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Dry Moorage (or any storage) liability for company caused damage?


natethelen

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natethelen

I am talking to a dry moorage company that would store my boat in racks in a warehouse and bring it out and put it in the water with forklifts with a couple hours notice.  It is very appealing for a variety of reasons but one thing in the contract that caught my eye is that they claim 0 liability for any damage they cause when handling the boat.  They say that is just how they operate and that my insurance would have to cover it.  They have quite a few boats in there so many people decided it wasn't an issue, but since my current winter warehouse company does cover damage they cause, it feels wrong.  What are your experiences?  Is this normal?

Thank you,

Nate

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I doubt they can contract away negligence.  FWIW, years ago I had the dealer store my boat.  They  scratched it up and chipped the glass.  Same deal - they told me to use MY insurance.  Uh...  not way - they fixed it on their dime.

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Store my boat trailer in an outdoor storage facility...same MO, no coverage from facility.  I'm ok with it, but a trailer is worth a lot less than your boat.

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Hi Natethelen,

Perhaps a way to go is to not only review your insurance binder but to also call your insurance company and speak to an agent and make sure your insurance would cover any damage caused by the storage facility. If they will cover you, all good. If they will not cover damage caused by the facility, I would pass. These boats are just too expensive to be handled by fork lifts without any insurance coverage. 

Best,

Chris

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4 minutes ago, Chrismoe said:

If they will cover you, all good. If they will not cover damage caused by the facility,

Why should the owner take responsibility for the storage place's neglignce?  Plus the deductible.

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3 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

Why should the owner take responsibility for the storage place's neglignce?  Plus the deductible.

Freedom of contract.  The parties can shift risk between one another as they please and adjust the price of the service accordingly.  

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6 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

Why should the owner take responsibility for the storage place's neglignce?  Plus the deductible.

Hi Eagleboy99,

My recommendation was just to determine IF the owners insurance would cover any damage. If yes, then perhaps further consider using this storage place. If no, then move on. Just my 2 cents.

Chris

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1 minute ago, jjackkrash said:

Freedom of contract.  The parties can shift risk between one another as they please and adjust the price of the service accordingly.  

Thankfully up here we have  laws to protect people from themselves.

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Just now, Chrismoe said:

Hi Eagleboy99,

My recommendation was just to determine IF the owners insurance would cover any damage. If yes, then perhaps further consider using this storage place. If no, then move on. Just my 2 cents.

Chris

But then you would have a claim on your record - read: increased premiums.  And the deductible.  I purposefully keep my deductibles very high (5K on real property; 1-2K on cars so I effectively self-insure.

I'd get some insurance pro advice - in writing before I agree to absolving a dealer/storer from ALL events.  Heck, I sign a waiver for winterization, but if they fluster up the process on the block it is on my dime? I think not!

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natethelen

Thank you everyone for the input.  Talked to insurance company and they do cover any damage, regardless of who causes it.  I do agree that it is crappy for the company not to handle it themselves and cause me to have to take it out of pocket and possibly up my premiums.  I was just curious if this is standard operating procedure or unusual in the industry.

Thank you!

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Not ideal but seems pretty standard. I'm doing valet this year and it runs under the same conditions except they use my trailer and drive it 2 mins to the ramp. I would hope if it was something 100% their fault they would cover it. Had a lift fail at the marina with my boat on it and they covered the cost to fix even after signing that they weren't responsible for any damages. 

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They definitely can and do contract away liability. I had my boat on a rack the last two years. I had to add the marina on to my insurance policy (they required this prior to taking my boat in). I had zero issues, but they made it very clear who would be responsible for any damage. It worked well until covid hit and instead of three launches going at once they were doing 3 launches every ten minutes (for social distancing). If you can, don’t get a spot on the ground level for security reasons. The place I had my boat had a bunch of stereo/electronic thefts. Only easily accessible boats got hit. Edit: owners were responsible for replacing stereo equipment, not the marina. But feel free to listen to eagle boys first hand errrrr internet experience instead.

Edited by Pnwrider
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18 hours ago, Cole2001 said:

Had a lift fail at the marina with my boat on it and they covered the cost to fix even after signing that they weren't responsible for any damages. 

Kelowna?  If so, I know that event.

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1 hour ago, Eagleboy99 said:

Kelowna?  If so, I know that event.

labour day long weekend at the Eldorado. Never should have left it half up on the lift but the guy working at the marina assuring me it was fine made me think otherwise.... 

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22 minutes ago, Cole2001 said:

labour day long weekend at the Eldorado. Never should have left it half up on the lift but the guy working at the marina assuring me it was fine made me think otherwise.... 

There was another incident in YLW in a warehouse. You do know who works at marinas, right?  ;)

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One of the rack storage places near us (part of the Malibu dealer) dropped a 23LSV from the top rack.  Apparently, the forklift operator pulled the wrong lever :-O.  I'm not sure the exact details but the owner reported that they took care of him.   So in a case like that I could see the storage place stepping in.

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1 hour ago, gregtay said:

One of the rack storage places near us (part of the Malibu dealer) dropped a 23LSV from the top rack.  Apparently, the forklift operator pulled the wrong lever :-O.  I'm not sure the exact details but the owner reported that they took care of him.   So in a case like that I could see the storage place stepping in.

Was that recently? Newport or lake union? 

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1 hour ago, Pnwrider said:

Was that recently? Newport or lake union? 

It was a few years ago (4 or 5?)  I think it was lake union. 

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Five Cent Worth

We have only rack stored.  We wouldn't have it any other way as trailering felt painful.

The first boat the marina did have to make some repairs to the gel due to damage.  This wasn't an issue at all in getting them to own up to this.  I know they ripped a tower off a MC and replaced it without an issue.  

Just a piece of advise for you if you end going with the rack storage plan - tip the driver of the fork truck well.  A $20 every other weekend goes a long way... :cheers:

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4 hours ago, Five Cent Worth said:

We wouldn't have it any other way as trailering felt painful.

Back in the day, I used to trailer every weekend and sometimes during the week (although we had a club boat at a private lake for dawn patrol).  Man, I could not do that now.  I see the people at the boat ramp with dogs, kids, coolers, boards, etc. and it is semi-organized chaos.  I give them full marks.  But if I had to do it now, I wouldn't.   I'd takeup pickleball as long as I could build a court in the backyard; even driving to the court is a PITA.

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Father in law used to rack a 28ft searay at the Sanibel yacht club.  Sure seemed nice, call them up and when you got there it was in the water and full of ice.  Bring it back and they would wipe it down.

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