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Old 09-30-2022, 10:24 AM   #1
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Hurricane Ian Ripple Effects: Questions for the Professionals on the Forum

Starting a new thread here, with apologies to the other two. I have spent many a winter/spring in that area messing around in a friend's boat chasing snook and redfish. This is heartbreaking to watch. Amazingly, we think his house on Useppa survived along with his boat. But...
For the professionals in our group. Question 1: how do you think Ian will impact the overall boat insurance industry. There is the real possibility that this will be the most boat-damaging hurricane in history (dwarfed by the structural and infrastructure damage of course). What happens after an event like this? Bankruptcy, consolidation, increase in national costs, or thanks to the reinsurance industry and hurricane restrictions on policies, nothing? We certainly have plenty of recent examples in Florida to test this: Charley , Ivan, and Jeanne (2004), Dennis and Wilma (2005), Irma (2017), Michael (2018) and now Ivan, so far (2022). Just curious what happens since all of us to one degree or another carry insurance.

Question 2, the boat market is already pretty tight with long wait lists for new builds and crazy prices. What happens when this much potential inventory gets wiped off the market? Or will there be a fire sale of salvaged boats. Again, lots of Florida experience to call on here.

Thanks.

Apologies for starting a new thread, but I know there are lots of professionals who lurk on this site and lots of regular members with direct experience and memory from the eight major hurricanes that have hit Florida in the last 18 years.
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Old 09-30-2022, 10:54 AM   #2
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I'm curious as to what insurance people had, and how much will it cover. The insurance I had when my boat was in Florida did not cover named storms. If I wanted named storm coverage, the premium was approximately 10% of the agreed value yearly. So either there are insurance companies with much more liberal policies, or many of those boats will not be covered?

Any large loss by an insurance company is made up with premium hikes. So another question is will those hikes be spread across the country to places that have no hurricane risk, or be kept local to the risk?
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Old 09-30-2022, 10:59 AM   #3
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Folks on the west coast will see their insurance premiums increase dramatically to cover the costs of Ian.
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Old 09-30-2022, 12:12 PM   #4
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As far as insurance goes, I expect to see costs increase but this wasn't prime season. Many marinas were half or less full. If this had happened in January, the boat carnage could have been double or triple. There are also some amount of boats that choice not to have named storm insurance. Don't know if that includes wreck removal of no coverage at all. It would be interesting to know what percentage of the boats weren't covered for this and how many of our size boats the insurance companies had to pay for.

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Old 09-30-2022, 12:12 PM   #5
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I agree that named storm coverage is probable minimal if the number of homeowners with flood insurance coverage is any indicator. (I believe 13% of homeowners have flood insurance)

Sailorman's consignment store is going to double their business. Fiberglass repairs will be a growth industry for the next few years. Manufacturers have finite capacity so they are still in the drivers seat but I would suspect recession clouds will damp any thoughts of price or capacity increases. Used boat market in FL should see a lot of churning. People who lost a boat want another one. People with cosmetic damages will want repairs. People who have a boat want to sell before next hurricane. Spin the wheel a few times.
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Old 09-30-2022, 12:18 PM   #6
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Regarding insurance, the bigger question is housing in the high risk areas lying 10 feet or so above "normal" tide level. We intentionally bypassed FL and the Gulf Coast as retirement and boating possibilities for the very reasons insurance companies are raising rates and or fleeing these areas.

if one were to be satisfied with living inland in FL and having a trailerable 30 footer or so, it is a different story.
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Old 09-30-2022, 01:17 PM   #7
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Regarding insurance, the bigger question is housing in the high risk areas lying 10 feet or so above "normal" tide level. We intentionally bypassed FL and the Gulf Coast as retirement and boating possibilities for the very reasons insurance companies are raising rates and or fleeing these areas.

if one were to be satisfied with living inland in FL and having a trailerable 30 footer or so, it is a different story.
When I was in my 20s, I owned a home in a low area that was subject to a wet yard during the once every 10 year storm. Vowed never to do that again.

My current home in Fort Myers is 7 miles from the Gulf or a river. Between elevation and distance from the Gulf you can pretty much eliminate the storm surge. Wind is a different issue. Rightly or wrongly, the news features the homes that were damaged or destroyed, not the overwhelming majority that had minimal (comparatively) damage. Of the 70 homes in my neighborhood, there are a few 20 year old roofs that will need to be repaced, lots of landscaping, and one screened pool enclosure. Probably less than 10% would meet their insurance deductible.

Now if you want to live in the Fort Myers Beach area, where your backyard is the Gulf of Mexico, it's not if, but when.

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Old 09-30-2022, 01:23 PM   #8
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Typically there isn’t a fire sale on salvaged boats although there will be a few. When Irma hit Key West, salvage companies came in with cranes and barges. They ended up in landfills crushed. The salvaged boats were of too little value for the time it takes to recover. Boats that weren’t totaled, took up the available boat yard space and personnel for insurance or deep pocket repairs.
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Old 09-30-2022, 01:50 PM   #9
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How do they handle claims if I say my neighbors boat broke free and blew into mine. If not for his boat I would have been ok ?

....or in the case when the docks fail, does the marina have any liability...ie: if the docks help up my boat would have been fine.
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Old 09-30-2022, 04:00 PM   #10
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How do they handle claims if I say my neighbors boat broke free and blew into mine. If not for his boat I would have been ok ?…
If you have insurance, your insurance company will pay you and then your insurance company will subrogate against the boat or their insurance company.

Here you go, not my words but I know it works from experience on another boat we owned:

“Simply put, subrogation protects you and your insurer from paying for losses that aren't your fault. It's common in auto, health insurance and homeowners policies. It lets your insurer pursue the person at fault to recover the money paid out for a claim that wasn't your fault”.
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Old 09-30-2022, 04:39 PM   #11
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How do they handle claims if I say my neighbors boat broke free and blew into mine. If not for his boat I would have been ok ?

....or in the case when the docks fail, does the marina have any liability...ie: if the docks help up my boat would have been fine.

The very very fine print in my license agreement states "it is agreed that the boat...stored on the premises...is... at the sole risk of the licensee. The licensor...will not be liable for any loss or damage to property under any circumstances, including losses caused by...any negligent acts or omissions of the licensor not amounting to gross negligence..."

The agreement goes on to state "The licensee will be held responsible for any damage caused to other boats...or to the structure or facilities of the licensor."

In other words the marina is going to sue you and you are going to sue your neighbor, and the lawyers will have a profitable year.

I suspect many marinas will be named insured so they will be first in line to collect on any claims made against your policy.
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Old 09-30-2022, 05:24 PM   #12
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Thanks for the input everyone. There is a raging discussion in the media about how only 18% of Florida homeowners who should have flood insurance actually have it and how new federal rules caused a bunch to drop it. And how a number of insurers just left the state and stopped writing policies. This is going to make the recovery even slower.


This has become a big issue in California where we are seeing lots of people drop flood insurance because it has been so long since the last one that they have assumed they have no risk. Wrong.



Also here in California, due to a convergence of historic mistakes, bad choices, and some things beyond our control, wildfire damages have become so high insurers have bailed everywhere, forcing people into the high risk pool--where premiums quadruple--or, as so many have done, you just drop the insurance even though you live in a tinderbox. We jokingly refer to this as the Dirty Harry approach to risk management: "you feel lucky punk? Do ya?"


And all this made me look closely at my insurance, which has real clear restrictions on how far I can take the boat in the PNW for specific times of the year. We don't get hurricanes here, but we do get pretty stout storms called "atmospheric rivers" and they can raise heck.


Finally, I looked at the endorsement for my marina, Elliott Bay Marina. Sure enough, in the fine print it says "Inclusion of the additional interest shall not waive any right of subrogation we may have." Then why bother with an endorsement? Most important, I am now trying to find a way to drop "subrogation" into a casual sentence to impress my friends.
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Old 09-30-2022, 05:58 PM   #13
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Folks on the west coast will see their insurance premiums increase dramatically to cover the costs of Ian.
Seems we get premiums increase massively in Australia because of boat losses in the US.
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Old 09-30-2022, 06:35 PM   #14
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Seems we get premiums increase massively in Australia because of boat losses in the US.

For real???
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Old 09-30-2022, 10:23 PM   #15
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If you have insurance, your insurance company will pay you and then your insurance company will subrogate against the boat or their insurance company.

Here you go, not my words but I know it works from experience on another boat we owned:

“Simply put, subrogation protects you and your insurer from paying for losses that aren't your fault. It's common in auto, health insurance and homeowners policies. It lets your insurer pursue the person at fault to recover the money paid out for a claim that wasn't your fault”.

Except that....many states have a “force majeure” statute which means that in the event of an “act of God” or “nature”, you can’t bring a claim against another for damages caused in such a catastrophe. At that point, your insurance just pays you and moves on without a subrogation claim, depending on your state’s law.

During Hurricane Irma, I was in Miami (still am) where we don’t have enough real estate to haul out all the boats that reside here. Getting hauled out became a bidding war and there is a $hit ton of money in Miami. I had to do the best I could. My neighbor was one of the fortunate (wealthy) ones who won a spot on land, so he bugged out. An uninsured guy with a fishing boat he chartered pulled in next to me to ride out the storm. He told me he chose that slip because he could use my boat as a “wind shield.” Mine was a 58’ Hatteras motor yacht. He had a 45’ sport fish. I told him that was a really bad idea and that he should not be in another person’s slip. He was cocky and believed that my boat was going to protect him. Well...we all lost. I was insured; he wasn’t. He wanted me to personally pay for his damages since the wind came from that direction for a while, yet it came from the other direction for a while, too. He kept telling me that my boat ran into his, yet my boat was still in her slip. I tried to explain the concept of force majeure to him, but he was having no part of listening to that, so I told him to go pound sand and reminded him that his attorney’s fees would run out long before mine would (I’m in the “business”). He actually threatened me in the parking lot in front of other witness. He really shouldn't have done that. He’s gone now.
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Old 09-30-2022, 10:25 PM   #16
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Seems we get premiums increase massively in Australia because of boat losses in the US.
Wow, that is surprising. I never would have guessed that. I would have gotten that answer wrong on a quiz, for sure.
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Old 10-01-2022, 01:41 AM   #17
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For real???

Multiple articles across the interwebs similar to this

https://www.admiralyacht.com/admiral...urance-market/

In 2019 one of the biggest marine insurers lost Lloyds as an underwriter and went with Berkshire Hathaway/Chubb.

Our full comp insurance premium went up 400% and deductable went up 700%
We have never made a claim in the prior 30 years.

Needless to say we went else where, but that year in between we were forced to accept 3rd party only and it was still 60% higher than the prior years full comp.

The insurer we use now for full comp is still around 200% higher than our 2018 premium but the deductable is down to a normal amount..

Every week over here on various pages there are boat owners asking about insurance, getting very difficult and expensive now and increasingly restrictive.


So while I genuinely feel for those who have had damage or loss who have made a real effort to secure or move your vessel to a safe cyclone hole,
the rest of you who couldn't be bothered and say, "it's ok, insurance will sort it out" well..........<insert rude words here>.

Seems to be a lot of people these days who simply do not care about learning the skills or using common sense, they are only playing boats for a few years before doing something else so insurance will pick up their slack.

Again, for those who actually give a fk and do the right thing,, or at least give it a red hot go, this rant is not aimed at you in the slightest.
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Old 10-01-2022, 05:50 AM   #18
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In 2019 one of the biggest marine insurers lost Lloyds as an underwriter and went with Berkshire Hathaway/Chubb.
So what you're saying is Lloyds recognized the Australian recreational boating insurance market as a financial looser and instead of raising rates which the Australian insurance company would have passed on to you, they canceled that underwriting. Clearly it wasn't America's fault that you (Australia) were seen as unprofitable to Lloyds.

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Old 10-01-2022, 10:49 AM   #19
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So while I genuinely feel for those who have had damage or loss who have made a real effort to secure or move your vessel to a safe cyclone hole,
the rest of you who couldn't be bothered and say, "it's ok, insurance will sort it out" well..........<insert rude words here>.
Not this hurricane, but years ago we were cruising on the sailboat, stopped in Salem, Ma. A hurricane - or what in the event turned out to be a post hurricane tropical depression - came over, the eye passing directly overhead. It was well forecast. Many people prepared their boats, removing canvas, tying multiple lines across docks, etc. (Part of the town's prep seemed to be emptying the liquor stores, but that is another story). However a large fraction of owners simply left their boats on moorings in the harbor, dodgers and biminis up, roller furling jibs up, mainsails on, no prep at all. We speculated that these were people who would as soon be rid or their boat, and found this the means to do it. It was milder than predicted, and only a couple of boats were blown ashore, but there was plenty of wind damage to canvas, shredded jibs, etc. Boats prep'd properly suffered no damage.

In Florida, insurance commonly requires the boat to be hauled for a named storm, or no coverage. Many policies will pay for the haul. But you have to be where you can be hauled, and hope they have hurricane ties in their storage lot. The marina we were staying at in Salem evicted everyone - you either had to be hauled, or leave.
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Old 10-01-2022, 11:45 AM   #20
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He actually threatened me in the parking lot in front of other witness. He really shouldn't have done that. He’s gone now.
Sleeping with the fishes?
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