Boater's Connection

Subject
Topic: BoatUS Insurance cancellation question
comtek
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Joined: 09 May 2005
Location: Virginia
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Posted: 09 May 2005 at 6:24pm | IP Logged

Hello All

I have been a member in good standing with BoatUS and pay for their unlimited towing insurance. I used it 2x last year and was VERY satisfied with the system. I have also highly recommended it to everyone including my own brother who was hardcore SeaTow at the time. So in Jan he switched, dropped SeaTow, Joined BoatUS and all was well. During a cruise south he fouled a wheel and needed to be towed 4 miles to get it cleared. Later (A month I think) same thing, another loose rope in a channel and another short tow. Anyway he finally made Florida, had a great time and headed north. Today he bought fuel near Ft. Pierce and 10ft from the dock yet another rope, stalled the engine and he was drifting away into traffic. Ok so it was a BoatUS home dock and there was a towboat which he hailed and they towed him back to the dock. He dove and freed his own wheel but when the tow vessel called BoatUS they were told he was cancelled. Ok so my brother calls them and they tell him he was cancelled from his "unlimited" towing because he had been towed 2x this year. Somebody explain "unlimited" to me?

 Ok so he calls me furious and he pays out of pocket. I look and read all the fine print on the website, on my insurance papers and anyplace I can look and find no clause where they define you high risk or anything, in other words unlimited towing is a lie. He was towed 2x and cancelled for it

 I then called BoatUS to check on my coverage and ask some questions and got nothing useful as far as how much towing before I'm also cancelled from my "Unlimited" towing.

 Lastly he asked me to check his mailbox at home for him, no notice there, he checked his email from boat and nothing, and the number they have for him is his cell and nothing there. Cancelled cold and not a peep to inform him so he could obtain other coverage.

It happened, I saw it, and it scares me, what if it had been me, and what if it was a long tow or something thats expensive?

 

Think about it...

 

Mike M2
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Joined: 31 December 2001
Location: Not where i want to be...
Posts: 4562
Posted: 09 May 2005 at 6:41pm | IP Logged
Wow, i gotta hear the answer to this. If what you say is true, it's very unfair. Some may never use the tow policy, others have worse luck and need it often. I would suggest he contact Boatus and ask them for proof they sent a cancelation notice and when they did it.
Mike M2
Rinker 300FV
"My Other Playmate 2"
Kawasaki STX15F(my 65mph dinghy)
"Sailing the Seas of Cheese"

comtek
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Location: Virginia
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Posted: 09 May 2005 at 8:11pm | IP Logged

I just went back through my email to look for something, and found it. Read it carefully..

Thank you for renewing your Membership XXXXXXX . Your new
Membership card has been ordered and will arrive by postal mail
within 10-15 business days. Your Membership includes Unlimited per
incident towing service
, effective XX/XX/XXXX. If you ever need
assistance on the water, call the 24-hour TowBoatU.S. Dispatch
number on the back of your Membership card, 1-800-391-4869.

We look forward to serving your boating needs for many years to
come!

-----------------------------

I'm still waiting for a callback from BoatUS towing about how much can I have and still be cancelled, and if so why was my brother cancelled without notice. He is also waiting for a callback from them. I'll keep you posted.

 

Claude


 

 

 

DavidK
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Posted: 10 May 2005 at 7:41am | IP Logged

Have him save that receipt !!!!  Once the high ups here on the board read it, I think there will be a posative response.  By the way, what they did sounds illegal.  I'm not an insurance guy, but I believe that one can not be cancelled without prior notice.

One more note.  You may want to copy this post and put it up in Consumer Q&A.

Edited by DavidK on 10 May 2005 at 7:43am
Scott McClure
BoatUS Staff
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Joined: 10 May 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 4
Posted: 10 May 2005 at 11:32am | IP Logged

BoatU.S. would like to apologize for the unfortunate experience your brother ran into with BoatU.S.  The withdrawal of his towing service was a “hiccup” in our system if you will.  Your brother was provided towing service twice within 3 days and our computer system processed the towing invoices at the same time, which resulted in the Membership being kicked back.  I assure you that this is not protocol and was an error on our part.

Your brother has been contacted and his towing service reinstated.   I have contacted the tower and we will also be paying for his 3rd tow.

BoatU.S. rarely withdrawtowing from Membership These measures are only in place to keep our towing program affordable for all.

The BoatU.S. On-The-Water Towing Service Agreement states, “This service is not an insurance policy and does not provide for liability…you are required to use care and diligence in the operation [and maintenance] of your vessel…BoatU.S. may withdraw this service for excessive towing or lack of such care.”

As mentioned above, BoatU.S. reserves the right to withdraw servicehowever; this occasion is infrequent and is not done hastily or without proper and dutiful reason.

Once again, we are sorry for any inconvenience that may have been cause to your brother due solely by our error.

 

Edited by Scott McClure on 10 May 2005 at 11:42am
Dream 'Inn
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Posted: 10 May 2005 at 11:54am | IP Logged

I was wondering the outcome, cause I had two tows last year, one for a starter, the other an impeller - 1st time I ever needed to use it, but never had any issues with cancellation.

Nice to hear a happy ending!Smile  Hopefully you're brother will stay with the red boat for years to come!Smile

Dream 'Inn III
2008 400 Rinker Express

comtek
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Location: Virginia
Posts: 6
Posted: 10 May 2005 at 12:10pm | IP Logged

Scott

Thanks for taking care of this and the reassurance. I got to feel like a total idiot with him for a day but now I'm better off as he can see you guys did do whatever it takes to straighten all this out and make sure he was satisfied, at your expense, Which is what I was preaching because thats been my experience without exception.

My apoligies for the panic attack but the thought of getting stood up at the alter happening to me without notice really worried me. (Not enough to get a second policy with the yellow people)

Kudo's to you guys for a nice recovery.

 

Claude

 

DavidK
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Posted: 10 May 2005 at 12:37pm | IP Logged

Scott,

Although it is a rarety, I hope that when you do a cancellation, you make a formal notification first.  If not, there could be quite a liability with someone at sea thinking they have towing available.

It does not seem that this gentleman was notified prior to his cancellation.  Hiccup or not.

Scott McClure
BoatUS Staff
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Joined: 10 May 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 4
Posted: 10 May 2005 at 4:55pm | IP Logged
Thank you for your message.  Notification is sent prior to the withdrawal of service.
Mike M2
BoatUS Member
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Joined: 31 December 2001
Location: Not where i want to be...
Posts: 4562
Posted: 10 May 2005 at 7:38pm | IP Logged
Ahhh, a happy ending.....
Mike M2
Rinker 300FV
"My Other Playmate 2"
Kawasaki STX15F(my 65mph dinghy)
"Sailing the Seas of Cheese"

T3RockHall
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Location: Central Joisey
Posts: 886
Posted: 11 May 2005 at 7:47am | IP Logged
Scott McClure wrote:

…BoatU.S. may withdraw this service for excessive towing or lack of such care.”

As mentioned above, BoatU.S. reserves the right to withdraw service...

 


Just curious -- how does this provision fit in with the word "UNLIMITED?"


RonF
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Location: North Palm Beach, FL
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Posted: 11 May 2005 at 8:54am | IP Logged

Wow,

I wonder if I could get towed to the Bahamas in May and towed back in June.

RonF
North Palm Beach, FL
1999 310 Sundancer "Sea-esta"
Davemsjr
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Posted: 11 May 2005 at 3:39pm | IP Logged

Seems to me that they should have every right to cancel someone if they are showing lack of care, eg they ground every week, or they run out of gas every week, or they are constantly doing stupid things that could have been avoided and cause a tow.  If the towing gets excessive, they should be able to drop someone to prevent people from abusing the "unlimited" policy.

 

 

Cousin Eddie
BoatUS Member
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Joined: 05 May 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 322
Posted: 17 June 2005 at 10:15am | IP Logged

 Your Membership includes Unlimited per
incident towing service

 

The wording suggests that the towing coverage is unlimited in distance but not incidents.

Edited by Cousin Eddie on 17 June 2005 at 10:16am
300 Ray
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Posted: 03 October 2005 at 11:13pm | IP Logged
 Go Boat U.S.
Greenstreak
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Posts: 1071
Posted: 25 October 2005 at 10:44pm | IP Logged

I think it is time for Boat US to spell out the agreement hat can be understood. The unlimited per incident is worthless in some cases. I have talked to 3 boat us services here on the East coast of Florida. The fartherest off shore I have found is about 50 mile Any farther then that and they told me i would have to call the Coast Guard. They are misleading everybody with the information we read and then buy coverage. When you call them about the limites, their answer is they don't have control over the individual owners of the Boat US towing service. They know there are limits. but they don't tell you before a person buys the coverage.

art


Floatin' Good Times
Monterey 265 sel
TranquilityBase
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Posted: 10 January 2006 at 6:22pm | IP Logged
Darn, and I was just in Victoria, Texas last week.  And had a few extra hours to kill too.
giangi
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Location: Ft Lauderdale
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Posted: 19 January 2006 at 5:07pm | IP Logged

I always had a very good service with TowBoatUS and i will recomend it to everyone. But I am worry now that I red this post at the begining.

I also had TowBoatUS tow me in the keys (December 2004)because I hit ground, 3 months later my engine overheated in Port everglades and in September engine would not start.
I have received a letter from BoatUS that they were going to cancel my UNLIMITED service because I used it too many times in a year.
My boat is very well maintained but I never know when can you run into trouble.
So the truth is that the cost for the tow is only for use twice a year.
Not very clear this UNLIMITED TOWING.

 

 

 

 

 

comtek
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Joined: 09 May 2005
Location: Virginia
Posts: 6
Posted: 25 January 2006 at 8:41pm | IP Logged

Hello all

 Well to this day the issue at the top of the post has never been resolved. My brother still has the reciept for the towing in hand. He said he was called and that the was told the tow operater had been called and he was to bill TBUS for the tow and credit my brother back. To this date he has called the twoboat operater several times and the op swears he has heard nothing, he knows nothing and the last he heard the insurance was declined so the charges on the card were and are still valid. He has no intentions of refunding the money.

 Then he called TBUS and they were on the phone an hour, TBUS told him he needed to have the operator re-bill TBUS for the tow and refund his money via a chargeback. SO he calls the tow guy again and tells him TBUS said to bill them and refund his money. The operator asks why he's telling him instead of TBUS calling him and coordinating and/or confirming it himself, that it sounds fishy and he's not biting.

 SO, exasperated brother gets off phone and said it wasn't worth the time or money to try to get his money back and TBUS had the "burp" in the system but it's up to us to straighten it out. Apparently there's alot of confusion or lack of channels or communication inside the system. Either way if it's to be fixed he has to do it himself a a go between on the phone and that got shot down by the towing operator.

 In the end how much trouble would it be for one single person at TBUS to call the op and tell him to bill them and refund the card? Why after 8 months is it not resolved?

I'm not happy and I feel bad because I recommended it all in the first place and it's only been a hassle for him. He wont renew I am sure and personally I wouldn't either. Maybe it was just one bad operator who is unwilling to cooperate but it's beyond our scope to police him thats up to his employers.

 Either way I'll let you know if anything changes

Comtek

TranquilityBase
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Posted: 01 February 2006 at 9:04am | IP Logged
Scott McClure wrote:

BoatU.S. would like to apologize for the unfortunate experience your brother ran into with BoatU.S.  The withdrawal of his towing service was a “hiccup” in our system if you will.  Your brother was provided towing service twice within 3 days and our computer system processed the towing invoices at the same time, which resulted in the Membership being kicked back.  I assure you that this is not protocol and was an error on our part.

Your brother has been contacted and his towing service reinstated.   I have contacted the tower and we will also be paying for his 3rd tow.

Once again, we are sorry for any inconvenience that may have been cause to your brother due solely by our error.

 

 


Sounds like you need to follow up with Scott McClure from BoatUS.  He certainly appeared to react well on May 10th.

By the way, that third tow when the inflicted boat fouled 10 feet from the dock, how much was the bill?  How much does BoatUS owe your brother?
Cousin Eddie
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Posted: 06 February 2006 at 11:44am | IP Logged
That, or grab a rope and swim it over to the dock.
comtek
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Posted: 06 February 2006 at 11:47am | IP Logged
Well say your in Fl just after a hurricaine. You fuel your boat, back away from the fuel dock and make a 180 at ahead slow to head back out. Suddenly your prop wraps a 1in line thats entangled in debris on the bottom. The marina didn't know it was there so no warning and no markers. You toss a line to the dock, get a few burley guys to tug to no avail. Ok so your now wrapped tight, 1ft, 10ft, 100ft from the dock it doesn't matter because your not going anywhere. He called TBUS and they got him free, who would you call? A diver came down to make sure the wheel was clear, and then he clearly marked the area of junk with floats.

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