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BP and Boating

Posted July 12th, 2010
by Staff (no comments)

That’s what we buy boat insurance for, we guess. The oil spill that continues to plague most of the American Gulf of Mexico coastline threatens to damage boats, not only leaving permanent and unsightly stains, but also potentially damaging impellers, and other components that operate by taking in sea water. What’s worse, BP expects that your insurance should cover the damages.

BP does have a hotline set up for those boaters who are uninsured, but how is that right? Those of us who keep our boat insurance paid up shouldn’t have to put in claims on our policies for damages that were clearly caused by the oil spill. Now, we have no desire to kick a company while it’s down, but in this instance, it’s very clear who should be picking up the tab, and it shouldn’t be our insurance companies or (worse) us.

You might ask what difference it makes as long as the damage to our boats is fixed. Well, for starters, there are deductibles to be paid on insurance claims. We don’t know about you, but shelling out $500 or $1000 or more for damage we didn’t cause just doesn’t set right with us. Especially when it’s crystal clear who did cause the damage.

But it’s more than just the deductibles. In the end, the deductibles are like the little tar balls floating around in the Gulf, just a small part of the real problem. Here’s the thing. If our insurance companies have to pay out for damage claims to boats on the Gulf Coast, that means they’ll have to pay out a lot of claims. To the tune of millions of dollars.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re not crying for the insurance companies. They accept the premium payments realizing there’s some risk that they will have to pay out for damages. But when something this big that potentially affects this many boats all at once hits, the costs can be staggering for insurance companies.

Insurance companies are no different than any other kind of company. At the end of the day, it’s about taking in more than you pay out. That’s what any company needs to do to keep itself in the black. And you can rest assured insurance companies will keep themselves in the black. Unfortunately, one of the ways they may have to do that is by raising premiums. On boat owners. I wonder, while BP is handing out checks, if they’ll consider covering the difference.

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