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Old 01-07-2019, 12:51 PM   #1
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FL Liveaboard Liability Insurers?

About to close on a 30 year old Marine Trader. Intend to liveaboard in FL.

Called SO MANY marine insurers -- literally only 1 could find a willing underwriter. They want $7k per year for a $70k boat that I'm going to own outright. When I checked prices a couple months ago (before electing to make an offer), this same insurer gave me an estimate of about $3k annual -- which I concluded was an "acceptable"cost of ownership. But $600/mo is wayyy more $ than I can rationalize; at 10% of value annual, I figure I might as well just take my chances (losing $70k would sting, but wouldn't break me).

So, I need Floridians with LIABILITY ONLY to advise what company insures them (and your monthly premium)? My biggest concern is losing the boat in a hurricane and getting a huge salvage bill / environmental fine.

Also, more generally, what are the standard liability coverage amounts?

Need to secure a policy ASAP. Thanks for the help
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:03 PM   #2
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I think dinner key requires 300K and there is a wait list.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:26 PM   #3
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You need to talk to a marine insurance broker. Two good ones in the Chesapeake area who insure boats all over the world are IMIS in Grasonville, Md and Jack Martin in Annapolis. There are undoubtably good ones in Florida.


Most marinas require $300,000 in liability coverage and some want $500,000. You sound like you have some assets worth protecting so consider a $1,000,000 or more umbrella policy usually written by your homeowner's company, but maybe you don't have a home in which case you need a basic renter's policy that will cover you for non boating liability and usually has a $300,000 limit. Sometimes you can get a rider on your boat liability policy to add non boat liability coverage. You can buy the renters and the umbrella from any homeowner insurance company like State Farm. Whether they will sell you one is a question as a full time liveaboard cruiser may not be a good risk.


But if you can get an umbrella it will coordinate with your $300,000 boat liability policy and I have found that the two of them together will satisfy the marinas that want $500,000 in coverage.


Good luck.


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Old 01-07-2019, 07:34 PM   #4
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We used Bluewater Insurance in Stuart, Fl for our 86 Cheoy Lee 40 LRC, they placed us with Lloyds. Coverage is good, the $960,000? environmental liability maximum, 1 Mil gen liability, decent hull and gear coverage, some medical, and dinghy, with 1-2000 deductable depending.
They did charge us based on an agreed value of $129k from the Survey appraisal, rather than the much lower amount we actually paid for the boat.
This costs us about 3000 / yr.
The quote from BoatUS was less, but their offer was based on the purchase price.
Good luck with your search.
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ERTF View Post
About to close on a 30 year old Marine Trader. Intend to liveaboard in FL.

Called SO MANY marine insurers -- literally only 1 could find a willing underwriter. They want $7k per year for a $70k boat that I'm going to own outright. When I checked prices a couple months ago (before electing to make an offer), this same insurer gave me an estimate of about $3k annual -- which I concluded was an "acceptable"cost of ownership. But $600/mo is wayyy more $ than I can rationalize; at 10% of value annual, I figure I might as well just take my chances (losing $70k would sting, but wouldn't break me).

So, I need Floridians with LIABILITY ONLY to advise what company insures them (and your monthly premium)? My biggest concern is losing the boat in a hurricane and getting a huge salvage bill / environmental fine.

Also, more generally, what are the standard liability coverage amounts?

Need to secure a policy ASAP. Thanks for the help
ERTF,

Geeze! That's absurd! My threshold is about 1/2 % of hull value or I'd go bare. There's just not the risk there if you're a prudent boater. Even $3k for your boat is WAY too much.

You should be able to get reasonably liability through a good broker.

Another good thought is to just be broke and have no insurance...... Well, maybe not the best......
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERTF View Post
About to close on a 30 year old Marine Trader. Intend to liveaboard in FL.

Called SO MANY marine insurers -- literally only 1 could find a willing underwriter. They want $7k per year for a $70k boat that I'm going to own outright. When I checked prices a couple months ago (before electing to make an offer), this same insurer gave me an estimate of about $3k annual -- which I concluded was an "acceptable"cost of ownership. But $600/mo is wayyy more $ than I can rationalize; at 10% of value annual, I figure I might as well just take my chances (losing $70k would sting, but wouldn't break me).

So, I need Floridians with LIABILITY ONLY to advise what company insures them (and your monthly premium)? My biggest concern is losing the boat in a hurricane and getting a huge salvage bill / environmental fine.

Also, more generally, what are the standard liability coverage amounts?

Need to secure a policy ASAP. Thanks for the help
The challenge you are facing is the new normal after the 2017 and 2018 hurricane seasons. Most markets (including many of the London syndicates) pulled out of not just Florida, but CAT zones in general (Brownsville to the Carolinas), as well as specific lines of business (multihull power and sail as an example). One agency dropped $70M of losses onto its Lloyds companies- and promptly shut down shortly thereafter.

Falvey Folds Under Hurricane Losses - The Howorths | The Howorths

These changes apply to both liability only and hull/machinery policies. Also, liability only risks have a high loss factor, and the premium collected too often does not equate to claims payouts (including wreck removal and pollution mitigation).

With regards to specific premium, there are a host of rating factors:
  • Navigation area
  • Vessel age
  • Vessel type (power or sail)
  • Vessel hull material
  • Vessel fuel type
  • Personal credit history
  • Personal boating experience (or lack thereof)

as a start. Your offered rate may very well be inline with the current market, based on the above.

You are correct to be concerned about salvage/wreck removal, pollution, and environmental damages- they are very sensitive issues and the government entities are extremely serious about holding folks accountable.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:19 AM   #7
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MTOA insurance program ...
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:56 AM   #8
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MTOA insurance program ...
Ditto, our insurance is through the MTOA via Jack Martin and full coverage is less than your quote for liability.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pau Hana View Post
The challenge you are facing is the new normal after the 2017 and 2018 hurricane seasons. Most markets (including many of the London syndicates) pulled out of not just Florida, but CAT zones in general (Brownsville to the Carolinas), as well as specific lines of business (multihull power and sail as an example). One agency dropped $70M of losses onto its Lloyds companies- and promptly shut down shortly thereafter.

Falvey Folds Under Hurricane Losses - The Howorths | The Howorths

These changes apply to both liability only and hull/machinery policies. Also, liability only risks have a high loss factor, and the premium collected too often does not equate to claims payouts (including wreck removal and pollution mitigation).

With regards to specific premium, there are a host of rating factors:
  • Navigation area
  • Vessel age
  • Vessel type (power or sail)
  • Vessel hull material
  • Vessel fuel type
  • Personal credit history
  • Personal boating experience (or lack thereof)

as a start. Your offered rate may very well be inline with the current market, based on the above.

You are correct to be concerned about salvage/wreck removal, pollution, and environmental damages- they are very sensitive issues and the government entities are extremely serious about holding folks accountable.
Pau, I was told Falvey took an exceptionally hard hit as they had such heavy concentration in the charter business in the Virgin Islands, rather than their customer base being distributed at similar levels throughout all hurricane areas and between regular owners and charter boats. They apparently had all the business of a couple of charter companies.

Even in the bad hurricane years we've recently experienced all areas don't get hit at the same time and the wise underwriters constantly look at their balance by location in addition to all CAT zones.

It seems I remember a few years ago where one insurer suddenly wouldn't write boat insurance in one specific Gulf Coast state. Turns out one agent there had done an incredible job of selling and their exposure in that narrow area was many times greater that their overall exposure to hurricanes.

Lloyd's, which we widely use for business and personal, continues to be in such disarray that I fear their situation will have even greater impact on the industry.

As always interested in your observations.
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:51 PM   #10
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I'd check BoatUS/Geico if you haven't yet.
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