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TOPIC: Insurance Claim Theshold Amount

Insurance Claim Theshold Amount 19 May 2017 15:44 #1

  • rossi45
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I had a pretty major repair bill this past winter on the boat that I paid out of my pocket. I had a chat with an old friend last night and one of the things I said to him was that if I had another major bill come up, I'm not sure I would want to stomach it. I said to him I'd probably just trailer the boat and put it in storage for a year or 2 if some major were to come up again. He sort of mentioned that insurance should cover something major. We got on the topic of how much a repair bill should cost before you decide to call insurance. Of course, then the question came up about increasing premiums after a claim.

I thought I'd throw the question out to the bayliner-o-sphere and see what you folks take on that is? How much does a repair bill cost before you call your insurance company? How much do premiums increase after a major claim (say transom rot or engine failure, etc)? For reference, I'm in Canada but I would think that claims in Canada and the US would be fairly similar.

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2001 Bayliner Ciera 2455 5.7 Merc MPI, Bravo 3
2009 Subaru WRX STI


Victoria, BC

Insurance Claim Theshold Amount 19 May 2017 17:19 #2

  • CptCrunchie
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rossi45 wrote: I had a pretty major repair bill this past winter on the boat that I paid out of my pocket. I had a chat with an old friend last night and one of the things I said to him was that if I had another major bill come up, I'm not sure I would want to stomach it. I said to him I'd probably just trailer the boat and put it in storage for a year or 2 if some major were to come up again. He sort of mentioned that insurance should cover something major. We got on the topic of how much a repair bill should cost before you decide to call insurance. Of course, then the question came up about increasing premiums after a claim.

I thought I'd throw the question out to the bayliner-o-sphere and see what you folks take on that is? How much does a repair bill cost before you call your insurance company? How much do premiums increase after a major claim (say transom rot or engine failure, etc)? For reference, I'm in Canada but I would think that claims in Canada and the US would be fairly similar.


I go the other way. When something happens, the FIRST thing I do is call my insurance company and have them start a claim. If the final bill doesn't come to all that much, I pay it out of pocket. Otherwise, I simply pay the deductible and let the insurance cover the rest.

From what I understand, boats are different than cars, in that the premiums are not based on previous claims.
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"B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
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Last Edit: by CptCrunchie.

Insurance Claim Theshold Amount 19 May 2017 19:41 #3

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First off, this is a question that you should ask your insurance agent directly. There is a wide variation in policies, coverages, and how different companies apply their contracts. Having said that, in my experience insurance covers "sudden and accidental damage."

In very general terms, this will normally mean that running aground, running into another boat or hitting a deadhead would be covered by most insurance companies.

Maintenance and deferred maintenance issues like transom rot, rotten hoses, hydraulic leaks, broken steering and shifter cables, cloudy isinglass, etc. are not sudden and accidental issues and would be rejected by most insurance companies if claimed.

There is a big gray area for things like engine breakdowns or the boat catching on fire. If the proximate cause is you, the owner, not taking reasonable care of the boat, some companies will deny the claim. Others may be more lenient.

As for CptCrunchie, filing every claim and then paying out of pocket may not always be a great strategy. I know that some companies track every claim, even ones with no money paid out, and when you exceed a certain threshold of number of claims in a certain period (X claims in Y years) they will non-renew or cancel the policy.

I recommend discussing the potential claim directly with your agent as a "hypothetical" and then you can determine whether to file the claim.

Oh, and by the way, assuming Canada and US insurers are pretty much the same is not a very good assumption in my experience. I'm not going to say anything more about that. Call your own insurance agent and discuss your situation. :-)

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Rob Meldrum
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Insurance Claim Theshold Amount 19 May 2017 20:37 #4

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Thanks to both of you. I took your advice and actually called my insurance company to ask a few questions. Funny, you go buy insurance but most of us (me included) rarely read the whole document. today, I did.

So, what I found out was pretty much what you outlined, robster_in_edmonds. I asked the agent about the repair job I had done. The first thing I asked is if I were to submit a claim, how would that affect my premium. There is a charge in my case. 2 things she explained. First is a decreasing percentage of the loss portion of my coverage which decreases over 5 years at smaller percentage amounts each year. So say you pay around $500/year in loss coverage, you next premium would be that times 30% (so $500 + 30% = $650) and each subsequent year the percentage decreases so long as you don't have further claims.The second thing that will be affected is that my deductible doubles for the loss portion for the 5 years. Again, given that no other claims are filed.

So, the second thing asked about was the repair job I had to make last winter and if/how that was covered. To your point robster_in_edmonds, it does have to be accidental in nature for the types of examples you outlined. In my case, my insurance company and I are discussing the facts around the repair job and there's' enough promise of coverage, that i decided to submit a claim while I was on the phone. The only issue may be that I should have called right away before the repairs were made so the adjuster could see the type of damage before it was fixed. The good thing is, both myself and my mechanic took a series of photos at the time that should be helpful to the adjuster.

I also asked that, if my claim was rejected, is that a "mark" against my insurance. (i.e. if I put in so many claims, whether they get accepted or not, will they eventually cancel or not renew me). She said no, not with my type of coverage. I know that my home insurance and auto insurance do count "marks" against me. That was the reason why i didn't try to claim in the beginning.

Anyways, we'll see how this goes. That would be a lot of money to get back! It would certainly outweigh the premium cost increase.

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2001 Bayliner Ciera 2455 5.7 Merc MPI, Bravo 3
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Insurance Claim Theshold Amount 19 May 2017 20:39 #5

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robster_in_edmonds wrote: As for CptCrunchie, filing every claim and then paying out of pocket may not always be a great strategy. I know that some companies track every claim, even ones with no money paid out, and when you exceed a certain threshold of number of claims in a certain period (X claims in Y years) they will non-renew or cancel the policy.


Robster, if I am on an umbrella policy with State Farm and I hit a deadhead, would putting a claim through increase the cost of my coverage for all the items under my umbrella?

From what I understand, by separating them, my rates with BoatUS won't change with putting a claim through.

BTW, missing regular maintenance or boat rot won't be covered by any policy, which is why I keep my boat well maintained. Guess I missed that in my previous post.

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"B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
MMSI: 367637220
HAM: KE7TTR
TDI tech diver
BoD, North Olympic Peninsula Puget Sound Anglers, Sequim, WA
Kevin
Last Edit: by CptCrunchie.

Insurance Claim Theshold Amount 20 May 2017 16:15 #6

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An umbrella policy is liability coverage, pays for damage that you cause to others. You may be thinking of a combined policy. If you hit a deadhead, that would covered under the physical damage portion of your boat policy.

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Jeff & Tara
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In memory of Shadow, the best boat dog ever. Rest in peace, girl. July 2, 2010

Insurance Claim Theshold Amount 20 May 2017 18:49 #7

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I think you should first make sure that you have the right insurance company and the right amount of coverage.

I live in the USA, my boat is in Turkey and my insurance company is in Britain (Pantaenius). They were my insurance company from the start, first with my first boat and now with my second. Within days of taking ownership of my first boat I had an accident and broke my windshield. They covered it and did not increase my premiums. Ever since their rates have held steady. There was a change in the rate when I upgraded to a larger/more expensive boat and since then their rates have also held steady (or a minor increase). You have to drag me from changing my insurance company!

Good luck!

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