Topic: The need for comprehensive insurance and appropriate agreed cover.

Posted February 17 2017

Hello members and visitors,

I’m writing about a current insurance issue that I am involved in with my yacht. In this instance I am an innocent third party and it has been of a surprise to me that I’m having to make a claim through my insurer (with all the penalties that go with making a claim) to repair my own boat. The 1st party’s insurer, (one of the biggest) has determined the incident “a weather incident” therefore exonerating their client from liability.

I have had my Yacht on the same swing mooring for at least the past 20 years. Approximately 6 months ago another wooden boat was mooring on the next mooring North of mine. In early October 2016 the site experienced some strong winds. This new yacht dragged its mooring and became entangled with mine. Its bowsprit and starboard hull caused damage to my port side window, hull, rigging, spreader, stanchions and toe rail. The quoted cost of repairs is $17,000.00, excluding yardage.

I contacted the owner of the wooden yacht and sent him the quotation. He subsequently forwarded it to his insurer. They have replied “I mistakenly believe their client to be liable”. I have contacted this insurer and conversed with a very terse, assertive representative who termed this incident a weather event and that I need to prove their client liable.

I do have comprehensive insurance though due to the break up of my policy for hull, spares & rigging I could fall short and will have to bear the cost of these repairs. My Insurer only wishes to repair the damaged areas, the fact that the repaired port side will be a different colour shade to the starboard side, like wise the aluminium toe rail profile could be different is not considered. Not only will I be out of pocket to make good the overall appearance of my Yacht, yet further costs will be incurred by making a claim together with increased costs in premiums over the next three years until I regain my no claim bonus. I have taken legal advice on this matter and going through my Insurer is probably the most cost effect way to proceed with my claim.

I wish to raise this issue of "weather events" that insurers are using to avoid 3rd party claims to the Deckee membership for consideration and information as to what to look for in a policy.

Make sure your policy is comprehensive.

Make sure your policy has an agreed value for components such as hull, mast, spas & rigging, sail, motor and anything else of value.

Try and purchase a policy that covers not at fault claims so that you do not pay an excess of loose no claim bonuses. 

22 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank PJM


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Posted February 25 2017
Hello Greg, I note that the other party's veseel was repaired promptly. My situation was delayed by a repairer that did not submit a quote requiring another to be soucred, the broker wishing more items itemised in the quote, advice by broker to lodge with other owner directly and not my Insurance, legal advice and finally a lodgement. The other owner had not diclosed to his Insurer that his vessel was involved in a collision with another vessel; how Insurance staff rationalised how his damages occurred is interesting. I

The local water authority has been notified of the event and a mooring contractor was involved in repositioning the other vessel & mooring away from my vessel. The mooring contractor was the first responder who notified both parties of the incident.

I'll post the outcome when a proposal is presented.
4 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank PJM
Posted February 25 2017
Hello Greg,

My Insurer, via broker is QBE. The broker's advice was to avoid a claim and approach other owner direct. this resulted in me following up my situation with a representative of Club Marine who has replied both by email and verbally using the term "weather event" and that I will need to prove their clients liability. After considering the legal options, I have lodged a claim with QBE which, as I have written, forfiets my no claim bonus and excess irespective as to wether I am not at fault.

This matter is not resolved as yet so I am unsure how QBE will tackle the liabilty issue with Club Marine.
4 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank PJM
Greg Harding
Posted February 24 2017
Hi PJM, I would be curious to know which Insurance company that you are having trouble with. I used to be with Club Marine and now with Topsail. I did a lot of research prior to changing insurers. I have read the Topsail disclosure policy inside out and the words "Weather Event" are not mentioned. They do cover named storms or cyclones as expected but not mention of a "weather event" and in fact I had not heard of this term before. The term weather event could be construed to so many things I would like to know what definition they put on this term. I agree with you that they should be responsible and you should not be out of pocket. Maybe a call to the insurance Odbusman can assist in this matter.
2 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank Greg Harding
Greg Harding
Posted February 25 2017
HI PJM, thanks for the details identifying Club Marine as the ohter party. I read their Policy Disclosure statement and could find no wording or definition regarding "Weather Event" which is most unusual. I would have thought that such wording would have been covered somewhere in their disclosure form. If that was the case and the other person made if their boat was wrecked in the same incident would they have knocked his claim back. In regard to making your claim with QBE may suggest you go ahead supplying all the details including the details of the owner of the boat who hit you and their insurance details and let them sought it out just as you would with a car accident. If you have not done so already I would suggest you advise the local waterways authority of the incident as well. Good Luck.
1 person found this helpful. Do you?Thank Greg Harding

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