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Boat US for me...

January 5 2016 at 9:37 PM
Dave Krugler  (Login dkrugler)


Response to An informal survey regarding marine insurance companies

My late father was a boater and swore by Boat US. I had cars insured by State Farm and went to them for coverage on my first boat, a 1969 19ft Sea Ray Pachanga which was a 19ft offshore type boat with a 350 Chevy truck block and Corvette high compression heads sitting in front of and old Merc II I/O drive unit and transom exhaust. That boat had seen better days by the time I got it but I did my best to fix it up and had some fun with. One time I was hauling up north and stopped late in the day at Jerry's Marina on Tawas Point on Lake Huron and splashed it for a nostalgia run across Tawas Bay. I was having fun with it until I suddenly realized I'd forgotten my aids to navigation and strayed well inside buoys 4 and 2 that were intended to keep idiots like me off the sandbar along Tawas Point. All of a sudden the boat began to shudder violently while I dragged the outdrive across the sand bar at about 3,500 rpm and 35 MPH! By the time I realized what I had done the drive was half way up and while I managed to limp back to the ramp was severely damaged. I took it back home and eventually to Precision Marine in Detroit to try to get it repaired. I got the good news that I had destroyed the upper pinion gears and sent shrapnel to all the bearings in the lower gear case, estimate in 1981- $1800.00. I filed an underwater machinery damage with State Farm and when they talked to Precision Marine they denied the claim stating I never hit anything, the drive just wore out. I fought with them and threatened to take them to court. The finally agreed to having the gears inspected by a metallurgist in Algonac who stated emphatically the damage was impact damage from grounding, not a case of wear out. But State Farm had the last laugh because they promptly pro-rated the repair on a 15yr depreciation basis. Since the boat was 12 years old they gave me 3/15's of their discounted fair value repairs and issued a check for $300 to me. I promptly cancelled all my insurances with State Farm and moved to Ford group insurance on the car and sold the boat after fixing it. My next boat was a brand new 1995 Four Winns Sundowner 195 which I bought from King Marine in St. Clair Shores and insured with Boat US. They've had my boat insurance ever since. When I restored the Chris Craft I paid Boat US an extra $100 premium and got an "Agreed Value" policy on it for $25,000 to cover my butt after restoring it for a couple of years. I paid around $600/yr. for the insurance which also covered it for $300k on the water liability and freeze damage. In all fairness I never had a claim with Boat US but I'm told they will stand behind their customer in case bad things happen. They have the policy on my Boston Whaler now.

Dave

 
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