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Old     (stuey)      Join Date: Dec 2004       05-24-2006, 8:18 PM Reply   
Short version - we were houseboating in Shuswap Lake (BC, Canada) last weekend. We were beached and I had my boat tied to the back of my houseboat. Idiot in another houseboat is driving parallel to shore, ends up sandwiching my boat inbetween the two houseboats. My boat ends up with a huge hole (A good 12" triangle shape) in the hull, has damage around both sides, the whole rubrail is done, gelcoat is scratched everywhere, and there are stress cracks and spiders everywhere around the bow. The boat took on water fast and ended up upside down in the lake.

Here's my problem. The boat was pretty much brand new, its a 2005 Maxum 18'. Had it done out with a monster tower, huge stereo, ballast, everything. Now my insurance company is telling me they want to fix it instead of it being a total loss. The boat is insured for 25000 CDN with everything. I really don't want this thing back, I know it will never be the same. Especially because it sat in the water upside down for a good 48 hours until the boat salvage guy could pick it up. It was perfect before the accident.

To me, the boat would have to be completely redone to be back to normal - new interior, new carpet, new wiring, new gauges, new tower (it's bent and all roughed up from rubbing on the lake floor), new racks, new controls, new electrical/batteries/breakers/etc. Plus I'm not sure how this boat will stand up after being hit that hard - they are not that strong to begin with. Don't really feel like loading down a repaired boat with ballast and swinging 200+ lb guys off the tower.

The really crappy part is, I was going to put it up for sale next month so I could buy a new tournement boat this winter. Even if they do fix it, I'm sure it will take a good 2 months, so there goes the summer.

Any advise? What can I say to the insurance company to try and convince him that the boat will never be the same and I won't be satisfied with the repairs? He estimates the damage at $10k or so and a salvage value of about $10k as well - so its only a few thousand off the be written off anyways.

Thanks! Sorry for the long post!
Old    fiberglassman            05-24-2006, 8:25 PM Reply   
From your description there is no way to fix that boat for $10K using a reputable repair facility. I needs a new engine, wiring including all electronics, hull repair, interior (at least some), etc, etc...
Old     (kylielogan)      Join Date: Apr 2006       05-24-2006, 8:36 PM Reply   
I'd suggest getting 2 or 3 of your own estimates from reputable dealers/repair places and submitting those to your insurance. Chances are the estimates you get are going to be closer to the correct amount - if they even suggest repairing it! Or what about talking with the insurance company for the guy who hit your boat? Maybe it's actually their responsibility??
Old    mendo247            05-24-2006, 8:37 PM Reply   
Your ins company is HIGH!! i deal with ins companies and adjusters all day every day and have discussed this with them quite a few times.. the concensus seems to be in a boat or car for that matter if the water gets above the dash its automatically a total loss.. most companies dont want the liability of fixing unforseen repairs down the engine failure, electrical problems etc etc.. i know of a boat that was under for less than a half hour and was still declared a total loss...
Old     (stuey)      Join Date: Dec 2004       05-24-2006, 8:37 PM Reply   
That's the thing about the engine.. they said they drained it and changed the oil a few times and said its fine. My mechanic says they need to do that more like 10 times right away, and there is still things that need to be replaced - starter, alternator, carb, linkage, etc... plus they don't know if there is inner damage to the cylinders. My mechanic also said its one thing to have a motor in the water for an hour or so, but to be under for 48+ is a whole different story.
Old     (eccpaint)      Join Date: Feb 2002       05-24-2006, 9:21 PM Reply   
Alot of insurance companies will not cover your add - ons (tower, stereo).

I hope they do right by you. Maybe you should let them know this is being discussed online. If they do the right thing it will pay off them in the long run. Everybody wins! If not, you will be frustrated, they will receive lots of negative press & lose business. Nobody wins.
Old     (tomcalabria)      Join Date: Feb 2006       05-24-2006, 9:28 PM Reply   
If this guy ran into your boat, he is at fault and his insurance should pay for it. If he does not have proper insurance, I would take him to court and try to get a judgement against him. I would be more than just upset.
Old     (jon_m)      Join Date: Mar 2006       05-24-2006, 9:32 PM Reply   
insurance companies are bitches, and thusly can sometimes be slapped around like a bitch. go get some realistic estimates, many many estimates, and show them to the company. i had an insurance company try to lowball me on a totalled car, so i went on auto and printed off some comparable cars. easily talked them up to $5000 from $2500. sometimes it seems like insurance companies have no concept of how things occur in reality, so sometimes they need a little help.
Old     (kylielogan)      Join Date: Apr 2006       05-24-2006, 9:42 PM Reply   
Ya, insurance cos. are in the business of making money, not spending it. 2 years ago my condo flooded and they wanted to pay me $2500 - that barely covered the cost of the carpeting! They ended up paying me just under $12,000. You gotta fight. Politely, of course.
Old     (stuey)      Join Date: Dec 2004       05-24-2006, 10:36 PM Reply   
I think that is going to be my next step - I am just going to take it to the dealer and have them quote it all. I will let the adjuster get his quotes first since my boat is still up at the lake, which is about 5 hours away. Then I'll tell them they have to have it towed down here so I can get my own quotes. I know I am covered for everything, tower, stereo, etc.

My insurance adjuster said they can pay out the claim, then go after the houseboat companies insurance - they actual driver of the other houseboat will only have insurance through his charter. Doesn't even seem right, somebody else is an idiot and now I have to suffer/battle it out. Thanks for all the comments, I appreciate the advice.
Old     (hudd007)      Join Date: May 2006       05-24-2006, 11:26 PM Reply   
Definitely get your own quotes. I did that on a car of mine and got to adjuster to double what they offered me. He told me that my saving grace was the fact that I had my own quote.

Good luck.
Old    catfishh            05-25-2006, 5:37 AM Reply   
What Insurance company do you have so I know not to ever use them!!
Old     (byrd)      Join Date: Dec 2005       05-25-2006, 7:53 AM Reply   
FYI, Insurance company's will try to low ball quote on claims. One of the reasons is that they can get a better price on jobs that you and I can. Different states, and countries, have different ways of conducting business. For example, what will work here in Florida might not work someplace else. Check to see what the procedure is where you are located to file another claim. Also, the adjuster works for the insurance company and he has to do what he is told by his boss. Third of all remember the squeeky wheel gets the grease. You MUST complain about every little detail. Once they realize you will not let anything slide, they will probably total it. You can beat them at their game, but you have to play by their rules.
Old     (lchamaschuk)      Join Date: Feb 2002       05-25-2006, 8:49 AM Reply   
Stuey, I can sympathize. Our 96 Chapparal was stolen (in Vancouver BC) in the fall of 2002 from our marina. It was found just after our insurance had kicked in (after 60 days). They were wanting to head down the path of getting it surveyed (it was found in saltwater in January, taken out and not flushed or winterized), but we said no way, give us our money. We were lucky that the policy had already kicked in or we would have had a similar fight on our hands. The bad news is that we wished wed had it insured for more, but the good news is that we ended up getting what we finally wanted a wakeboard boat. The only thing I can suggest is getting your own expert opinions from surveyor or whatever and submitting those as evidence.
Old     (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       05-25-2006, 9:22 AM Reply   
Silly Canadians, so used to their dog sleds and snow mobiles that they can't handle a houseboat. Just messin.

Good luck, I agree with everyone else, get your own quote and go to bat. Like somone said, they are bitches and thus shall be treated as such.
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       05-25-2006, 9:24 AM Reply   
i would look into getting a lawyer. seriously.
Old     (mjmurphy53711)      Join Date: Mar 2004       05-25-2006, 9:33 AM Reply   
sue the guy that hit you, easy call!
Old     (stuey)      Join Date: Dec 2004       05-25-2006, 2:03 PM Reply   
I think sueing the guy that hit me would be even more of a mess - for starters he is not even in the same province as me (province = state for you yanks :-) I know that is always an option but it would take a while before I got paid out on a judgement. I already know I'm boatless this summer, but at least if I have the money I can start shopping in the offseason.

I know they are going to lowball the quotes - even my adjuster when he spoke about the interior he said something like 'just let it all dry out then detail it'... where I know there will be a problem with mold/mildew/wood rotting down the road if it is not replaced.
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       05-25-2006, 2:18 PM Reply   
you could be right about a lawsuit, but have you even talked to the guy about it? i mean, is he taking responsibility for it? seems to me he should be on the hook for what insurance doesn't cover.

i mean, the reality is like someone else stated above, the insurance company isn't going to replace the boat and chances are they're not going to fix all the add-ons and aftermaket stuff either.

you really got the shaft, no two ways about it. i'm very sorry. i would still recommend speaking with a lawyer or possibly a friend of the family, etc. it's possible a lawsuit isn't necessary, but at least you can find out what your legal options are. you're not going to find that out on this board.
Old     (cyclonecj)      Join Date: Jul 2001       05-25-2006, 3:24 PM Reply   
For those of you not familiar with the great white north, It's a different deal in Canada. I believe each province has it's own state run insurance "company" The one in BC is called ICBC. I know because I crashed a rental car up there. Their laws and ability to sue is totally different than the US. Remember, we have 5% of the worlds population and 50% of the lawyers. Aren't we lucky!:-)

It's probably a good idea to get at least three estimates from reputable repair shops, then try to get ICBC to total it and give you a check.

Canada rocks, BTW. Goin' back to BC on Sun;)
Old     (yosquire)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-25-2006, 8:41 PM Reply   
To answer your question:
"What can I say to the insurance company..."

"Speak to my attorney about any further matters on this subject"
Old     (blastmaster)      Join Date: Aug 2001       05-26-2006, 12:14 PM Reply   
As a ins broker with large book of marine business with many carriers I offer the following information. Please bear in mind I HAVE NO EXPERIENCE IN CANADA:
1) Make certain you are dealing with a marine adjuster. Ask if he NMMA certified or equivalant.
2) In my opinion and based on experince vessel should be considered a total loss.
3) FACT: All wiring needs to be replaced. It has water between the copper and the jacket and will get hot, possibly melt, short circut and rot from corrosion from insiode out causing problems for years, possibly taking out replaced startes, alternators etc....
4) bieng underwater does not hurt engine as much as one would think. Damage actually occurs once exposed to air after being recovered. Most insurance companies will pickle and engine and they rune fine for years. There are exceptions to this such as sand, salt mud etc... that do ruin engine.
5) Dont sign a settlement or cash a ck unless your totally happy BEFORE its too late. Leave door open by putting objections in writing and having adjuster sign it. Put the insurance carrier on notice you want claim left open for 1 yr after repairs are made for supplimentals that WILL arise. This will avoid multiple deductibles.
5) Advise carrier in writing you feel vessel is unsafe to operate and will have diminished resale value and ask if they will make up difference- they wont but ask anyway.
6) If you sell or trade in the vessel ck local disclosure laws if you must disclose prior damage for a specified period of time or not. The right thing to do is obviously disclose it always but people trade boats in all the time that had prior damage repaierd.

Good luck.
Old     (kgd)      Join Date: Jun 2002       05-26-2006, 1:23 PM Reply   
It would seem that your insurance company should be getting paid from the insurance on the houseboat charter of the person that hit you. I would not be happy with just having it repaired, I would want cashed out so I could get a new boat.
Old     (lchamaschuk)      Join Date: Feb 2002       05-26-2006, 1:26 PM Reply   
You're close Psyclone, except ICBC is only for automobile insurance, not boats.
Old     (stuey)      Join Date: Dec 2004       05-26-2006, 2:50 PM Reply   
Yes, this is a private insurance company I am dealing with. I have heard back from the houseboat company;

"Our insurance will cover the costs of the damage to your boat. What needs to happen is for you to go through your insurance and then your insurance will issue a claim with our insurance company."

So my insurance company isn't going to lose anyways, but he still seems to think they are not going to pay out full value on a boat that is repairable. Now its just a waiting game to determine what the quotes come in at through my adjuster, then I will be getting my own quotes from the dealer.

Thanks for all the advise people, especially Rick H. I am not going down without a fight, so this is great firepower for me.
Old     (cyclonecj)      Join Date: Jul 2001       05-26-2006, 4:44 PM Reply   
Well, I've only crashed cars there, so that's all I know so far. I'm goin' back Sunday, mebbe I'll have a chance to crash a boat

Good luck with them bastards, Stuey.
Old     (carcrz)      Join Date: Mar 2006       05-26-2006, 9:41 PM Reply   
If you have the boat, I'd take it and get your estimates. Thay way, when he comes back... this is what all of these guys had to say! I WANT IT DONE RIGHT!

I ended up doing this when some guy hit my truck a few months ago. All he did was scuff the bed, but he scratched my wheel. I told him that even though my truck has 20K on it, it is only a few months old. He didn't like doing it, but he got me the money for a new wheel.
Old     (bering_c)      Join Date: Feb 2006       05-28-2006, 8:06 AM Reply   
I think if t weren't for the structural damage you might as well have it fixed. So, here are a couple of other things that might sway the ins. co. in your favor. First, I would take a lot of pictures of the hull damage and try to get estimates on getting it done at the FACTORY. After all, would anyone want Joe at the local repair shop "certifying" the structural integrity of his 2005 boat? The cost of the factory repair and the shipping of the hull might do it for you. Also, Make a lot of noise about loss of use. You obviously will expect that they provide you with at least some rental reimbursement over this summer. Make a LOT of noise about everything. It is the insurance companies job to pay you as little as possible. The less your company pays you, the less they have to get back from the other. Easier on them. Be a total pain in the A$$!
Old     (shocker)      Join Date: Dec 2005       05-28-2006, 8:25 AM Reply   
do u have any pics of it, then people mite be able to help u out a little bit better
Old     (stuey)      Join Date: Dec 2004       05-29-2006, 1:18 PM Reply   
Chris - The structural damage is what worries me the most - but everything bothers me. I know I keep my toys/vehicles in good shape and I really don't want a 'repaired' boat after I bought it brand new. Your idea about the factory is a good one - not sure if the ins. company will go for it but I can try and push it. The adjuster was looking into rental funds for the loss of use, but who knows there. Sure it would be alright to have a boat when I go away this summer without worrying about trailering one around, but there's nowhere to rent a boat on the river where I ride weekly.

No pics - insurance company was going to supply pics, but I haven't seen them yet. I'll post as soon as I get them.
Old     (stuey)      Join Date: Dec 2004       06-02-2006, 6:56 PM Reply   
Update... my insurance adjuster called me today right at 5pm. Still no final quotes (been over 1.5 weeks now since its been out for quotes), but he did say they will be in by next Wednesday at the latest. While I'm not happy about the length of time, he did give me some positive news. The fiberglass repair guys quote is going to come in at more than double what he originally estimated - probably 10,000+ just in fiberglass and paint/gel work. He then said if they mechanical comes in at around $5k like he estimated they are closer to writing it off. I almost laughed when he said the mechanical and everything to be only $5k - that was including the engine work, all new wiring and electrical, upholstry, and the monster tower! So I'm hoping for the best, I'll find out next week and keep you posted.


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