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Read that insurance policy!


Winz

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I thought I would share with you a mistake that will cost me a lot, but will hopefully save others.

First of all, I am a boating rookie. My Malibu is my first boat, purchased last year. I called Geico to get insurance on the boat as they are the insurers of my cars. $640 later, my policy was in effect and sent to me. The actual policy was through a company called Ski Safe. I promptly put it in the safe along with the other papers I keep.

Last saturday, my Malibu tried to mate with a very large log in the river and was pretty damaged. I called my insurance agent - they instructed me to send a letter, take pictures, and get an estimate.

Today they called to inform me that my boat policy has a "lay up" provision from Oct 15th to May 15th. and they denied the claim. The gist is that while the boat is covered during that period from damages (fire, acts of nature, etc) it is not covered in the water. I certainly was not informed of this when I bought the policy, but after reading the policy, it is a footnote in the declarations page.

The repair shop I am working with is very experienced in working insurance claims. They told me that "lay ups" are common practice in the north eastern part of the US due to a shorter boating season, but not common in the western US (I live in California). They were puzzled (as am I) why an insurance company would sell a policy with those provisions in California.

Needless to say, I am angry with the insurance company for not explaining the coverage options to me up front, and I am angry at myself for not reading the policy in detail when I received it. I just assumed it worked like a car insurance policy.

I can only hope this expensive mistake will save someone else some of their own cash.

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wow, that really sucks!!!

I will have to read over ours to be sure we dont have something like that. I want to say that the people we used asked us if we wanted it and we told them no. It has been a while though so i better check!!

good luck with the repair and hope you geet back out soon.

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Wow...I'm sorry to hear that about your policy. I'd better read over mine carefully. I'm usually pretty good about reading through my auto policies, but I need to take another look at the boat insurance. Thank you for the posting. I bet it saves a few members.

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Oops.gif Just changed over to Progressive from Ski Safe they wanted to move us over to a different policy because of the year of our boat. Nothing like we had or wanted, we had and wanted stated value of the boat. Progressive had some great premium prices with no lay up period. Very completive is pricing also. Sorry about your experiences good luck.
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Seriously, thanks for the heads up.

Something I have learned about the law..............just because it says it in writing does not make it so. I asked my new agent if my otherwise uninsured bass boat, racing boat, and landscaping trailer would be covered against all risks by my new homeowners policy. She assured me they would be covered. She came to my house to do the paperwork and clearly saw that the boats and trailer were stored outside. After the tree fell, I was informed that my stuff would only be covered if it was inside a building and the tree fell on the building. After I threatened to sue based on the agent's negligence, the ins. co. caved and paid the claim in full. Selling a California resident a lay up policy sounds like negligence to me. I would consult an attorney.

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Wow, I would fight that to the end. I remember specifically when insuring my boat the agent kept asking, "you're sure you don't want a layup period in your policy?" I had to explain that I ski as long as the river isn't frozen and it was necessary I needed 12 months coverage. As it turned out, there was not much of a price difference, but I don't remember actual numbers.

Good luck.

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I have Ski Safe, I called them direct when I purchased the policy, they discussed the lay up with me and I went with Nov through Feb. and saved a couple of bucks on my AS AGREED replacement value policy ($49k) I have no desire to take my boat out during the winter because I have other hobbies so the 3 month lay up didn't bother me.

But an OCT through MAY lay up ! That is a bit long.

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Bummer. Thats a tough less to learn.

Unfortunately this is not uncommon for boat policies. And it's very common for Ski Safe. They will weasel out of a lot more too. I bet you are not allowed to tow an Air Chair, Sky Ski or parasail either. Probably buried in the fine print. Again, very common for Ski Safe.

I learned this a few years ago & am now covered by Safeco..... 12 months a year & no matter what I'm towing.

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martinarcher

Bum deal man. Cry.gif I need to re-read mine and see if I am covered in the early spring months. That's the most common months for debris and crap flushing it's way our of water ways after the spring thaw!

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The Air Chair has been banned from my boat since 1994. Whistling.gif

1998 homie..... I'm pretty sure you meant since Murphy went in biz for himself. Rockon.gif

Also, on a side note..... after a friend of mine had a boating accident last year, we decided to put an umbrella in place too. Besides boating, we also ride ATVs, and while we have not had any claims yet, we figured there was ample opportunity to have a problem & need to make a claim. A $1 million umbrella covers lawsuits against us, lawyers fees, our home, medical, property damage, etc.

The bottom line is check it out before you have to use it.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky
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Winz,

Thanks for the heads up. I called my State Farm agent to check to see if I have that but he was already gone for the day. I'm starting to not like insurance companies more and more every day! Like other's have mentioned, I would get an attorney and keep fighting. Good luck and give us an update when the dust settles.

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Oh dang, you are right! I started riding an Air Chair in 1994. Someone stole it at the end of the 2007 season. Did me a HUGE favor. Enter Mike Murphy and Sky Ski!

Umbrella policy...........gotta get me one of those.

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"Lay up periods" in Boat policies are more common than most people think. However nearly all insureance companies will offer you year round coverage if you ask for it. But you have to ask for it, or tell them when they are writing the policy you will be using your boat year round. There usually a very slight increase in premium price for year round coverage.

Sorry to hear that happened.

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skyskier Posted Today, 04:17 PM

The Air Chair has been banned from my boat since 1994.

My memory is playing tricks on me again. I was sure the one only only time I tried an Air Chair was a couple of summers ago @ Lake Anna on the private side in a Blue 04 Malibu LSV. Must have been some other guy that goes by the name of skyskier Whistling.gif .

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I have been with Ski Safe for 16 years and have had great service from them. I have always known about the layup period as they are very up-front about it. Could be that your agent didn't mention it.

Ski Safe has always offered to provide coverage if I wanted to use my boat outside of the layup period provided I contacted them first and it doesn't become a common thing. If it gets to be common, I would need to change the policy.

/Steve

I have Ski Safe, I called them direct when I purchased the policy, they discussed the lay up with me and I went with Nov through Feb. and saved a couple of bucks on my AS AGREED replacement value policy ($49k) I have no desire to take my boat out during the winter because I have other hobbies so the 3 month lay up didn't bother me.

But an OCT through MAY lay up ! That is a bit long.

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I thought I would share with you a mistake that will cost me a lot, but will hopefully save others.

First of all, I am a boating rookie. My Malibu is my first boat, purchased last year. I called Geico to get insurance on the boat as they are the insurers of my cars. $640 later, my policy was in effect and sent to me. The actual policy was through a company called Ski Safe. I promptly put it in the safe along with the other papers I keep.

Last saturday, my Malibu tried to mate with a very large log in the river and was pretty damaged. I called my insurance agent - they instructed me to send a letter, take pictures, and get an estimate.

Today they called to inform me that my boat policy has a "lay up" provision from Oct 15th to May 15th. and they denied the claim. The gist is that while the boat is covered during that period from damages (fire, acts of nature, etc) it is not covered in the water. I certainly was not informed of this when I bought the policy, but after reading the policy, it is a footnote in the declarations page.

The repair shop I am working with is very experienced in working insurance claims. They told me that "lay ups" are common practice in the north eastern part of the US due to a shorter boating season, but not common in the western US (I live in California). They were puzzled (as am I) why an insurance company would sell a policy with those provisions in California.

Needless to say, I am angry with the insurance company for not explaining the coverage options to me up front, and I am angry at myself for not reading the policy in detail when I received it. I just assumed it worked like a car insurance policy.

I can only hope this expensive mistake will save someone else some of their own cash.

I would call that agent of yours and say you are canceling all your policies with them, try Progressive Ins. I don't use them but know people who have and they say they have been treated fairly over the years with them. I use Allstate and they don't have that layup clause. Sorry to hear about your problem

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Heres another thing to check......

IF you do have a layup clause in your boat policy, they typically assume that your home owner's insurance will cover the boat during that layup period. If your storing your boat somewhere other than your home, there may be an issue with that. In which case your boat might be uninsured if a tree fell on your lake house garage or snow collapsed the roof of the storage building.

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i would talk to your agent first, he will have e&o (errors and omissions) insurance. If he failed to tell you about the lay up provision he will be liable. if that approach doesn't work, talk to an attorney.

I dealt with with ski safe directly and they were up front about the lay up policy. I accepted it because i don't use the boat for a few months and got a rate reduction because of it.

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I would fight this to the end, especially since you didn't know about it. I like your chances in front of your peers! I checked mine and I don't see a lay up period. For those with Umbrella's you might want to check your limits. My understanding is that you need at least $500k liability on the boat for your Umbrella to work properly.

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Thumbup.gif I use progressive and have been very happy with them. Very reasonable rates.

Hey Andy! That was a genuine Sky Ski! Season opener party April 10-12. Stop by!!!!
Edited by BuFootin
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Stick to your guns, you can win this one. Here is your argument: "Do you think if I knew I had a layup period ending May 15th, I'd be driving my boat in March?" $640/year with a layup period? I pay $550/year with $500k liability and no layup, and I'm in Oregon. Call around and ask how common layups are in Cali? It's probably not common practice!

IIRC my friend had a Moomba Outback he put on the rocks, insurance company paid the claim. The following year he traded it in and got a XLV. I was in the boat with him and we hit an underwater pipe, damage to the hull, prop and it sheared off the rudder. The insurance company tried to pull the same BS, "well we put you on a layup period after your first accident." I can't remember all the details, but he ended up getting his claim paid for. They raised his deductible and told him they would not pay a third claim within the next 6 months or something. He never had a third claim and sold the boat.

Get them to pay the claim, then shop for better insurance!

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