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CNY Lee

Don't know what to do

33 posts in this topic

I was coming in a couple of weeks ago and struck something submerged in 12' water that caused my motor to jack right out of the water an stay that way, the result was internal failure in the lower unit. Now here is the tricky part, my insurance won't cover it becuase there is not a mark on the lower unit or prop. They tell me without somekind of mark or indication of a hit they have to denie my claim. I have 2 witnesses in the boat at the time it happened we all felt it and saw the motor kick right up. The area I was motoring back in is a deep creek that has submerged tree floating all the time. They are deniying it because it's there OPINION that I didn't hit anything and that it was total internal break down caused by wear and tear. I told them they are entitled to their OPINION but I was the one in the boat and I know for a FACT that I hit something, I'm just totally fustrated at this moment and not sure what direction to turn in. Has this ever happen to anyone else or know of it happening to anyone or any ideas for what next step I should take?

Lee

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Just curious what company you have .I've never had a claim but always wounder if its kind of a joke unless you completely total it.

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I feel your pain. I assume you're dealing with the actual claims adjusters and not just your agent? Have you witnesses write affidavits and get them to your agent and force your agent to force the issue. And follow Da Beak's advice. Good luck, I hope you can get it worked out.

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Persistence easies resistance! wink

Put as much pressure on them as you can.

Good luck!

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I feel your pain. I assume you're dealing with the actual claims adjusters and not just your agent? Have you witnesses write affidavits and get them to your agent and force your agent to force the issue. And follow Da Beak's advice. Good luck, I hope you can get it worked out.

I agree with this. Get your agent to work with you against the adjusters. Not sure you have, I have always had really good luck with mine.

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Like others have said, lean on them a little more, get the 2 witnesses to sign a legal paper and describe what they each saw/felt. If it was that violent of a hit, there should be some mark? If they dont, threaten to take you moolah else where. I had to make a claim similar to yours last year.. however, I did have a mark(mine was a rock) and my insurace gave me no problems at all. I am with Austin Mutual.

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Tel your agent to take care of it for you or your changing companies. If he likes your bussiness he will get it done.

Lots of good insurance companies around.

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Well I started my complaint process through the NY State Complaint HSOforum (Thanks Da Beak). I called my agent and told them if they like my 11 years of being a customer they should help me out on this or my 12th will be somewhere else. I filled out the small claims forms and they are in an envelope ready to have stamp put on it and mailed. I called the Marina and told them to save all the parts for me for evidence if need be (I ordered new lower unit) and I'm asking a notorized person to come to the marina with me when I pick it up and take pictures of everything with written documents describing the damaged parts (I don't want them to say I caused any damage after I picked up the parts). One of my witnesses has filled out in description what happened and is getting it notorized today, the other one was a child and not sure how to handle it with him only being 9 (he was the closes to the motor when it happened and the first thing he said was "boy that motor flew up fast when we hit").

Deitz: I'm surprised as you that there is no visible damage but I've done lots a searching and talking to people and from what I'm gathering is that there could be internal damage to gears from a strike on the front of lower unit from the force of water logged tree, the only problem is me convincing Progressive that it was a submerged tree and not leaving a mark.

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You could pay me to fly out to NY and hit your lower unit with a hammer, then you'd have a mark grin

Good luck!

marine_man

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Sounds like you are doing it right and level headed. Keep us posted how it goes. I'm pulling for you.

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I see you have Progressive insurance. A freind had an experience with them with his lower unit that was damanged. According to the shop they indicated that with the damage he had, most insurance companies would just replace his lower unit and get it turned around quickly. But with Progressive, they would make them tear down the lower unit and then replace just the parts that are broken. Problem is that many of the individual parts may be on back order making the fix take longer, and end up costing more than getting it replacement.

Not sure if this is always the case, or done this way with other companies.

FYI ... something happened to me similar to your story when I hit a submerged log. Motor flew up - didn't have any visible damage. Good think because it was a rental motor, didn't use it long enough to find out if anything was damaged internally.

Good luck with your Ins issues.

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NCLaker: yea they made the marina do a total tear down.

I just received the denial letter and their grounds for denial was the pinion gear failure and that is what tore all the gears apart. I'm not knowledgeable on these types of things but I called Yamaha and told them my story and they told me that the only way for the gears to have total internal failure usually is from striking something. I asked them is it possible to hit something without leaving external damage and he said very likely but he can't put it in writing because my beef is with the insurance company not the manufacture, that's what the dealer told me also. I just need to have someone put something in writing for me.

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NCLaker:I just need to have someone put something in writing for me.

Some folks can make fake ID's easy enough; you should be able to "get it in writing" grin

Seriously, there has to be somebody here that can write you a damage assessment on approved letterhead stating the damage was cause by an impact.

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We deal with progressive all the time and they've been absolutely great in dealing with claims. What it boils down to here is the individual claims adjuster. We see huge variations from one adjuster to the next, but still they're usually real easy to deal with. Maybe it would be possible to deal with a different adjuster?

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That would be dishonest and wrong. Breaking the law isnt the answer.

I have seen lower units that hit logs at 50 plus mph and all I saw for a mark was a splinter from the log jammed up in the hole for the speedo. Looked like a toothpick and that was it. One actually spun the boat around 180 at that speed but you couldnt see anything that would tel you that you just hit a log.

Time to present all your signed papers and stuff and make a claim. If they dont work with you cancel as soon as you find a new company.Its funny how they want our $ on time every time its due but then we have to hassle and fight over every claim.

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That would be dishonest and wrong. Breaking the law isnt the answer.

The first part of my post was a joke, lighten up a bit.

I meant the second part. The guy just needs someone at another repair business that will stand behind him and write up the damage as being caused by a collision. In other words, find another dealer willing to put it in writing.

Surely there is someone that reads this forum that runs a shop that can take a look at this.

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You'll need something from the dealer that states the damage was caused by hitting something and that it is possible or better yet probable that this damage could occur without leaving a mark.

I read on in this thread and it looks like the dealer isn't willing to do that.

Are you sure there isn't any deformity in the lower case?

How about the prop, is the hub spun? If neither are damaged it'll be hard to win the claim.

You might wonder how its possible for this to happen and not show any external damage? I can think of two ways. The first one is simple. Rule # 1, never rev and engine without a load. If the prop left sudden contact with the water, the RPMs will rev far beyond what the gears can handle. To make matters worse, if the prop enters the water with the excessive RPMs that sudden load on the gears can cause damage.

Heres another force that to understand you'll need to look into the physics of motion and what could happen when an abrupt change in the relation of a position and then a sudden change.

To simplify this think of a your gears as a gyro and its rotational force being changed as the log was hit. Now add the excessive RPMs to the mix.

Good Luck.

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I tried to explain to them what do you think will happen if my gears are turing at 5000 RPM's and I suddenly hit something? The insurance adjuster told me that it WILL never break the gears the way it did and he says he thinks the gears blew up on their own. I asked him to explain the motor coming out of the water and he couldn't at first then stated that the force of the gears having total break down would have enough force to push the motor up out of the water. I asked him if he thinks that's what happened then why is there no damage to the lower unit from such an internal force and he couldn't explain it. Basically it boils down to his opinion and my opinion but only difference is I was the one on the boat. I also feel like they are calling me a liar and that's what's tearing me up the most, I try to do everything by the book the right way and here I am having to fight for my rights AGAIN.

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Are you sure you hit something? If the gears blew at high speed the lower unit will pop up from the drag.

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Frank - I think that even if the gears would go that the drag wouldn't be enough to pop the motor up - unless the relief in the tilt and trim system is partially stuck open, or something along those lines that would be noticed prior to this probably.

The only times I've (and not that I've seen them all, wierd stuff happens all the time) seen a motor tip up on it's own is when you hit something.

I have heard of no external damage on a lower unit with stripped / broke internal gears after contacting a submerged object.

Have you asked to talk to a different adjuster?

marine_man

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Yea I'm 100% I hit something, I've tried to think of every possibilty before I go into this full speed. First reaction was to look back and the whole motor was out of the water with only the scag sticking in, now that I'm thinking about it I should have the marina look at the transom for any damage because that's one heck of jolt to it.

I've asked to talk to different adjuster and I even talked to their boss and they are standing strong on their opinion that that there was no strike and all internal damage do to pinion gear failure. I sure hope I get justice. LOL

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I imagine that a deadhead could have softer rotted wood surrounding a solid core. That would probably blunt the force enough to buffer your lower unit from being dinged up. Good luck getting back on the water.

LB

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I ordered the lower unit and should be in soon but by no means am I going to ease up on all of this, they will pay one way or another. I'm hoping when I take it to small claims that the judge will see and understand that I had no problems with my motor until I STRUCK the submerged object and from there after I lost all gear functions.

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