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post #34 of Old 04-24-2013
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Re: Insurance and cruising...

Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
But the whole discussion in some ways is pointless. I have seen a real predominance in insurance requirements. As I said, even Mantanzas Pass requires it to even tie up to their ball for a day??? I don't agree with that, but what other choices do I have? Harborage requires being listed on the insurance. It is not up for discussion. Marathon Marina, Snook Bight Marina, etc, etc. It seems the number of marinas that do not require insurance are dropping, while the number that do are growing. What choices do you have as boaters?
THIS is the real issue. When a so-called private for-pofit product (insurance) becomes mandated (or quasi-mandated in this case), the normal checks and balances of market economics breaks down. Add to this the opaque nature of how premiums are arrived at, and you get a dysfunctional market that has very little incentive to limit cost increases.

Remember, insurance is simply a tool for mitigating risk. It does this by pooling risk and sharing the cost amongst the pool (a lovely socialist solution BTW). But that's not the only way to mitigate risk, and in the case of sailors and cruisers, it may not be the best way.

Risk is proportional to likelihood of an Event happening TIMES the potential Impact of that event:
R E x I.

So, investing in good systems and maintenance, in training and gained experience ... stuff collectively know as good seamanship ... these will almost always be better, and more cost-effective, ways to reduce your real boating risk.

But the other thing I keep pointing out (whenever this discussion arises), is that the number of events are exceedingly small in boating. I don't have the analysis in front of me right now, but when I looked at USCG data for all types of incidents, from death to property damage, the numbers showed that boating is incredibly safe. Far safer than many things we routinely do like driving, eating processed food or walking in a city.

I get it ... demanding that everyone carry insurance is the simplest way to protect everyone's a$$. But in a case where resources are limited, and you have to chose between insurance or, good maintenance for example, then it becomes a false benefit.

I'm certainly not saying insurance is never a good idea. If you are involved in high-latitude sailing, or perhaps competitive racing, then insurance is probably a good idea. But for the vast majority of us, it is money poorly spent.

Why go fast, when you can go slow.
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