Danish SV Capibara - Settlement of insurance
Since we got the boat on the hard, we've been nervous about the outcome of the insurance. First, the surveyor from the other boat’s insurance company gave us a reason to doubt whether or not we were to blame, since we hadn't seen the power boat before it hit us. Later, the surveyor from our insurance company told us that according to the rules of the sea, we couldn't be held responsible, but our insurance company doubted that that the other boat’s insurance company would agree to the claim.
A lawsuit would likely exceed the costs of the actual claim itself, so they wouldn't pursue it. However, even though our insurance company had agreed to pay for the repairs, we would still be left with a big excess on top of all the other costs, we have because of the accident. We've been very frustrated with the situation, and the Americans we discussed the issue with, has recommended us to find a lawyer (The American Way). We've been unsure if it would be economically reasonable for us to do so, though,but also we haven’t thought it should be necessary, if there wasn't any doubt about the liability.
Our insurance company gave us the possibility to contact the power boat’s insurance company ourselves, so late last week Henrik wrote them an email explaining the claim. At the same time we got the fibreglass guys started on the boat, although we still didn’t know who would pay for the damages. Even though the sun is shining in Florida, the fun of staying on the boat at a boat yard is quite limited!
Because we couldn’t stay on the boat as long as the guys were working on it, we tried to make the most of it and went on a road trip to New Orleans. Meanwhile, we were wondering how we should handle the case, if the insurance company wouldn’t accept the claim. Should we hire a lawyer? Luckily though, when we returned to Florida, we received an email saying that they had accepted the liability and the claim. We were so relieved and happy, and ever since we’ve been significantly more cheerful!
Right now we’re on our way back to the boat. We wanted to return earlier, but the workers told us to stay away a couple of days more, so we went to The Everglades to see alligators. We didn’t see any, though, since the content of salt in the marsh is higher than what the alligators like, so a the moment they have left for areas with more fresh water. Instead, I learned how to sail an Airboat, and that was significantly easier than a sail boat!
Signe Storr - Freelance journalist and friend of Boatshed