Informing the case handler

We hadn’t let Annmarie know that we were speaking with John Koon, because we weren’t sure if there would be anything of value to share…. until now. We compiled an email highlighting the points and forwarded it on to her the day after we received the email from John.

Friday, Feb 9, 2018 we called her to make sure that she had received the email. She said she had and had forwarded it on the two underwriters involved. She said that one had already agreed to a third expert opinion, but the other had not. We suggested that another opinion was not necessary and she agreed. She said she would suggest that, but didn’t know what their response would be.

When asked who the two people were, she said that one was an underwriter in the complaints department. He seemed to be easy to work with. The other was a claims manager and things hadn’t gone so well with him. She had to get them both to agree on any action.

We also clarified that the information was going to Coverys the company that took over the handling of the ProSight Syndicate 1110 business and not ProSight in the US.

John Koon Acquiesces to Bill Trenkle’s Reports.

John responded quickly to our request for him to reconsider his report based on new evidence. He appeared to be genuinely willing to re-evaluate. Al was anxious to send him the files. Jill still didn’t trust him. His reports were too flawed and abusive for us to suddenly think he was a good guy. We had been advised by two attorney’s it wasn’t a good idea to “show him your hand”

However the more we discussed it, we determined that we didn’t really have anything to lose. If ProSight had wanted his opinion, they could have provided all the info to him. If he came back with negative input we didn’t have to share it. If he shared a negative opinion with ProSight, we’d proceed with a third “experts” review.


So we compiled the reports from Bill Trenkle, the Load Test, and maintenance information (money spent and specific rigging purchases) and a picture of Al on the mast 10 days prior to the dismasting inspecting the diamond rigging.

We followed up with him a few times. His politely responded that there was a lot to consider and would talk with us soon. We didn’t think he was aware that the boat was left in the condition he saw in was because of Jill’s recent breast cancer diagnosis, which took them quickly away from the boat. He acknowledged and “empathized” the information.

We scheduled a couple phone calls, but he put us off. However, on Feb 7, he sent us the following email.

Hello Al,  Bill Trenkle is cced. 

I have reviewed the reports you sent in detail. 
You will note that I have attached my response to your rebuttal points on the original survey. I wonder if this was shared with Bill Trenkle in addition to the survey? This, in many ways, is more important reading than the original survey report. 
Reason being; No where in my report or response to rebuttal have I mentioned “un-seaworthy” 
It should also be noted that every theory I proposed was presented as just that, (theory). 
Also note, I was careful not to draw any specific conclusions as to the cause of your dismasting. I relied on terms as such, indications are, possibilities, probability, likely-hood, etc.
Nowhere in the report do I propose that I disagree with your description of the physical cause of the dismasting. Nowhere in the report do I state “actual cause” of the dismasting. I was careful to list, with explanations, the number of anomalies noted at the time Larry and I surveyed the vessel in Kona. Any of which could have contributed to the cause of the dismasting. Important note; it was stated in one of the documents that “Larry indicated that I did not access the anchor lockers” (incorrect) I crawled through the entire vessel. 
My impressions at the time of the survey were partially based on the apparent general condition of the vessel and the odd collection of hardware found on board. 
You have made a sincere effort Al, in explaining the “condition” we found the vessel in and I empathize with the situation you were in upon arrival in Hawaii. 
My quote in the survey, that “it was like conducting an autopsy with the body at the bottom of the ocean 900 miles away” was meant to clarify the reality of the impossibility of inconclusively determining the actual cause of the dismasting. 
It is noted on page 2 of Mr. Trenkle’s excellent report that “John Koon badly mischaracterized the condition of the vessel” In fairness, he attended the vessel 8 months after the dismasting ?!
In summary; 
I adhere to the “observations and presumptions” made at the time of my survey. And repeat, in no case was the term unseaworthy used in my report or the document attached to this email. 
I did carefully limit stating any opinion of the actual cause of the dismasting to listing the anomalies noted at the time of the survey and noted how anyone of them “may have” contributed to the actual cause! 
My observations of general condition were not “baseless” and were shared by Larry Montgomery and Gary Hoover (Kona based professional rigger) at the time of the survey. 
In defense of the insured, I will say that (providing the “Main Beam Load Test” in December of 2017 was accurately conducted and documented as stated in the un-authored report), I would be compelled to state that my “observations and theorized potential” of the main beam failing the rig could rightfully be proven incorrect. We could not conduct any such testing (which I am very familiar with) in May of 2016 in Kona. 
Other potential causes of dismasting proposed in my report can be empirically proven or dis-proven either way! 
Unfortunately, I do feel that a number of my observations and comments were taken out of context and in some cases I was misquoted in the defense of the insured’s case. More disheartening are some of the comments made challenging my integrity and professional experience in this realm. I don’t take this personally (part of the game I suppose) but feel it is fair to note in this context. 
respectfully “


We couldn’t believe it! John Koon was acquiescing to Bill Trenkle. He emphasized that he did not identify Dragonfly as unseaworthy, everything in his report were just theories and he did not disagree with Al’s description of the cause of the dismasting.

It was clearly obvious that a third party to “resolve the differences between the two experts” was not needed. They had no differences.

How could the claim be denied if both experts agree with Al’s description of the fortuitous event and that the vessel was seaworthy?


Progress on Stage 2 Review with The Society of Lloyds

Feb 1, 2018 we called Joseph because we hadn’t heard anything since our discussion on Jan 26, 2018, when he said he would “get right on it” . He provided us the name and phone number of our case handler, after stating that he was surprised we hadn’t been notified.

We called Annmarie Lyle, a Stage 2 Complaints Executive (Policyholder and Third Party Oversight, Performance Management). We were encouraged to hear that she had already reviewed the file and felt that there were multiple issues. She had prepared a communication to the underwriters which she was about to send. She stated…..


  • Bill Trenkle report seemed more credible than John Koon’s report because of things that were wrong in his report.
  • ProSight rested on the opinions of the attorney’s but not supported by the facts.
  • The court would not accept the positions of the attorney’s.
  • They couldn’t claim lack of maintenance because of the amount of money spent.

What a relief! We felt like we actually had someone on the phone who was seeing through the crap that had been dished out to us by ProSight. Perhaps there was someone who could actually be an advocate and make this happen.

She said that in these situations where there are two experts with differing views, the approach was to get a third “expert” to break the tie. She readily admitted that she did not have the technical expertise and felt like the underwriters might be willing to get a third opinion. She suggested that she might hear something back from them by the following mid-week (Feb 6-7), and she would let us know what she heard.

We felt guardedly good after getting off the phone. We just can’t get our hopes up. However, we were confident that if they got a qualified person to review the case and all the documentation, we would be successful.


Still Waiting for The Society of Lloyd’s Stage 2 Review

On December 21st, 2017 we talked with Joseph Dobbins a manager in The Society of Lloyd’s complaint department. He agreed that they would review our complaint and implied that they would move forward aggressively because it had already been in the complaint process for over 8 weeks. It in fact had been in that process at that point it had already been 2+ weeks and 40 weeks since the denial and the complaints process had started. A process which is supposed to be resolved in 8 weeks. At the time we felt that he understood/empathized with our frustration and would take an active part in moving forward. However, we all recognized that nothing would happen quickly around the holidays. The next action would be for the case handler to contact us.


January 8, 2018 We followed up with Joseph and he told us that ProSight had not provided the files so a case handler had not been assigned. It was decided that we would provide our files to him, so there would be no delay once the person was assigned.

January 11, 2018 prompted by a follow-up email, Joseph responded that he had received our files, but the technical department had to look at them to make sure they were “safe” to open. No update on the status of the ProSight data.

January 18, 2018 we followed up with Joseph and received no response.

January 26th we decided to call Joseph. He told us that he thought everything was moving along and was shocked that we hadn’t received an email introducing the case manager. He apologized profusely and said he would investigate immediately and let us know what he finds out.

It has now been 35 days since the Lloyd’s of London Stage 2 process has officially started and it doesn’t look like we are even to first base or even in the batter order.


John Koon – Appeal to Ethical & Professional Responsibility

John Koon’s reports and input were critical to ProSight’s denial. Every professional involved after his report, identified numerous errors and inaccurate assertions. After significant debate and counsel from others, we decided to offer John an opportunity to make it right and sent him the email similar to the one sent to Larry Montgomery on Dec 31, 2017.



January 6, John Koon responded

“I am open to reevaluating original findings. Please send me the reports from Bill & Jay to confirm details of alternative conclusions. I have great respect for both of them! 
That said, I would have arrived at my same initial conclusions based on the general condition of the vessel under any circumstance of request to conduct survey, by you, or Larry Montgomery. 
Again, send more information & I will remain open to reevaluation.

Next Steps

We provided him the information on January 18, 2018. John responded on January 26th “have started looking it over & giving it much thought.” We thanked him for his consideration. Now we wait again….



Larry Montgomery – Appeal to NAMS Ethical Responsibility

We decided to appeal to Larry Montgomery’s ethical responsibility to communicate what he witnessed in January, 2017. Below is the letter we sent on December 31, 2017. As expected responded “Thank you for this status report. I have forwarded a copy to the Underwriter’s representatives for their review and onward distribution.


Letter to Larry


 We wanted to update you regarding the status of our dismasting claim May 1, 2016 and appeal to your NAMS ethical obligations and good sense to make this right.

Our insurance claims were denied as a result of leveraging the July 11, 2016 damage report written by John Koon with you in attendance. ProSight, the Lloyd’s underwriting syndicate, acquired the “advice” of Hill Dickinson, a large law firm in London. Even though there were “No immediate conclusions …. as to the probable cause of the dismasting” in the report Hill Dickinson cherry picked false assertions from the report and combined them with outlandish judgments by unqualified Underwriters. The result was labeling Dragonfly as unseaworthy and a breach of warranty. The breach of warranty “invalidated” the policy resulting in the denial of the dismasting claim, $15,000 damage and $20,000 theft that occurred at the Ala Wai dock while we waited for a settlement.

You stated during our conversations in May 2016, that the insurance company was there to make us “whole.” During numerous conversations you reassured us that a settlement was coming. We did not expect that you would be the one who would help them keep from doing that by withholding your findings during the inspection on January 17, 2017.

The purpose of the John Koon June 2016 survey you described to us was to “constitute an acceptable “best practice” repair, insuring a proper replacement” We were shocked to discover the real objective when reading the actual report. The report contained no mention of this objective or specific recommendations. We would never have authorized a survey with the actual intent without our presence if we had been properly informed. Misrepresenting this reeks of an ethics violation.

We understand that Dragonfly’s appearance at that time of your initial visit and during the John Koon survey could imply a lack of maintenance. However, it should have been obvious that the appearance was the result of the situation and not typical as Bill Trenkle and you observed later and many previous guests and crew attest to.

The areas in the report identified as potentially relevant to the dismasting were the rigging and “platform / main beam / compression path-post”. We have proof that all the rigging ages were within the NVIC 2-16 guidelines. A main beam load test that was performed completely eliminates the possibility of a main beam compression path-post or yielding structural deficiency.

The John Koon report dated July 11 was quite negative and full of proven false assertions. However, the word “unseaworthy” was never used. Based on the new evidence isn’t it appropriate to state that the term “unseaworthy” is obviously not applicable as Bill Trenkle stated?

Were you aware that the ProSight Syndicate 1110, who paid for your services are no longer in business? They went into run-off in June 2017. It’s time to meet your NAMS ethical obligations.

We are now beginning a Stage 2 review. The Society of Lloyd’s is reviewing the claim. We have provided a significant amount of evidence that contradict or disprove the assertions in the John Koon report, and the Underwriter assertions. You witnessed the majority of them, but have yet to report your observations. It’s time for you to do so.

Inspections which contradicts John Koon’s assertions by Bill Trenkle, Jay Butler and yourself; a dismasting analysis by Bill Trenkle and Bill Leneman and maintenance invoices demonstrate the following:

  • Proof that the saddle brackets for the forward beam did not move.
  • Proof that platform / main beam / compression path-post or yielding failure did not occur. This was based on
  1. 12-ton main beam load test with a deflection of 1/16th of inch, meeting the design specs of Kurt Hughes and providing absolute proof that a “failure of the main beam in way of mast compression” was not possible.
  2. Percussion testing
  3. Absence of cracks in any of the primary main beam seams not inspected by John Koon.
  4. No physical evidence of compression once the mast step was removed.
  5. Proof that the turnbuckles had threads left, proving tightening was possible
  6. Proof that the turnbuckles were turned to the position because of a rigging change, not because of mast compression.
  7. Proof that the gennaker turnbuckle did not strip or self-release as you suggested based on
  8. A picture of it still in place when Dragonfly arrived in Honokohau.
  9. Physical inspection by experts reporting that it was in good condition and operational.
  • Proof that all remaining rigging was in good condition and operational except for damage as a result of the dismasting based on
  1. Evidence from British Stainless Steel Association that the wire strength is not degraded when not under stress. Dragonfly’s rigging was removed and unstressed for an average of 5-6 months each year and in a fresh water environment, when we were hauled in Florida.
  2. Invoice evidence that rigging was replaced 2008-2014 therefore well within the guidelines you were involved in creating for the USCG. Especially considering that 5-6 months per year it was unstressed and in a fresh water environment.
  3. Physical inspection by experts reporting that all were in good condition and operational.
  • Proof that the diamonds suspected of causing the dismasting were removed and inspected less than 2 weeks prior to the dismasting, demonstrating an awareness and small likelihood that they were to blame for the dismasting.
  • Proof that the original mast-section was well suited and designed by Kurt Hughes. It is the same as the replacement as recommended by Art Nelson.
  • Proof that the “hardware/anchoring points“ / chain-plates were “suited for sustained offshore use” when able to support 120,000 lbs., which is three times the strength of the stainless wire and ten times the expected maximum load.
  • Proof that the Norseman fitting identified in “disrepair” is a swageless fitting. Replacing the wire and cone is a standard practice.
  • Proof that the only explanation for the dismasting considering the physical evidence, experience and eyewitness descriptions by the crew was a rogue wave violently pushing the vessel to windward buckling the mast below the boom first. John K agreed with this in the report when stating “An opposing wave impact in the conditions, described by Mr. Wigginton, would also impose an additional thrust on the mast tube, at the height of the diamond shrouds inserts/penetrations on both sides of the mast, in a lateral direction to port.”
  • Proof that a failure of the diamonds was not the cause of the dismasting based on graphical analysis of physical evidence and eyewitness descriptions.
  • Proof that Dragonfly is seaworthy based on expert opinions and by safely sailing her to CA in July 2017 with a temporary mast.


This has been a 20+ month financial and emotional nightmare for us, and a significant amount of time for a 77-year old man.

You have opportunity to make this right and demonstrate that your actions were without malice. Provide an email, letter or document stating that after reviewing the input provided by others and based on your own observations, John Koon’s report and assertions were incorrect. This would eliminate the basis for their denial.

We feel that you have an ethical and professional obligation to set the record straight. Reporting what you witnessed would seem like the prudent action. We expect the review to begin by January 8thth.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon and can be available anytime to discuss this.

Alan & Jill Wigginton


Stage 2 Review Dilemma

Dec 6th, 2017 we were told that we would be going thru a Lloyd’s Stage 2 review.  The Society of Lloyd’s complaint department will review the complaint and determine if they agree or disagree with the denial. We were told that Lloyd’s would contact us with a case handlers name.

Dec 13 we hadn’t heard from Lloyd’s complaint department, so we called. We were immediately passed off to the international complaints team. Pierre told us that we were to go to our local governmental agency. (Groan…. not again!) We explained that we had been thru that process and the local agency had no jurisdiction. He put us on hold. When he returned he said that his colleague, two desks away had been assigned the case and he would contact us “straight away”.


Decision Reversed

Dec 15 we still hadn’t received an email or call. So we called again and were transferred to Pierre again. He told us that it had been decided that a Stage 2 would NOT be done and our complaint would go directly to the FOS for their review. We asked him who decided this and when. He said that David Northcott an adjudicator at the FOS had been involved.  We were clearly being passed around like a hot potato that no one wanted.

We immediately sent an email off to David Northcott, explaining what we had been told and asked for an explanation. He replied that he would need to consult the Society of Lloyd’s and would respond to us when he had additional information.

Dec 19 we received an email from David Northcott in which it included the following excerpt from the Lloyd’s complaint department’s response to his inquiry:

“As the case has no doubt already been converted by yourselves, Lloyd’s would not be undertaking a full review and upon receipt of the file, we will be passing this directly to yourself for review”.

What does that mean?

Dec 20 we decided that our best course of action was to call and talk with the individual at Lloyd’s who has been conversing with David. The people on the phone within the Lloyd’s complaint department are so courteous and appearing to want to help. We were finally able to determine that Joseph Dobbins was the person and they put us thru to him.

Finally – An Answer

Joseph was very informative and helpful. He explained that the phrase referred to a technical part of their process and was not relevant to us. He said that they would review the complaint. However, we had the right to bypass their review if we desired. It’s interesting that he referred to us bypassing it rather than not being allowed to go thru it, which is the perception we have gotten from the website and others we talked with.

We explained our concern regarding the settlement limit powers of the FOS, which he acknowledged. But he made it perfectly clear that The Society of Lloyd’s could not force ProSight to pay anything if their findings were different. They could explain their reasons and try to influence them. But it was still up to ProSight to actually change their position and make the payment. We asked how often do they not pay the claim as advised by the SOL. He didn’t have a specific number, but he said it is not infrequent.

We asked how long this would take. He said it is supposed to take less than 8 weeks, but could take months depending on the complexity. He acknowledged that it had already taken longer than 8 weeks and it was thought that we might prefer to move on to the FOS. We told him that we would make a decision and let him know but probably wanted to have the Stage 2 review. We suggested that we could come to London. However, he did not think that a face-to-face meeting would be needed and the case handler could acquire answers over the phone.


So do we go thru the Stage 2 Review process with a decision that can’t be enforced? Yes. Because if they do disagree with ProSight’s denial. Then perhaps influence ProSight to pay so that it does not go to the FOS and become a public record. If they agree with ProSight then it is another set of eyes to review the data and identify weak areas in our complaint that need to be addressed prior to presenting it to the FOS.

But will they be motivated to pay now that they are going thru a run-off? Now there is a new twist!