Due To Breach Of Contract, Court Voids Coverage For Massachusetts Boat Shop

 Monday, September 14, 2020

 Cape Cod Times

The owner of a boat repair and storage business won’t get any help from his insurance company to fend off lawsuits from customers whose boats were damaged or destroyed in a fire in 2018.

In a summary judgment issued Aug. 20, a judge in U.S. District Court in Boston concluded Karl Anderson, owner of Karl’s Boat Shop in Harwich and a storage barn in South Dennis, failed to meet the requirements contained in the contract with his insurer, Atlantic Specialty Insurance Co.

Judge William G. Young said that failure allowed Atlantic Specialty to void its insurance agreement with the boat shop and thus deny coverage of third-party claims from boat owners.

As part of his contract with Atlantic Specialty, Anderson was required to have boat owners sign waivers saying they would not hold him — and in turn Atlantic Specialty — responsible for any damage to their crafts while in Anderson’s care, except in cases of gross negligence.

In June 2018, a large fire in Anderson’s storage barn in South Dennis destroyed several boats and severely damaged others. The barn remains a burned-out shell with a few boats stored outside.
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