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Old 05-08-2020, 07:31 PM   #1
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Just purchased a 1984 Grand Banks 36 Classic Hull #698. Finished survey last week..surveyor verbally indicated no serious problems, told me boat was seaworthy and in good condition. Got a 32 page report with only 1 "A" Recommendation..flares expired, which I have corrected. There were 32 "B" Recommendations that "should be addressed within a year or sooner". None of them were serious in my opinion, and pretty much consistent with a "to do" list I would have written myself..things to do when I get around to it.

Not sure I even need anything other than liability, but all companies so far..Geico, Markel and a couple others would only quote traditional agreed hull value coverage. Several companies would not write insurance on a 35 year old boat.

First company (Markel) to get back to me after submitting survey wanted a written "plan" for how I intended to "correct" all the B Recommendations?

Is insurance market as difficult as it seems for an old Grand Banks?

One point of contention is the ABYC standards for fire extinguishers. Boat has twice the USCG requirements, but surveyor "recommended" a fixed engine system or a "ported" manual one where spray is thru a hole in the floor. Underwriter indicated a concern with "fire risk".
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:37 PM   #2
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Yes, they can do that and most, it appears, do require all the things to be fixed. I have Boat/US, Geico, insurance. When we bought our boat there were about 5 things that were listed and none of them were significant. Boat/US asked that I have them fixed. So I did fix them. One thing that the surveyor wrote up was that all the fire extinguishers were not mounted. Even though the ones that were not mounted were still in boxes in the cabinet. There were enough mounted that the legal requirements were met. What he didnít mention was that half of them were past the end of life, but Kidde replaced them all under their recall.
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:09 PM   #3
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Insurance market is tightening up. Not just boat insurance. Commercial insurance has gotten just as difficult this year.
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:13 PM   #4
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I'll say this...BoatUS impressed me recently. I became involved in saving a boat, a 46 Hatteras, for an absentee owner. Flooded enough for much of the engines to be underwater. I used the marinas pumps to get ahead of it, but not quickly.

As soon as the marina managed to get a hold of the owner, he called them. They sent someone with huge pumps immediately. He relieved me and kept the boat a float until evening when they were sine with recreational tows. Then they used three boats to tow it to an after-hours haul out 4 hours away, with pumps going the whole time (leak was in a secured part of the boat). The owner didn't pay a dime to get it on the hard. (I'm sure the deductible will be deducted from the final payout).

The next day a smaller boat was found under the water in the morning. They showed up, floated the stern, pumped it out, secured the seacock for the failed hose, and towed it the same 4 hours for a haul to the hard.

If I'd call my insurer to tell them my boat was sinking...they'd probably tell me to remember I need to take reasonable and prudent steps to minimize any loss and wish me luck. And, even with BoatUS towing, I don't think I'd get the afternoon and evening of pump management service. I have a feeling that coordination between insurer, savor/service-provider, and tow service would be lost.
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:33 PM   #5
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Insurance relies on investment income. They invest the premiums until they have to pay claims. With very low interest rates, it is harder for them to earn profits. Typically this leads to higher rates or a lot of advertising...and in some cases tougher underwriting.

Even my surveyor is surprised that insurer would want "B" Recommendations to be fixed as a condition for insurability. He told me all I would need to do is address the "A" Recommendations.

The boat in its present condition is probably more seaworthy than 90% of the boats I have seen insured in the water. So it seems the insurance application process is kind of a bureaucratic hoop to jump thru....would seem that insurers that want a boat that has preventive maintenance above industry standards would require an ongoing preventive maintenance program..sort of like we have on airplanes that get an annual inspection.
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:35 PM   #6
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I am going to be searching for an insurer to provide liability only..I can self insure the hull value on a 35 year old boat. Any suggested carriers?
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:37 PM   #7
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Yes...I too have had Boat US in the past..before they farmed it out to Geico. Very good experience.
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Old 05-09-2020, 11:28 AM   #8
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I am going to be searching for an insurer to provide liability only..I can self insure the hull value on a 35 year old boat. Any suggested carriers?
Touch base- I may be able to assist you.
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Old 05-09-2020, 11:43 AM   #9
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My new to me boat last year, the insurers wanted items fixed first.
However, I cannot blame them. I have had the time to review surveys from the past, most recent three years ago which included several of the same listed work. In other words unless told to fix it before insurance is given, it seems things do not get done.
Not only that, I had to re survey after work done as proof.
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Old 05-09-2020, 11:51 AM   #10
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My dos centavos in red:


Just purchased a 1984 Grand Banks 36 Classic Hull #698. Finished survey last week..surveyor verbally indicated no serious problems, told me boat was seaworthy and in good condition. Got a 32 page report with only 1 "A" Recommendation..flares expired, which I have corrected. There were 32 "B" Recommendations that "should be addressed within a year or sooner". None of them were serious in my opinion, and pretty much consistent with a "to do" list I would have written myself..things to do when I get around to it.
The above is normal. One thing to consider is what you may consider normal vs what underwriting sees as necessary for the continued safe operation of the vessel can be very different.

Not sure I even need anything other than liability, but all companies so far..Geico, Markel and a couple others would only quote traditional agreed hull value coverage. Several companies would not write insurance on a 35 year old boat.
Liability only is an option for Markel and GEICO (GEICO does requires a survey). Treluctance on offering coverage on yiour boat may be due to the navigation territory,not the vessel- i routinely write coverage on Grand Banks of all ages without a problem.

First company (Markel) to get back to me after submitting survey wanted a written "plan" for how I intended to "correct" all the B Recommendations?
Again, very normal. It's a known fact (from school and business) that written plans are remembered much better than verbal. The written plan for the "B: recs are exactly that- plans to complete the survey punchlist.

Is insurance market as difficult as it seems for an old Grand Banks?
No, sir, it is not.

One point of contention is the ABYC standards for fire extinguishers. Boat has twice the USCG requirements, but surveyor "recommended" a fixed engine system or a "ported" manual one where spray is thru a hole in the floor. Underwriter indicated a concern with "fire risk".

The operative word is "recommend" regarding the fixed system or addition of a fire port. If it is a "requirement" to meet ABYC recommendations, or NFPA/USCG standards, then there is no argument that it must be complied with (and those specific recs would be listed in the "A" recs). Otherwise, it can be successfully argued that is it fiscally outrageous to demand any older vessel be completely brought up to current ABYC/NFPA standards.
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Old 05-09-2020, 11:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soo-Valley View Post
My new to me boat last year, the insurers wanted items fixed first.
However, I cannot blame them. I have had the time to review surveys from the past, most recent three years ago which included several of the same listed work. In other words unless told to fix it before insurance is given, it seems things do not get done.
Not only that, I had to re survey after work done as proof.
Steve, can you provide some context?
First time with that insurer?
First time insuring a boat?
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Old 05-09-2020, 12:09 PM   #12
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Steve, can you provide some context?
First time with that insurer?
First time insuring a boat?
Not first time insuring a boat. In the end I did insure first time with new company as the one I have used regularly was ready to insure under same terms at twice the premium. They wanted things fixed first.
Coincidently, my previous insurer also insured this boat for the previous owner up until date of sale.
So they had the previous survey and when the new one said the same stuff, well it now makes sense. Also note that they doubled the premium from the previous year insured to old owner. It is just a good example that yes insurance on boats is rapidly changing.
Note: I have not had a claim, so that had no effect
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Old 05-09-2020, 02:50 PM   #13
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When I bought Pilitak a few years ago, my insurance company (have used the broker for years prior) demanded that all "items" listed by the surveyor be rectified. I was required to send an email stating that this had been done "for the record".

It seems to me that surveyors will write down absolutely everything found to CYA and then insurance will demand that ALL be "fixed".

IMO, often this can lead to a lot of money or at least time being spent, and not always for very good reason. For example, my surveyor mentioned some A/C wire that was not connected to anything at either end, but was neatly coiled up. He said to remove it. Insurance asked same. This wire was installed at the factory as a "prewire" in case in the future Air conditioning would be installed. How did the removal of this "prewire" make sense, other than a "make work" project?
I do not look forward to the next survey for continued insurance. By the way, I maintain my boat to very high standards.
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Old 05-09-2020, 02:59 PM   #14
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IMO, often this can lead to a lot of money or at least time being spent, and not always for very good reason. For example, my surveyor mentioned some A/C wire that was not connected to anything at either end, but was neatly coiled up. He said to remove it. Insurance asked same. This wire was installed at the factory as a "prewire" in case in the future Air conditioning would be installed. How did the removal of this "prewire" make sense, other than a "make work" project?
This is the correct question.

In a claims situation, there are 2 types of causes of loss- "cause" and "proximate cause"

In short, the "cause' is what the loss is about, and the "proximate cause" is what caused the loss. Example- a vessel partially sinks.

Cause of loss- water intrusion into the vessel.
Proximate cause (what cause the water intrusion (broken hose/failed thru hull/failed bellows as examples.

So- claims folks determine what happened. If a survey rec that has not been completed (such as removing coiled A/C wiring) is not a proximate cause directly affiliated to the claim, the claim would be paid (assuming all other factors are in line with the policy language).
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Old 05-09-2020, 03:18 PM   #15
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Peter,
Thanks for the info and response and I am glad to hear that under those conditions a claim would be honoured. So, I wonder why the insistence on having something done that could never result in a claim?
The wire(s) in question could not cause a fire or electrical injury, were not sharp so as to cut or puncture, and are located in the machinery space held up "out of the way".
It just seems strange and unnecessary to me.
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Old 05-09-2020, 04:33 PM   #16
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Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pau Hana View Post
My dos centavos in red:


Just purchased a 1984 Grand Banks 36 Classic Hull #698. Finished survey last week..surveyor verbally indicated no serious problems, told me boat was seaworthy and in good condition. Got a 32 page report with only 1 "A" Recommendation..flares expired, which I have corrected. There were 32 "B" Recommendations that "should be addressed within a year or sooner". None of them were serious in my opinion, and pretty much consistent with a "to do" list I would have written myself..things to do when I get around to it.
The above is normal. One thing to consider is what you may consider normal vs what underwriting sees as necessary for the continued safe operation of the vessel can be very different.

Not sure I even need anything other than liability, but all companies so far..Geico, Markel and a couple others would only quote traditional agreed hull value coverage. Several companies would not write insurance on a 35 year old boat.
Liability only is an option for Markel and GEICO (GEICO does requires a survey). Treluctance on offering coverage on yiour boat may be due to the navigation territory,not the vessel- i routinely write coverage on Grand Banks of all ages without a problem.

First company (Markel) to get back to me after submitting survey wanted a written "plan" for how I intended to "correct" all the B Recommendations?
Again, very normal. It's a known fact (from school and business) that written plans are remembered much better than verbal. The written plan for the "B: recs are exactly that- plans to complete the survey punchlist.

Is insurance market as difficult as it seems for an old Grand Banks?
No, sir, it is not.

One point of contention is the ABYC standards for fire extinguishers. Boat has twice the USCG requirements, but surveyor "recommended" a fixed engine system or a "ported" manual one where spray is thru a hole in the floor. Underwriter indicated a concern with "fire risk".

The operative word is "recommend" regarding the fixed system or addition of a fire port. If it is a "requirement" to meet ABYC recommendations, or NFPA/USCG standards, then there is no argument that it must be complied with (and those specific recs would be listed in the "A" recs). Otherwise, it can be successfully argued that is it fiscally outrageous to demand any older vessel be completely brought up to current ABYC/NFPA standards.
Great information--very helpful...sent u a PM--call me. BTW--I love the term "fiscally outrageous".

I have to remind myself that insurers DO want my business. They are just trying to avoid excessive risk and engage in a bit of bureacratic CYA. Sort of like a courting dance. But it can be annoying to busy owners who just want insurance and don't want to "dance".

The whole buying, surveying, and insurance process is full of risk for all parties. We live in a world with many lawyers and many people who are not hesitant to use them.
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Old 05-09-2020, 05:54 PM   #17
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I am with American Family. It is inexpensive. Stated value with an "Out" for Am Fam.

Pretty crummy insurance but it covers liability which is all I am really concerned with. Every Spring I touch base with the agent to be sure I am covered for environmental hazards should the boat sink or cause pollution.

If I "crunch" your boat, it's covered, mine, not so much.

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Old 05-09-2020, 06:15 PM   #18
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What is the salvage coverage?
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Old 05-09-2020, 08:38 PM   #19
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I am with American Family. It is inexpensive. Stated value with an "Out" for Am Fam.

Pretty crummy insurance but it covers liability which is all I am really concerned with. Every Spring I touch base with the agent to be sure I am covered for environmental hazards should the boat sink or cause pollution.

If I "crunch" your boat, it's covered, mine, not so much.

pete
Is your policy AmFam, or American Modern (who usually does the large marine stuff for AmFam?)

You are correct in that AmFam is not really a solid policy- as long as youíre OK with the policy wording concerning the liability coverage and pollution coverage, all is good. At the same time, Iíd read the policy so Iím you understand the policy limits.
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Old 05-10-2020, 02:34 PM   #20
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First company (Markel) to get back to me after submitting survey wanted a written "plan" for how I intended to "correct" all the 32 "B" Recommendations from the survey.

Boat US/Geico requested same.

I wrote a ten page summary of my plan to address all of the 32 "recommendations" including an outline of my comprehensive "Preventive Maintenance and Inspection Program"--took me about 4-5 hours to type it out in MSWord. Boat US/Geico accepted my "plan" and quoted a fair price--They bound the coverage and sent policy in their normal fast and efficient manner after I paid them.

Upon reflection, going thru the process of writing down what I decided to do, and when I decided to do it was useful. (My wife kinda raised her eyebrows regarding the amount of work I plan to do. lol)

BTW---my plan did not agree with all of the Surveyor's recommendations. It did not include an automatic fire suppression system, but I did commit to installing a first class fire/heat/smoke alarm system for the engine compartment as soon as reasonably possible. I also agreed to update buy four new "clean agent" (Halotron or HFC227fa Cleanguard or Novec 1230) high pressure streaming fire extinguishers.

It probably also helped that Boat US/Geico were already covering the vessel for the previous owner.
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