TOP TEN QUESTIONS YOU "SHOULD" BE ASKING YOUR INSURANCE AGENT

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TOP TEN QUESTIONS YOU "SHOULD" BE ASKING YOUR INSURANCE AGENT
TOP TEN QUESTIONS YOU "SHOULD" BE ASKING YOUR INSURANCE AGENT
TOP TEN QUESTIONS YOU "SHOULD" BE ASKING YOUR INSURANCE AGENT
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TOP TEN QUESTIONS YOU "SHOULD" BE ASKING YOUR INSURANCE AGENT
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TOP TEN QUESTIONS YOU "SHOULD" BE ASKING YOUR INSURANCE AGENT
 
 
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adammeyer
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Joined: Feb 14, 2013
Posts: 49
Location: Wilmington NC

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 4:31 pm    Post subject: TOP TEN QUESTIONS YOU "SHOULD" BE ASKING YOUR INSURANCE AGENT Reply with quote

Guys - after 20 years as a true marine-only insurance specialist, and reading almost every policy produced within that industry, and competing with agents of all types (marine specialists included), our team has come up with a simple list of very direct questions we feel every boater SHOULD be asking of their marine insurance agent. There are no secrets here - this is all just good common sense that we hope you will use to find the RIGHT product for your boat, at the best possible price. if you would like us to flesh out any or all of them, never hesitate to give us a call - that's what we're here for. So without further ado, and in no particular order of importance, here's what you SHOULD be asking your agent...

Adam & Liz's TOP TEN Questions You SHOULD Be Asking Your Agent:

1) Is my policy Agreed Value or Actual Cash Value (ACV)? (Am I valuing my vessel accurately? What parts are Agreed Value, and what are ACV?)

2) Does my policy meet my navigation needs? (Think about where you will really use the boat - not just where you dream of going - no sense in paying for more than you actually need, and you can ALWAYS get a "trip endorsement" if you want to trailer to the Keys....)

3) What is my HULL deductible? Do I have a separate "named storm deductible"? (can save money by increasing your hull deductible, but only up to a point, so ask for options. Are you required/warranted to haul out for named storms? If so, will the carrier help pay for that? Most do on boats over 26' LOA)

4) Do I have mechanical and electrical breakdown coverage? (HUGE HUGE HUGE issue - you DO want this. Ask about it specifically!!!! This determines if a carrier will cover engine/machinery losses, and who wouldn't want their engine covered???)

5) Claims - who do I call? Are they handled "in-house" by my carrier or are they subcontracted out to a third party adjustor? (and does your agent have an in-house claims team or are you on your own with the carrier - your agent is your best advocate, so ask if they have a hand in the claims process and what is their relationship with your carrier's claims team)

6) How often do you shop my policy/coverage? (you can shop every year, but loyalty does still mean something to these carriers. is your survey up to date? When will my carrier ask for a fresh one so I can plan for that next time I'm on the hill)

7) Is my policy "permissive use" (anyone can run it with your express permission) or is it "named operator only" (one those approved by the carrier may run it)?

8) Did my carrier use an "insurance score" when rating me? (this means a light third party credit inquiry - yes, nowadays your credit affects even your boat insurance rates!) If your score isn't where you'd like it to be, does your agent have a non-scoring carrier they can quote with?

9) Is my liability coverage enough to meet my needs? (again, don't pay for more than you need, but ASK for options on this coverage - often it only costs $10-$20 more a year to go from $300,000 to $500,000 limit. Also, do you have an umbrella policy on your homeowners, and what does IT require as a minimum on the underlying boat policy....)

10) How many carriers do you represent that do marine, and how many will/can you shop me with?

EXTRA CREDIT QUESTION: Are you comfortable with your insurance agent's knowledge and experience with marine policy language, and the marine insurance marketplace in general? You are a boater - you WILL know the difference after some discussion....
A) Marine insurance policies are like no others. The marine insurance industry is unregulated meaning they do not have to file their rates with the State Department of Insurance. Ergo, rates can vary wildly on the very same risk.
B) A good agent will help you not only save on cost, but also protect you and your vessel over time. If you know you can call your agent at anytime of the day with a claim, he/she can help you mitigate the loss and strengthen your position in advance and during the claims process, and that's worth an awful lot right there. A good agent asks you a LOT of questions when quoting your risk, and rightfully so. More info equals a more accurate quote. If they understand YOU, and your risk really well, they can dial in a policy that truly meets your needs and really protect your best interests the best (remember, the agent works for YOU, not the insurance carrier).
C) Remember, cost is important with marine insurance, but it's not everything - you can pay or less and get more or less. Watch the cost, but ask these questions to be sure you're really getting what you pay for!


Holler at us anytime with any questions, guys - we are here to be your resource, client of ours or not. If I can help a boater get the right insurance that fits his/her needs accurately, even if it's not with me, then I've done my properly. You have to shop your coverage around to know this - use this list as a tool to help you get the right coverage at the best price!

Catch 'em up,

ADAM
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Adam B. Meyer, Esq.
Director of Marine Insurance
Wells Marine Insurance
2 1/2 A Marina Street
Wrightsville Beach NC 28480
(910) 208-9120
  
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CAP1
Ol'Salt
Ol'Salt


Joined: Jul 02, 2007
Posts: 374

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Adam. Policy up fro renewal now, so this is very timely.
For #1 - do you want, or which is best - AV, or ACV?
  
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adammeyer
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Joined: Feb 14, 2013
Posts: 49
Location: Wilmington NC

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed Value is always preferred. That's what you want - means no depreciation applied. Some caveats, pending the insurance carrier, but an AV policy will always result in greater payout at claim time than ACV (which pays out only the actual cash value of the damaged items at time of the loss). I'll be posting more on this as I feel it bears deeper explanation. And deserves it, as it's one of the most important considerations in a policy and how the carrier settles the loss. You can't always get away from some items being ACV, even in an otherwise Agreed Value policy. Such as batteries, canvas, paint - those are always ACV. Engines are treated differently by nearly all carriers. Some are ACV right out of the box, and others give agreed value. Others do agreed value but only up to a certain age, such as "five years from the fate of manufacture," and after that switched to actual cash value. And still another will allow you to purchase agreed value at $50 a year (regardless of single or twin power), for up to the first TEN years of an engine's life (but gotta purchase within first five years of life...there's always a catch!). Oh, did I mention inboard engines are treated differently than outboards? (And diesels differently than gas...sheesh!)

Bottom line is you want an "Agreed Value" policy (that does not have a mechanical breakdown exclusion" in it. With that you will see the broadest coverage and the best loss settlement terms. Look at 1% and 2% (of insured value) deductible options. Any higher and you just won't save the dollars to justify that much more out of your pocket come claims time.

Good looking out for yourself - that's you taking care of your asset and your best interests by shopping your coverage. Spread the word for all to do the same! I recommend shopping coverage every 3-5 yrs. Big boats are a little trickier if over 15 yrs of age due to survey requirements). If you have good agent you like and trust, ask and let them do it for you (if they don't do it automatically for you). Listen to their recommendations. Ask the Top Ten Questions. I do not recommend using internet quoting - I just don't trust it. It's never accurate and often misses out on good credits that may be available. Try to find a marine specialist for the best objective look at the marine marketplace.

I'd work a plug in here, but I think I just did...

Tight lines,

Adam
_________________
PROUD FPT/SWC FORUM SPONSOR SINCE DAY ONE!

Adam B. Meyer, Esq.
Director of Marine Insurance
Wells Marine Insurance
2 1/2 A Marina Street
Wrightsville Beach NC 28480
(910) 208-9120
  
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Scooba
Ol'Salt
Ol'Salt


Joined: Mar 14, 2009
Posts: 355

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good post. Just renewed our policy with Wells and as I stated on a post last year great to have someone really explain and inform customers to the questions that need to be asked with what is "actually" covered and what is not.. Post speaks for itself about the commitment from Wells!  
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WAHOONBOX
Ol'Salt
Ol'Salt


Joined: May 02, 2008
Posts: 1139
Location: MOREHEAD CITY

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a first to my eyes. An active marine insurance forum advertisement that has valuable content. I tip my riggers to Adam and company  
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baytro23
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Joined: Feb 20, 2009
Posts: 674
Location: Raleigh/Surf City

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just dealt with Liz last week about changing my coverage to reflect my new power. She's awesome. wtg wtg
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fishead6
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Joined: Feb 09, 2006
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam,

Thanks for getting my 1976 Classic Mako covered for the amount I needed to cover my costs and my SWEAT!!!
Same for my new Hydra Sports...You and your company rock in the insurance industry.

Andy
  
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