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Old 06-21-2016, 02:46 PM   #1
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Insurance comparison - US vs Caribbean

As I do every few years I had my insurance agent work up an insurance quote depending on my storage location and navigation area.

In general what I found was that the Caribbean south to Grenada would be double (225%) the cost of the United States East Coast at or above Brunswick Georgia (31 degrees N). This would include Caribbean navigation and Caribbean storage whereas the Brunswick Georgia quote would include only the United States, Canada and the Bahamas. Storage in the Virgins however would be an additional 20% extra or 260% of the cost for Brunswick, Georgia.

Out of water storage rates in St. Lucia (approximately the same in Grenada, Trinidad and Martinique) are 150% of what is quoted in Georgia. $18 per ft per month vs $12 per ft per month
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Old 06-21-2016, 05:39 PM   #2
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As I do every few years I had my insurance agent work up an insurance quote depending on my storage location and navigation area.

In general what I found was that the Caribbean south to Grenada would be double (225%) the cost of the United States East Coast at or above Brunswick Georgia (31 degrees N). This would include Caribbean navigation and Caribbean storage whereas the Brunswick Georgia quote would include only the United States, Canada and the Bahamas. Storage in the Virgins however would be an additional 20% extra or 260% of the cost for Brunswick, Georgia.

Out of water storage rates in St. Lucia (approximately the same in Grenada, Trinidad and Martinique) are 150% of what is quoted in Georgia. $18 per ft per month vs $12 per ft per month
This varies widely by insurer. While the southern part of the Eastern Caribbean would be more expensive the disparity wouldn't be the same with all insurers. We're fully covered for that area with no exceptions for time of year. With major boat and yacht insurers the difference is relatively small depending on boat. We believe that we're paying an extra 20-25% over what you'd pay on the highly restricted policies. The problem is really when you're with an agent or insurer that does most of it's business in the US and in the areas it considers safest.

What insurer do you currently have?
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Old 06-21-2016, 07:55 PM   #3
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Markel, the Jackline Policy.

As a trawler we have been turned down by the Caribbean based insurance companies. Too few trawlers to spread the risk.
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Old 06-21-2016, 08:18 PM   #4
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Markel, the Jackline Policy.

As a trawler we have been turned down by the Caribbean based insurance companies. Too few trawlers to spread the risk.
That surprises me with them and with that policy. Have you checked Ace, Pantaenius, Lloyd's? You might talk to an independent marine broker and see what they can find. I know someone who just went with Seawave which I have no knowledge of but is underwritten by Lloyd's.

Every two companies come up with such different answers as it's not just location but the combination of size, age, location, experience, so many factors and sometimes answers that make no sense.
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:53 AM   #5
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That surprises me with them and with that policy. Have you checked Ace, Pantaenius, Lloyd's? You might talk to an independent marine broker and see what they can find. I know someone who just went with Seawave which I have no knowledge of but is underwritten by Lloyd's.

Every two companies come up with such different answers as it's not just location but the combination of size, age, location, experience, so many factors and sometimes answers that make no sense.
Agree with your comments, but I guess I wasn't clear. There are insurance companies based in the Caribbean, United from Barbados, for example, which insure many of the sailboats. These are the companies I was talking about. Pantaenius is either European or American depending on which of the two companies you qualify for, Lloyd's is of course UK, and Ace I believe is American.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:10 AM   #6
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Agree with your comments, but I guess I wasn't clear. There are insurance companies based in the Caribbean, United from Barbados, for example, which insure many of the sailboats. These are the companies I was talking about. Pantaenius is either European or American depending on which of the two companies you qualify for, Lloyd's is of course UK, and Ace I believe is American.
So your real issue was why companies based in the Caribbean were so much more expensive than companies based in the US? I thought your question was about storage location not insurer location. The answer to this clarified question is simple, market, volume, and competition. I thought you were just comparing quotes from your insurer, in this case Markel, although Jackline is probably more limited than Markel.

In years of business, I never recall us insuring any Caribbean, Central American, or South American facilities with an insurance company in that country.
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Old 06-22-2016, 08:19 AM   #7
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We've been with Seaworthy/Geico, a Berkshire Hathaway Company. Our premiums for the Eastern/Western Caribbean were about 1.8% of our hull value. When we put Hobo in Florida for the summer, our annual premium dropped to 1.3% of the hull value with the navigation limits from TX, ME and the Bahamas with no seasonal restrictions. Our deductible did go up significantly for a named storm though.

We did receive a quote from TL Dallas with Loyds being the primary underwriter. The policy was cheaper but the coverage was poor with too many exclusions.
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Old 06-22-2016, 08:34 AM   #8
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We've been with Seaworthy/Geico, a Berkshire Hathaway Company. Our premiums for the Eastern/Western Caribbean were about 1.8% of our hull value. When we put Hobo in Florida for the summer, our annual premium dropped to 1.3% of the hull value with the navigation limits from TX, ME and the Bahamas with no seasonal restrictions. Our deductible did go up significantly for a named storm though.
So hard really to know if or how much the price dropped with the change in deductible.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:02 AM   #9
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I recently had to get a quote for an unusual coverage where the boat was in Europe and then being moved to the West Coast of USA and covered to cruise West Coast of USA and Canada to 55'N within 250 miles of the coast. Took a bit of looking but got decent coverage for 1.1% of hull value and exclusions/deductible pretty decent. Found the insurer (Yachtline Marine Insurance Solutions) in London and likely further underwritten by Lloyds. US insurers seemed to have no interest/ability for the European portion.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:09 AM   #10
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So hard really to know if or how much the price dropped with the change in deductible.
You're right, trying to compare one year to the next is difficult. Some years the exclusions are more/less or they may throw us a bone. One year they added a $250 deducible on our electronics.

When our renewal comes up, we submit new navigations limits. In addition to the change in navigation limits, industry hits like Sandy or a recession affects the industry and our premiums although sometimes I think they just use a dart board.

Over the last 18 years our premiums have pretty much ranged between 1-2.5%. The 2.5% was when we crossed the Indian and Atlantic Ocean in a year.

One thing we did learn was to keep the navigations as narrow as possible. If they expand during the year, we ask our agent to go back to the underwriters. We've found it's cheaper to add to the limits than insuring for the entire year and not using them.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:26 AM   #11
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When our renewal comes up, we submit new navigations limits. In addition to the change in navigation limits, industry hits like Sandy or a recession affects the industry and our premiums although sometimes I think they just use a dart board.
Yes, when you've had years with no hurricane, they say it's based on long term statistics, not the short term. However, the moment Sandy hits, then it all goes up in spite of very little change to the long term and it goes up in Florida even though Sandy didn't hit Florida. It's pretty much, I want to charge the most I can and I'll use whatever argument gets me there.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:37 AM   #12
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One thing we did learn was to keep the navigations as narrow as possible. If they expand during the year, we ask our agent to go back to the underwriters. We've found it's cheaper to add to the limits than insuring for the entire year and not using them.
Makes sense as you can always attach riders, as long as one remains very cognizant of what they did include. In our case, since we live in South Florida and do cruise regularly to and from the Bahamas, we didn't find having broad navigational areas as punitive, because we were already in what they might have labeled a high risk/price area.

Still it's something to very much keep in mind. Don't under-insure, but don't over-insure.

We've also found that once we have the policy or have the quote, that changing things we'd think would lessen it or dropping things off seems to have very little benefit. Seems they charge a lot for it but give very little discount to remove it.

So much detail to review in any insurance policy.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:12 AM   #13
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..So much detail to review in any insurance policy.
Yup, "the devil is in the detail".


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_de..._in_the_detail
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Old 07-26-2016, 07:53 PM   #14
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As I do every few years I had my insurance agent work up an insurance quote depending on my storage location and navigation area.

In general what I found was that the Caribbean south to Grenada would be double (225%) the cost of the United States East Coast at or above Brunswick Georgia (31 degrees N). This would include Caribbean navigation and Caribbean storage whereas the Brunswick Georgia quote would include only the United States, Canada and the Bahamas. Storage in the Virgins however would be an additional 20% extra or 260% of the cost for Brunswick, Georgia.

Out of water storage rates in St. Lucia (approximately the same in Grenada, Trinidad and Martinique) are 150% of what is quoted in Georgia. $18 per ft per month vs $12 per ft per month

Just had a quote for our Bahamian registered boat for the Bahamas. I gave them a base figure for the boat and it works out at about 5%. Does that seem normal?
I have yet to see what this includes but I am presuming full coverage.
This is also with a discount as I hold a 3,000 ton license.
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Old 07-27-2016, 05:07 AM   #15
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Just had a quote for our Bahamian registered boat for the Bahamas. I gave them a base figure for the boat and it works out at about 5%. Does that seem normal?
I have yet to see what this includes but I am presuming full coverage.
This is also with a discount as I hold a 3,000 ton license.
Haven't quoted the Bahamas but the premium for my hull and liability insurance are approximately 2.5% of hull value with a seven month out of the water provision. This is for storage in the Eastern Caribbean.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:50 AM   #16
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Comparing based on percentage of hull value can be very misleading since a large portion of the coverage has nothing to do with hull. Therefore, generally, the greater the hull value the lower the insurance premium as a percentage of the hull value.

The other thing I'd mention is that if you're looking to cover a broad area including the Caribbean, you are likely to find the best policies through international marine insurers. Klee Wyck found it in Yachtline. Many find it in Ace/Chubb. Then there's always Pantaenius and Lloyds.
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