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Old 12-05-2002, 09:22 AM
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

I had a post earlier asking people to share their insurance claims experiences. Thank you to all who posted. I now see that my experience is pretty poor compared to the majority of you. Here is my story.

You may have seen my earlier post about the SKA nationals. If not, the short version of it is I ran aground (lightly) on my way out from the checkout and the day got worse from there. I also launched off a wave and had 2 rods and reels fly out of my boat and broke my T-top.

After I returned home I started thinking about the cost of fixing/replacing everything I lost/broke that day. I figured it would take roughly $1500 to get me going again. I thought to myself, "self, you have been paying this insurance for 3 years now and have never made a claim. Why not go to your agent and find out if the insurance company will help you out." After all, this was the reason I bought insurance. Also, since I have my boat and 4 autos all covered with the same company I thought it might be worthwhile to see how my company handled a small claim because I don't want my first contact with the company to be a major problem.

So off I go to my agent. The agent has always been good to me but they couldn't answer my questions about the policy and didn't even have a full copy of policy. They just had the little sheet that showed the summary of my limits. They directed me to the in town claims office.

At the claims office, they asked who was handling my claim. I told them that I had not filed a claim and was trying to determine if it would be worthwhile for me to do so. The claims office said that I would need to file a claim before they could comment on my situation and offered me a phone to call the 1-800 number to file a claim. I reiterated that the reason I was there was to find out about my policy, not file a claim. The lady that offered me the phone then goes and gets their "special lines" representative/surveyor.

Finally, I think I am going to talk to someone who can give me answers. I explain my entire situation to this guy and he is courteous but uninformed. My main questions are "Would my T-top damage be covered?" Its not like I hit a piling or ran into another boat. I wasn't sure if damage caused by flying off a wave would be covered. He told me that I would have to file a claim for him to look at it. He was just there to clean up the mess after the fact. "How will filing a claim affect my premium?" Again no answer. "I bought an extra $2500 in fishing equipment coverage. Will using that coverage to replace my rods/reels (about $250-$300 for the both of them) affect my premium?" He looks at my policy and tells me that it wouldn't be worthwhile since I have a $250 theft deductible on fishing equipment. I reiterate that the rods where not stolen they were lost. He agrees and states that he would (think) that they would be covered but he really wasn't the person to talk to about this. This goes on, but I'll just end it with I was asking questions that this gentleman honestly didn't know the answer to.

Before I left the claims office, I did get a full copy of my policy. The adjuster and I decide the best thing for me to do is to get an estimate on my top and go from there. I have a $500 deductible so if turned out to be less expensive than I guessed to get fixed I could just avoid the whole situation. I go to a boat tower place and get an estimate of $1450 with taxes and everything to fix the top. This quote includes all the unrigging and rerigging and replacing both the front legs of the top. I ask about a whole new top, $2200.

I decide that for that kind of money, I should make a claim. Actually I had to make 2 claims one for the grounding and one for the wave launching. I call the 800 number and make the claims. I also ask the same set of questions that I had asked the agent and claims office. Not surprisingly the person taking my call didn't know the answer and told me to ask the representative when he called. I was told I the representative would contact me within 2 hours. I asked if I should contact the representative myself since I already talked to him and he was familiar with the situation. "No, he will call you with in 2 hours." This was 11:30am. I wait around the rest of the day for the call. 9:00am the next day I get the call. I am not in a huge hurry to get back on the water as it is cold by my standards, but I don’t like being told that it will be less than two hours until someone calls and then have to wait until the next day. When I do get the call, it is a different representative from the one I talked to before. I explain my situation again and ask him the same questions. He doesn't know the answers but he takes my recorded statements and gives me another number to call to get answers.

I call the number and talk to a policy services representative.

Me: "Will filling a claim affect my auto insurance premiums?"
Representative: "It can I am not saying that it will but it can".

Me: "How much will filing a boat claim affect my premium?"
Representative: "There are many factors that go into your premium..." (note. I asked this same question to each person I was in contact with. All their answers started the same "There are many factors that affect your premium" and not one of the responses included a number. Although no one said it, it boiled down to, "we just tell you the number the computer spits out. We have no idea how it actually works.")
Representative: "Wait, I just read something that said boat claims can't effect your auto policy."

Me: "You just told me that it can, now you say that it can't. Which is it?"
Rep: "I am pretty sure that it can't"
Me: "You pretty sure or sure."
Rep: "I'm sure"

Me: "Can you tell me how this claim will affect my premium."
Rep: "I can run a hypothetical situation that you had one claim instead of zero on your current policy when you bought it and tell me what your premium would have been."

Me: "That would help, do that please."
Rep: "Your current premium is $680anually with no claims. If you would have had one claim your premium would have been $1030anually."

Me: "Hang on a second"
I am pretty good at math so I do some quick calculations. 1030-680=350 : 350/380=51%increase in premium for 1 claim!

Me: "Does the amount of the claim matter?"
Rep: "It is the number of claims that matter not the amount."

Me: "So your telling me that whether I bump a piling or maim 6 people, it is still counted the same for figuring premiums."
Rep: "As far as I can tell, yes"

Me: "Right now I have a $20, 000 base boat with a top speed of 45mph. And my premium is $680 but will increase 51% for one claim. I would like to buy a $60,000 boat in a year or two that would do 60mph. I already got a quote for that. It was $1600anually. Will the claim that I am filing now cause that quote to go up 51% percent to $2400?"
Rep: "It is percentage based, yes."

Me: "Ok, the way I was told to make my claim was to set it up as 2 claims. How will that affect me?"
Rep: "We have the option of not renewing your policy if you have a history of making lots of claims."

Me: "Thanks for your help."
Rep: "Your welcome"

Later that day the original claims guy comes out to my house and looks at the boat and take pictures. We discuss whether or not the damage would be covered and he said he would show the pics to his manager. To be honest, I have broken the top before and had a friend fix it. I point this out to the representative and he doesn’t give me any indication whether or not they will agree to pay for the repairs.

A couple of notes
1. Everyone I dealt with has been courteous and sincere.
2. I am in a bad situation now. Whether or not they pay the claims the company will still try to charge me a premium of someone with two claims.
3. The only reason I made the claims was it was the only way to get someone out there to look at the boat in the first place.
4. Assuming the company pays the claim, with my premium going up so much, in the long run it would be cheaper for me to get money from a loan shark to fix my boat! Especially, if I do upgrade in the next year or two.
5. I am glad I found out how claims are handled on a small scale, gives me good warning to find a better boat insurance company.

That is where I am right now. I almost didn't post this because it is so long but I decided to anyhow. The company? Progressive.

We will see what happens.

Dream Weaver Fishing Team
21 foot Cape Horn
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Old 12-05-2002, 09:31 AM
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

I would ask the same questions to Boat US (and if they cover your area AMICA in Providence RI). There have been other recent postings on insurance co.'s. I pay almost $1000. at Boat US for a $90,000 rig. AMICA was about the same. I have my other boats and cars with AMICA and they are rated like #1 in customer service.

You porbably get what you pay for but sometimes less. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]
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Old 12-05-2002, 09:50 AM
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

Dream,

Think of insurance as something that helps you recover from major or catastrophic expenses instead of something that covers every little loss. It's only there to prevent a major loss from breaking you! Yes when you make claims, rates go up! If the loss is something you can cover out of your normal family budget within two or three months (like lost poles, T-Top maybe stretching a bit) then do it that way. After all most of of have $500 deductibles. Once you make a claim you become a higher risk for future claims.

Look at it from an the insurance company's point of view. If you pay aprrox $600 in annual premiums, which you've done for 3 years and all of a sudden you have a $3,000 claim (which is small) they've lost money on you even with the investment value of your premiums. If everybody they insured made claims for every loss big or small they'd go banrupt in short order. Remember Hurricane Andrew back in '92 and what happened to many insurance companies?

No, I'm not in the insurance business. By the way, your rates seem close to mine. I paid a little over $500 for Markel American but will have to switch to Inamar this coming year due to Markel's 25 mile coverage limitation. Cost will be about $650 I'm told.

Hal
'Albemarlin'

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Old 12-05-2002, 10:02 AM
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

Dream Weaver,
You asked a while back when I was looking for information on a Cape Horn what happened to my 252 Angler. This is what happened, It was stolen some where between the August 31 and September 4 from my grandfathers house while he was out of town. Did not whant to say much at the time due to a lot of arguing and fighting with the insurance company, but we are now in a Law Suit so here it is. I bought a AGREED VALUE POLICY. The boat was insured for ( remind you agreed ) $ 73,000.00 which is what i paid for it, Electronics for $ 11,000.00 and fishing equipment for $ 4,000.00. Remind you this is all agreed and in writeing. I make the police call, then call the insurance company and make the claim. It is two days before a Claims Rep gets back to me. He make a recorded statment of when the last time I seen the boat, and a lot of other questions. He then states that if a boat is not found with in 15 to 20 days they go a head and try and settel. 25 days go but with no word, so I make the call. He tells me that I over insured the boat and they will only pay $ 45,000.00 for every thing. So we get into a long conversation, and he tells me they do not even insure fishing equipment that I will have to claim it on my home owners. I told him you charged me for it on the policy, and it should cover up to $ 4,000.00. He states it was a mistake on there part. When I insurred the boat they recived copies of the sale invoice, and pictures of every thing even after the electronis were installed. I tried to work with them on my own with no success, so I had to hire a attorney which even drives the cost up much, much more. And if you are wondering what the insurance company is, you are right if you guessed PROGRESSIVE. They are always there if you do not have a claim. To the other boat owners that have progressive, hope you do not have a claim.
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Old 12-05-2002, 11:42 AM
  #5    
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

Insurance companies suck... sorry for those of you in that biz.. but thats the facts man.. they suck

Hell my boat insurance just went up about 34% ... this year.. and i have NEVER had a claim.

My business insurance went up 48% last year..and we have NEVER had a cliam in 25 years in business......

It is legalized theft..pure and simple.

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Old 12-05-2002, 12:04 PM
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

I had to deal with them once regarding an auto claim and it was a lousy expirience. The claims adjusters were idiots and the whole ordeal prompted me to change companies..

FastEddie
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Old 12-05-2002, 12:10 PM
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

Dream...You should dump that agent! You should not have had to go to the insurance company. That agent should have done the leg work. The agent should have also told you to buy the highest deductible that they offer and that you can afford.

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Old 12-05-2002, 01:51 PM
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

Try Chris Main at Main Ins. Co., Greensboro, N. C. 800 763 0895, he insures thru Clarendon National and has a 100% Replacement Cost Policy.

Chris also has a program that if you finish in the top 5 in an SKA Tournament, and you are insured with him, you get $500 for 1st, $400 for 2nd, $300 for 3rd, $200 for 4th and $100 for 5th. Thats overall placement in the Tournament.

Tell him I sent you, I need the brownie points.

www.captainstanman.com

23' Regulator, 2 200 HP Yamaha HPDI's. Charter and SKA Tournament fishing, Chair of King Mack Tourn. benefits underpriviliged kids in Eastern NC.
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Old 12-05-2002, 02:12 PM
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

My experience with Progressive was both short and very negative. I called to get a quote on a new boat and was quoted approx. $650/yr. I thought it was a fair price for what I wanted to insure so I called back a week later to confirm the quote and get the paperwork started. They changed their tune to $1100. They stated that since last week there had been a price increase. I proceeded to tell them what they could do with their policy. I will never deal with Progressive again and find it my duty to tell others about my experience.

P.S. I have a clean driving record, no claims in over 5yrs and good credit.

Cfish
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Old 12-05-2002, 02:35 PM
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

Nice post Hal, you described the concept well. Dream, sorry about all the crap you had to go thru to get a straight answer. A copy of your policy is a good thing to have. You should pay special attention to the section on limitations and exclusions.
Blue, no offense taken by your ill informed comments (I'm a 15 year agent). The only thing that I'd encourage you to do is realize the fact that a large portion of you're annual income goes toward paying insurance premiums. IMHO you should make an attempt to learn more about insurance and try to feel a little better about it. If you really feel so strongly against insurance products just don't buy them. Pay your house off and drop your insurance, post a bond with your state highway dept. (if an option) and drive w/o insurance, drop your medical, your business liability and think of all the money you saved!! Pay that boat off and drop the insurance. No, you would not do that even if you had the chance because deep down even you know ................
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Old 12-05-2002, 03:48 PM
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

I had Progressive for a 6-month term policy on my cars. The price when I first signed up for the insurance was competitive. At time of renewal, my policy had increased by a couple hundred bucs even tho no claims, changes in cars, or anything except time. When I called up inquiring why the premium went up, all I could get from anyone was that's just the way it is. The computer said it was to go up, so it did, and that's all anyone that I could contact knew. Needless to say, I dropped Progressive like a 2-ton anchor. (Boating reference!) And I've cut the line. Never again would I trust Progressive. God forbid if I had found out due to a major accident or something when I really needed them.:o
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Old 12-05-2002, 04:14 PM
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

Right on BlueMarlin. It would be strange indeed if some of these insurance folk did not show up trying to justify their contribution to society. I look at them as Casino Slot-Machine operators. They skim theirs' off the top and every once in a while have to pay off a jackpot.
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Old 12-05-2002, 04:14 PM
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

Well, that's why they are called "Progressive"! I've had 2 claims in the last 5 years. The first was a sinking at the dock during a tropical storm. The insur. company paid off on my mechanics estimate. He included just about anything he could expecting a few negotiations. They paid his estimate in full, plus our personal effects and even cleaning/service for my fishing reels. Great service but they declined to renew for the next year. Found a different co. for about $100 cheaper though (Boat US), $500 for 25k coverage. The second was last year on a different boat. A 1972 Egg Harbor, woody. I think we paid $1200 for 30K coverage. The boat had an electrical fire and was considered a total loss. We were offered the salvage of the boat for 3k (though the adjuster tried to get 10k) or we could take the 30k and run. The boat was worth no where near 30k but they paid in full, plus personal effects up to our max. of 1.5k. They (Jefferson) declined to renew which came as no surprise! We recently bought a 1972 fiberglass Egg Harbor for 23k,surveyers insurance value 30-36k, and insured it for 25k (the max they would give us) for 1.2k. I'd stay away fromn progressive insurance rates! i do have another claim pending but this time it will be against AT+T, as one of their wires ripped off my GPS antenea and bent the hardtop mounting plate.
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Old 12-05-2002, 04:29 PM
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

Hey Round2it,

My boats parked on the rack not far from yours (north of) at HBM. Trying to get out for a couple more bottom fishing trips before I winterize. You interested? I'm in Lumberton too. Give me a ring at 739-2520. Weather permitting heading to Horseshoe Tues.

Hal
'Albemarlin'

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Old 12-05-2002, 04:48 PM
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

Dream, sorry for you loss and future insurance premiums.

I have or had, Travelers Insurance thru the local agent here in Wilmington, Woodbury Insurance Co. This August while running up the Cape Fear River returning from fishing we hit a submerged object. To this day we still don't know what it was. It ripped a gash from bow to the stern in my 2796 Hydra Sports. Port motor was jammed into the transom and cracked the lower unit.If it was not for the Kevlar in the hull it would have sunk on the spot.

I called the insurance company in New Orleans and the next afternoon they had an Marine Surveyor to look at the boat. His decision...TOTALED. I had 50K hull insurance and 20K on the 225 Evinurdes all were 2000 models. After two weeks the lady in NO called and said that they would not pay for one engine since it was not damaged, but would pay for the damaged engine and the boat. I could buy the boat back at salvage prices if I wanted. I told her that I would like to buy the one damaged engine. She agreed and said they would pay to have it and the other one removed. I asked her about the controls and gauges, she said they were part of the engines and were mine. I told her I would like to remove the engines myself, she said that was OK and she would like to deduct this from the cost of the engine I was purchasing. Ended up costing me $1500.

The insurance company ended up writing me a check for the Hull and one engine minus the $1500. No haggeling, very nice people to do business with. I would highly recommend them to any one looking for insurance.

OH, by the way, my premiums were $590 a year. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

Capt, Horace [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
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Old 12-05-2002, 05:14 PM
  #16    
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

Capt Horace, Did they offer to settle for "total" insured value, since the adjustor totaled it?
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Old 12-05-2002, 06:01 PM
  #17    
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

hblac,

I'll give ya a call. Thanks.
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Old 12-05-2002, 06:30 PM
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

REM7400 ...

YOU nor any other agent can or will justify the rate increases the insurance companies of this country are shoving down the throats of consumers during the past 18 months. I challenge you to even begin to try.

You and your companies have lost your ass in investments over the past few years and you are gonna make it up on the backs of your customers who have no resonable choice but to insure, and in many cases are forced to by law.

The are not ill formed ideas..... mine are real world facts. Had my company shown a pattern of claims for this or that.. that would be different. Have NEVER made a claim against my boat....yet in 4 years my rates have nearly doubled.

Insurance companies use to be the biggest gamblers around. The gambled they could generate more in premiums than it would cost in overhead and claims... ... problem is they dont want to risk shit anymore....

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Old 12-05-2002, 07:26 PM
  #19    
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

Got a reply from one of the adjusters today. My situation is better than I feared. They came up with a price of $1423.23 to cover everything. This includes the top, rods, bilge pump, hatch cover, and prop work minus my $500 deductible. He said I could either take the money and have two claims on my policy or drop the whole mess and have no claims. I am going to price other companies tomorrow before I decide what to do.

Hal,
As I wrote my post today, not enough time has elapsed for me to read it objectively, maybe I sounded too self-focused. I agree with what you said and I always try to look at both sides of a situation. It is one of my many faults. I understand how they see the situation. What I don't understand is why I have to talk to 5 different people to try to get any kind of firm answers on non-routine but certainly not difficult questions.

Dream Weaver Fishing Team
21 foot Cape Horn
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Old 12-05-2002, 08:40 PM
  #20    
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Default Not happy with my insurance company.

Thanks for the update Dreamweaver. I have all my vehicles and my boat insured through Progressive. They were much cheaper than everyone else I checked out. I haven't ever made a claim so I really can't comment on my experiences with that side of it. I will say that Progressive is the only company I've seen send an adjuster out to the scene of a auto accident and cut checks before the crash paperwork is done. That has to account for something.

As for the phone tag you had to play with them, that is going to be a drawback when dealing with a company of that size. Three words "economies of scale".

I'm still a little worried after reading some of the others' experiences with them. I'm glad to hear things turned out ok for you.

seabass
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