The clean-up is ongoing in New South Wales after the once-in-a-decade storm on April 21 and 22 that claimed four lives and caused devastation in 12 declared natural disaster areas.
Club Marine, Australia’s market leader in recreational boat insurance, has to date completed 56 boat-salvage operations. Within one week of the storm, Club Marine had paid over $1m into members’ accounts.
16 total-loss claims have also been resolved, some within the week, with at least two boat owners already purchasing replacement boats to restore a degree of normality to their lives.
“We believe this is the level of service our members expect,” said Club Marine CEO Simon McLean, adding “We’re very proud of our staff’s swift assistance to our members in their time of need.”
Together with a team of specialist marine assessors and salvage operators, Club Marine was on the ground in the worst-hit areas even as the storm raged, locating and salvaging damaged boats and contacting boat owners to get the claims process going. As local marine repairers continue to work through the large number of boats damaged by the storm, Club Marine is processing member’s claims as quickly as possible so they can get back to what they want to do – be on the water in their boat.
Paul Gulliksen, Commodore of Gosford Sailing Club and a Club Marine member, lost two boats to the storm. Shortly after learning of his sailboat’s fate, Paul lodged a claim online and was soon contacted by a Club Marine claims officer.
“We lost four boats at the club and had several others with repairable damage, but no one was injured, thankfully,” said Paul. “My yacht Dirty Work
was found washed up and severely damaged and my cruiser Serenity
had also broken its mooring – it was a total loss, too.
“I lodged the claim online at 7:30 in the morning and got an email from Club Marine two hours later. It wasn’t long afterwards that Darryl Humphreys (Club Marine’s National Assessing Manager) called to let me know he was taking care of everything and that he was getting the crane down there to retrieve my boats.
“The way Club Marine took care of the salvage of my boats and the claims was brilliant – Darryl and everyone else I dealt with were very helpful, really down to earth and caring.”
Wayne Mullock, of Point Clare lost his yacht to the storm and while he and his partner are understandably heartbroken at the boat’s total loss, he’s glad his insurance provided the assistance he needed to help get through the distressing situation.
“When we bought the boat, it had taken us a long time to find the one we wanted. It was beautiful – it was already 10 years old but it was pristine and in excellent condition, and exactly what we were looking for,” said Wayne of his Jeanneau 32.
“The storms were terrible; it was a distressing couple of days, to say the least. But we’re very happy with how Club Marine handled everything, both on the phone and in person. Phil Johnson (Club Marine National Claims Technical Manager) called on Wednesday, with the storm barely over to say he was having the boat pulled out of the water. We met with Phil on the Sunday and the claim was settled. The following week the money was paid to my account.
“Club Marine did a champion job and made it an easy process, which really helps in a stressful situation.”
Drawing on its vast experience as Australia’s leading pleasurecraft insurer for more than 45 years, Club Marine is well equipped to respond quickly and effectively at all times.
“Our members’ needs are our priority and we strive to assist them swiftly and competently in their time of need,” said Club Marine CEO Simon McLean. “Our expert claims officers and specialist assessors have considerable expertise in natural disaster response and can help members get through the claims process as simply as possible.
“With the unforeseen severity of the recent storms in NSW and the extent of the personal and material loss caused by the extreme winds and rainfall, I’m proud of how our staff immediately gave top priority to taking care of members’ damaged boats – even while the storm raged – at the same time ensuring unrelated claims continued smoothly and with minimal disruption to our other services.”
Club Marine members can lodge a claim online at clubmarine.com.au or by calling 1300 00 CLUB (2582).
Top: A yacht nestling among the waterfront houses at Belmont Bay (Photo credit: Mark Rothfield). Left & right: Boats left high and dry - and badly damaged - in Gosford.
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