SPRING COMMISSIONING FOR 2016

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SPRING COMMISSIONING FOR 2016
SPRING COMMISSIONING FOR 2016
SPRING COMMISSIONING FOR 2016
December 11, 2017 5:40 pm EST
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SPRING COMMISSIONING FOR 2016
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SPRING COMMISSIONING FOR 2016
 
 
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WellsMarineInsurance
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Joined: Feb 26, 2016
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Location: Wrightsville Beach

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:36 pm    Post subject: SPRING COMMISSIONING FOR 2016 Reply with quote

It’s that time of year, gang, where our dreams of fishing turn back to reality, we polish up our rods and sharpen the hooks. Of course, we can’t get on the fish till we get our boat ready, so we wanted to share some thoughts about this “special time of year” as it relates to your marine insurance. Several important things to think of when you’re buying that can of compound, but before you splash for the season:

1) Lay-up – does your policy have a layup noted in it? Not many do down here in the South, but it pays to check. If you do have a layup, make sure you aren’t intending to splash “during” your layup. That is, don’t splash early or you technically have no in-water coverage. For example, if your layup reads “ASHORE 11/1 to 4/1” then you cannot splash till 4/1, unless you call your agent and have that adjusted via endorsement. You do get a credit on the premium for laying ashore during winter, so they take those dates quite seriously.

2) Maintenance – clearly, you’re going to do some maintenance for commissioning. This is VERY important for your coverage, as “lack of maintenance” is a common exclusion in all marine policies. That is, if you fail to maintain your boat/engine, a claim resulting from such lack of maintenance may well be denied. Your engine, be it outboard or inboard, will have a manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. My tip? FOLLOW IT. And keep those records! If you had a water pump fail, and burn up your powerhead, the first thing the adjustor asks is “How many hours ago did you have it changed?” If outside the recommended time for replacement, you might see a “lack of maintenance” denial. Rare, but if it’s clear you aren’t maintaining the boat/engine(s), it will be patently clear to the surveyor who comes to inspect your claim.

3) Navigation Needs – what are your navigation needs for the upcoming season/year, and does your current policy accommodate that? OR, alternatively, are you paying for “too much” navigation? Most small boat policies (under 26’ LOA) do not have navigation restrictions – they grant you “continental United States” and that’s that. Make sure you have inland AND coastal, if you are a coastal boater. Good example: adding Bahamas usually costs extra. So you pay for that, as you went last year after you bought the boat. This year, kids have summer camp, you’re adding on to your house, etc etc and you simply can’t make it to Bahamas this policy term. Why pay for it if you’re not going to use it? It can always be added back on (just remember to do so, if you change your mind and decide to go!).

4) Value – probably a good time of year to think about your vessel value. Most marine policies, at least on boats up to 15-20 yrs of age, are Agreed Value in nature, meaning no depreciation paid out for total loss. However, remember that you are paying premium “per $100 of value” of the vessel. Let’s say you paid $50,000 five years ago (or ten years ago). Is she still worth that? They’ll pay what she’s insured for, but you are also paying for that original value still. I recommend folks check their value every 5 yrs, and adjust their coverage accordingly – that way you’re not paying too much. The reverse is also true – if you have added major material items to your boat (new electronics package, new canvas, new t-top, etc), then you can increase her value to match that investment. Primary example is a repower – you just added $30,000 worth of outboards to your boat, sold the old ones for $10,000, so you have a net increase in value of $20,000. Probably should increase your value!

5) SURVEY – ah, the dreaded word. No spring commissioning primer would be complete without a note about surveys. Here’s the deal: ASK YOUR AGENT when your next survey is due. Usually not applicable to small boats (under 26’ LOA). If so, you can usually get away with a “photo self survey” and your agent will provide you such form to use. If you have a bigger boat, stay in touch with your agent so you don’t get caught coming out of the lift by an email noting “Hey, you have to have a survey to us within 2 weeks if you wish to renew your coverage.” We try to advise at least one year in advance so all our clients know way ahead of time, and can plan such survey around their annual haulout. No need to pay for haulout twice! Surveys are also important if you intend to shop your coverage, and your boat is over 10 yrs of age in saltwater. Nothing worse than coming off layup, into your slip, you renew in June and you get a big increase but you can’t shop cause your survey is “out of date” (surveys must be 1) hauled, 2) done by NAMS or SAMS surveyor, and 3) not more than 2 years old). Some exceptions to those rules, but you can rely on them for 90% of all marine insurance carriers.


Hope you find this helpful, gang. As our old pal Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and that couldn't be more on point with Spring Commissioning.

As always, we appreciate the Saltwatercentral.com members more than you could imagine, and stand available at anytime for any questions or needs. Take care of your rig, and get out there on ‘em!
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Boat, yacht, charter, guide and marine artisan insurance experts. You won’t find a better crew to protect your water lifestyle. Based in Wrightsville Beach, NC and insuring salty dogs across the entire US. 910.208.9120 www.wellsmarineins.com
  
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MidnightWind
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Joined: Mar 16, 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great info Liz, and Adam.
You folks are the best!!!!!!
  
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BeeReel
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Joined: May 11, 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the information - lots of food for thought in there! Question for those of us that service our own boats. What sort of records can we produce/keep? Is keeping the receipts for items purchased good enough? Or is the work supposed to be by a certified technician?

Thanks for all you do! I just cancelled my policy since the boat was sold but I'll be back in to see you sooner rather than later for a new one!
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adammeyer
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Joined: Feb 14, 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do a lot of my own maintenance myself, including oil changes. The best way to "record" that is simply putting your receipts from the maintenance items (oil, filters, plugs) together in a file Each time you do a job on her, staple those receipts together and put them in the file. That way, if the claims adjustor asked you about maintenance, you can show those receipts and the dates will show when you did said maintenance. You might staple them to a piece of notebook paper with a short description of what you did and the hours on the engine at time you did it ("oil/lube/lower unit, 3/31/16, at 500 hours").

Another good method is to keep your own personal maintenance log. Still keep the receipts, and they'll match your log entries. Any adjustor would take that data on its face as evidence that you're maintaining her to "manufacturer specs."

Same goes for any new addition (new elecs, new t-top, etc). Hang on to all receipts. If you make major additions, then it's time to look at your value (not just at Spring Commissioning). If you add $10k t-top, you surely can increase your value by $10k. If you do some "deep maintenance" like replacing a floor due to soft spots, you should take pictures and hold onto them in a digital file somewhere. You replace a floor, and 5 years later it fails, you'll be able to show before and after pics of the work you did, which may help prevent depreciation being applied to a claim. Means better claim payout - and that's what we want.

GREAT question - keep 'em coming!

ADAM
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Adam B. Meyer, Esq.
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Wells Marine Insurance
2 1/2 A Marina Street
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(910) 208-9120
  
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candyman
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good info folks!! Thanks much!!  
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Capt_Keith
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good info. Thanks Adam and Liz. Just renew my charter insurance with you guys again for the 10th year!!!
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WellsMarineInsurance
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey gang, we sincerely appreciate your business and love what we do! Thanks for coming along with us on the ride :)
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Boat, yacht, charter, guide and marine artisan insurance experts. You won’t find a better crew to protect your water lifestyle. Based in Wrightsville Beach, NC and insuring salty dogs across the entire US. 910.208.9120 www.wellsmarineins.com
  
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