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Old 10-06-2012, 06:00 PM   #21
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[QUOTE=Marin;106798]
I'm not sure the comparison with home insurance is valid. Homes don't float, they don't sit in a hostile environment that is doing its best to corrode, rust, delaminate, and rot it and everything in it away, they are not driven around by people with varying degrees of competence, they are unlikely to hit a rock or reef or go around, they don't run out of fuel and drift into something with the current, and other houses are unlikely to run into them.

------------------------------------------
As a home and rental owner, I would beg to disagree.

Personal experience:

Split hose on a dishwasher, flooded the kitchen, living room, ruined sub floor and Oak flooring and carpet $25,000 insurance claim.

Delamination - LP siding came apart on a rental house due to poor installation and exposure to snow and rain $12,000 claim.

Kitchen stove fire resulted in smoke, fire and water damage $15,000

In this area, rain and moisture from leaking roofs, gutters and wicks up under the house causing thousands of dollars in damage from dry-rot and mold.

In many areas these are huge problems:
Invasive damage - Rodents, bees, beetles, cockroach and the dreaded termites and carpenter ants which can cause incredible damage.

How about earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, tropical storms and hurricanes? Unlike your boat or unless you live in a mobile home or camper, your house is going to stay right there and may be become a pile of sticks or a waterlogged disaster.

"they are not driven around by people with varying degrees of competence, they are unlikely to hit a rock or reef or go around, they don't run out of fuel and drift into something with the current"

Last time I looked there was no place on the survey that covered testing the skills and competence of the owner/skipper.
LB
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:35 PM   #22
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Edelwiss+1 I have flood, hurricane, termites and ants damage and the house was only 17 years old at the last event.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:43 PM   #23
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We're insured with BoatUS....and it looks like we are going to renew with them. I've called a couple of others...and they really can't give me a better rate...or better coverage.

I did get one good piece of advice from an insurance guy....he said that as you work on your boat...or have the boat repaired maintain a log of the work, and who did it. If something goes wrong and you have a claim having proof that you have maintained the vessel will help to protect you with the insurance company.

I log every bit of work I do on this boat...even the changing of the water filters on the fresh water system. My lovely wife transcribes it and types it out and it becomes a permanent part of our log.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:53 PM   #24
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Try Marine Underwriters Insurance

Libby has been very good to work with the last couple of years. Currently has us with Seaway. 954.205.9246
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:08 PM   #25
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We're insured with BoatUS....and it looks like we are going to renew with them. I've called a couple of others...and they really can't give me a better rate...or better coverage.

I did get one good piece of advice from an insurance guy....he said that as you work on your boat...or have the boat repaired maintain a log of the work, and who did it. If something goes wrong and you have a claim having proof that you have maintained the vessel will help to protect you with the insurance company.

I log every bit of work I do on this boat...even the changing of the water filters on the fresh water system. My lovely wife transcribes it and types it out and it becomes a permanent part of our log.
Keep checking then... every insurance company I contacted was a tad lower than Boat US...though they do have very high payout for environmental remediation and a few other things...so it was never really apples to apples.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:54 AM   #26
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Agree...especially the way some surveyors treat insurance surveys.
What is meant by this?

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Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
If I was an insurer, and I'm not...

I'd require a survey every few years for any "all risk" policy.

The reason is simple. If your boat has a "loss" the insurer has to pay. They have a reasonable expectation that the boat does not have or had not developed over time an issue that could cause the boat to be at risk.

Failure to know and verify the risk of loss for a vessle puts the insurer at risk, and raises the rates for everybody.
This is exactly a factual and correct statement.

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I'm sure they are good at figuring that out to a point....there are so many variables and because some require surveys way less often...I think it's more about each underwriters understanding of boats/yachts and their operators.
Bear in mind that the typical underwriter is looking at a risk based on the information provided by the agent (field underwriting) and the survey. the more info the underwriter has, the better he can assess the risk.

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------------------------------------------------------
You're right many insurance surveys and the surveyor who prepare them are sadly lacking. One of the last insurance surveys I had, the surveyor was so incompetent, I was truly shocked. His lack of knowledge of my boats construction, stating that brass and bronze were the same metal and finally asking me the value of my boat for the survey. Amazing!!

If the insurance companies had to pay for the haul out and survey, do you think they would demand one every 5 years?? That would be a big NO!!
Holes in the policy wording? Yeah, that is what they all say about their competitions policies.

When was the last time your home insurance company wrote you a letter and said, "We would like you to hire a realestate appraiser to come and inspect and appraise your home at your expense every five years? Send us the inspection and appraisal in the next six months or we will cancel your insurance." It doesn't happen because there is too much market competition and they would lose their client base. Yes there are additional risks with boats, mainly sinking or theft. But all the other risks, fire, rot, flooding, wind and rain damage are all present and the value of my house is four or five times the value of my boat.

IMHO. . .If you don't want to pay high premiums and unreasonable requests for surveys every couple years, then "vote with your feet."

Larry B
Larry, your above statements leave me a bit concerned, as it seems you rather despise insurance, or at the least, the standard practices of marine insurance coverage. You perfectly highlight a major problem- people want to pay as little as possible for marine surveys, insurance, maintenance, and related associated expenses related to boating. I too often see these same cheapskates (who bought the cheap policy, hired a no-name surveyor, and elected to choose bare minimum coverages with a no name company) yell and scream loudly that "they got screwed" when a loss occurs. "Caveat emptor" is the name of the game here.

Surveyors- Surveyors should be NAMS (National Association of Marine Surveyors) or SAMS (Society of Accredited Surveyors). These 2 organizations have promulgated standards and practices for surveys that have gained the trust and acceptance of insuring companies and marine lenders. The problems with surveys come when owners want to do the survey on the cheap, and hires a local who claims to have X number of years in the marine business.

Policy wording- There are holes in all policies, based on the coverages selected by the client. The yacht form policy (all risk) minimizes the risk to the insured because the tenet of the policy is simple: You have coverage unless specifically excluded in the policy wording. If the policy language is silent on a concern, the coverage is afforded to the client.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:53 AM   #27
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The insurance companies our broker has put us with for our yacht policy--- including Lloyds for awhile-- have all required periodic surveys. Usually about every five years.
I'm with Lloyds and for the like of me I can't seem to see where in my policy it requires periodic surveys. It maybe hidden in the fine print somewhere but I can't see it. Also one advantage of where we live, there is not much of a requirement for the storm coverage some of you guys & gals require although all the storms you have recently sent us from down south seems to be hitting us a little harder each year. For the most part the tail end is all petered out by the time it gets here.

The cost of my insurance each year is ~ $1100.

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Old 10-07-2012, 02:29 PM   #28
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[QUOTE=Pau Hana;106849]

Larry, your above statements leave me a bit concerned, as it seems you rather despise insurance, or at the least, the standard practices of marine insurance coverage.

I don't like to debate posts on the forum as they're personal opinions or business practices related and ultimately are just opinions. But since you're "concerned" I will share my thoughts and experiences.

I understand you are an insurance salesman and you are proud of the products/companies you sell and I do not intend to demean them in anyway. I have never purchased "cut rate" insurance nor would I encourage anyone to do so (if there is such a thing.) Everything I own, that I value is covered by an insurance policy, major companies and yes it is a necessary evil. But I would encourage everybody to read and understand their policy, ask questions, investigate each company you are considering personally. In most States the Insurance Commissioners Office regulates the insurance industry, approves, licenses companies, agents and investigates complaints involving insurance agents and companies.
They are a good source of information.

You perfectly highlight a major problem- people want to pay as little as possible for marine surveys, insurance, maintenance, and related associated expenses related to boating. I too often see these same cheapskates (who bought the cheap policy, hired a no-name surveyor, and elected to choose bare minimum coverages with a no name company) yell and scream loudly that "they got screwed" when a loss occurs. "Caveat emptor" is the name of the game here.

It's not only about how much you pay, "It's about the risk you are willing to accept." If you don't read the policy and trust somebody else to do it for you then you have no complaint? If you have liability only, then don't run crying to your insurance company when your car or boat is damaged in a hit-and-run collision.

Surveyors- Surveyors should be NAMS (National Association of Marine Surveyors) or SAMS (Society of Accredited Surveyors). These 2 organizations have promulgated standards and practices for surveys that have gained the trust and acceptance of insuring companies and marine lenders. The problems with surveys come when owners want to do the survey on the cheap, and hires a local who claims to have X number of years in the marine business.

Below are the qualifications that the surveyor lists that I mentioned. Many larger insurance companies list "qualified" surveyors by name and will only accept surveys from that list. He is still listed by my old insurance company and the company I currently use. Unfortunately, a small amount of knowledge can mislead people into thinking that they are more expert than they really are and this person is a liability.

Qualifications:
International Association of Marine Investigators (IAMI)
National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS)
Marine Insurance Association of Seattle (MIAS)
American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC)

Policy wording- There are holes in all policies, based on the coverages selected by the client. The yacht form policy (all risk) minimizes the risk to the insured because the tenet of the policy is simple: You have coverage unless specifically excluded in the policy wording. If the policy language is silent on a concern, the coverage is afforded to the client.


Good!! Let's call a spade-a-spade. A "hole" is not an "error" or an "omission" or a "deficiency in a policy." It's more accurately described as a "Measure of Risk." For instance, I don't carry flood insurance on my personal home which is 50 feet above the 500 year flood plane. But if the dam should break, it will most assuredly be washed away. That is a measure of risk I accept. I have a rental house within the 100 year flood plane, for which I do carry flood insurance. That is a level of risk I am not willing to accept.

"standard practices of marine insurance coverage"
Well, apparently five year surveys at owners expense are not a standard practice, if not all companies require them, as several posters here have stated that their insurance company doesn't require them or pays for them lock, stock, and barrel? I guess that would be one of those "holes" in the coverage.
IMOP

Enough said, I'm done!!
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:51 PM   #29
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I second calling Jack Martin Assoc. in Annapolis. We pay about $2K for $500K coverage (2% deductible) with $1M liability for East Coast seasonal use. Insured through Ace .... pretty big reputable company. Have had 2 claims - one for minor ding to sailboat ($4K) and one for hurricane haul out ($500). Both dealt with easily and no penalty to our premium. When we first got the Ace coverage others like BoatUS were more than double!!
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:55 PM   #30
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I'm with Lloyds and for the like of me I can't seem to see where in my policy it requires periodic surveys.

Elwin
LLoyds of London is not an insurance company. LLoyds is a marketplace of insurers, made up of individual companies accepting risk (or not) on anything from a Bayliner to an office building. a prospective policy is proposed and 1 or more member companies can provide a quote to offer insurance or not. It is incorrect to say "I am insured by Lloyds of london" . The correct way is "I am insured at Lloyds of London. Think NY stock exchange. It is made up of companies offering stock in their company NOT the NYSE.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:25 PM   #31
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Surveyors- Surveyors should be NAMS (National Association of Marine Surveyors) or SAMS (Society of Accredited Surveyors). These 2 organizations have promulgated standards and practices for surveys that have gained the trust and acceptance of insuring companies and marine lenders. The problems with surveys come when owners want to do the survey on the cheap, and hires a local who claims to have X number of years in the marine business.

The absolute worst surveyors I have ever hired were SAMS/NAMS "accredited". Their penchant for evaluating a 30 year old boat against the latest ABYC design guide is responsible for driving up insurance rates. When I called SAMS headquarters and complained about one of them, I was advised that individual members have a great amount of leeway. In other words, the organization has zero control over their members or over standardization. The senior staffer on the phone told me his personal boat would never meet the ABYC standard, and shouldn't be expected to. The SAMS/NAMS "trust partnership" is a pathetic joke...and the joke is ultimately on policy owners who get to pay higher rates. I finally found a top notch (and relatively expensive) naval architect, who has credentials as long as your arm...designer and build supervisor for several custom trawlers, tugs, and barges on the Great Lakes. Does design work for Palmer Johnson and a large shipyard. Years of survey experience. Highly respected. The insurance company was initially hesitant to accept him because he wasn't on a SAMS/NAMS/SCAMS list. Fact is he refuses to be associated with either organization and I understand why. SAMS/NAMS membership absolutely does NOT equate to competence...or common sense.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:43 PM   #32
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This is an interesting thread. I've been involved with casualy insurance companies for many years as an employee and consumer. As an employee, I designed and wrote computer software in support of all aspects of casualty insurance.

Sailor is right about Lloyds. Members used to be known as names and when they accepted a risk (actually a portion of a risk), they wrote their names on the bottom of the form that was circulated among them describing the risk. This led to the term Underwriting that is used today to describe the process of evaluating and pricing a risk.

It has always amazed me that a given risk can be assessed and priced at such huge differences among different companies. I've even shopped the same risk at the same company on different days and received significant quote differences. Note that these were always for the same coverages and limits. In recent years I've seen less same company/different day variations as the use of software replaces human nature.

I've been with BoatUS for 4 years now and find them to consistantly provide the best coverage for the least amount for the broadest usage area with the fewest restrictions and I'm in the lower Chesapeake Bay area. The BoatUS magazine is icing on the cake.

Gary Have Grady White Gulfstream - looking for a live-aboard trawler
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:30 PM   #33
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The correct way is "I am insured at Lloyds of London. Think NY stock exchange.
Yes, good explanation. I stand to be corrected I figured that was understood. Lloyds through Federated but still no haul-out for the purpose of the topic I spoke to.

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Old 10-07-2012, 07:33 PM   #34
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Stay with Markel and check your policy. My policy with them dictates that they pay/reimburse for half the haulout fee for named storms. I've used this several times over the last few years and coordinated yard work if possible.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:33 PM   #35
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Premium cost is only half the story. The claims handling reputation of the insurer is far more important. Do they go looking for ways to avoid liability, or is their best advertisement a promptly paid well resolved claim?
On the subject of Lloyd s syndicates, the individuals grouped to provide cover may be based a long distance away with no local "skin in the game". And how do you assess claims attitudes of a group of individuals.
If you have had good experience with a locally based insurer with a good reputation it is probably best staying with them, even if it costs a little more. Multiple covers with the same insurer help with premium, and service. I would insure my boat with my usual insurer except they don`t seem to understand boat insurance, so I have to go with a local specialist marine insurer. BruceK
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:32 PM   #36
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Its true that Foremost limits their enviromnental liability to $300,000, however this is easily addressed with an umbrella policy. Also because Farmers now owns Foremost the umbrella can add to your home and auto insurance as well. I've never had a claim while with Foremost so I don't know how good they are at paying but so far after more than 20 years with Farmers I have no complaints.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:26 AM   #37
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I'm with Lloyds and for the like of me I can't seem to see where in my policy it requires periodic surveys. ...
The cost of my insurance each year is ~ $1100.

Elwin
We were only with Lloyd's for two or three years. Then our broker found us a better policy. Our annual yacht policy cost has been about $1,200 a year for the 14 years we've owned the boat.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:19 AM   #38
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Fighterpilot; you might try this web page to get a very good overview of boat insurance:
Vessel insurance 101 (Very simplified!!!)

I found it very helpful when I had to renew last May.

I choose Boat US because they would cover me in the Bahamas (Progressive would not) and they are really focused on boat insurance and how to avoid claims. They have a publication "Seaworthy" that's published I believe quarterly that's focused on avoiding damage and tips on avoiding claims. No other insurance company that I know of goes to that extent.
Incedently you don't need to have BoatUS insurance to get the publication, I believe you can read it on line. I read each issue cover to cover.

I believe Boat US may be a little more expensive, but you get what you pay for.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:52 PM   #39
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I probably would have considered staying with Markel if they would have upgraded the policy to cover named storms. They wouldn't. Said too old a boat. Now, BoatUS will pay half for haul out in the event of a named storm. That is small consolation since haul outs won't be available unless you pay up front and reserve a space. It is around a $1000 a year here in the panhandle of Florida to do that. If I give them the money and don't get hauled, than BoatUS doesn't help me at all. Choice is stay with Merkel for $788 premium and no named storm coverage, and spend a thousand each year for a haul out agreement, to get come security or spend the $2000 for named storm coverage with another company and take your chances.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:38 PM   #40
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Just to add a little more spice to a already spicy subject Lloyds of London is an Excess & Surplus lines market and is not backed in Florida By FIGA like a admitted carrier is ofcourse I only speak of Florida not sure in other states! Oh by the way you all seem very knowledgable on this subject!

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