your specific damage situation, hire a lawyer to interpret it for you. It won't take long.

2) Hire your own paint expert and/or surveyor for the paint issue, with your goal being an expert opinion that the one-side solution is not the best practice in the industry, and that your insured property will suffer permanent diminution in value if it is not restored as recommended by your expert.

3) If insurance won't budge, sue the yard for the difference. Obviously you're not going to get a great lawyer with 7k as your max recovery, but you might not need one. $7k fits under small claims court limits in most states, and the only real witness you would need is the yard manager for the admission of guilt and your expert. Easy peasy.
 

Strimar

Member
75
1
Here's a recent tale from the flip side...
  • Last summer we bought a 48 year old boat I'd long admired, in part due to it's pristine condition.
  • Insurance survey valued boat at twice the typical market value for the boat and age.
  • Insurance company bound us at the survey value.
  • Three months after purchase the port foredeck and side decks were damaged (mostly cosmetic) in four locations.
  • Reported damage to insurance, they appointed a marine surveyor to inspect the deck.
  • Insurance company presented their surveyor's recommendation that they'd pay to repair and refinish the port half of the boat's deck.
  • In a subsequent chat with the surveyor, we discussed how the insurance company had recognized the boat's superior condition through it's willingness to provide coverage well above typical for the boat and age, and that partial refinishing of the deck would be an aeshetic eyesore that would negatively impact a large portion of the boat's agreed value.
  • I received a new offer the next day for a full deck refinish of foredeck and side decks which I agree is fair and equitable coverage.

This is in Canada, and my broker looked hard and long to find the best coverage possible for our unique situation.


Cheers!
I am making some progress what insurance company did you wind up with?
 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
11,064
2,693
Speaking from practical experience, try to only get run over by very expensive boats owned by good people. By the time we had our boat back on the trailer, his army of boat Nannies was onsite to help us get our mast down (at which point we kindly removed the bits of their headsail and gave them back). We were more or less given a blank check to fix everything that night. Never even had to follow through on the protest. Sadly, that’s rare these days.
 




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