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Old 08-28-2018, 11:55 PM   #1
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FL Liveaboard (on the hook) insurance?

I'm gonna cash buy a late 80s trawler in the 40-45ft / $40-80k range to live on the hook in Miami thru the Keys. Initially I was intending to stick to a $40-50k purchase plus maybe $5-10k in upgrades. Worst case scenario I watch $50k sink to the bottom of the ocean -- I can swallow that. I'm currently paying over $20k annual rent, so if I got 2.5 years out of it, I still broke even. So my tentative plan has been to just carry liability. Well now I've caught starry eyes for a boat that's $80k. That's starting to be a serious chunk of change. That's half a house in much of America. Worst case scenario, I could replace, but it would put a noticeable dent in my piggybank.

So today I checked BoatUS hull coverage for an $80k boat in FL. They didn't have an "at anchor" option, so I chose mooring (seemed closest). Quote was $9000-$9600! I know FL is high-risk with hurricanes, but 12% of purchase price annual premium?

Anybody in similar situation? What do you pay? What providers should I seek a quote?
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:12 AM   #2
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I just went through a similar exercise with my new 80s trawler. I have a Florida address but am in the Panhandle, which is probably cheaper than where you are. Most insurance brokers I called could not find anyone who would write me a policy other than BoatUS. I think most companies have stopped writing new Florida policies. BoatUS quoted me 4-5% of hull value. I have been with BoatUS for 10 years and never filed a claim.
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:44 AM   #3
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BoatUS quoted me 4-5% of hull value.
Thanks for the info. I definitely wouldn't even consider paying anything over 5% on an $80k boat. That's solidly "maybe" territory for me personally. I'm not even questioning the actuaries evaluation of risk; South FL is def a risky place to be insuring a boat. But even $4k a year...in only 5 years that's $20k (+ compounding) I could have socked away instead. I'd be tempted to either stomach the risk or just lower my purchase price ceiling.
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:25 AM   #4
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"I'd be tempted to either stomach the risk or just lower my purchase price ceiling."


Or simply plan ahead .
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:10 AM   #5
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I'm gonna cash buy a late 80s trawler in the 40-45ft / $40-80k range to live on the hook in Miami thru the Keys. Initially I was intending to stick to a $40-50k purchase plus maybe $5-10k in upgrades. Worst case scenario I watch $50k sink to the bottom of the ocean -- I can swallow that. I'm currently paying over $20k annual rent, so if I got 2.5 years out of it, I still broke even. So my tentative plan has been to just carry liability. Well now I've caught starry eyes for a boat that's $80k. That's starting to be a serious chunk of change. That's half a house in much of America. Worst case scenario, I could replace, but it would put a noticeable dent in my piggybank.

So today I checked BoatUS hull coverage for an $80k boat in FL. They didn't have an "at anchor" option, so I chose mooring (seemed closest). Quote was $9000-$9600! I know FL is high-risk with hurricanes, but 12% of purchase price annual premium?

Anybody in similar situation? What do you pay? What providers should I seek a quote?
You said it in your own opening statement.

"Worst case scenario I watch $50k sink to the bottom of the ocean -- I can swallow that."

I sensed right away the deal, so do the insurance companies.

I will bet others respond with different situations paying way less on a similar replacement cost of the boat.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:04 AM   #6
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You said it in your own opening statement.
I sensed right away the deal, so do the insurance companies.
What exactly are you sensing?? Certainly no "senses" on the insurance company end...it was an online generated quote.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:07 AM   #7
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Talk to a marine insurance broker. IMIS Corp is a good one and even though they are in Maryland they insure lots of Florida boats. Progressive used to have decent Florida rates, so check with them as well although I think that they have a length limit on what they will insure.



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Old 08-29-2018, 08:07 AM   #8
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"I'd be tempted to either stomach the risk or just lower my purchase price ceiling."


Or simply plan ahead .
Obviously. But part of planning ahead is the recognition that planning isn't guaranteed to protect you from every possible negative contingency.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:42 AM   #9
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What exactly are you sensing?? Certainly no "senses" on the insurance company end...it was an online generated quote.
Depending on the information requested, even a machine can categorize. The basic profile you describes is of a person looking for an inexpensive way to live, on an inexpensive boat...and feels like they can just walk away if it sinks.

Now that may not be you, but if that impression is made, that's what decisions are based on.

Just stating living aboard on a mooring ball...while I may not think that is a trigger at all,.....it is to insurance companies I have talked to (heck, how you tie your boat up at a marina is)....and to other cruisers who see the same patterns wherever they cruise.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:53 AM   #10
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Contact the Marine Trawlers Owners Association for their insurance program. We saved thousands over non-MTOA quotes and got better coverage. IIRC it was around $40 a year to join. Our home port is Jacksonville.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:56 AM   #11
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The basic profile you describes is of a person looking for an inexpensive way to live, on an inexpensive boat...and feels like they can just walk away if it sinks.
$80k sounds like a derelict hobo craft to you? What else does one do besides start over when a boat like that sinks? You gonna spend twice the replacement cost to gut, rewire, re-outfit, and repower an entire boat??
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:17 AM   #12
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"But part of planning ahead is the recognition that planning isn't guaranteed to protect you from every possible negative contingency."

Only death can protect you from "every possible negative contingency".

A good plan will mean there is far less chance of an out of pocket expense , should everything not go according to plan..

If you just want to experience living aboard there are many fine sail boats in Florida Mariner well under $20K .
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:19 AM   #13
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$80k sounds like a derelict hobo craft to you? What else does one do besides start over when a boat like that sinks? You gonna spend twice the replacement cost to gut, rewire, re-outfit, and repower an entire boat??
Just posting what I know or have heard.

My liveaboard insurance in FL would be 1/2 what you quoted for a $60000 boat.
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:37 AM   #14
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ERTF: These guys are just trying to help and have many years of combined experience. Don't let your emotions get involved. Good luck man. Red tape and bureaucracy can always be stressful.
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:39 AM   #15
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Wow, I thought my $790 per year insurance was bad.
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:13 PM   #16
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$80k sounds like a derelict hobo craft to you? What else does one do besides start over when a boat like that sinks? You gonna spend twice the replacement cost to gut, rewire, re-outfit, and repower an entire boat??


If you sink without insurance the loss of the purchase price of the boat may be acceptable, but the cost of clean-up and removal could be significant. One can’t just “walk away”.
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:16 PM   #17
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If you sink without insurance the loss of the purchase price of the boat may be acceptable, but the cost of clean-up and removal could be significant. One can’t just “walk away”.
Unfortunately many do and the insurance companies are trying to weed those boaters out with high premiums.
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:24 PM   #18
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BTW I am paying about 1/2 of what you were quoted for my 63’ Hatteras with an agreed value of $350k through the MTOA. This includes spending hurricane season in Florida.

Do not be surprised if you need to have your boat surveyed before the policy is in place, this is one way to weed out those who want to insure semi-derelicts.
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:53 PM   #19
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If you sink without insurance the loss of the purchase price of the boat may be acceptable, but the cost of clean-up and removal could be significant. One can’t just “walk away”.
Isn't that covered by liability?
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:01 PM   #20
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Isn't that covered by liability?
It might be, then again insurance companies are not known for their open handed generosity. Most likely they will claim it was due to negligence and let you take them to court to prove otherwise. Or, more likely, by the time they apply all the depreciation and deductibles you will end up with nothing anyway leaving you on the hook for the cleanup.
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