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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Go Novamar!

When we first bought the boat we went to a boat insurance broker in the Seattle area to obtain our policy.  We've been continually frustrated by their service.  They would only insure us one segment of the trip at a time.  Every few months we have had to email them to get the navigation area extended.  And frequently this process has been painful at best - sometimes taking weeks to get the additional extensions.  The day before we left San Diego headed to Mexico was when we finally got the extension into Mexico - and that after Melissa had sent a multitude of reminders for two weeks.  We also realized a month or so ago that we were underinsured as a result of all the upgrades Dave has put in.  So we started to engage them to get the valuation raised.  Even after multiple emails with tons of receipts attached, and after several weeks we still had no answer on this.  Melissa had made herself a note to get our navigation area again extended when we got to Zihuatanejo.  Alas we didn't stay in Zihuatanejo as long as planned and hence her automated computer reminder didn't pop up till we hit Acapulco.  Oops.  So Melissa immediately emails the insurance agent who informs her that it will be days, maybe weeks before she can do anything about this because she is going to have to quote a whole new policy as the current insurer won't insure us any further south.  She says we cannot leave the dock meanwhile or they won't cover us at all.  Huh?  Excuse us?  You've know all along we were headed south and yet you are just now telling us this?  Are you kidding?!

In steps Craig Chamberlain from Novamar Insurance.  We met Craig at a seminar in La Cruz where he spoke about why its so important to have an insurance broker that actually understands cruising life because he is a cruiser himself.  Well, we've learned that lesson the hard way now.  Because of the lack of responsiveness from our existing broker, we had been thinking of engaging him when our annual renewal comes up in March (can you believe its been a year already?!).  But we accelerated that plan.  Melissa called him Monday morning.  He sent the application - which Melissa returned a few hours later.  By Tuesday morning we had a quote for better insurance than we had previously - the underlying policy is with a Berkshire Hathaway company, and has much better coverage.  Craig was able to get us the boat valuation we wanted right off the bat, and of course the navigation area is what we need.  By Tuesday afternoon we had the insurance binder in place.  So we can continue south on our original schedule.  Whew!

Melissa asked him how much notice he needs to change the navigation area - he said three days tops, and that's only if the underwriter is out of the office and he has to deal with someone else.  Typical turn around would be within a day.  That's how we think service should be and we are delighted to find an insurance broker that lives up to their promises.

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