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Old 04-26-2008, 04:06 AM   #1
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Default Something to seriously concider

I was talking to my Brother-in-law a few weeks ago about what would happen if we had a disaster...the boat sunk.....hit someone....or some other unforseeable problem...well...it turns out we have full coverage on our insurance policy but suppose our boat sinks...for some unknown reason it went thru my head to ask my agent that very question.....
my agent stated that after the amount of 500k was exhausted, then anything else we own or will own will be subject to legal lawsuits....they could go for everything we own..
there is a policy called an umbrella policy that is relatively cheap....25 bucks a month to add this rider onto my home/boat/car policy...it covers up to 1 mill. bucks for protection against say if our boat sinks...
one scenario came up is if the boat sank...the coast guard could require that we pay not only for the recovery but also any cleanup of oil or spilled gas.....now I don't know if it's possible for the coasties to make us pay for recovery costs..but....I know salvage could run quite high....
I'm posting this cuz I never heard of an umbrella policy that covers that much.....and I for one have never given my boat sinking any thought...I try to be complete and thorough when I launch my boat...
anyone else have a policy like this or heard of it???
something to think about
8)
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Old 04-27-2008, 08:37 PM   #2
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I try my best to not sink whenever possible so am not to worried about this issue

Also, not sur eif this is the same for the larger boats, but the small runabouts physically can't sink unless you overload them... they just sit on the surface, be that upside down,swamped or otherwise. there's so much foam under the floor and under the gunnels etc that it hard for an actual sinking to take place.

From my time in the wakeboard industry, where loading your boat upto the max with ballast is fairly normal I've come across some great stories and even pics of semi-submerged boats...
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Old 04-28-2008, 02:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brit Rider
I try my best to not sink whenever possible so am not to worried about this issue

Also, not sur eif this is the same for the larger boats, but the small runabouts physically can't sink unless you overload them... they just sit on the surface, be that upside down,swamped or otherwise. there's so much foam under the floor and under the gunnels etc that it hard for an actual sinking to take place.

From my time in the wakeboard industry, where loading your boat upto the max with ballast is fairly normal I've come across some great stories and even pics of semi-submerged boats...
If I remember correctly, any boat under 20' needs to be 'unsinkable' even if it cracks in half. I think this was a mandate issued in the early 70's. I could have dreamed it though.

That little periodical that Boat US sends to members shows just how common and unpredictable accidents are, and the majority of sunk boats happen when they are tied to the dock.
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Old 04-28-2008, 02:44 PM   #4
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you guys are missing part of the point.....if you come along say at 50mph (not that my boat will do that speed)...and slam into someone...they can sue you for damages...if your insurance only covers say half mill...your still liable for the rest...which could take your savings...home....cars...etc....or if that boat of yours sinks at the dock and leaks oil or gas...you could be reponsible for cleanup costs....not a good thing...especially if it exceeds your liability coverage.........just something to think about...

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Old 04-28-2008, 03:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seapuppy
you guys are missing part of the point.....if you come along say at 50mph (not that my boat will do that speed)...and slam into someone...they can sue you for damages...if your insurance only covers say half mill...your still liable for the rest...which could take your savings...home....cars...etc....or if that boat of yours sinks at the dock and leaks oil or gas...you could be reponsible for cleanup costs....not a good thing...especially if it exceeds your liability coverage.........just something to think about...

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My boat won't do 50. ops:
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:04 PM   #6
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My policy is up to £3mil liability most marinas over here ask for that level i think for 3rd party cover and up to £1mil for injury.
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:34 PM   #7
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So surelyy its all about ensuring you have good coverage then... The cheapest cover shoudln't always be the one to plump for I guess the moral here...

even my Jetksi has a £3million ($6million) liability on it; same as the boat.
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:53 PM   #8
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The YC where we have our 3000 requires a $1 million policy, so that if we hit and sink anyone else there is money to go after. It's sop in this area of NY.
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:45 PM   #9
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Been pondering this question for awhile since it was posted. I agree with seapuppy about the potential for liability beyond your policy. I found some info at BoatUS
http://www.boats.com/news-reviews/artic ... ?lid=12761

I have a question into my lawyer friend (bottom feeder, injury claims LOL)

More to come........
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:09 PM   #10
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I had a chat with my 'bottom feeder' (lawyer) friend about the limits of personal liability seapuppy brought up.

Caveat Emptor! This information is provided only for general knowledge and is not to be considered absolute legal determination (I'm no attorney). It is just to give you a broader understanding of your rights and your legal liabilities, according to Bob (not his real name, either).

Yes, we we're drinking beer!

Ok. That out of the way.

When you have insurance, you usually have a personal liability coverage with 'X' $ amount of coverage. When you 'contract' with your agent/broker, you purchase the policy with the intent to have adequate coverage. Most states have mandated minimum amounts of liability coverage. It is also an 'expectation' of the policy holder (you), that if you are found liable, the amount awarded for compensation is limited as well.

Here's the good part- I'll use the example seapuppy mentioned:

You are in an accident, say, you hit another boat, person, dock, bridge, etc. Oh ya, and you sink, and/or spill contaminants in the water. And there has been determined that no 'criminal' act or intent was found.

Your insurance company has two major obligations and responsibilities to you:
1. They are YOUR agent. They are required to represent you in any litigation with the other involved parties (private or Gov't). They goal is to litigate a settlement within your coverage limits. They will 'disclose' this amount with the 'other side'.

2. If the complaintants (the other parties) have made claims 'exceeding' your coverage limitations, then your insurance carrier is on the hook, not you.

Keep in mind that when you purchase insurance, you disclose to the agent/broker what you intend to cover (boating) and they are aware of all the liability potentials that go with that activity. when they offer a policy, they know the risks (to them) financially. They also know the laws and liability requirements for operating a vessel in the waters where you intend to boat.

So, according to 'Bob', the probability of you being 'taken to the cleaners' in a civil complaint (not criminal, remember), is not going to happen. It's another 'urban legend' type information that just keeps living on.

Now I would expect your insurance carrier to either dump you or really increase your coverage and premium costs.

Hope this helps,
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