Thursday, April 14, 2016

Jetski Stolen, then Returned

Had my Jetski Stolen. As crappy as it sounds at least I had insurance. So I was thankful for that. BUT the story doesn't end there. Oh no, it doesn't end. I filed the police report. Called insurance, filed a claim, filed the police report to support the claim and then called the Florida Tax Collector, informed them of the trailer and ski loss. They added info and tagged the ski VIN incase someone would try to register it. I did everything I was supposed to. What happened next is the real issue. (May)

About 30 days later (June) I get a call from the local Sherriff. He says " I think we found your ski". He then says "is there anyway you can identify it, or are there any identifying marks that you can tell me about." I told him there was a small fiberglass repair and he found that and said "Yep, its here we found your ski.". I'm feeling relieved and then started the wondering. Is it in bad shape? What now? when can I get it back? what do I need to do to get it back? All kinds of things. First thing I do is call the insurance Company. I talk to the agent who has been tracking my case, and the first thing he says is, "Mr. XXXXX I was just getting ready to call you because we are going to cut you your check for the ski and trailer." I say, "No Need they found my ski I am getting it back, but I don't know what damage there is." He says, "no problem just let us know and we will work through that claim".

I think great, this is going to go well. BUT little did I know the first step was getting it back, and what a hassle that would be. The sheriff tells me it is at an impound lot. He tells me the address and I go there, well its not an impound lot it is a towing company and they have it towed and stored. They then proceed to tell me about recovery and storage fees. These total $709, I think ok, sucks but I'll file it with Insurance. I whip out my credit card. Through the three whole teeth of the office women I hear, "NOPE, we only takes cash". Great its Saturday, banks closed, who carries cash anymore and BTW who can get $700 out of an ATM. I tell them I will have to go to my bank Monday and get the $700. The stringy haired troll of a woman says, "OK, but that'll be two more days of Storage". SO now I'm wondering what to do, I go to the ATM and luckily my bank and the ATM let me take out $400, Then I pull out a credit card and get a $300 cash advance. I got $700 and I scrounge up $10 from loose dollars and change. I go back and give the gate keeper the money and "Fred" goes and gets the keys to the gate tied to the 5 foot 2x4. Walks me to the ski and there it sits, outside, full of water, no toungue jack, and looking pretty ragged.

I get it lifted up dump the water and then take it home, and put it in my garage. I then look at it to see what I can see and I can tell there are a few things right off that are beyond stupid. One, the mental giants of thieves who took it, CUT the safety chains...?? They removed the tail lights from the trailer, removed the VIN plate from the ski, and removed the vin from the trailer, they scrapped off one side of the stickers that said SEA DOO and then they removed the side sponsons from the ski, they also somehow damaged the hand grips and pushed on the red start button so much that it ripped in half, they scratched the entire ski up, stole the battery and the cover and life vests. They also removed the fenders and the toungue jack. I mean really these guys that stole this had to be the Brightest in PASCO county, I'm sure they probably shared the same three teeth the tow company lady had.

Finally I get the insurance forms filled out submit that I have to take it to the dealer to get an appraisal for the damages. I take it to St. Pete and the dealer there does the appraisal and now sends it back to the insurance. The appraisal came back at $5900, Also Find out that the Insurance is not going to cover the IMPOUND fee of $709, nor the cover or Life vests or anything but damages. To make it worse they say they are going to depreciate it 40% because it was 5 years OLD. Mind you the ski was garage kept, except one time when sitting overnight and got stolen, it also only had just over 50hrs on it. Unbelievable that I had to argue for almost 2 months to get them to only depreciate it 20% so I get a check for $4900. On top of this the dealer said that BRP would not issue a new VIN plate and I would have to get my own made. I contacted the DMV Florida and they confirmed, as long as the vin plate has the same VIN number on it they don't care what the plate looks like.

All in all I was out the cost of three life vests ($300), a cover ($235), towing fees ($709), and 20% depreciation ($1000) just to get the ski back to running, plus I was without it from may until November. Total cost to me for a stolen Jet Ski $2244.

If I would have just said "NOPE" not mine, I would have gotten a check for the value of the ski possibly minus depreciation of about 40% for about $5,100.

Take what you want from my story but next time, low jack your ski, or pray it is never found.