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Old 02-24-2012, 09:34 AM
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pwrfshn pwrfshn is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA.
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Lightbulb Thank you Bob and Worldwide Marine

This is not an easy topic to discuss openly, but I think that it is important to relate my boat insurance experience. As the saying goes “you don’t know how good your insurance is until after you make a claim”, and that is very true. After about 31 years of operating a boat, I had my first experience in making a claim on my own insurance, something I was hoping I would never do. I’ve dealt with insurance twice before in my life, both were not my fault, but just the same I had to go through the process. Once with someone running into my truck and the other was in 2009 when my boat was rear-ended at a stop sign. In both cases the other insurance companies handled the problems and there were little-to-no issues.

In the second situation, involving my boat, I was unsure how it would work. We were hit after Day 1 of a tournament so there were all the collateral nightmares. After I got back from the tourney I remembered Bob Luellen and his agency, Worldwide Marine, and thought I would give him a call. Bob has spent countless hours on the internet helping people on boating and fishing websites. Bob and I talked about my situation and he provided some very good guidance on what happened and what “should” happen from the other company. After it was all done, the boat got repaired and I thanked Bob for his guidance and realized that he never asked me once to give me a bid on my current policy. He just wanted to help, and that is rare to find these days.

Bob’s professionalism, experience and knowledge motivated me to request a quote from him on my current boat insurance. Bob is a tournament fisherman, boat owner and tackle junky like the rest of us so he understands what our complete packages are worth, not some NADA value. By the time you are done taking inventory on your boat for electronics, trolling motor, other electronics, tackle, rods, reels, and all the other miscellaneous stuff you have in your boat, it adds up fast.

From my days guiding, I had a policy written through another carrier that seemed fine, but I did not realize that I was not covered in the event of a total loss. Nor did I realize that only my boat, motor and trailer were covered. Who was going to have to replace all that tackle if it burned to the ground in a house fire or in storage? Having owned several Rangers and Lunds, there can be (and in most cases is) an expensive gap to what the insurance says it is worth and what it may cost you to replace.

After some calculations, a complete inventory and photos of the boat and its content, I had a new policy written through Worldwide Marine Insurance. Bob was very thorough and explained everything in detail. Assuming it would be like most insurance, I filed it away and made my premium payments not thinking I would ever need to engage my policy. Was I wrong!

On January 2, 2012, I decided to take a day off from a very hectic work schedule and clear my head at the lake. Without boring anyone with all the details, or being further humiliated by the experience, I ran my boat onto a submerged ledge at about 30 mph…not trimmed out, nose down and to a dead stop. It was not pretty, thankfully nobody was injured, but I know my ego will never recover. As Bob told me “stuff happens”. Just as a side note, and yes, I already knew this, don’t ever drive around at full throttle without trimming up enough to lift the nose of your boat. That lazy mistake caused even more damage.

After explaining the situation to Bob on January 3rd, I had a call back from Diana at Worldwide Marine that afternoon. An adjuster called me the next day, my boat went to my local dealer for inspection and photos. After they lifted the boat off the trailer (1/11) and took photos, the adjuster called and said it was not going to be an easy repair. I went and looked at what I had done and it was worse than I had thought initially. After seeing the level of damage, I was only going to be comfortable with sending the boat to the manufacturer for repair. Ranger saw the photos and said to save the travel expense. They had seen enough and gave me the repair estimate. After going back to the adjuster and determining it was over the 70% threshold for repair, they agreed to total the boat. My policy covered the boat and motor as one unit and the trailer as another. They were going to total the boat and motor and not the trailer. After I explained my position on the trailer, they agreed to a “fair” price to include the trailer in the loss.

On January 24th, I had a settlement with the insurance company, paperwork from the salvage company to complete on January 26th and should have my check which was sent on February 8th any day now. Although I am still nauseated by the whole ordeal, having adequate insurance, a knowledgeable agent and an adjuster who only works with marine claims made the situation as good as it could be. The only person I can be upset with is me, my agent and the company he represents did exactly what they agreed to on my policy and without ANY push back. That is rare these days from what I read on the net.

Thank you again to Bob Luellen and his team at Worldwide Marine. If you are NOT being represented by Bob, I truly hope that you understand your insurance and have an agent that understands what your complete, fully-loaded, boats is worth. Bob specializes in Marine Insurance and so do the companies he represents. My experience in 2009 was not like this at all and it was with one of the major brand names you see all the time. Don’t be caught with inadequate coverage.

Last, not only was my policy that Bob wrote in 2009 better, it was less expensive than my last policy. I am sure my new policy will not be as inexpensive as it will include the “You don’t know how to drive” clause.
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