Chris, Chris, Chris . . .

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on June 26, 2003 at 00:04:47:

In Reply to: Ken Kurtis was wrong about the new NAUI policy posted by Chris on June 25, 2003 at 17:04:30:

Did you just graduate from the Michael Kane School of Cheap Shots? I know how much you must enjoy typing "Ken Kurtis was wrong" but you really need to check your facts before you show your ignorance. Let's go over this again:

Chris: "Contrary to what Ken Kurtis said, the NAUI 2003-2004 insurance policy still says that dive boat operators, including owners and partners are automatically additionally insured."

Yes and no. The section you quoted defines WHO qualfies an additional insured. However, the section preceeding it (V, section C) states, "Any additional insured named by endorsement or certificate to this policy."

Who did you talk to when you called NAUI? When I called, I asked specifically if we now had to list the names of the Additional Insureds. (In previous years, it was not required. If you met the definition, you were considered covered.) I was told yes, that we had to list the names. To not list someone's name risks them being denied Additional Insured coverage. I'm listing the folks we deal with so as not to take a chance. You're certainly free to do otherwise.

Chris: "Since their insurance company has steadfastly refused to honor this policy in the past . . ."

First of all, Tim's case is the only one I know of where this has been an issue. Are you saying rthere are others? Can you name some, please? Can you cite othner cases where they "steadfastly refused to honor this policy"? Personally, I'm not aware of any.

Secondly, Tim's case isn't as cut-and-dried as you would have it, and none of it due to Tim's fault. (Tim and I discussed this at some length today.)

I also had a discussion about this Tuesday with Matt Monroe. Trying not to reveal confidences, I can say that part of the problem, again nothing that was Tim's doing, lies in the fact in the way the suit was presented. Allegations made against Tim (which were all dropped eventually) weren't directly connected to the dive accident itself but dealt with non-diving-supervision issues. I don't buy into the logic (or lack thereof) myself, but the bottom line on this is that it was a poorly drawn lawsuit and the badly worded filing may be one of the things that caused Tim so much headache. I suggested that he and Matt talk directly about this.

Also remember that Additional Insureds are covered for what's termed "vicarious liability." In other words, you're covered because you happened to be with me when I did something alleged to be wrong.

However, if there's an allegation that you did something wrong separate from my alleged wrong, my insurance won't cover you for that second allegation. That's one of the arguments that St. Paul's was making. Whether you buy into it or not (and I don't) is moot. It's simply the basis on which they based their decision. Tim or Tim's insurance company has the option of suing St. Paul's for the basis of their decision being wrong, and that would be a whole separate matter.

Chris: " . . . why should we believe their current insurance would be any better?"

Well, for one thing, it's a different company doing the underwriting. The old company was St. Paul's and they weren't too keen on doing diving insurance. The new compnay is through Lloyd's of London, and it's a 5-year deal.

Chris: "What guarantee are they willing to make for the money they extract?"

You'll need to ask NAUI that yourself. But if you don't like the policy, go with someone else.

Perosnally, I'm listing Tim on my policy as "Great Escape Charters, Tim Burke owner/operator, M/V Great Escape." I'm using that format for other operators, too.

And lest anyone be tempted to start saying, "I can't believe Ken's defenidng the insurance company," I'm not. I'm simply stating the facts as I know them. You can draw your own conclusions.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instr. #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, CA

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