We knew it would take a while for the underwriters to digest our response to John Koon’s report, so we waited. We expected them to come to us with a settlement offer. Our experience with other claims (car and property) was that we would be estimates and the insurance company would respond with a settlement offer.
Submit expenses again
While we waited, Jill compiled our expenses again. She had received no response from Blue Water on the first expense submission. Therefore she sent them to Larry. Jill asked Larry for an expense form and he suggested for me to just do it the way that made sense. Jill created a spreadsheet listing all the expenses in categories with a reference to the specific invoice or receipt that was attached. Larry replied “excellent job” after they were submitted. He communicated that he would review them and forward them on, unless he had any questions. We never heard from him, so assumed that they had been forwarded.
Settlement Offer Requested from Us
Our understanding was that we would provide the estimates and expenses and they would offer a settlement. Al told Larry that we were interested in a cash settlement. On September 6, Al followed up with Larry. It had been
- one week since we had sent our response to the John Koon report,
- five weeks since the last estimates had been submitted
- ttime to do what was needed to Dragonfly and get her to CA was growing very short.
Larry responded that day with the following “As the boat owner and the insured party, the Underwriters are prepared to settle on an, “unrepaired” basis, but they are also willing to allow you — as a courtesy — to declare what, in your judgement, the fair value of that settlement is, or might be.”
Good news, it appeared that our response to the John Koon had accepted and we would be able to carry on. Larry said he would be out of the office for a week, but we could begin the negotiations when he returned.
Settlement Offer Submitted
Sept 16, 2016 we submitted an offer. It combined the estimates. Some of the estimates didn’t include all the work. Knowing that most projects go over budget we increased it by 10%, included our expenses to date and expenses anticipated to get Dragonfly to the states and during the repairs and submitted it to Larry. During a conversation with Larry, he stated that he thought “the proposal was well thought thru and reasonable“
Finally on Sept 27th Larry responded to our follow-up on the 25th stating:
“This is the status of the claim:
- The Underwriters have acknowledged receiving your compromise proposal, which they have under review and consideration.
- John Koon has been recently furnished with the two PDF’s you sent to me with your comments on his report. The Underwriters would like to evaluate his reply before proceeding with the settlement.
- The Underwriters have two basic questions on the vessel status, and hope you can bring us up to speed. One, are you able to keep the DRAGONFLY moored for the long-term, or are there any constraints imposed by the harbormaster? Two, if you are planning on starting with your own repairs, they would like to be advised of the timing and scope. Undertaking your own repairs could have an effect on the current insurance in place; if you do intend to do work yourself, or employ contractors, I should be informed, so that the Underwriters can address the project plan and comment accordingly.”
The news is disappointing. It appears that we are just going thru an exercise. Why on earth would they go back to John Koon, when we provided proof that he was wrong on multiple things within his report? His credibility should have been nil.
We responded that we had 120 days in the harbor and no work was planned. We asked to see John Koon’s response and requested the status of the expenses since the amount was mounting.
Lack of Good Faith
After hearing nothing we followed up with Larry on Oct 7, requesting an update. Our frustration was high. It had been over 6 months since the loss. We finished the email with the following. Larry immediately forwarded it directly to Wayne Scott of LJJ:
“We have seen no good faith actions by the insurance company during which time we mitigated the damage to Dragonfly and secured the vessel at minimum cost with a significant outlay of cash by us.
We need some reassurance by LLJ that they are prepared to settle in good faith soon”