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Old 05-13-2014, 07:14 PM   #1
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Boat insurance

Can't find a discussion of boat insurance. Any suggestions for boat insurance, maybe based on a claim and how it was handled, cruising limits, named storms etc. I have Boat US now, time to renew and wanted to check if there was anything better and cheaper.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:35 PM   #2
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There are numerous threads on the subject. Go to Search in the header menu, then Advanced Search, and then enter Insurance in Keywords and select Search Titles Only in the drop down below that. Happy reading!
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:10 PM   #3
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Virtually everyone is cheaper. Pantaenius is good. Joe Kolisch is an excellent ins broker as is Sterling Acceptance Corp.
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:22 AM   #4
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Best suggestion I can make is to contact Peter, our own Pau Hana. An excellent marine insurance broker (even if he won't say it) who will steer you pretty straight. You can send him a PM.
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:53 AM   #5
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If (when) you take your Krogen 48 outside of the US and Canada you will find the multitude of insurance companies is narrowed down to just a few with Markel and Pantaenius (US) frequent mentions. Discuss these and others he may suggest with Peter. One of the problems of switching insurance companies when your cruising area changes (Boat US is limited) is that your may be required to have a new survey.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:56 AM   #6
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Best suggestion I can make is to contact Peter, our own Pau Hana. An excellent marine insurance broker (even if he won't say it) who will steer you pretty straight. You can send him a PM.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:10 AM   #7
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Thanks, guys- appreciate the kind comments. PM has been sent to Mr. Peterson.

Marty makes a great point about changing companies when changing cruising areas; to further his thought process: If you know you're headed offshore or on an extended cruise (thru the Panama Canal as an example, doing the Vic-Maui or Transpac, or the FUBAR or Baja HaHa), you'll want to switch your insurance policy sooner rather than later.

Reason- any insurance company wants to build a history with the client, and are much more willing to extend navigation with minimal premium impact on an existing client vice a new client that requests coverage for the trip a day or 2 before departure.

By changing companies earlier, you'll also be able to find out any requirements the insurer may have for an extended voyage and compete said requirements (including survey).
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:47 AM   #8
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Only to reinforce what has been said. Good reliable broker who can cover every aspect of the policy and coverage with you and warn you against all pitfalls. Now that doesn't mean you shouldn't also read each and every detail.

But the other point is get someone up front who can cover all your plans, even if some are not in the immediate future. Build a relationship. That way you won't find yourself rushed for a new carrier and new survey when your plans change. We heard and read all the statements about my policy requires me above a certain area during hurricane season or mine doesn't cover named storms or mine requires haul out during storms or mine only covers this area. Many limitations. We found with a top marine insurer whose business is broader in nature these limitations faded away or cost far less extra than most believe. What we found they were most interested in was the condition of the boat, the experience and history of the owner and operators, and any licenses. Everyone talks about hurricanes, but we didn't find our location in south Florida to be an issue. We are not currently covered however for the Arctic or Antarctica. Not designed as an ice cutter.

Think of all the boats that are covered for just the things you want to do. Then consider who has them covered. I laughed at those who said they couldn't come to Florida during hurricane season. Really, have you noticed all the yachts in Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean? Do you think they're uninsured?

I learned long ago the difference between getting a true marine insurer versus just a general insurer. I was paying on the lake half what my neighbor was paying for a boat valued far less than mine.

The two I have experience and knowledge of are Pantaenius and Lloyd's. In most areas of the US, Lloyd's is a surplus lines insurer, not a state licensed insurer. A broker can explain the difference.

Also, a final point in choosing your insurer wisely now. Storms and hurricanes. They will come somewhere, sometime. Many insurers will start reducing exposure and not renewing policies afterward. Sometimes it even appears a bit illogical. For instance after Sandy an insurer cuts back on the Gulf Coast. But what they saw was they were more exposed in a single area than they wanted to be. Well, long time policy holders are least likely to be impacted. But even more, if you choose a company with market share throughout the world, any single situation won't lead to panic. Yes, a Pantaenius type has a lot of exposure in a location like South Florida, but at any time the number of boats they have insured there is still a small part of their total business.

Choose your broker wisely just as you would any professional. Yes, the guy down the street who has insured your car for decades is very nice and helpful. But he might know nothing about boats and coverage for them. Most of you here are really looking for a "Yacht Policy" as opposed to a boat policy, simply based on size of boat and where to be used.
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:49 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the info. I called Peter @ Anchor Marine in Seattle and he is working on a quote. My boat is in Seattle so it seemed right to get someone in the area to work on my insurance for me, and a member of this Forum. We talked about all of the issues you guys brought up and he has a solution for them. Like in 2016 heading South to who knows where.....Mexico, Caribbean etc.
I sure appreciate my extended family as a member of this Forum. I appreciate you all for sharing your experience. Experience is the best teacher, I am much wiser, knowing what questions to ask benefiting from your experience.
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:22 PM   #10
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Me as well as a lot of people I know deal with our current insurance company. I have all my houses, cars, business, and boat with Allstate. I have found it to be a whole lot cheaper and there is no cruising limits. Just make sure it covers salvage and fuel spills. It is always cheaper to bundle, call your current agent first! Don't fall into the trap that it has to be a marine insurance company.
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Old 05-14-2014, 04:09 PM   #11
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Me as well as a lot of people I know deal with our current insurance company. I have all my houses, cars, business, and boat with Allstate. I have found it to be a whole lot cheaper and there is no cruising limits. Just make sure it covers salvage and fuel spills. It is always cheaper to bundle, call your current agent first! Don't fall into the trap that it has to be a marine insurance company.
Just make sure you have all you need including salvage, environmental, etc. No exclusions.

And while in your case it might have been less expensive bundling, saying "it is always cheaper to bundle" is just not true. I might have thought the same thing, but have found otherwise in my case just as I did when I lived on the lake and had a smaller boat.
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Old 05-14-2014, 04:59 PM   #12
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Excuse my repeat of a comment I have made several times: If you are going outside of the United States and have a personal umbrella policy confirm that (1) the policy will cover your boat, and you, anywhere in the world (outside of Cuba), or at least any area you could possibly end up in, and (2) that the coverage will pay for the defense and any claim made outside of the US. Some policies will pay for a claim arising outside of the US, but only if the suit is brought in the US.
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:56 PM   #13
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Just make sure you have all you need including salvage, environmental, etc. No exclusions.

And while in your case it might have been less expensive bundling, saying "it is always cheaper to bundle" is just not true. I might have thought the same thing, but have found otherwise in my case just as I did when I lived on the lake and had a smaller boat.
You might want to consider changing insurance companies. I prefer to deal with one company having all my policies, that way they are less likely to drop you after a claim.
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:41 PM   #14
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Bundling with homeowners, auto, etc. is not always possible. In fact most companies that write homeowners policies will not insure boats above a certain value.
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:57 PM   #15
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You might want to consider changing insurance companies. I prefer to deal with one company having all my policies, that way they are less likely to drop you after a claim.
We have boats and go places and live in a place, none of which is conducive to auto and homeowner insurers. First and foremost we can't get the coverage we want. We're very happy with our auto insurance, our home insurance, our business insurance, our boat insurance, and our umbrella policy. Even our health and life insurance. But we do deal with several companies.

Not saying our situation is the same as yours or others. Just saying State Farm, Allstate, Farmers and Geico...none of those four can accommodate all our needs. Oh and in case of State Farm, we do have a status under which they will never cancel our auto insurance, but that's all it applies to. Of course, they could always raise rates to basically accomplish the same as cancelling. But we also have excellent records.

For boating and our umbrella, we want insurers with worldwide presence as well. For boating we also wanted a policy that didn't place restrictions on us.
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:11 PM   #16
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Bundling with homeowners, auto, etc. is not always possible. In fact most companies that write homeowners policies will not insure boats above a certain value.
Actually the major multi-line insurers have limits on homeowner's policies as well. For instance, Allstate has a limit of $250,000 on flood insurance and on a flood policy they won't insure appliances in a basement, regardless of how well they basement is finished. Now they will turn right around and cover those same items under a separate policy if you wish.

I'll give you a huge item to watch out for. Many policies don't cover damages that happen as a result of or even after a non-covered item such as an engine failure or fuel issues. So, boat engines fail. You end up on rocks. Not covered, nor is the salvage. I knew someone one insurer was refusing to remove their wrecked boat after an accident. Boat was sitting docked very precariously at a marina. Their policy read, "Pays the reasonable expenses you incur for any attempted or actual raising, removal, or destruction of the wreck of your boat when damage is caused by an insured loss and removal or destruction is required by law." Their argument was that their was no law requiring it be removed from the marina.

If your coverage and price suit you and you really know what is and isn't covered then however you get there is fine. For us, it is not through a traditional multi-line insurer.
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:45 AM   #17
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Bundling with homeowners, auto, etc. is not always possible. In fact most companies that write homeowners policies will not insure boats above a certain value.
Years ago, when I had trailer boats, I used my homeowners/auto insurance company to cover the boat and trailer as well. But the value/risk was minimal and I was more concerned with personal injury liability coverage.

With a larger boat, an insurance company who doesn't at least have a marine division to deal with would be a mistake. In this litigious society we live in, I would not be comfortable with a company who isn't well versed and experienced in marine insurance, boat construction, ABYC, marine claims processing, towing, marine salvage, environmental laws and boating laws, etc.

For example, I was having difficulty with a surveyor who was on a personal crusade to require all bronze ball valves be replaced with plastic (Marelon I believe). One call to Boat US, they called the surveyor and he unhappily struck the recommendation from his survey.
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:44 AM   #18
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Interesting read, this thread. I'll have some comments in the morning......
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Old 05-15-2014, 04:51 PM   #19
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Me as well as a lot of people I know deal with our current insurance company. I have all my houses, cars, business, and boat with Allstate. I have found it to be a whole lot cheaper and there is no cruising limits. Just make sure it covers salvage and fuel spills. It is always cheaper to bundle, call your current agent first! Don't fall into the trap that it has to be a marine insurance company.
Respectfully, I disagree- not because we are a marine specialty brokerage, but because there is much, much more to marine insurance than just "making sure that salvage and fuel spills are covered".

Does Allstate cover pollution liability in accordance with the OPA of 1990 (and subsequent amendments) to meet EPA standards? If not, to what level do they cover pollution liability?

From what part of the policy does the Allstate policy cover salvage? How much do they cover? Do they delineate between salvage and wreck removal?

Now trying to bust balls here, but I've had this exact conversation with Allstate- and the policy language is wholly inadequate.

Just because a lot of people insure their vessel with Allstate (or similar company) doesn't mean the coverage is good. The only fact there is that you know a lot of people that insure with Allstate.

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Just make sure you have all you need including salvage, environmental, etc. No exclusions.

And while in your case it might have been less expensive bundling, saying "it is always cheaper to bundle" is just not true. I might have thought the same thing, but have found otherwise in my case just as I did when I lived on the lake and had a smaller boat.
True statement.

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Originally Posted by Bay Pelican View Post
Excuse my repeat of a comment I have made several times: If you are going outside of the United States and have a personal umbrella policy confirm that (1) the policy will cover your boat, and you, anywhere in the world (outside of Cuba), or at least any area you could possibly end up in, and (2) that the coverage will pay for the defense and any claim made outside of the US. Some policies will pay for a claim arising outside of the US, but only if the suit is brought in the US.
Again, true statement.

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Originally Posted by windmill29130 View Post
You might want to consider changing insurance companies. I prefer to deal with one company having all my policies, that way they are less likely to drop you after a claim.
A claim is not automatically the kiss of death for an insurance company. In fact, after a claim, the insurance company is more likely to want to retain you as a client, so they have a chance to capture back some of the monies paid out on your behalf. Yes, the premium will likely increase.

In a bundling situation, there is a solid chance that the premium for the entire book of business will increase for a single claim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonstruck View Post
Bundling with homeowners, auto, etc. is not always possible. In fact most companies that write homeowners policies will not insure boats above a certain value.
True statement. Add "certain age or length" to the statement....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edelweiss View Post
Years ago, when I had trailer boats, I used my homeowners/auto insurance company to cover the boat and trailer as well. But the value/risk was minimal and I was more concerned with personal injury liability coverage.

With a larger boat, an insurance company who doesn't at least have a marine division to deal with would be a mistake. In this litigious society we live in, I would not be comfortable with a company who isn't well versed and experienced in marine insurance, boat construction, ABYC, marine claims processing, towing, marine salvage, environmental laws and boating laws, etc.

For example, I was having difficulty with a surveyor who was on a personal crusade to require all bronze ball valves be replaced with plastic (Marelon I believe). One call to Boat US, they called the surveyor and he unhappily struck the recommendation from his survey.
Agreed! Except for the part about the insuring company calling the surveyor; the recommendation for the Marelon valves is just that- a recommendation. ABYC has no specific as to what material is required, so the insuring company can just fall back on ABYC and call that a recommendation vice a requirement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
Only to reinforce what has been said. Good reliable broker who can cover every aspect of the policy and coverage with you and warn you against all pitfalls. Now that doesn't mean you shouldn't also read each and every detail.

But the other point is get someone up front who can cover all your plans, even if some are not in the immediate future. Build a relationship. That way you won't find yourself rushed for a new carrier and new survey when your plans change. We heard and read all the statements about my policy requires me above a certain area during hurricane season or mine doesn't cover named storms or mine requires haul out during storms or mine only covers this area. Many limitations. We found with a top marine insurer whose business is broader in nature these limitations faded away or cost far less extra than most believe. What we found they were most interested in was the condition of the boat, the experience and history of the owner and operators, and any licenses. Everyone talks about hurricanes, but we didn't find our location in south Florida to be an issue. We are not currently covered however for the Arctic or Antarctica. Not designed as an ice cutter.

Think of all the boats that are covered for just the things you want to do. Then consider who has them covered. I laughed at those who said they couldn't come to Florida during hurricane season. Really, have you noticed all the yachts in Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean? Do you think they're uninsured?

I learned long ago the difference between getting a true marine insurer versus just a general insurer. I was paying on the lake half what my neighbor was paying for a boat valued far less than mine.

The two I have experience and knowledge of are Pantaenius and Lloyd's. In most areas of the US, Lloyd's is a surplus lines insurer, not a state licensed insurer. A broker can explain the difference.

Also, a final point in choosing your insurer wisely now. Storms and hurricanes. They will come somewhere, sometime. Many insurers will start reducing exposure and not renewing policies afterward. Sometimes it even appears a bit illogical. For instance after Sandy an insurer cuts back on the Gulf Coast. But what they saw was they were more exposed in a single area than they wanted to be. Well, long time policy holders are least likely to be impacted. But even more, if you choose a company with market share throughout the world, any single situation won't lead to panic. Yes, a Pantaenius type has a lot of exposure in a location like South Florida, but at any time the number of boats they have insured there is still a small part of their total business.

Choose your broker wisely just as you would any professional. Yes, the guy down the street who has insured your car for decades is very nice and helpful. But he might know nothing about boats and coverage for them. Most of you here are really looking for a "Yacht Policy" as opposed to a boat policy, simply based on size of boat and where to be used.
The last comment is pure wisdom.

Look, we all want to pay as little as possible for insurance coverage- and many think that anyone in insurance has Satan as a boss. The challenge is to balance coverage that meets YOUR requirements with a competitive premium pricing. The wisdom in choosing a specialty broker/agent versed in marine insurance is worth its weight in gold. Your standard property/casualty agent (home/auto) is simply not familiar with what questions to ask of the client to get the best coverage for the client.

In my conversation with Mr. Peterson, we talked about his needs; we talked about his cruising plans both now, and in the coming years. The quotations offered were similar in pricing; the company Mr. Peterson selected was actually less expensive and offered much better coverage. The company selected has the navigation capacity to meet his cruising needs, now and for future endeavors.

As always, I strongly recommend that ALL take the time to read their policy and understand what it does (and does not) cover.

Cheers!
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:32 PM   #20
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Look, we all want to pay as little as possible for insurance coverage- and many think that anyone in insurance has Satan as a boss. The challenge is to balance coverage that meets YOUR requirements with a competitive premium pricing. The wisdom in choosing a specialty broker/agent versed in marine insurance is worth its weight in gold. Your standard property/casualty agent (home/auto) is simply not familiar with what questions to ask of the client to get the best coverage for the client.

In my conversation with Mr. Peterson, we talked about his needs; we talked about his cruising plans both now, and in the coming years. The quotations offered were similar in pricing; the company Mr. Peterson selected was actually less expensive and offered much better coverage. The company selected has the navigation capacity to meet his cruising needs, now and for future endeavors.

As always, I strongly recommend that ALL take the time to read their policy and understand what it does (and does not) cover.
Obviously Pau Hana might be considered to be prejudiced in this matter, but I share his views 100% and I have no direct interest. I am prejudiced but based on studying the situation and all the facts. Yes, I wish it could all be one company but everyone has specialties. The big money maker for the large US insurers is auto insurance. There was a time after Hurricane Andrew that the insurers announced they were going to withdraw from offering property insurance in Florida. The Florida insurance commissioner announced that while he couldn't stop them from doing that he could stop them from selling auto insurance in the state if they did that. They agreed to maintain the same level of policies they had.

Just look at flood insurance as an example. Lloyd's just dropped that cost dramatically. Compared to the National Flood Insurance Program (which is also what others are charging) here are some recent numbers in the Tampa/St Pete area. NFIP $6685 Lloyd's $1367, NFIP $9004 Lloyd's $1489, NFIP $6342 Lloyd's $2192.

Really when it comes to insurance it's crucial to find a knowledgeable broker you trust, crucial to study the policies in detail. Yes, the State Farm, Allstate, and Farmers are going to claim you should get it all from them because that's their business. Make sure you're getting the coverage you need. The detail of policies is a lot about the conditions under which they will not pay. What about piracy or war? Remote possibility for most of us but in certain areas possible. What about various "acts of God". That's like a homeowner's policy that will pay when your roof gets destroyed during a storm but won't pay for all the resulting damage in the house from the water coming through, claiming that is flood.

The best insurance policy for insurers is the one they don't have to pay out on. I knew a guy who lived in NYC but registered his car and insured it in SC to save money. He bragged about what he was saving, until I told him he was paying money monthly for no insurance at all. He didn't believe me until he checked with his attorney who told him the same thing. NY wreck insurer would immediately ask why in NY, find out he lived there, policy invalid, no pay.

There are some really bad boat policies out there. I've seen them. Make sure yours is not one of them. Salvage and Environmental can be $500,000 on a $50,000 boat. Does your policy allow you to proceed immediately to mitigate damages?
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