If I was clever with a graphics program, I would change the logo, substituting “Boaters’ Premiums” for “Boating.”
The final installment of Courtney Kirchoff’s narrative with BoatUS is published, and I invite you to read it here.
I am confident that BoatUS believes they’ve discharged their obligation towards Courtney Kirchoff. They wrote her a check for what they consider “fair value” of her vessel/home. What they failed to do is compensate her for the real costs associated with acquiring a new home/vessel. No, that was not their obligation – they were only on the hook for the value of the vessel, regardless of claims demonstrating that real costs to return her to status quo were significantly higher.
Why do they do this? Isn’t it better business to “do the right thing” rather than only that which is required? Of course it is. But BoatUS is a savvy corporation. They know that boaters will soon forget this incident. Owners looking for a deal on insurance will continue to ask for quotes. BoatUS also has an eye on their corporate bottom line, believing that Courtney’s damages are more tolerable than returning a quarterly report of slightly less profitability. Perhaps their position is more accurately expressed this way: BoatUS believes they would suffer unacceptable financial damage if they paid the honest costs of Courtney’s claims. However, it is perfectly acceptable with BoatUS if Courtney suffers financial damages and uncompensated costs.
BoatUS does this because they can. Practically speaking, Courtney has run out of leverage. She’s blogged, hired an attorney, rallied boaters by the thousands – and to be fair, received token additional compensation as a result. But that’s all she’s got. The company can afford to refuse her honest compensation because they know she’s out of leverage. She won’t litigate – it’s too costly. And that’s okay with BoatUS. They are not interested in doing the right thing by compensating the real costs.
Courtney was ashore when her boat was struck repeatedly and damaged by a negligent boater. When the claim was made, BoatUS stepped in and. . . made sure they protected their own interests. They were not willing to compensate a fair amount for the honest loss Courtney incurred. Now she needs a new home, and it’s going to cost a good bit more than her BoatUS settlement to get one.
Next time you go shopping for boat insurance, remember this.