Research your Insurance Company to avoid a Refused Claim
Sadly, you only really know how good your insurance company is when you have to make that all-important claim. Here one cruiser tells his story when his pride and joy was burgled and the insurance company refused to pay out.
Published 11 years ago, updated 5 years ago
My boat Francesca was comprehensively burgled in Gallions Point Marina in London in July of this year. Despite advising the insurance company exactly what contents cover I needed BEFORE renewing, they’ve rejected the entire claim out of hand, in fact, the whole letter is only two sentences long (see a photo of letter adjacent)!
I had asked for £5,000 of contents cover (and had stated this was to include GPS, radio, chart cassettes, camera, computer, clothing etc.). My schedule actually stated 5,000 Euros for equipment/other. In their refusal letter, they stated that the reason they were rejecting my claim was that I “did not have coverage for personal effects”!
Edward William Marine Services supplied the policy, Northernreef Insurance is the Insurers.
They weren’t cheap! The reason I went with them initially was that I wanted Black Sea cover and other insurers were reticent. They were actually recommended by a Kiwi sailor although he’d never had to claim.
After talking to the UK Ombudsman I got on to the UK Financial Conduct Authority. Hidden away on their website is a warning about Edward William Marine Services, here’s the link, then click on E in the alphabetic buttons.
Thing is who would know to look there? And if they’re known to be a danger to consumers why are they allowed to trade here in the UK? Which is probably why publicising the fraud is going to be the best way to help others – I don’t expect to get anything back as things stand – not even the premium. I’d never heard of the Financial Conduct Authority before all this happened and I imagine most yachtsman wouldn’t know to check there.
I have reported the fraud to The National Fraud Reporting Centre (i.e. the British Police) – this company are running an office in Great Yarmouth, UK.
It turns out that Edward William, is regulated in Spain, so I have written to the Spanish Ombudsman as well. I have however been advised that a claim against Edward William may be subject to Spanish Law and be very costly and take a long time with no certainty.
I’ve written about it on facebook https://www.facebook.com/malcolm.snook/media_set?set=a.10151707407233349.1073741825.551918348&type=1
And on my blog http://malcolmsnook.com/beware-this-insurance-company/
And I’ve even made a Pinterest Board http://pinterest.com/sailorsnook/beware-this-insurance-company/
I hope other cruisers will take a look at one of the links and share it around so that other sailors, yachtsmen and women and liveaboards don’t get caught out by these people.
Editor’s Note: Admiral marine Insurance, who offered Malcolm advice following his refused claim, are putting together an article for noonsite “what to look for in an insurance policy”, which will be published early September.