ST. LOUIS ( -- If you own a home, car or boat you are supposed to have insurance.

In St. Charles County, Gary Schmitt, docks his boat at the Harbor Point Yacht Club in West Alton. Schmitt has insurance.

Boat Fire

In early 2018, his boat was severely damaged after the boat in the neighboring slip caught on fire. The fire also caused extensive damage to the dock, which is owned by the yacht club.

Scott Shipman is the harbor master and tells News 4 the fire caused nearly $90,000 in damages.

Both Shipman and Schmitt believe the insurance policy attached to the boat where the fire originated should cover the damages.

So far, that’s not happening.

The owner of the boat where the fire originated had a policy with Boat U.S.

Schmitt received a letter from Boat U.S. stating,

“Based on our investigation, the fire’s cause has been classified as undetermined. Our investigation was not able to find any negligence on the part of our insured that may have caused or contributed to the fire which sub-sequentially damaged your vessel.”

Schmitt’s liability claim was ultimately denied by Boat U.S.

Schmitt has the option to file with his insurance company, but added “I don’t think that’s fair, wasn’t anything I did wrong.”

It might not be perceived as fair, but according to the Missouri Department of Insurance the decision isn’t a surprise.

Angela Nelson told News 4, “In the case of a boat catches on fire, you are looking at was there negligence.”

Nelson said similar decisions are made regarding homeowner’s policies. Nelson also recommends anyone entangled with an insurance dispute contact the Missouri Department of Insurance for assistance.

News 4 made repeated attempts for a response from Boat U.S. but never heard back.

If Boat U.S. is unwilling to cover Schmitt’s damages, he will file a claim with his own insurance.

Unfortunately for Schmitt, he says his policy won’t cover all of the damages.

He recommends consumers “over insure” to make sure they aren’t left footing the bill, even when it’s not your fault.

Copyright 2018 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved


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