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Old 12-06-2014, 01:13 PM   #1
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Boat Insurance

Anybody have a suggestion as to what insurance company is best for Nimble Nomad? Thanks
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Old 12-06-2014, 01:45 PM   #2
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Anybody have a suggestion as to what insurance company is best for Nimble Nomad? Thanks
I recently went through this...

Sea Tow: $750
Geico: $525
Boat US: $2950 (really?)

This on a $48K hull value rate in the North Carolina area..
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Old 12-06-2014, 02:51 PM   #3
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I didn't shop around, but rather asked friends what they were paying. State Farm bundles all of my insurance so supposedly I get a discounted rate. Insurance here is year around only, regardless of the usage. I am covered for up to something like 80 miles offshore and just about anything else you can imagine. $93 a month, about $1150 a year on $130,000 value.

There are no Boat US loans for purchase of boats going to Alaska. I do not believe Sea Tow has any services in Alaska, probably due to low demand. My price is in the average for my friends with boats of a size or quality to be worth insuring :-)
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Old 12-06-2014, 03:06 PM   #4
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I didn't shop around, but rather asked friends what they were paying. State Farm bundles all of my insurance
I was with state farm for 40+ years.....Until I realized they were hosing me on my homeowners....Double the rate of AARP's Hartford. I switched and saved over $1200/yr on my cars and home. Your mileage may vary, but I won't be going back..
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Old 12-06-2014, 03:29 PM   #5
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I posted the rate SF charges me and the value I insure for as information, not to start a discussion on insurance companies. I compare what I have to what is available here, and what I pay is competitive or to my advantage. Rates will vary according to your location and situation, they are high here. A friend with a Nordic Tug 32 pays just over $1500 a year through a broker for just summer use coverage and winter storage.
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Old 12-06-2014, 03:38 PM   #6
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I posted the rate SF charges me and the value I insure for as information, not to start a discussion on insurance companies. .

Your deal may be good...Mine wasn't. It always pays to shop around...
We have the recent hurricane losses here in NC and SF was trying to recoup their costs...As was Boat US, hence their higher rates..
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:07 PM   #7
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I have Boat US and they've been really good here in the Pacific NW. Rate has stayed stead for about 10 years now at about $1000 per year.

I left my original "Yacht" Insurance company as they gave me a cheap rate, then raised the rate every year and started demanding a new out of water survey every 3 to 4 years at my expense "because of the boats age" they said. Since my original survey, Boat US has not asked for another, but I'm probably due. When they want a survey, I'm told they assign a surveyor at their expense and don't require a haul out.

Sounds like they are not interested in covering boats in Hurricane Alley. I have a friend on the Gulf Coast with the same boat as mine and they quoted him $2500.
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:57 AM   #8
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Just as important, read the policy language. That's right, don't trust what your agent says or what you read on the Internet. I did a seminar on boat insurance and looked at five different companies' policies. There were significant differences in all of them.

Most auto insurance companies have boat policies designed for boats on trailers. If you have a bigger boat you should look at yacht policies. Companies like Chubb, Ace, and Premiere are some of the big names. One big gotcha is that premiere pays out after an "accident" and I know of two cases where they would not cover engine damage after a part failure. Most yacht policies will pay to repair an engine after a part failure.

YMMV.

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Old 12-07-2014, 12:03 PM   #9
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:12 AM   #10
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Talk to TF member Pau Hana, he is a great resource.
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:21 AM   #11
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I'm paying $709 yearly for my 2004 Nordic Tug with a hull value of $175,000
The policy is underwritten thru Markel American Insurance Company.
This policy equals or exceeds Boat US' policy and was a heck of a lot less money annually .

My policy was written by American Marine Insurance Services down here in Southern California but apparently can write a policy for anywhere.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:57 AM   #12
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Just as important, read the policy language. That's right, don't trust what your agent says or what you read on the Internet. I did a seminar on boat insurance and looked at five different companies' policies. There were significant differences in all of them.

Most auto insurance companies have boat policies designed for boats on trailers. If you have a bigger boat you should look at yacht policies. Companies like Chubb, Ace, and Premiere are some of the big names. One big gotcha is that premiere pays out after an "accident" and I know of two cases where they would not cover engine damage after a part failure. Most yacht policies will pay to repair an engine after a part failure.

YMMV.

Rob
Well stated, Rob, and on point.

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I have Boat US and they've been really good here in the Pacific NW. Rate has stayed stead for about 10 years now at about $1000 per year.

I left my original "Yacht" Insurance company as they gave me a cheap rate, then raised the rate every year and started demanding a new out of water survey every 3 to 4 years at my expense "because of the boats age" they said. Since my original survey, Boat US has not asked for another, but I'm probably due. When they want a survey, I'm told they assign a surveyor at their expense and don't require a haul out.

Sounds like they are not interested in covering boats in Hurricane Alley. I have a friend on the Gulf Coast with the same boat as mine and they quoted him $2500.
Respectfully, having a survey requirement on a regular basis is a good thing. It can serve as an ongoing punch list to make the owner aware of the material condition of the boat. Too many owners their boat deteriorate and still expect to be paid should a claim occur (negligence is specifically excluded in most policies).

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Why the popcorn? The OP asks valid questions...

Hohee, there are quite a few factors that are in play when it comes to insuring. A boat- and that is why it's unwise to use anybody's rate information as a basis for comparison. Those factors include navigation area, owner experience (or lack thereof), vessel type and size, vessel value, what fuel and equipment the vessel has, credit history, and more.

Next, you have to consider what the policy actually covers- this is the policy language that Rob mentioned. Too many owners shop for a vessel policy based on the pricing, and forget to ask about the coverages. When a claim occurs, that low priced policy (with its many exclusions) is found to be generally worthless.

To answer your question directly, there is really no "best" policy; look for the policy that best meets your specific needs.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:53 AM   #13
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Respectfully, having a survey requirement on a regular basis is a good thing. It can serve as an ongoing punch list to make the owner aware of the material condition of the boat. Too many owners their boat deteriorate and still expect to be paid should a claim occur (negligence is specifically excluded in most policies).
And that's why insurance companies require my home, and business building, to be inspected every 3 or 4 years at my expense? Oh wait a minute. . . they don't.


If the insurance company wants an inspection, then it should be at their expense. Just another bad business practice that has gotten out of control and needs to end!! IMHO
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:11 PM   #14
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It would be Ok to have a quick walk thru, inexpensive survey every 5 years...

But.....they can get out of hand with way too much personal input by the surveyor and wind up wasting time and money. Often the fire starters and boat sinkers aren't discovered while many redundant safety or safety upgrades are penned and now required by the insurance co..

Thankfully there are good agents and companies that will negotiate much of the outrageous stuff but it still costs time and or money.
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:13 AM   #15
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Boat Insurance

I have a yacht policy with Red Shield. My broker is Neal Booth, Boat Insurance Agency, Seattle. Excellent service and a fairly priced comprehensive policy that includes coverage for westside Vancouver Island and Southeast Alaska.
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:14 PM   #16
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And that's why insurance companies require my home, and business building, to be inspected every 3 or 4 years at my expense? Oh wait a minute. . . they don't.


If the insurance company wants an inspection, then it should be at their expense. Just another bad business practice that has gotten out of control and needs to end!! IMHO
And how often do you take your home or business building out on the water? Or even down the road? Do they have engines and other mechanical equipment regularly exposed to rough conditions and salt water? You're talking apples and oranges.

As to saying the insurance company should do it at their expense, they do nothing at their expense as ultimately you pay them a premium. So are you saying up the premium to cover it?

Your home and business building likely appreciate or at worst remain flat in value. Also, as they're occupied on a daily basis they are fairly assured to be kept to a certain minimal standard. Boats depreciate, sometimes rapidly. Also they sit often unused and may be allowed to deteriorate.
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:30 PM   #17
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And how often do you take your home or business building out on the water? Or even down the road? Do they have engines and other mechanical equipment regularly exposed to rough conditions and salt water? You're talking apples and oranges.

As to saying the insurance company should do it at their expense, they do nothing at their expense as ultimately you pay them a premium. So are you saying up the premium to cover it?

Your home and business building likely appreciate or at worst remain flat in value. Also, as they're occupied on a daily basis they are fairly assured to be kept to a certain minimal standard. Boats depreciate, sometimes rapidly. Also they sit often unused and may be allowed to deteriorate.
That is most of the insurance companies argument. . . . But if one of the largest marine insurance companies, Boat US representing nearly 800,000 insured boaters in North America doesn't demand owner paid haul outs and surveys every couple years, while offering comparable rates and coverage, then it doesn't hold water. (pun unintended!!)

Vote with your feet people!!
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:10 PM   #18
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That is most of the insurance companies argument. . . . But if one of the largest marine insurance companies, Boat US representing nearly 800,000 insured boaters in North America doesn't demand owner paid haul outs and surveys every couple years, while offering comparable rates and coverage, then it doesn't hold water. (pun unintended!!)

Vote with your feet people!!
The vast majority of Boat US insured boats are smaller boats, typically runabouts and bass and pontoon boats, a few cruisers and a very very small percentage of larger boats cruising larger areas. Also, when it comes to those larger boats, their policies have some very significant shortcomings and they often limit availability in order to keep their exposure down.

And now you're also exaggerating by saying "every couple years" and I don't know a single marine insurer requiring surveys every couple years. Frequency of survey does vary with insurer, insured value, usage, age and other factors.

As to Boat US, there's a tremendous amount of difference in insuring a 20' boat used on a landlocked lake and insuring a trawler.

If you're happy with your insurer then that's fine. But I do hope you've read every page of the policy, including the salvage clauses and the consequential damage clauses, as well as any usage restrictions.

Just a few of the normal Boat US limitations. Limited to US and Canada with availability of coverage to Bahamas. Not insuring the last I knew in certain areas due to too much saturations. Medical payments limited to $10,000 per person. Hope anyone with such a policy also has a nice umbrella policy with someone else. Normally liability limited to $500,000 which is fine if you do have an umbrella policy as well. To the policy's credit it does cover consequential damage. Many policies to require haul outs for winter or staying north of certain areas or limit coverage in named storms. And they do make note on their web site that they'll help you investigate manufacturer defects. The other side of that equation is they will look for possible manufacturer defects and if they find some or believe they have then consider themselves off the hook.

Salvage costs are limited to the value of the boat when salvage and environmental claims can greatly exceed the boat value. Their Boat Saver and PWC policies assume 10% depreciation per year regardless of whether your boat is actually depreciating at that rate. Haul out for named storms is only covered at 50% and limited to $1000. On their Yacht Policies a rather onerous depreciation clause for repairs. On certain equipment at 6 years and other at 11 years depreciation jumps in.

Understand Boat US is not an insurance underwriter and they did switch underwriters on their policy a year or so ago and currently they use three different underwriters depending on your location.

Now, this all said, Boat US is a good choice for many people under many circumstances. But one needs to be very careful they know the details of what they are getting from any policy. However, they are hardly the standard for policies for larger boats.
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Old 12-09-2014, 02:24 PM   #19
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The vast majority of Boat US insured boats are smaller boats, typically runabouts and bass and pontoon boats, a few cruisers and a very very small percentage of larger boats cruising larger areas......

And now you're also exaggerating by saying "every couple years" .....

Just a few of the normal Boat US limitations. Limited to US and Canada with availability of coverage to Bahamas. Not insuring the last I knew in certain areas due to too much saturations. Medical payments limited to $10,000 per person. Hope anyone with such a policy also has a nice umbrella policy with someone else. Normally liability limited to $500,000 which is fine if you do have an umbrella policy as well. To the policy's credit it does cover consequential damage. Many policies to require haul outs for winter or staying north of certain areas or limit coverage in named storms. And they do make note on their web site that they'll help you investigate manufacturer defects. The other side of that equation is they will look for possible manufacturer defects and if they find some or believe they have then consider themselves off the hook.

Salvage costs are limited to the value of the boat when salvage and environmental claims can greatly exceed the boat value. Their Boat Saver and PWC policies assume 10% depreciation per year regardless of whether your boat is actually depreciating at that rate. Haul out for named storms is only covered at 50% and limited to $1000. On their Yacht Policies a rather onerous depreciation clause for repairs. On certain equipment at 6 years and other at 11 years depreciation jumps in.

Understand Boat US is not an insurance underwriter and they did switch underwriters on their policy a year or so ago and currently they use three different underwriters depending on your location. .
True they do insure both large and small boats, but many of my fellow boaters in this area, most with 40' and larger have Boat US. If you're a world traveler, then you probably want a different company.

I don't know where you get your information but it's not accurate. Before I jumped ship, I had my old policy from another well known marine insurer compared to their policy by an insurance professional and they compare favorably.

My previous insurer began asking for a survey every three years when my boat reached 25 years of age. . . no exaggeration!!

The values you stated are for a basic policy, you can ask for higher levels of coverage and larger cruising areas depending on your needs. I chose to raise my coverage for environmental, liability and I added SE Alaska to my normal cruising area for not much more. Would you really want to pay for coverage for areas you don't cruise in and besides with one phone call you can add cruising areas on the fly for the time you'll be cruising that area?? If you cruise Mexico they have a Mexican partner company who will sell you coverage that is actually acceptable with Mexican authorities. Mexico doesn't accept US career policies for car or boat.

Boat US and main underwriter NLIFC, A++ rated, are Halliburton companies (Warren Buffett). Their other underwriters are Seaworthy (their parent company) and CNA which has been a long time marine underwriter for Boat US.

Limiting exposure through loss prevention, mainly operator error and exposure to major storm loss has become the name of the game. Sorry for you guys who live in high risk hurricane areas, but high risk equates to higher loss and you're seeing that in the policy quotes you are receiving.

Last Word: Sorry if I sound like an advocate for Boat US as other than a customer I have no relationship with them. I just got tired of the insurance company hype and getting the shaft from the "Status Quo. . .That's the way we've always done it??" insurance companies. And I went out and found something better!! But you decide for yourself.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:05 PM   #20
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Boat US and main underwriter NLIFC, A++ rated, are Halliburton companies (Warren Buffett). Their other underwriters are Seaworthy (their parent company) and CNA which has been a long time marine underwriter for Boat US.


Last Word: Sorry if I sound like an advocate for Boat US as other than a customer I have no relationship with them. I just got tired of the insurance company hype and getting the shaft from the "Status Quo. . .That's the way we've always done it??" insurance companies. And I went out and found something better!! But you decide for yourself.
And I'm not anti Boat US. The only thing I encourage all people to do is read the policy in it's entirety and then compare. They wouldn't work for us, but work quite well for many people.

Now as to the owners of Boat US, etc. It's Berkshire Hathaway, which is Buffett, but not Halliburton. Halliburton services oil fields, is controversial often, and Bush and Cheney at various times worked for parts of what is now Halliburton.
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