The Nonrenewal Renewal

Published: July 2013

There have been some interesting phone calls in our underwriting department of late. "I just got a letter saying I'm not being renewed," Member Smith says. "This is outrageous. I've always been a good customer, never had a claim. How dare you do this ... "

"We didn't, Mr. Smith," says Underwriter Jones. "Really. There's a copy of your new policy right in the same package."

"Oh." Pause. "So there is." Longer pause. "So why did I get this letter? This is a nonrenewal renewal? Or a renewal of nonrenewal? I don't get it. What's going on?"

What's going on is that BoatUS has a new insurance partner, National Liability & Fire Insurance Company (NL&F), and we're gradually converting our Continental Casualty Company (CNA) policies to our new underwriter. To do that, we are required to officially nonrenew your policy with CNA and then issue a new policy with NL&F. We are converting policies state by state, and the entire process will take some time. At some point you will receive a nonrenewal notice from us — but we still love you and value your business. So at the same time, you will also receive a new insurance policy with the new insurance carrier.

Why do we have to do it this way? Because the insurance industry is highly regulated, and we are required to nonrenew one policy before issuing you a new one with a different company. We're also required to give you an official notification of nonrenewal, even if we immediately turn around and offer you another policy.

Why are we changing underwriters? In 2007, BoatUS was acquired by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. NL&F is also a Berkshire Hathaway company. Partnering with them allows us more flexibility and greater control of our insurance business, which in the end means we will be able to serve you better. BoatUS Marine Insurance Vice President Mike Pellerin said, "With an A.M. Best Rating of A++, National Liability & Fire Insurance Company provides our BoatUS members with the highest possible rating for financial strength and security."

We know it can be more than a little disconcerting to open something from BoatUS Marine Insurance and find a notice of nonrenewal inside. But take a deep breath, read through the papers, and you'll find your new policy from NL&F. Boats are what we know, and boat insurance is one of the key things we do. We don't do it to get your auto insurance or homeowner's policies. We do it because we are committed to our members, and, as long as our members need it and want it, we will continue to offer comprehensive boat insurance coverage in all areas of the country.

But if it makes you feel better to call our underwriters to discuss your policy, just to be sure, they'll be delighted to hear from you.End of story marker


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