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Old 10-26-2020, 11:24 AM   #1
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Insurance difficulties

As we are continuing our trip south we recently experienced an issue on insurance coverage. It seems that more and more insurance companies are dropping out of coverage for ďHurricane ZonesĒ . In trying to get coverage we seemed to hit a brick wall everywhere especially since we are heading south along Mexico to the Panama Canal and into the Caribbean.
But thanks to Peter Ricks, (the insurance guru here on TF), again, he was able to get us the coverage we wanted, albeit very expensive.
I highly recommend Peter with Novamar for any insurance needs, especially if you are cruising in far off places. Maybe when things settle down a bit this winter a few more companies will provide insurance in the Hurricane zones.

Thanks again Peter!
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:36 AM   #2
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Peter is our insurance guy too. He's our dude!!

I highly recommend him too!
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:43 AM   #3
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I'd reemphasize the value of working with a true Marine Broker, like Peter, and doing so before your special need arises. That way when your existing insurer changes practices, they'll already have a solution ready.
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:14 PM   #4
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I'd reemphasize the value of working with a true Marine Broker, like Peter, and doing so before your special need arises. That way when your existing insurer changes practices, they'll already have a solution ready.
And we did, by several months, especially when prior carrier issued a non renewal notice because of the areas we were going. The hurdles we encountered, were not many companies were willing to cover the areas we are heading for. With the amount of damage caused by storms over the last few years in the gulf most notably, very few companies are willing to underwrite this area.

We joined the Panama Posse, which as of today consisted of over 120 boats and this appears to be just those heading West to East, I suspect that many or more are on the East to West route. And this is currently a big topic with almost everyone. Our insurance was expiring near the end of the season, maybe that contributed to the issue. Hopefully things will settle down a bit, we will see.
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:25 PM   #5
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Just looked at the Panama Posse. Pretty kewl - wish it had been around in '89 when I was running a crew boat from New Jersey to San Diego.
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:47 PM   #6
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Peter is not just a good broker. He is a good human being.
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:52 PM   #7
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Hey Peter,

How has the NTSB report on the diver boat fire affected the industry?
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Old 10-27-2020, 04:01 PM   #8
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Thanks, John- glad I was able to step in and get things sorted for you.

Tom-I haven't read the full report, but I believe that this will push charter insurers to tighten down their underwriting practices and more closely look for assurances that the vessel requesting coverage does not only carry the COI, but is wholly safe for the intended usage.
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Old 10-27-2020, 04:56 PM   #9
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Unfortunately the CG requirements donít make sense as to emergency exits. Looking at the photos of the backup emergency exit it looks like a joke. On the top of the 3 high bunks and so tight that you would have to lay on your back and pull yourself up out the hatch, right into the area the fire was concentrated. The regulations need updating badly.
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Old 10-27-2020, 05:31 PM   #10
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Unfortunately the CG requirements donít make sense as to emergency exits. Looking at the photos of the backup emergency exit it looks like a joke. On the top of the 3 high bunks and so tight that you would have to lay on your back and pull yourself up out the hatch, right into the area the fire was concentrated. The regulations need updating badly.
Wifey B: People think....CG has regulations. Boat meats regulations. Boat is safe. Non sequitur. But that's true in lots of thing. Your office meets fire code. That's a minimum. Doesn't mean it's as safe as it could be. Same with your home. When other's lives are put at risk, we all must do more and in a completive business that can be hard. Means spending more than the other guy. We can't say because everyone else is doing it, it's ok, or because the CG hasn't failed it, that it's ok. As a captain, I go out feeling we're not going to flip, not going to catch fire, not going to sink, but I have to have a plan in case any of those things happen.
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Old 10-27-2020, 08:39 PM   #11
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Thanks, John- glad I was able to step in and get things sorted for you.

Tom-I haven't read the full report, but I believe that this will push charter insurers to tighten down their underwriting practices and more closely look for assurances that the vessel requesting coverage does not only carry the COI, but is wholly safe for the intended usage.
So do you think it will bleed over to recreational boats? Its all about profits.
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Old 10-27-2020, 08:52 PM   #12
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So do you think it will bleed over to recreational boats? Its all about profits.
I donít know. Rec Marine and Commíl Marine donít have much bleedover actuarially speaking. Itís a good bet that markets that play on both sides of the fence may have rate adjustments, but I donít see this single incident as having a profound effect on Rec Marine rates in general.
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Old 10-28-2020, 06:28 AM   #13
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It certainly had an impact on us in detailing our boat build. Much more attention was paid to exit paths from sleeping quarters, and modifications made.


On a sister boat a ceiling escape hatch was created. Our boat layout didn't lend itself to that since the escape hatch would have sent you to the same location as the primary stairway escape route. That was the fundamental problem on the dive boat. Both escape routes lead to the same burning salon.


Instead our second escape route (this is all from the lower level) is out through the ER and laz, then out the laz hatch. The challenge was that the laz couldn't be opened from the inside. Check you boat if this is a viable escape route, because I'll bet it's a dead end. The yard building the boat came up with a clever release mechanism so you can now escape via that path.
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:17 PM   #14
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Peter is not just a good broker. He is a good human being.
Yes he is. We met him a few years ago at Shilshole Marina. Even gave me a ride downtown! TF is fortunate to have onboard an insurance pro who knows boats.
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:26 PM   #15
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It certainly had an impact on us in detailing our boat build. Much more attention was paid to exit paths from sleeping quarters, and modifications made.


On a sister boat a ceiling escape hatch was created. Our boat layout didn't lend itself to that since the escape hatch would have sent you to the same location as the primary stairway escape route. That was the fundamental problem on the dive boat. Both escape routes lead to the same burning salon.


Instead our second escape route (this is all from the lower level) is out through the ER and laz, then out the laz hatch. The challenge was that the laz couldn't be opened from the inside. Check you boat if this is a viable escape route, because I'll bet it's a dead end. The yard building the boat came up with a clever release mechanism so you can now escape via that path.

When we bought our current boat the PO had removed the escape hatch from the aft cabin and decked it over with teak decking to match the rest of the sundeck. I took my dog with me right after we closed on it and spent 3 weeks working on it and replacing all the electronics. (Of course before we even got to use the boat the brand new electronics were outdated). The absolute first job was to cut the deck open and install a new hatch in case of fire. I did it the day after we got to Virginia and the first night I was uncomfortable sleeping in the aft cabin knowing if a fire broke out I wouldnít have a way to escape from the aft cabin. Also I figured out that I needed a short 3 step ladder to even get out of the new hatch. Now we have a plan to get out and a smoke detector system that are linked together.
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