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Old 08-24-2019, 01:13 AM   #1
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Insurance, and the age factor

I'm not understanding the age factor in the boat insurance process. I could likely end up with 2 boats in the same marina. Both about the the same appraised value and insured for the same amount.
One is 30 years old trawler and one is 12 years old catamaran.

The 30 year old boat cost 2.7 times as much to insure?.
When the next hurricane comes by is it going to only take out the 30 year old boat?
Then I think about my 42 year old ski boat, insured for 10k and the insurance on it has been basically the same for the last 20 years.

Am I 2.7 times more likely to file a claim on my 30 year old boat than my 12 year old boat?

How is risk calculated? Lots more risk for a trawler than a catamaran?

I've never filed a claim in all these years of boating, so maybe I need to understand the claims and risk process more?

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Old 08-24-2019, 01:45 AM   #2
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2.7x seems steep, but...

I don't think hurricanes are the big factor. Most boats sink in the slip -- and I don't think from hurricanes.

The older the boat the more questionable maintance history it has accumulated, the more "owner engineering" happens, the more forgotten things age, and the greater likelihood of a hidden problem. Surveyors are, well, of variable quality and objectivity, and even the best are very limited in what is accessible.

And, possibly, as you suggest, there may be a statistical measure that shows directly or indirectly, in isolation or incorporated into a bucket, for right or for wrong, that owners take care of newer boats better than older ones, even if they own both.

All I can suggest is shopping around for coverage.
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Old 08-24-2019, 06:43 AM   #3
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While I'm not an insurance expert, the other variable may be the type of boat and or model history more than the age. I would imagine that some models have a significantly higher claims history than others.

Did you shop other insurance companies?

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Old 08-24-2019, 07:18 AM   #4
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Price increase just happened to me, but would have to get an insurance survey going with a new company. That cost would pay for my premium incrsase for a decade.


Then again my increase wasn't 2.5X what I was paying...just a couple hundred but they did add a machinery clause where it is no longer covered in some ways.
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Brockerts View Post
I'm not understanding the age factor in the boat insurance process. I could likely end up with 2 boats in the same marina. Both about the the same appraised value and insured for the same amount.
One is 30 years old trawler and one is 12 years old catamaran.

The 30 year old boat cost 2.7 times as much to insure?.
When the next hurricane comes by is it going to only take out the 30 year old boat?
Then I think about my 42 year old ski boat, insured for 10k and the insurance on it has been basically the same for the last 20 years.

Am I 2.7 times more likely to file a claim on my 30 year old boat than my 12 year old boat?

How is risk calculated? Lots more risk for a trawler than a catamaran?

I've never filed a claim in all these years of boating, so maybe I need to understand the claims and risk process more?

The Brockerts
Great questions!

Vessel age certainly does come into play as a rating factor, as well as:
  • hull material
  • hull type
  • drive type
  • fuel (gar or diesel)
  • navigation area
  • experience and marine loss history of the owner
  • credit history
  • type of policy
  • and more

Older vessels have statistically had higher claims ratios, and newer vessels lower. So, a 12 year old cat hull can indeed have a lower insurance rate (all other things being equal) thank a 30 year old trawler.

Insurance markets have taken a beating over the last several storm season, and there has been huge changes in both appetite and underwriting, which leads to flux in premium. (I'm writing an article for TF that I'll post soon with details)
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