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Old 12-28-2013, 08:48 AM   #1
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Insurance Options for older boats

Hi All, Shopping for insurance for an older 1986 boat we have restored and refitted since buying 2 years ago. We have insurance with American Modern and have some same concerns. We are in a prime lightning zone of US. A Catamaran near us was hit and caused damage to the boats next slip over plus all the electronics on the cat.
We tried to get MTOA recommended insurance last year but did not have a good response due to age of boat (1986) and poor condition at time of purchase. Now with a new survey and a long list of improvements we will be shopping for a better policy. Hope to hear from member's experiences and the good, bad and ugly. We had our previous sailboat insured with State Farm along with our cars, home, etc with same agent for 38 years but they don't do old boats. Same with Allstate, Progressive and Travelers. We do have friends on 1985-86 trawlers that have boat insurance with all of those companies, but there is always a reason they are covered. Boat US may be best coverage but we won't pay 10% of the value of the boat per year.

See our upgrades @ TheOffice: December 2013

Thanks for all!
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:02 AM   #2
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Hi Autoteacher,
I also found it hard to insure my 1985 50' Chris craft. Of the 5 company I requested quotes, only two replied
- Boat us, had the best but asked $5k per year
- Farmers ins. (Foremost), they are now covering up to 50'. The yearly cost is $1600, so I went with them

Good luck
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:39 AM   #3
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When I saw this thread, I thought it was about "old" boats- as in vessels built in the 30s or 40s. A mid 80s boat is not a problem to insure.

Having said the above, there are a few caveats: coverage may before expensive, so this is the time to focus more on coverage and less on price. Focusing on the premium as a primary factor often means that coverage is stripped to meet a price objective.

Having a good and recent hauled survey is another key - asking an underwriter to provide a quote with a 5 year old survey is unlikely to happen unless the policy has marginal coverage. If the boat is of wood construction, ensure the surveyor pulls some fasteners and reports their condition on the survey.

Just as in real estate, location, location, locations is another prime factor that is considered- if the boat is in a hurricane zone, the premium will be impacted.

Finally, I strongly recommend you speak with a specialty marine insurer vice your homeowners agent- the specialty agent/broker will know what questions to ask, and will have a relationship with underwriting that the standard property/casualty agent won't have.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:48 AM   #4
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I would press your State Farm agent to find you a policy. You might mention that you are considering moving all your insurance to a company that will insure your boat. I have Nationwide (but a newer boat) and get multi policy discounts. Also, I am able to get an umbrella policy by having all my policies with them.
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:37 AM   #5
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Ask your State Farm agent to talk with Underwriting. Our old system would not quote boats older than 1989 but the restriction has changed and there is a new quoting tool. Many agents don't have a lot of experience insuring larger and older boats. This does not mean State Farm doesn't have the experience or skill! We can and do insure boats like yours. A current survey is a must, as Pete (Pau Hana) suggested.

State Farm's multi-line discounts are not affected by whether you insure your boat with State Farm. You would be wise to get a quote from a specialist like Pete for comparison shopping. I am a State Farm agent and you will not find a better company - check your State's insurance commissioner's website and compare market share and complaint ratios. In the State of Washington, where I am licensed, the number two market share company averages three times more complaints than State Farm, year in and year out, for eight years running.

Good luck!
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by WesK View Post
I would press your State Farm agent to find you a policy. You might mention that you are considering moving all your insurance to a company that will insure your boat. I have Nationwide (but a newer boat) and get multi policy discounts. Also, I am able to get an umbrella policy by having all my policies with them.
You'll want to read that Nationwide policy jacket- there are better policies out there that offer better coverage.
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:02 AM   #7
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You'll want to read that Nationwide policy jacket- there are better policies out there that offer better coverage.
I could read it but I might not understand it. What's wrong with Nationwide and what policies are better for similar rates?
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:20 AM   #8
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I could read it but I might not understand it. What's wrong with Nationwide and what policies are better for similar rates?
Good question, and an honest one. Nationwide is a good insuring company, but their watercraft policy is more of a general property/casualty form than a specialized marine form. When the policy is written specifically to cover marine risks, it is more inclusive than exclusive, and the coverage is very broad. Take a look at the link below to get a good start on understanding marine insurance- I wrote the article several years ago, and it holds true today.

Rates for many marine insurers are highly competitive- the challenge is comparing apples to apples vice apples to oranges. A company may offer a very low rate, but is the coverage going to be there when you need it?


Bayliner Owners Club - BOC Forum - Topic: Vessel insurance 101 (Very simplified!!!) (1/3)
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:50 AM   #9
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Thanks for the link and explanation. Now to get out my policy and read it. My agent knows nothing about boats (or yachts).
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:06 AM   #10
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Insurance

No question of the integrity of State Farm. We were always pleased with their service. They paid off on a home , boat and car damages with us. The agent was a good friend and always gave us the best rate even with teen drivers.

We no longer have a land home and our transportation is by Enterprize if not bike. We are not unhappy with American Modern and like the service. We may stay with them. We are shopping around to be a wise consumer. We do appreciate all the comments and advisement. We are having the boat surveyed since many improvements have been done since the last survey 2 years ago.

Pete's information is very good. I will make sure to read the policy.

Thanks, S
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:47 AM   #11
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No question of the integrity of State Farm. We were always pleased with their service. They paid off on a home , boat and car damages with us. The agent was a good friend and always gave us the best rate even with teen drivers.

We no longer have a land home and our transportation is by Enterprize if not bike. We are not unhappy with American Modern and like the service. We may stay with them. We are shopping around to be a wise consumer. We do appreciate all the comments and advisement. We are having the boat surveyed since many improvements have been done since the last survey 2 years ago.

Pete's information is very good. I will make sure to read the policy.

Thanks, S
Court: State Farm Committed Fraud in Katrina Case

April 9, 2013

Court: State Farm Committed Fraud in Katrina Case - ABC News

State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. engaged in a "pattern of racketeering" by manipulating engineering reports on Hurricane Katrina damage so the company could deny policyholder claims, lawyers for a group of Mississippi homeowners allege in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

State Farm accused of Katrina racketeering - Business - US business | NBC News

I had heard that State Farm treated boatowners so poorly it was one of the major reasons Sea Tow got into the boat insurance business....
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:05 AM   #12
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The things I learn on this site! Thanks Pete
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:16 AM   #13
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I would go through a marine broker/insurance company;

ACE marine insurance - 800-826-1733
Anchor marine Underwriters 800-726-2728
National Maine underwriters 800-262-8467
Trafalgar Maine 800-221-3884
Progress Boat 800-455-8191

You just have a current in and out of water survey with market value.

We are insured with ACE for thr last 10+ years.
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:30 PM   #14
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Court: State Farm Committed Fraud in Katrina Case

April 9, 2013

Court: State Farm Committed Fraud in Katrina Case - ABC News

State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. engaged in a "pattern of racketeering" by manipulating engineering reports on Hurricane Katrina damage so the company could deny policyholder claims, lawyers for a group of Mississippi homeowners allege in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

State Farm accused of Katrina racketeering - Business - US business | NBC News

I had heard that State Farm treated boatowners so poorly it was one of the major reasons Sea Tow got into the boat insurance business....
I'd be careful calling 2 lawsuits- 1 finding in favor of the government, and a second filed by an ambulance chaser- as wholesale condemnation of State Farm. I don't represent them, so I have no dog in the fight- but I do know that they are held in high regard by those in the industry.

As for Sea Tow- they were founded in 1983, 22 years before Katrina.....
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:30 PM   #15
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The things I learn on this site! Thanks Pete
My pleasure, sir!
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:34 PM   #16
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DON'T! Put the premium money back into your boat so you don't have any fires, or loss's!
Register her in a manner where you can't be financially harmed. Although the individual agents might be good guys, they're just brokers for the big boys who have all the lawyers, and just don't pay if it's too big a hit on their books!!!
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:54 PM   #17
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I'd be careful calling 2 lawsuits- 1 finding in favor of the government, and a second filed by an ambulance chaser- as wholesale condemnation of State Farm. I don't represent them, so I have no dog in the fight- but I do know that they are held in high regard by those in the industry.

As for Sea Tow- they were founded in 1983, 22 years before Katrina.....
I'm not going to post every one...but I think even BoatUS posted plenty on insurance companies that just ignored their clients after that and other storms...

it went well beyond a couple lawsuits...
1/18/2007 9:17:50 AM ET 2007-01-18T14:17:50 WASHINGTON — Rep. Barney Frank, the head of the House Financial Services Committee, vowed Wednesday to look into an alleged "failure in the insurance system" related to Hurricane Katrina.

Sea Insure wasn't started when Sea Tow was...it was started after Katrina because of the poor response by other insurance agencies...per the founders of Sea Insure that I got first hand.

I'm not slamming the whole insurance business...some were very responsive during most of these storms...just countering the assertion that State Farm was beyond reproach...they at that time were one of the worst.
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Old 12-30-2013, 01:33 PM   #18
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I'm not going to post every one...but I think even BoatUS posted plenty on insurance companies that just ignored their clients after that and other storms...

it went well beyond a couple lawsuits...
1/18/2007 9:17:50 AM ET 2007-01-18T14:17:50 WASHINGTON Rep. Barney Frank, the head of the House Financial Services Committee, vowed Wednesday to look into an alleged "failure in the insurance system" related to Hurricane Katrina.

Sea Insure wasn't started when Sea Tow was...it was started after Katrina because of the poor response by other insurance agencies...per the founders of Sea Insure that I got first hand.

I'm not slamming the whole insurance business...some were very responsive during most of these storms...just countering the assertion that State Farm was beyond reproach...they at that time were one of the worst.

Again, based on what? A few claims that generated lawsuits? How many State Farm claims went right, and didn't make the news? Every time there is a major disaster, the same types of news reports and lawsuits pop up. As for Barney Frank- he's a joke at best. Like most things, the squeaky wheel gets the grease....

Just reviewed Sea Insure- I question why they offer agreed value as an added cost option vice part of the standard policy, and why membership is a requirement for coverage......

And I recant- you are correct. Sea Insure was incepted in 2007.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:48 PM   #19
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In the USA, anyone can sue anyone. You don't have to have a case, you just hope the party you are suing will settle rather than try to defend itself.

Consider the woman who sued McDonalds because her coffee was hot and when she spilled it, it burned her skin.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:51 PM   #20
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Consider the woman who sued McDonalds because her coffee was hot and when she spilled it, it burned her skin.
Yeah, it amazes me what low life's today will sue for.
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