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Old 06-08-2022, 04:19 PM   #1
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Geico Marine Insurance

Ok, I have been insured with Boat/US (Geico) for well over 40 years. We bought our Formula 41PC last summer. The survey listed the value of the boat as $120,000. I spent over $60,000 this last winter upgrading the boat, new canvas and upholstery, bow and stern thrusters, swim platform extension, SeaDek all over, all new electronics, new carpeting inside, and a host of minor things. So I sent Geico the receipts for major work and asked them to raise the value from $120,000 to reflect the increased value of the boat.

I got an email today saying that due to the dates of the receipts and the “current fair market value” they wouldn’t raise the insured value. Not sure what the receipt dates means since they all were after I bought this boat. But they say the current fair market value is $77,000. So I call them and ask how they determine the “current fair market value”. They said they use BUC and NADA. I ask why they don’t use soldboats.com since it is current. They said they only use soldboats when a boat isn’t in the blue books. I speak to multiple people including supervisors and get nowhere. I tell them to look at Yachtworld.com and see what 41PCs are being listed at, nope. They tell me soldboats.com isn’t reliable data since it takes in account inflation and current prices??? I ask isn’t that the definition of “current fair market value “. More talking points that make no sense. They say they know people are paying more for boats than they are worth…. Duh, if that is the going price then why isn’t that the “current fair market value “. More nonsense talking points.

Now the good news!

I was paying about $1250 per year for $120,000 at Geico Marine with a 2% deductible. I called Peter at Novamar Insurance. What a wonderful breath of fresh air compared to Geico! We talked about my situation and he came up with a couple of choices for me. Chubb and Markel. I went with Markel. Peter got me coverage for $190,000 and 1% deductible for $1,550. Also the medical and personal property coverage is way better. He got it done quickly and very efficiently. I have my new coverage and have canceled the Geico insurance.

So if anyone out there needs insurance, give Peter a call. I thought I would stay with Boat/US Geico for ever but Peter beat them badly. No affiliation other than a very satisfied customer.
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Old 06-12-2022, 10:04 AM   #2
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i was with boat us for 25 years or more. but when they went with geico i completely lost faith in them. when i sold my last boat that was insured through them i decided i'd go another way. i'm using peter as my insurance guy too. great guy with lots of knowledge, highly recommend.
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Old 06-12-2022, 10:20 AM   #3
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I'll second Peter being excellent to work with.
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Old 06-12-2022, 11:38 AM   #4
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Ok, I have been insured with Boat/US (Geico) for well over 40 years. We bought our Formula 41PC last summer. The survey listed the value of the boat as $120,000. I spent over $60,000 this last winter upgrading the boat, new canvas and upholstery, bow and stern thrusters, swim platform extension, SeaDek all over, all new electronics, new carpeting inside, and a host of minor things. So I sent Geico the receipts for major work and asked them to raise the value from $120,000 to reflect the increased value of the boat.

I got an email today saying that due to the dates of the receipts and the “current fair market value” they wouldn’t raise the insured value. Not sure what the receipt dates means since they all were after I bought this boat. But they say the current fair market value is $77,000. So I call them and ask how they determine the “current fair market value”. They said they use BUC and NADA. I ask why they don’t use soldboats.com since it is current. They said they only use soldboats when a boat isn’t in the blue books. I speak to multiple people including supervisors and get nowhere. I tell them to look at Yachtworld.com and see what 41PCs are being listed at, nope. They tell me soldboats.com isn’t reliable data since it takes in account inflation and current prices??? I ask isn’t that the definition of “current fair market value “. More talking points that make no sense. They say they know people are paying more for boats than they are worth…. Duh, if that is the going price then why isn’t that the “current fair market value “. More nonsense talking points.

Now the good news!

I was paying about $1250 per year for $120,000 at Geico Marine with a 2% deductible. I called Peter at Novamar Insurance. What a wonderful breath of fresh air compared to Geico! We talked about my situation and he came up with a couple of choices for me. Chubb and Markel. I went with Markel. Peter got me coverage for $190,000 and 1% deductible for $1,550. Also the medical and personal property coverage is way better. He got it done quickly and very efficiently. I have my new coverage and have canceled the Geico insurance.

So if anyone out there needs insurance, give Peter a call. I thought I would stay with Boat/US Geico for ever but Peter beat them badly. No affiliation other than a very satisfied customer.
Happy to help!

Unfortunately, GEICO Marine continues to change their appetite and underwriting practices (almost daily, it seems). I’m seeing more and more of these types of situations where GEICO’s decisioning makes little to no sense: your improvements to your vessel (not maintenance/deferred maintenance correction) make sense to up the insured value, especially in the current market. GEICO’s use of standardized valuation guides with little to no consideration for improvements shows that they are using a “box underwriting” approach vice looking at the risk from all aspects.

Peter
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Old 06-12-2022, 12:57 PM   #5
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Geico only understands high volume production boats usually trailerable. I don't think they even understand or insure for some of the marine specific risks like sea floor damage or fuel and oil pollution.

You are much, much better being insured by a true marine insurer like Markel or Chubb than a Geico.

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Old 06-12-2022, 01:05 PM   #6
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Well I had been with Boat/US for over 40 years. I originally went with them since they knew boats. But since Geico bought them that was less and less true. I stayed with them since they were the devil you knew. But when they would not raise the value on our boat for no explainable reason, it made me mad enough to look for new insurance. My wife said where can you find good insurance? I told her that I knew a guy…. Then I called Peter. Wow what a great experience, and he can talk boats.
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Old 06-12-2022, 06:02 PM   #7
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Positive Geico Experience

Timely thread!

We just bound with Geico last week. Geico has been very easy to reach and pleasant to deal with through the process.

We were in the process of obtaining quotes from 4 new-to-us insurance companies. While waiting for those to arrive, I gave Geico a call. Geico had a quote through underwriting DURING the call, which was around 30 minutes. This very fast quote was a little surprising, and the competitive price was even more surprising.

After receiving the 4 other quotes, our current policy renewal came in the mail earlier than expected. They were going up 20% with no increase in navigation area and asking for a survey completed by March of 2022 (yes 2022). We submitted a survey through our prior agent last fall, so this was also surprising.

We scrutinized all of the policies and conferred with three insurance professionals. Long story short, Geico really only had one competitor - and we went with Geico.

No affiliation, never been with them previously, just really impressed.

If Geico treats all customers like they treated us and offers similarly competitive pricing, we are all going to benefit.

Happy to share any and all details via PM.

Best Wishes
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Old 06-12-2022, 06:45 PM   #8
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Timely thread!

We just bound with Geico last week. Geico has been very easy to reach and pleasant to deal with through the process.

We were in the process of obtaining quotes from 4 new-to-us insurance companies. While waiting for those to arrive, I gave Geico a call. Geico had a quote through underwriting DURING the call, which was around 30 minutes. This very fast quote was a little surprising, and the competitive price was even more surprising.

After receiving the 4 other quotes, our current policy renewal came in the mail earlier than expected. They were going up 20% with no increase in navigation area and asking for a survey completed by March of 2022 (yes 2022). We submitted a survey through our prior agent last fall, so this was also surprising.

We scrutinized all of the policies and conferred with three insurance professionals. Long story short, Geico really only had one competitor - and we went with Geico.

No affiliation, never been with them previously, just really impressed.

If Geico treats all customers like they treated us and offers similarly competitive pricing, we are all going to benefit.

Happy to share any and all details via PM.

Best Wishes
If the coverages are the same, and the vessel is under 20 years of age, GEICO can be very competitive. That said, pricing must be a minor consideration when looking at an insurance policy.

Things to consider about GEICO:
  • GEICO has a very steep depreciation schedule when the vessels hits 20 years of age.
  • GEICO is VERY firm on how they look at vessel valuation.
  • Offshore navigation is very limited.
  • Their appetite (what they will offer coverage on) has dramatically shrunk over the past 2 years (no steel/metal hulls, no boats over 40 years of age, no wood, etc.


They can be a good choice, but read the policy carefully.
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Old 06-12-2022, 07:30 PM   #9
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Thanks.

We have an agreed value policy, for which there is no depreciation.

Our navigation area is coastal and inland waters of the U.S. and Canada, out to 200NM. Geico said they could get us into Mexico as well, but I did not explore further as we are not going there during this policy period.
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Old 06-12-2022, 07:43 PM   #10
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Thanks.

We have an agreed value policy, for which there is no depreciation.

Our navigation area is coastal and inland waters of the U.S. and Canada, out to 200NM. Geico said they could get us into Mexico as well, but I did not explore further as we are not going there during this policy period.
Their depreciation schedule is applied to partial losses only, and starts at 10% when the vessel is 20 years old, and increases every year by 10% to a max of 80%.

By way of contrast, no other insurer has such an aggressive depreciation schedule as a published part of their policy language.

For Mexico or the Caribbean, GEICO restricts travel there to a max of 4 months per policy term. Canada has no restrictions.
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Old 06-17-2022, 01:14 PM   #11
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When I bought my 1973 GB36 in Nov 2020 I contacted a few insurers, Geico among them. I was only looking for liability as it was required by the yard where she would be spending few years in the hard for refit. The survey found a few areas of note that needed repair (on the list during refit). Geico would not write ANY policy based on the survey. I agree with DavidM, I don't think they want to deal with certain segments of the pleasure boat market.
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Old 06-17-2022, 01:54 PM   #12
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My understanding is that Geico will not take on any new policies on boats over 40 years old. If you are an existing customer and the boat turns 40 then they will (might) keep you.
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Old 06-17-2022, 02:05 PM   #13
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My understanding is that Geico will not take on any new policies on boats over 40 years old. If you are an existing customer and the boat turns 40 then they will (might) keep you.
Aha, but then they're protected by their fast depreciation schedule on older boats. Only paying 20% on partial losses on an older boat is golden for them.

Geico was very aggressive going after marine business. Now, that has turned. They want the simple, mass produced, easily understood and valued, used inland or near coastal business. However, they've decided to greatly limit exposure and that means a lot of exclusions and a lot of boats they won't now insure. They've also become unpredictable and that is tough on customers. Year to year, they may surprise you. The majority of boats they have insured are on lakes and that's the business they really appear to prefer. Hence them using the books they do for valuations. Easy to look up a Searay and do very little work. If you fit in the box, they may be good for you. But many here no longer fit in their box.
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Old 06-17-2022, 02:27 PM   #14
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Aha, but then they're protected by their fast depreciation schedule on older boats. Only paying 20% on partial losses on an older boat is golden for them.

Geico was very aggressive going after marine business. Now, that has turned. They want the simple, mass produced, easily understood and valued, used inland or near coastal business. However, they've decided to greatly limit exposure and that means a lot of exclusions and a lot of boats they won't now insure. They've also become unpredictable and that is tough on customers. Year to year, they may surprise you. The majority of boats they have insured are on lakes and that's the business they really appear to prefer. Hence them using the books they do for valuations. Easy to look up a Searay and do very little work. If you fit in the box, they may be good for you. But many here no longer fit in their box.
That is essentially what Peter told me.
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Old 06-17-2022, 02:29 PM   #15
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That is essentially what Peter told me.
Peter once understood Geico very well but now he's left trying to figure out their next move like all the rest of us.
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Old 06-17-2022, 06:08 PM   #16
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Contact information

Everyone seems to know Peter at Novamore Insurance. Except for me. Can anyone share his contact info?
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Old 06-17-2022, 06:24 PM   #17
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Everyone seems to know Peter at Novamore Insurance. Except for me. Can anyone share his contact info?
https://www.novamarinsurance.com/contact-us

I will add to this. As great as Peter is, the real key is finding a good marine broker who represents all the top marine lines, who you can build a relationship with, and who you can depend on to help you in the ever changing market. Peter has a great reputation. A few others have been highly recommended here. Marine Insurance is a field requiring a true specialist, not an agent who spends most of their time on home and auto and not an agent who only has access to one insurer.
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Old 06-17-2022, 07:13 PM   #18
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Everyone seems to know Peter at Novamore Insurance. Except for me. Can anyone share his contact info?
His phone number, which he has posted before, is 206-350-5051
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Old 06-18-2022, 06:05 AM   #19
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And another shot at Geico and their narrow, restrictive approach to marine coverage: A few months back I was looking for coverage for my 18' RothBilt center console skiff, a well known (but out of business) make around SE Mass., and called them. The rep I spoke to promptly issued a policy and emailed the binder and proof cards. A couple of weeks later I got a letter that the policy would be cancelled at the end of that month because they had determined that the boat is treated as "a kit boat and ineligable for coverage."

After a fruitless phone explanation/protest that it was not a 'kit boat' I called my local agent who's handled the Pilgrim and my sailboat for years. She said, "That's ridiculous! Rothbilts are quality boats, we know them well," and quickly got me coverage with Chubb.

Again, a myopic case where the boat simply didn't fit Geico's algorithm.
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Old 06-18-2022, 11:31 AM   #20
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Holding my tongue about Insurance Companies. If I don't have anything nice to say.....If I don't have anything nice to say....If I don't have anything nice to say.....
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