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Sea Tow Q From The Boat Show

Old 01-20-2010, 07:56 PM
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Default Sea Tow Q From The Boat Show

I stopped by Sea Tow at the NY show and asked them about their insurance if there is no Sea Tow in my area. Actually they pulled out last year and there is no Boat US either. The closest of either is about 100 miles by water.

So I ask him if I pay the 149.00 for towing, what do I do if I need a tow. He tells me that I can get any "certified" (or whatever the term is) and "insured" tow company and they will pay up to $5K.

He also tells me that the proper protocol is to call the Sea Tow dispatch and they will contact the local tow company, but as you know we may be out of cell range when we need them, so the VHF route to the tow company would be done, then we would probably pay the bill and send the bill in for reinbursment.

sounds easy, but is this realistic to expect?
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:04 PM
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Check your insurance policy on your boat, you probably have similar coverage or can add it for an aditional fee.

The benefit of SeaTow or BoatUS towing is that you can get ''immediate'' response and not have to come out of pocket for the tow or service. In your case you will have to pay the bill and then submit and hope that they will pay it. Check your insurance company.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:09 AM
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Mike,

The simple answer is YES. This is very realistic to expect.

This is the exact language from our member agreement in the "Area of Service" section:

"Universal Towing Coverage: In areas where Sea Tow is not yet in operation, Sea Tow will assist in arranging, and will reimburse for, assistance towing up to $150 per hour, not to exceed $5000 PER INCIDENT, to the dock or facility that will best facilitate the boat’s repair or transportation, with no annual aggregate limit. You must use a USCG licensed professional tower, pay the bill and submit a copy of the invoice to Sea Tow Services International for reimbursement. Tows and hourly rates in excess of $150/hr will not be paid without prior authorization."

You can see the whole agreement at: http://www.seatow.com/membership/memberguide.pdf

Should you have any other questions please feel free to call our Customer Service Center at (800) 4SEATOW, select option 2 for membership related inquiries.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by signmansez View Post
Check your insurance policy on your boat, you probably have similar coverage or can add it for an aditional fee.

The benefit of SeaTow or BoatUS towing is that you can get ''immediate'' response and not have to come out of pocket for the tow or service. In your case you will have to pay the bill and then submit and hope that they will pay it. Check your insurance company.
X2 - your insurance company can offer this type of benefit and probably cheaper. I have SeaTow, but they have a good presence in my area.

Bruce
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by SeaTowTampaBay View Post
Mike,

The simple answer is YES. This is very realistic to expect.

This is the exact language from our member agreement in the "Area of Service" section:

"Universal Towing Coverage: In areas where Sea Tow is not yet in operation, Sea Tow will assist in arranging, and will reimburse for, assistance towing up to $150 per hour, not to exceed $5000 PER INCIDENT, to the dock or facility that will best facilitate the boat’s repair or transportation, with no annual aggregate limit. You must use a USCG licensed professional tower, pay the bill and submit a copy of the invoice to Sea Tow Services International for reimbursement. Tows and hourly rates in excess of $150/hr will not be paid without prior authorization."

You can see the whole agreement at: http://www.seatow.com/membership/memberguide.pdf

Should you have any other questions please feel free to call our Customer Service Center at (800) 4SEATOW, select option 2 for membership related inquiries.

Awsome Info.

Thanks for that help. the guy in the booth representing Sea Tow told me I should call because he didn't know the exact policy.

Sounds like he had it dead on though.

Thanks again.

Mike
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by signmansez View Post
Check your insurance policy on your boat, you probably have similar coverage or can add it for an aditional fee.

The benefit of SeaTow or BoatUS towing is that you can get ''immediate'' response and not have to come out of pocket for the tow or service. In your case you will have to pay the bill and then submit and hope that they will pay it. Check your insurance company.
Originally Posted by aqua205 View Post
X2 - your insurance company can offer this type of benefit and probably cheaper. I have SeaTow, but they have a good presence in my area.

Bruce
thanks guys, going to check with the agent today.

good stuff
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:48 AM
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I meant to mention this in my first post. You may want to reconsider having your towing coverage provided by an insurance company.

The fact that insurance companies are all looking to increase their profit margins is no secret. How do they accomplish this? Well they either charge higher premiums or eliminate the high-risk customers or both. Obviously all policies range in cost depending on their levels of coverage however lets say your policy is a $700 premium. For an additional $12-$50 they add $500-$850 of towing coverage.

With the average towing rates near $300 per hour that $500 of coverage doesn't last very long and you certainly don't want to have to lay money out of your pocket with no expectation of reimbursement. Now an insurance company is asked to reimburse for a $400-$600 tow bill (up to your coverage level). They have now missed their profit margin with this policy. Next year's policy may be a higher cost or not available anymore from this company.

With a membership from Sea Tow you are not only getting 10x the coverage (in this situation because there is no Sea Tow franchise in the area) but Sea Tow is not an insurance policy so there are no premium increases or deductibles. In Florida, marine policies are getting harder and harder to secure at decent rates so this is the last situation you want.

lastly, no matter what your final decision just make sure you have some type of coverage before venturing out because marine towing is not cheap.

Cheaper is not always better, remember you get what you pay for!!!
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:35 AM
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BoatUS Towing also has many options to keep your engine breakdown and soft grounding record away from your insurance policy, including our 24 Hour On Water Towing Dispatch Centers that handle cases worldwide from Florida, Virginia and California.

Our TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist fleet can be found on http://www.boatus.com/ServiceLocator...p=20&cp=0&sS=1

If we don't have a partner in your area, we do have 2,000+ other resources on the water in our dispatch mapping databases to help you out.

Information about our many options, similar to what Skip describes (versus insurance towing) are available at www.boatus.com/towing

Our program also doesn't report your incidents to your insurance agent and thus keeps towing incidents from affecting your boat insurance premium....

Best wishes in your decision making and 2010 boating season!

Jerry Cardarelli
BoatUS Towing Services
800-391-4869
www.boatus.com/towing
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:42 PM
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What happens if you get towed too much? That would cut into Sea Tows profit margin.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SeaTowTampaBay View Post
I meant to mention this in my first post. You may want to reconsider having your towing coverage provided by an insurance company.

The fact that insurance companies are all looking to increase their profit margins is no secret. How do they accomplish this? Well they either charge higher premiums or eliminate the high-risk customers or both. Obviously all policies range in cost depending on their levels of coverage however lets say your policy is a $700 premium. For an additional $12-$50 they add $500-$850 of towing coverage.

With the average towing rates near $300 per hour that $500 of coverage doesn't last very long and you certainly don't want to have to lay money out of your pocket with no expectation of reimbursement. Now an insurance company is asked to reimburse for a $400-$600 tow bill (up to your coverage level). They have now missed their profit margin with this policy. Next year's policy may be a higher cost or not available anymore from this company.

With a membership from Sea Tow you are not only getting 10x the coverage (in this situation because there is no Sea Tow franchise in the area) but Sea Tow is not an insurance policy so there are no premium increases or deductibles. In Florida, marine policies are getting harder and harder to secure at decent rates so this is the last situation you want.

lastly, no matter what your final decision just make sure you have some type of coverage before venturing out because marine towing is not cheap.

Cheaper is not always better, remember you get what you pay for!!!
Well wouldn't the Sea Tow coverage at $150 per hour also leave the customer paying a good chunk of the money if the average company (your words) charge $300 plus per hour?
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:26 PM
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Sea tow states they will reimburse up to 150 per hour, But it was stated above that the average tow is 300 per hour. Something to keep in mind. Glad I have Sea Tow in my area.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:27 PM
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Fishingfun beat me to it.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:13 AM
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Fellow boaters,

I offered this information only in response to a question originally posted by Mike specifically about Sea Tow and to help boaters be that much more educated about what is and isn't available. Sorry others feel the need to turn it into an advertising opportunity.


Originally Posted by fishingfun View Post
Well wouldn't the Sea Tow coverage at $150 per hour also leave the customer paying a good chunk of the money if the average company (your words) charge $300 plus per hour?
The $150 per hour is written so that it doesn't allow the possibility of a situation where a tower claims rates exorbitantly higher than normal and take advantage of our generous $5000 limit. I believe if you contact our customer service center prior to the tow or as long as the invoice submitted show the companies documented rates then you will be reimbursed more than the $150 per hour.

Obviously if customers were not being reimbursed at full payout amounts you would have heard about it on here from a disgruntled customer.

Since I don't really deal with this end of the operation at all and this does not affect my franchise I would recommend if you are in an area where there is not a Sea Tow franchise that you contact our customer service center (800-4SEATOW) and get the specifics.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SeaTowTampaBay View Post
Fellow boaters,

I offered this information only in response to a question originally posted by Mike specifically about Sea Tow and to help boaters be that much more educated about what is and isn't available. Sorry others feel the need to turn it into an advertising opportunity.




The $150 per hour is written so that it doesn't allow the possibility of a situation where a tower claims rates exorbitantly higher than normal and take advantage of our generous $5000 limit. I believe if you contact our customer service center prior to the tow or as long as the invoice submitted show the companies documented rates then you will be reimbursed more than the $150 per hour.

Obviously if customers were not being reimbursed at full payout amounts you would have heard about it on here from a disgruntled customer.

Since I don't really deal with this end of the operation at all and this does not affect my franchise I would recommend if you are in an area where there is not a Sea Tow franchise that you contact our customer service center (800-4SEATOW) and get the specifics.

Thanks for your information. I contacted my insurance company and they do offer towing up to $500 I think. I'd have to look at the email again, but you make a valid point, whether sales motivated or not, that I have found that when I pay a decent rate for insurance, this type of claim may or may not have reprecussions on my premiums for subsequent years.
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