Serving Boaters for over 2 decades yet still just $95 per year!!
OK, so you have insurance on your boat. Good. Your agent says you have $XXX worth of towing or sometimes called “emergency assistance coverage” added to the policy for free or for a nominal fee! Great! That means you won’t have to pay that towboat company membership any more for free towing coverage, right?
Well…. let me give you some insight first from another perspective to help you make your decision.
MARINE ASSIST is a local company. It is not some huge national conglomerate that pulls in billions of dollars from millions of customers to provide payment assistance to pay you back for invoices from service providers you owe for covered services, or to replace damaged goods that may be covered. We are an actual service provider. What we sell is basically a service contract. It may sound the same, but it is not.
When you purchase a MARINE ASSIST membership, you are buying a plan that covers you when you are boating and need assistance due to a mechanical breakdown on the water. What you are also doing is supporting a local company that is ACTUALLY PROVIDING THE SERVICE you are expecting to receive. Your membership dollars go into the pool that supports day to day operations and ensure we can remain ever ready to serve you and others on the lake 24/7 throughout the season. Both of these are a direct benefit to you, the boater.
An insurance company collects your premium and tells you there is reimbursement coverage for towing. This may seem like a boater benefit on the surface, but if you really look into it a little, is it? What they don’t tell you (and what many may not think of is):
1) Insurance companies do not own towboats. They are not in the service business.
2) Most insurance companies do not dispatch towboats for you when in need. You are in “self help” mode.
3) Insurance companies usually have a “cap” on what they will reimburse and a limit how far they will pay to tow you, usually the nearest port or ramp.
4) Insurance companies will only reimburse if you have an invoice from a professional tow service.
5) Insurance companies will not pay the towing company directly. You pay and they pay you back.
6) Insurance companies may consider a tow claim "ratable" when renewing your policy and raise your rate.
7) Insurance companies may take as long as 30 days or more to pay you back, if deemed a covered loss.
8) Insurance companies do not all have tow coverage on their policies.
9) Insurance companies may allow you to drop their tow coverage for a decrease in premium.
10) Insurance companies are banking on the fact the average boater will call for a tow, get a price, think about getting reimbursed and filing a claim and then wait for a good samaritan to tow them for free instead. This means the insurance company collected the added premium for the tow coverage, but paid nothing out. A win-win for them.
When the choice comes down to whether to buy a MARINE ASSIST policy or to fall back on your insurance policy, remember this; if there is not enough support for the actual service provider company to survive, there will simply be no one to pay to tow you when you need it. Regardless of whether you have insurance coverage or not and regardless the time of day or night and who else may or may not be around, without support there may not be help.
Many of the above statements hold true when comparing a MARINE ASSIST membership to a TowBoatUS or SeaTow membership as well. Buying into either of their programs does nothing to support the local company that is here for you actually providing the service.
Support the company that is here 24/7 for your benefit. We are here for you and have been since 2006!
And, here is another benefit. If you have any questions, pull up to my towboat on the water, stop me on the dock or give me a call with any question you may have about our program and how it compares. Try talking to the owner of any of the other companies listed and see where it goes!
Captain Don Hunter