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Skipper(39)s Plan Insurance issue - watch out-gctid365744

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    Skipper(39)s Plan Insurance issue - watch out-gctid365744

    I discovered a significant problem with my yacht policy coverage - I suggest you check yours for a similar issue.... Skipper's Plan now denies coverage if you abandon the vessel.

    ---------------------

    My yacht insurance coverage expires in May each year, and I got the renewal notice about a week ago. The broker included a letter explaining some changes that have been made by the underwriter. One of those changes is that they will not cover losses due to abandonning any property.

    HELLO! If I get into trouble on open water and have to leave the vessel, I am - by definition - abandonning that boat. If I do that, my insurance goes down with the vessel.

    So I called the broker. Her first response was, "don't worry - just sign it. They don't mean abandonning a boat". RIGHT! Like I'm going to live with her word on this? I told her I'd need all that in writing before I would even consider renewing. And by the way, I've got a real Trust problem with you and the underwriter right now.

    She trots off to talk to the insurance company and calls me back.

    Broker: "I was right. They mean "abandon" like if you leave your stuff stored in a storage unit and walk away. Not your boat. You're OK"

    Whiskywizard: "oh OK - so if we're in court in the future, I can expect the judge to toss aside the policy, which is a written, signed contract, and just ask us what we each 'meant'? Nope - I want it removed from the policy or I go elsewhere. And be aware, something like this can happen for only 2 reasons; an intent to defraud me, or incompetence. I'll also be looking for an answer on which one of the 2 it is."

    Broker, later that day: "The insurance company will write up an exclusion for you. You'll have it in a day or 2."

    Next day, I get an email that includes a special exception, just for me, that says I can abandon the vessel and still be covered if it's to protect the lives of passengers and me.

    FYI

    This is a Skipper's Plan - Power Plan,one of the biggest in Canada, written by AVIVA, sold by McLean and Dickey LTD.

    #2
    Mike, I'll bet they didn't think that one through when they added it, but good catch on your part. I would think that they meant it to mean that if you decide to abandon your boat in some backwoods creek cause you can't afford the dockage or the payments, then they are off the hook when the locals visit and strip it and you get the bill from the county for the removal of the hulk. This seems to be happening more frequently south of your borders, however, in probably 99% of the cases there was no insurance on the vessel to begin with.

    Comment


      #3
      There is a difference between the legalese "abandon" and the "abandon ship" that we think of.

      You are covered while off the vessel aren't you? Each night when you leave the vessel, you are not "abandoning" it... just going ashore.

      I don't think it's an issue.

      I believe they are covering themselves against derelict and abandoned boats. Some people are simply dragging them up the channel and walking away. I think think the insurance companies need a way to get untangled from that.
      Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

      iBoatNW

      1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

      Comment


        #4
        Might relate to this definition, Mike:

        abandonment n. the act of intentionally and permanently giving up, surrendering, deserting or relinquishing property, premises, a right of way, a ship, contract rights, a spouse and/or children. Abandonment of a spouse means intent at permanent separation, and with children a lengthy period of neither contact nor any support. In maritime law abandonment has a special meaning: when an owner surrenders a ship and its contents to a trustee for the benefit of claimants, particularly after a wreck. If one invents something and does not get a patent but allows others to use the invention or dedicates it to public use, the right to patent is probably abandoned. Confusion arises over abandonment of water rights, mining rights, or rights of way, since mere non-use is not sufficient to show abandonment. (See: abandon, abandoned property, patent)

        He's correct- it's not an issue.

        Comment


          #5
          The new clause was added under the General Conditions section.

          It says:

          "Abandonment of Property

          We do not have to accept, nor are We liable for any property abandoned by You."

          .

          I'm not comfortable with nailing down common vs marine definitions after a loss occurs.

          Comment


            #6
            Abandonment of Property

            We do not have to accept, nor are We liable for any property abandoned by You."

            I'm not comfortable with nailing down common vs marine definitions after a loss occurs.

            Exactly. And you, as the paying customer, don't have to accept any lame *** exclusions from them!

            Comment


              #7
              whiskywizard wrote:
              The new clause was added under the General Conditions section.

              It says:

              "Abandonment of Property

              We do not have to accept, nor are We liable for any property abandoned by You."

              .

              I'm not comfortable with nailing down common vs marine definitions after a loss occurs.
              I'm with you on this one, Mike. The point of a contract is to clear these things up from the beginning.

              Comment


                #8
                Gilligan wrote:
                I'm with you on this one, Mike. The point of a contract is to clear these things up from the beginning.
                And, as it should be, it was cleared up. It doesn't mean what he thought it did.

                Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep. . . .

                BUT!!!

                Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you, so

                ????

                Comment


                  #9
                  Agreed, contracts need to be clear in language used. I will have to review mine as well now. I believe my policy does not use word "abandon" to describe act of willful neglect of property. I think people that write the text in to these policy documents do not understand terminology specific to the application. In sailing/boating world abandon means just that, act of last resort to save crew from sinking or burning ship.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    whiskywizard wrote:
                    The new clause was added under the General Conditions section.

                    It says:

                    "Abandonment of Property

                    We do not have to accept, nor are We liable for any property abandoned by You."

                    .

                    I'm not comfortable with nailing down common vs marine definitions after a loss occurs.
                    Mike

                    there are tons of words/phrases in insurance policies that have meanings that don't relate to real world common knowledge. This is just an example.

                    Short of calling a lawyer who specializes in insurance issues (and even if you did make such a call), you can never be 100% positive of what language means what. One of the best things to do in order to avoid issues is exactly what you did: get something in writing from your agent/broker. Even if that letter is contrary to what your company later claims to be the case, you still have something in writing to rely on, which is often time all it takes, even if your insurance company says contrary.

                    toni

                    Comment


                      #11
                      SomeSailor wrote:
                      There is a difference between the legalese "abandon" and the "abandon ship" that we think of.

                      You are covered while off the vessel aren't you? Each night when you leave the vessel, you are not "abandoning" it... just going ashore.

                      I don't think it's an issue.

                      I believe they are covering themselves against derelict and abandoned boats. Some people are simply dragging them up the channel and walking away. I think think the insurance companies need a way to get untangled from that.
                      While I agree I would also ask for the written stipulation that "adandon" doesn't mean getting off a sinking boat. The issue is they say one thing now but when they show up in court for failing to pay the claim they will say...hey Your Honor. It's all in black and white in the contract.

                      I personally don't trust insurance companies to do the right thing. What's right to them is to deny claims until you force them to do otherwise. Case in point, when Katrina hit down in LA insurance companies denied claims because of water damage saying the hurricane insurance didn't cover "flooding". Naturally the houses got flooded because of the hurricane. It actually took a MS State Representative to sue the insurance companies into paying up.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        If your boat sinks... your responsibility to stay with it ends somewhere short of endangering your family or crew. The Coast Guard calls them any vessel that has been moored, stranded, wrecked, sunk, or left unattended for longer than 45 days. No insurance company drops you if you leave a sinking boat.

                        The insurance definition is: Abandonment occurs when the insured surrenders to the insurer all rights to damaged or lost property and claims payment for a total loss. Sometimes, this is permitted only when damage constitutes constructive total loss. In marine insurance parlance, abandonment involves the surrender of a ship or goods to the insurer, who becomes the abandonee. Abandonment can also mean refusal to accept from a delivering carrier a shipment so damaged in transit as to be worthless.

                        The insurance companies are simply trying to avoid the insured abandoning the vessel to them. They are not in boat owning business.
                        Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

                        iBoatNW

                        1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

                        Comment

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