Losses and Lessons: Owner of Chris-Craft Deluxe Utility gets that sinking feeling

Accidents happen. That’s why we work to ensure that our clients’ prized vessels are properly covered should disaster strike.

BOAT: 1955 18-foot Chris-Craft Deluxe Utility (value: $20,000)

WHAT WENT WRONG: If you own a boat – particularly a classic – you know that in addition to all of the fun on the water there’s always plenty of work to do on land. Sometimes that work requires months or years of labor, so boat owners often opt for “out of water port risk,” insurance coverage that protects the boat as long it isn’t launched.

The owner of a 1955 18-foot Chris-Craft Deluxe Utility chose “out of water port risk” insurance while his boat underwent an extensive restoration. After working on the Chris-Craft for more than a year, the boat was finally completed and the owner was understandably eager to try it out. After testing it on a nearby lake, he tied the boat to a dock and left it for the evening. When he returned, the Chris-Craft was submerged after taking on water.

DAMAGE/LOSS: The Chris-Craft’s electrical components, engine and hull were all damaged, and it was declared a total loss. Unfortunately, since the owner didn’t change his insurance coverage prior to testing the boat, his policy was null and void as soon as the boat hit the water. So he was responsible for all damages and fees associated with raising and repairing the boat.

LESSON: “Out of water port risk” is a valuable insurance option when you have to work on your boat for an extended period. But when it comes time to launch it, a telephone call to your insurance provider could make all the difference in the world should disaster strike. Bottom line: never launch your boat until you are certain that full insurance coverage is in place.

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