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Complicated Insurance Claims, Global Advocacy and Risk Management

Navigator News > Advice

There are times when what appears on the surface to be a quick fix can unfortunately turn into a complicated claim. As one client learned while sailing his yacht near Panama, it’s important to have an insurance broker that provides support & guidance throughout every step of the claims process.

Not Quite What It Seemed

The client had scheduled his yacht for what he thought would be a simple repair and light maintenance work in a Panama shipyard. Although he was outside of the United States, he knew it would be best to have the work completed before the yacht returned home.

His Marsh PCS Client Advisor, JoAnne H., began working with the yacht captain to get underwriter approval to begin the work at the client’s preferred repair yard. As workers began to complete the repairs, they found much more extensive damage than was originally expected. JoAnne anticipated the loss would be covered and arranged for a claims adjustor to make a coverage determination. Based on the amount of damage to the vessel, they moved forward with a claim since the cost of repairs would outweigh the policy deductible.

All the Right Parts

With the claim moving forward, Debbie P., Marsh PCS Claims Manager, spoke with the insurer and arranged for an adjuster to be dispatched to Panama. The insurer agreed to fly the adjustor from Florida to Panama to meet with the yacht captain and to be present for the inspection. The adjustor verified the specific damage and worked with the captain to coordinate the course of repair. Debbie began managing payments to suppliers and shipments of parts from Holland to Panama. However, one of the parts was not available; it had to be manufactured in Holland before it could be shipped to Panama to complete the repair.

Dry Dock Dilemma

During the inspection process, the yacht was pulled into a dry dock behind another vessel. Originally, repairs on both boats were scheduled to be completed at the same time, allowing the yachts to launch seamlessly. However, the unforeseen delay to the client’s yacht repairs due to the need to manufacture one of the parts put his boat behind schedule. The yacht in front of his was ready to leave. The client’s yacht had to be moved from the dry dock to let the other yacht out. Major insurance coverage issues required investigation to tow the dead vessel from the safety of the dry dock and anchor it in the ocean for several days. Debbie and JoAnne coordinated with Marsh PCS Senior Vice President and Yacht Practice Leader John G. to present a plan to the insurer’s management team on how and where the yacht would be moved and the expected time frame. Together, the Marsh PCS team compiled a list of all measures that would be put in place to ensure the safety of the client’s yacht and the other yachts in range, which ultimately included 24-hour onboard monitoring of the client’s vessel.

A Favorable Outcome

Three days later, when the tide allowed, the client’s yacht returned to the dry dock. The manufactured part arrived from Holland and final repairs were made so the yacht could make its return trip home to the U.S.

This yard visit started out as a simple repair and maintenance issue but grew into a complex, expensive and challenging claim. However, the settlement was successfully negotiated by the Marsh PCS team and it was paid in full. “The whole Marsh PCS team was just great,” the client said of his experience. “We were dealing in a foreign country and Marsh’s support was invaluable. I couldn’t speak more highly about the level of care.”

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