tower gate insurance

22/08/2020 16:11:27
hi all 
called tower gate to renew my insurance (gold cover) ,they have refused point blank to insure me ,I have not had a claim for many years .
anyone else had problems ? 

22/08/2020 18:21:14
Gareth Griffiths
Yes I was with them a few years ago and they did the same.

22/08/2020 22:25:06
Stuart Bates
That doesn’t sound a very good business model!

Try CraftInsure or Aspire, especially as they sponsor the Merlins.

23/08/2020 18:50:52
Dave Lee
I had the same experience with Towergate when my renewal was due.

24/08/2020 09:55:47
Gareth Griffiths
I agree that Craftinsure are great

24/08/2020 16:40:06
martin smith
Hi Steve I have also just been advised that Tower Gate no longer wish to insure 3567 Fat Boy Slim, she was insured with them since I bough her from you, can’t believe that was 9 years ago in September!!

25/08/2020 12:46:57
Graham Cranford Smith
In regard to the original post, I cannot be sure, as I am no longer interested in following the machinations of the insurance market, but I suspect that Towergate may have simply withdrawn from the dinghy insurance market, or Merlins.
Nothing personal.
You need to be aware that most insurances, including Craftinsure, are not "new for old" such as in the case of most household insurances.

Dinghy policies are underwritten on an indemnity basis. This means that settlement will be net of an allowance for wear and tear. In the event of a total loss, the most you will receive will be the market value of the boat and accessories. Insurers are generally pretty fair when it comes to loss of masts and often do not apply much deduction.

In practical terms therefore you should insure the boat, its trailers and spares, on the full market value basis. But insuring for the new price will mean you will be paying excess premium for nothing if the boat and kit, is not new.
So far, so good, but the Craftinsure wording also states:
"We will pay the reasonable cost of repair for loss or damage not exceeding £10,000 [sic] Reasonable replacement or repair may not result in the appearance and condition being the same as that prior to the claim. In the event of total loss or constructive total loss, we will pay £10,000 or at our option, provide a replacement boat of a similar age, size and type."
Notwithstanding the dodgy punctuation and frankly syntax, in what one might hope was a carefully checked document, there is thus a limitation. In the event of a total loss of say, your as new Merlin, Craftinsure appear to be restricting their liability to £10k, or "at their option" finding you a replacement boat. Given how discerning most Merlin sailors are known to be, you may not be happy for Craftinsure to go this route even though, you have no say in the matter. There would, I fancy, be plenty of scope for "discussion".
Personally, I find this clause un-nerving. Some Merlins are worth more than £10k, ours possibly included. Even older boats, with multiple spare masts and spare sails, rudders etc, will exceed that market value. While a total loss of all this kit may be unlikely, in the event of say, a garage fire with your Merlin in it, it is not impossible.
I might add, that neither Craftinsure nor Noble carries any penalty for underinsurance. In theory, one could be tempted insure the boat on a lower sum insured, based on what you think, a "worst case scenario" might be.
I do not recommend this. Insurers are notoriously sticky when it comes to large claims especially if underinsurance is a feature. While neither insurer I mention has given themselves any protection against people who deliberately underinsure, they have many and varied ways of being obtuse when it comes to a claims settlement.
For example, one might, either by design or neglect, insure one's £15k market value Merlin (inc spare masts) for £7k. In say, the loss of some rigged masts and new champs sails plus accessories such as spin poles and fixed rudder, value £7k, the insurer might attempt to argue that the boat is thus a constructive total loss. And they are entitled as a result, to retain the salvage of an undamaged hull which escaped damage. They might then try to sell the hull back to you for, for example, £4k. Such largesse.
I know this possible because I have seen it attempted by a dinghy insurer. Far better to insure the boat, AND accessories including spare masts, rudders and paraphernalia etc, for the proper full market value.  
For the record, I dealt was a Chartered Loss Adjuster for thirty five years; which fact I do not generally like to advertise. Nevertheless it is the case.
I insure our boats with Noble and have done so for years for the type of reason I have illustrated above. Noble are generally pretty fair even though no doubt, as with all insurers, they may have their moments. Noble have been owned by RSA insurance since 2011.  What you might lose in personal service, you gain in a dispassionate approach and unimpeachable security, I think. Premium alone, is not the only metric.
I have no direct experience of GJW or Aspire etc, nor have I reviewed their wordings. They may well be fine.  
Make of that, what you will.

26/08/2020 22:22:33
Gareth Griffiths NHRC
Cheers GCS 

A very insightful read

28/08/2020 20:13:38
Andrew Mills
I've been insured with Bishop Skinner Marine for some while now and I can't fault the service I've had.  I think over the years they now own most of Heaven Sent .  I have had a number of claims with them which have been settled promptly and efficiently.  I currently have 2 Merlins and a RIB insured for a reasonable premium.  I haven't (yet) managed to break a mast though as the 1st generation Superspars seem to be if anything more robust than alloy!

31/08/2020 11:45:09
Rob Cage
Declared interest, I work at and do the claims for Craftinsure and race Merlins 1692 and 3768
Big thanks to Graham for his detailed explanations. He is completely correct we should all insure for the total current, rather than new, value of all our kit, ie boat and spares, that way insurers are receiving a premium on all items and are clearly therefore covering all items. Try not to over insure as you will be paying more premium than you need to and getting no extra cover. The wordings Graham refers to give the insurer the protection against under insurance, which is where say the boat and kit is worth, in his example say £10k but insured for only £7,000. That said all the insurers named have a great reputation, and are likely to fall back on their wording only in extreme cases.
Tip, if like me you had a new Merlin some years ago, whilst we might not like to admit it, its probably worth less today than when we first insured it, you may want to reduce the insured value to reflect todays market value (inc all spares) and save a few pounds on the premium. 
Quick update, Craftinsure Dinghy policies are now 'New for Old' and I think Noble may be?, other named brokers might be, but ofcourse I can't speak for other firms - so check yourself
RSA Insurance sold Noble a year ago, so Noble is now back in private ownership
My top tip for boat insurance would be to make sure the firm you insure with is staffed by sailors especially the claims team, any firm that 'outsources' its claims mean you could end up dealing with somebody who is great at claims on Home insurance but may not understand why a failed 'puller' would result in the loss of your rig downwind
All of the firms in the thread are, to my knowledge, staffed by sailors 
Sorry to bore on Insurance, let's discuss the latest Merlin events next time!
Craftinsure is delighted to be supporting the Merlin Class and sponsor of the Silver Tiller, which we all hope will be back on in 2021 

30/09/2020 15:14:35
Barry Dunning
I just had a claim settled by Craftinsure and I could not fault the service and efficiency of the company. Thank you for your quick response. I am now back on the water!


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