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Let's be real here... policies and claims... the fear... OH MY!

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Old 09-21-2016, 01:39 PM
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Default Let's be real here... policies and claims... the fear... OH MY!

It's been awhile since I've sat down and written any posts on insurance so bear with me! Trying to get back into the swing of it as I know many people liked when I did that on here and hopefully most were able to take something from my posts that worked to their benefit at one point in time or another.

Those that don't know me, i am Stacy Hanlon, owner of Wake Zone Marine Insurance. We are all things marine. We write some supplemental lines of other toy insurance (RZRs, snowmobiles etc) for our boat owners but boat insurance is my gig. I've owned and operated Wake Zone now since 2004. And yes, it feels like just yesterday I started my business at 23 years old.. (yeah i know.. i am giving my age away). I have enjoyed most every minute of the last 12 years doing what I love. Focusing on a niche market of insurance and learning so much in the process. I am an insurance agent, yes. But as most who have dealt with me, selling you isn't my style. I am not pushy nor will i hound you to buy the quote I give you. I give you my best quote I can find in the marketplace from the start 99.9% of the time (we all have our off days). I don't sugar coat things and am honest with you. I feel that my best and honest first quote is all I need, the rest is your decision. My clientele can speak for me as to the type of agent I am or am not. So, now that we got that out of the way, let's talk claims.

So, let's be real, claims are why we have insurance. Claims are when you need your insurance the most. Claims are when you hope and pray you had a knowledgeable agent write your policy from the start. You don't want to find out after the fact that you had an agent do you a favor and "get you into" a program, or short change you on coverage just to have their rate lower than the next guy so you would buy it.


So, here are a couple things to consider when buying insurance:

1. Know that there are EXCLUSIONS within every single marine insurance policy in the market today. Do yourself a favor and READ the actual policy exclusions before buying a policy. I've had another insurance agent competitor go as far as to tell a prospective client that the policy from ABC Insurance Company through Wake Zone is more "restrictive" than the policy the prospective client can get through their agency... point blank. That's a whole lotta BS right there. I operate Wake Zone under full disclosure. IT IS YOUR JOB AS A PROSPECTIVE INSURED TO KNOW WHAT IS EXCLUDED IN WHAT YOU'RE BUYING.

2. know the limits and what they mean!!! if you don't know the difference between 100/300/100 personal liability and $300,000 liability... ASK! There is a HUGE difference between those numbers, even though they look very similar. One could cost you a lot of money in the event someone is injured badly.

3. READ the policy jacket for the quote you are considering binding. One written expectation of you as an insured is that you know and understand the terms of your policy. A policy is a contract between you and the insurance company. It is NOT a one sided deal.

4. Don't make any assumptions... those will just leave you disappointed.

5. Don't be CHEAP! I'll say it again... DON'T be CHEAP! The difference between $300,000 liability or $500,000 can be as low as $40/year.. PER YEAR !!!! just pay it, I promise if something happens you'll be so happy that you did.

6. LAST AND MOST IMPORTANT: Be honest!!! For the love of all things holy... just tell the truth!!! My favorite question to ask someone is... "What's the top speed of that boat?" Normally, I already know but I am using it as an honesty gauge.... Example.... 36 Nortech CAT with twin 950s... Their answer to me... "oh... like 90 on a good day..." HAHAHAHAHA! The whole reason you are buying insurance is so that you have protection.. Don't void it from the start!


BOTTOM LINE: If you know EXACTLY what you are buying from the start, there will be no surprises come claim day. Make sure your agent is aware of the expectations you have prior to buying a policy so that they can answer to whether or not the policy meets your expectations.
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Wake Zone Marine Insurance Brokerage, Inc. - CA License 0H05075
For an online quote: www.wakezoneinsurance.com
[email protected]

*** Please note that any insurance advice given is based on current information at the time of the original post. Insurance rates, terms, policies, markets etc change often. We can not be held liable for outdated information that can be found in older posts on this forum.
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Old 09-28-2016, 12:42 PM
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The same thing happens in Canada. I write anything from a fishing boat to a 180 MPH Cat and the last thing you want to do is not be honest about what you have and it's capabilities. Any of us that know what we are doing will be able to see right through the BS. Don't just look for a specific premium you want to pay as you only get what you pay for and sometimes you are paying for nothing as the policy was not done incorrectly and may not cover you in case of an accident.

Stacy knows what she is talking about and from her client responses on this site she looks after her clients in a very professional manner.
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:14 PM
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My insurer, Allstate, never asked how fast my boat is.
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:07 PM
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But have you read the complete documents to make sure there is no restriction on speed in it. Some brokers don't know what you actually have and just sell you a policy. The policies I do have a maximum speed listed right on the main page. 64 MPH and under are basic boats and go by the style. 65 to 79 are Sport and then 80 and over are Hi-performance and also V-hull or Cat in the Hi-Perf class.

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My insurer, Allstate, never asked how fast my boat is.
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Allrisks View Post
But have you read the complete documents to make sure there is no restriction on speed in it. Some brokers don't know what you actually have and just sell you a policy. The policies I do have a maximum speed listed right on the main page. 64 MPH and under are basic boats and go by the style. 65 to 79 are Sport and then 80 and over are Hi-performance and also V-hull or Cat in the Hi-Perf class.
I'll look into it.
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by thirdchildhood View Post
My insurer, Allstate, never asked how fast my boat is.

I hate to say this my friend but just because they don't ask, doesn't mean that "all is good"..... If the boat listed in your profile is what Allstate insures, I would encourage you to look into the validity of the policy you have as well as getting the agent to PUT IN WRITING that he/she knows that your boat as a 525HP engine and that it is capable of Xmph....you will save your backside when you need this policy the most... claim time.

You can also take a look at the application you signed when securing coverage. If it's not 100% accurate then you need to notify Allstate, in writing (keep a copy) correcting any misinformation. That way, you have proof that you disclosed.

I know many people, in situations like yours, choose not to rock the boat for fear that all of a sudden the carrier will cancel or get off the policy. I say GOOD! I'd rather they skate now than at claim time when you need the policy to pay out. Just my two cents
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The NO LIMITS Insurance Agency
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Wake Zone Marine Insurance Brokerage, Inc. - CA License 0H05075
For an online quote: www.wakezoneinsurance.com
[email protected]

*** Please note that any insurance advice given is based on current information at the time of the original post. Insurance rates, terms, policies, markets etc change often. We can not be held liable for outdated information that can be found in older posts on this forum.
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:54 AM
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I was always told horsepower is the important thing,make sure horse power is stated in your policy,,
horse power is horsepower,,hard for any insurance co to deny a claim when horsepower is listed on the policy,,
how would that work?sorry we did not think your 30 foot boat with 1500HP did 85MPH,
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Old 09-29-2016, 10:19 AM
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I was always told horsepower is the important thing,make sure horse power is stated in your policy,,
horse power is horsepower,,hard for any insurance co to deny a claim when horsepower is listed on the policy,,
how would that work?sorry we did not think your 30 foot boat with 1500HP did 85MPH,

Great question boatnt!!! The best you can do is to report the max CAPABLE crankshaft HP output of your engine... You can never go wrong on your policy by doing that. Where I see people go wrong at this juncture is.... "well, my engines are 1100 sterlings but I have them detuned to 950 so they are 950s..." WRONG! They are 1100s. You report 1100.

I always tell my clients that the top speed is a result of the correct rated HP. So, if you report twin 1100's then you give your most educated response on the max capable top speed.

This is where having an agent that actually knows performance marine insurance is helpful. We have many statements from the mfg themselves as to what each model does with each set up. We have publications all over the internet where top speeds have been tested and we have speed calculators. As long as the top speed number you give them is supported, then that is the best you can do and by doing it that way, you won't have a policy thrown out for misrepresentation.
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Stacy Shute (Hanlon)
The NO LIMITS Insurance Agency
866-728-9757 ext 101
Wake Zone Marine Insurance Brokerage, Inc. - CA License 0H05075
For an online quote: www.wakezoneinsurance.com
[email protected]

*** Please note that any insurance advice given is based on current information at the time of the original post. Insurance rates, terms, policies, markets etc change often. We can not be held liable for outdated information that can be found in older posts on this forum.
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Old 09-30-2016, 11:04 AM
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when i called stacey for my boat insurance we talked about horse power,my policy is not cheep but i sleep well knowing that if something were to happen i am covered.i have a friend with a high hp boat that pay,s way less than i do through some cut rate crappy ins outfit,when i told him he will have no coverage when he has a claim from an accident and the ins doe,s their investigation and denies the claim because his 475 horse power engines are really 1000 sc engines he said[they will never know].when i told him he could loose everything he has because his boat ins won,t pay he said[that will never happen].to the guys that think the ins company,s are stupid and will never figure out what caused the accident ,you are sadly mistaken.to the guy with the ins policy that is cheep and the info you gave them is incorrect,i hope you never have a claim.
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Old 09-30-2016, 12:53 PM
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Insurance companies do not sell paper with the intent of paying out - they will find any way to avoid paying.

Last edited by ShootinRopes35z; 09-30-2016 at 01:02 PM.
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