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Old 03-12-2006, 09:35 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 16
Default Visitors to Gold Coast beware

My vessel has several thousand dollars worth of damage to the paint work on the hull after being hit by a hire houseboat. The hire houseboat companyís insurance company is refusing to pay for the damaged caused by the hire houseboat claiming it was an act of god that caused the damage.

Well, I am here to tell you that God was not onboard and did not anchor the hire houseboat the night it dragged anchor and hit my vessel.

The hire houseboat is classed as a commercial vessel and under marine legislation the incident must be reported to a Shipping Inspector within 48 hours, but due to privacy laws I can not find out if the hire houseboat company reported the incident, nor can I find out the name of the person who hired the houseboat. We reported this incident to the Water Police and Maritime Safety Queensland. Without the name of the person who was in charge of the hire houseboat at the time, my insurance company will charge me the excess on the policy and because they cannot recover the money for the claim my policy will increase next year, therefore I am severely out of pocket for something that was not my fault.

How can the hire boat company get away with this when they hire 20m, 2 story, 30 ton houseboats to inexperienced, unlicensed drivers who donít know how to anchor a vessel of this size when there is a wind warning current. We have to have a licence for our vessel, so how come you donít have to have a licence to hire a semi-trailer on water.

How many super yachts do you think the Gold Coast is going to attract when they find out that hire houseboat companies will not pay for damages caused by their hire fleets?

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Old 03-12-2006, 01:52 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Posts: 1,917

Hi Jackiy,I think the hire company and their insurers are pulling a bit of the old 'flim-flam' on you...In Ozspeak, they're bungin' one on! Presumably you reported the incident to the authorities and to the hire company. If the hire company refuses to give you details of who was in charge of the offending block of flats at the time, they are in breach of Crown Law for hindering due process. The authorities also have a duty to reveal all relevent details of the incident to facilitate insurance assessment and apportionment of blame. This information is not protected under the Privacy Act, and as it occurred on a public waterway, the details of the incident are legally a part of the public domain. Neither the hire company, the waterways police nor the insurer can legally with-hold the information you claim is being denied to you. A decent solicitor will have a field day with this. So, as long as you are sure that you are not culpable, pay a few bob for an interview with a solicitor then instruct him to make threats of legal action. I guarantee the information will become quickly available.

Best of luck. David.

"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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Old 03-13-2006, 06:03 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 104

I totally agree with Auzzee. Part of the hire cost is for insurance on houseboats so your more than entitled to have the information you need. What the houseboat mob are trying to do is to give you the brush off so that they won't have an increase to their insurance costs because of the claims against them. You will undoubtably need a solicitor to put pressure on them but it will be a lot lest costly then to pay for the repairs or for you to wear the insurance increase.

Best of luck 'n post your progress.


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Old 03-16-2006, 03:06 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,098

Question here - why is your insurance company not doing this work for you? That should be their job, right? They have the contacts, the knowledge of the laws, etc., etc.

On this side of the world there are regulators who lean on lazy insurers. How about there?
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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