Claims - Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: When should I report a claim and how can I report it?
A: You should notify us right away and give us the opportunity to inspect the damaged boat or equipment before it is repaired or discarded. You can report a claim 24 hours a day seven days a week. Call us at 1-800-937-1937 or file a claim online.
- Q: Where should I take my boat for an estimate?
A: The choice of repairer is yours. Often some of the best local recommendations come from your friends, dockmates or harbor master.
- Q: Is my claim covered?
A: Your policy including the declarations page and any endorsements are the best source of information for what is covered and what is excluded. If you are unsure, we encourage you to file a claim if you have not done so already. A specific evaluation of coverage cannot be determined until the claim has been investigated. Your adjuster will discuss the details of your claim with you including the specifics regarding coverage.
- Q: Should I file a police report?
A: You should notify the police if you are involved in an accident that involves any property damage or third party injury; or you are the victim of a crime including but not limited to theft or vandalism. If a police report is filed, you should request a copy of the report for submission to your adjuster as part of the investigation of the claim.
- Q: Will this claim cause an increase in my premium?
A: Many variables impact your insurance rates. Your policy is evaluated at your renewal to determine how a claim will affect your rate. If you have any questions about your premium please contact our underwriting department at 1-800-283-2883.
- Q: Who will handle my claim and when will I hear from them?
A: Your claim is assigned to a BoatUS Adjuster who will contact you and work with you throughout the process. The Adjuster may assign an independent Marine Surveyor or other expert to assist with their investigation.
- Q: If a Marine Surveyor is assigned to my claim, what is their role?
A: An independent Marine Surveyor generally does a physical inspection of the damage, reviews the estimate supplied by your chosen repair facility and interviews the parties involved in the loss. Once their investigation is complete, the Marine Surveyor renders an opinion regarding the cause, nature and extent of the loss. Your BoatUS Adjuster will review the independent Marine Surveyor’s written report along with other investigative materials and/or expert reports and determine coverage under the terms and conditions of your policy.
- Q: I had a theft on my boat what do I do next?
A: The first and most important step in any claim is to protect the boat from further damage. Replace locks, secure doors, tie down hatches or cover holes with tarp. Then, file a police report and make a list of the stolen items including make, model and serial number. Next, gather all of your proof of ownership information for the items that were stolen. Proof of ownership can be receipts, manuals or even photographs of the equipment on your boat. Provide your Adjuster with a copy of the police report, your property list, proof of ownership for the stolen items and an estimate for the cost to replace the stolen items.
- Q: The Insurance Company has declared my boat a Total or Constructive Total Loss, what does that mean?
A: A Total Loss means the boat is lost and cannot be recovered (found) such as in the event of a theft. A Constructive Total Loss means the reasonable cost to repair exceeds the insured value. If the Company pays you the insured value they have the right to the insured property therefore, you must provide all documents needed to transfer title to us. We collect your original title and registration where applicable, original Coast Guard documentation if applicable, original Bill of Sale and the insurance forms necessary to transfer title to us. Your adjuster will provide you with all of the details of your claim. If you have any questions, please contact your adjuster.
- Q: How will I be paid?
A: Once settlement of the claim is approved, a check will be mailed to you. The check will include all named insureds and any lienholder listed on the declarations page. The payment, a letter explaining the details of the payment, and any necessary insurance forms will be mailed to you at the address listed on your policy’s declarations page.
- Q: What happens if my repair facility notifies me of additional damage once they start repairs?
A: We understand sometimes the cost to repair your boat or trailer can increase or change. If your claim is approved, authorization for repairs is on a "not to exceed" basis. If, for any reason, the cost of repairs exceeds the earlier authorized amount, please notify your adjuster immediately before additional expenses are incurred and submit a revised estimate separated into materials and labor. Your policy states you must give us the opportunity to inspect the damaged boat or equipment before it is repaired or discarded.