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Old 03-19-2019, 06:33 PM   #1
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Insurance Application - Years Experience?

So how would you count and report years experience for the question that is on insurance applications. Maybe better asked what can count?

Time driving the family 18' Ski boat from 30 years ago?
Time on sea duty on Navy Submarine?
Time on sea duty on Navy Tender?
Time owning and messing about on owned and chartered sailboats?
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:52 PM   #2
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I'd skip the Navy stuff and probably not mention the 30 year old experience. Current is what counts.
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:53 PM   #3
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If you have those credentials, I would list my experience as the number of years operating and /or commanding a variety of classified vessels for the Department of Defense.

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Old 03-19-2019, 07:20 PM   #4
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Put down exactly what you have to the best of your ability/memory.
Let them them figure out what is important or not...don't try and outqguess them.
The USCG takes stuff back to 18 YOA I think for catains licenses so give all the info you can remember.
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:46 PM   #5
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Insurance is looking for experience similar to the risk you are asking them to insure. Still put it all down anyway. You never know what item might tip the scale.

If your last boat was 30’ and your next boat is 50’ they will probably require a Captain on board for some small amount of time. If all you have ever done is SF Bay and now you want to go to Seattle for the first time, expect the insurance to require a Captain on board for the trip.

It’s usually not a question of will we or won’t we insure you.
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:01 PM   #6
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If the instructions for the form or the way the question is asked doesn't make it clear what should be entered, then I put specifics. In my case I would put,

37 years total. 30 years inland, 30' boats and below. 7 years coastal and ocean, 44'-130' with 6 years as licensed Captain. Just because the question is ambiguous, doesn't mean I'm going to give an answer that is.
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:57 PM   #7
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dont overthink it

i'd say any experience operating a sail or power vessel counts

being crew, i dont think so
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:21 PM   #8
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Put down crew time also and in what capacity.


Counts towards captains like.


Let insurance decide or call and ask what they want.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:25 PM   #9
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Put down crew time also and in what capacity.


Counts towards captains like.


Let insurance decide or call and ask what they want.
And the old words, "Tell the truth and nothing but the truth."

If asked how many years experience, answer with exactly what experience you have. Don't let an ambiguous question lead you into danger of being accused of false information.

Someone you'll never see and never talk to and don't even know where they are will look at the information and decide if they think it's enough. If they don't, they'll attach a requirement to the policy.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:27 PM   #10
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Put down crew time also and in what capacity.


Counts towards captains like.


Let insurance decide or call and ask what they want.
There is usually no space to write anything on the insurance app regards to boating experience specifics. Its usually a small text box to enter a couple of digits in years. That is why the common sense approach of years boating experience probably should simply be number of years operating boats.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:56 PM   #11
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And the old words, "Tell the truth and nothing but the truth."

If asked how many years experience, answer with exactly what experience you have. Don't let an ambiguous question lead you into danger of being accused of false information.

Someone you'll never see and never talk to and don't even know where they are will look at the information and decide if they think it's enough. If they don't, they'll attach a requirement to the policy.
Yup- this is the mantra.

we (insurance freaks) want to have a good handle of operational experience of a direct nature...so the US Navy captain on an aircraft carrier who gave orders to the helm/lee helm is not exactly qualified to jump right into a 50' class vessel...unless he has relevant experience of the ownership/operational type.

Here's the rub- we underwriters still rely on the "handshake is your bond" mentality- so one could conceivably fudge the facts and get coverage. Now, if a claim occurs, any insurer will (not may) have their investigations unit take apart the application and policy and look for fraud/deception- especially on larger vessels where experience comes into play. The carrier may look for hard info on ownership like registration or certs of documentation.

Bottom line- claims have and will continue to be declined due to fraud- so be honest.
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:58 PM   #12
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I remember this hassle with my first application for marine insurance. I told them I had made crewed on two boat trips in two years. One was from Seattle to Skagway and back. The other was LA to Seattle. These were my only boat true boat experiences. They wanted more years and asked if I had ever kayaked. I stated that I canoed a couple of times on rivers in Arkansas and had once ridden, as a kid, on the Admiral side-wheeler out of St. Louis. This did the trick. I thought what BS. I had more experience and miles in those two trips out west then many boaters get in 10 years! Oh well, sometimes you play the game so you can play at all.

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Old 03-25-2019, 05:18 PM   #13
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That's why I say put it all down.
Boating experience is not just operating...depending on how narrow or broad even that term can be.


The captain of an aircraft carrier IS responsible for the safe navigation and handling of the ship...while he/she may not be a good small boat handler, well heck most boaters aren't anyway, so that is why my insurance companies have always asked for more than just a "number"....they also want areas of operation to define your navigational limits.


While I defer to Paul Hana's experience in insurance, all I can pass on is my personal experience...and what I gave seen adjusters focus on when there is a claim or other questions.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:03 PM   #14
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There is usually no space to write anything on the insurance app regards to boating experience specifics. Its usually a small text box to enter a couple of digits in years. That is why the common sense approach of years boating experience probably should simply be number of years operating boats.
Is there a law you can't write outside the box?
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:13 PM   #15
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Yup- this is the mantra.

we (insurance freaks) want to have a good handle of operational experience of a direct nature...so the US Navy captain on an aircraft carrier who gave orders to the helm/lee helm is not exactly qualified to jump right into a 50' class vessel...unless he has relevant experience of the ownership/operational type.

Here's the rub- we underwriters still rely on the "handshake is your bond" mentality- so one could conceivably fudge the facts and get coverage. Now, if a claim occurs, any insurer will (not may) have their investigations unit take apart the application and policy and look for fraud/deception- especially on larger vessels where experience comes into play. The carrier may look for hard info on ownership like registration or certs of documentation.

Bottom line- claims have and will continue to be declined due to fraud- so be honest.
I've seen many angry people who had their claims disallowed over what they thought was just a little white lie or not even a lie, just deception. I knew a New Yorker who registered and insured his car at his brother's home in SC. That was fine until it was stolen in NYC and they discovered he wasn't visiting, but he lived there. No payment and strong suggestion he not protest since he could be charged with attempted insurance fraud. I heard of a guy who didn't notify his insurer his son now had a driver's license. He "forgot" that he'd said no one under 25 drove his car. Car totaled, no payment for it.

As Pau indicates, insurers will insure based on your word. They, however, determine the facts before they pay.

Just don't take the chance they'll come back and say "it was obvious we were talking about experience captaining similar boats." If the question is unclear, then make sure your answer is clear. If it's online and doesn't allow but 2 digits, then somewhere there must be a comment section and put the information there or send a separate document.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:21 PM   #16
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Is there a law you can't write outside the box?
someone is likely typing in the responses from the application into a system so an underwriter can rate. they will likely not be able to do anything with the additional information and will need a number to enter for that box. it just doesnt seem like a value-add to go into detail.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:47 PM   #17
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someone is likely typing in the responses from the application into a system so an underwriter can rate. they will likely not be able to do anything with the additional information and will need a number to enter for that box. it just doesnt seem like a value-add to go into detail.
Don't let the system control the information. That's how a plane headed for Germany lands in Scotland.
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Old 03-29-2019, 02:11 PM   #18
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Insurance also relies upon your credit rating when assessing risks. Please be absolutely honest on your application. Otherwise you risk not having coverage when needing it.
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Old 03-29-2019, 02:20 PM   #19
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Fluff it up as much as possible, that's what most people do for insurance and licenses. Count time in the tub and shower, hey it's water.
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:28 AM   #20
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You can get your sea time records from the Navy.
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