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post #2 of Old 01-09-2006
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Sailboat Insurance

PT, you have three basic choices: go uninsured, obtain liability insurance (to protect you against claims resulting from damage to others for which you are found responsible; premium is usually very inexpensive), and hull insurance (which protects you against loss re: your own boat, subject to a deductible).

Given the nature of our society today (I''m assuming you are located in N America), I would recommend liability insurance at the minimum; you don''t want to lose your house or financial assets because you happen to own a boat and something bad happened.

WRT hull insurance, the older and smaller the boat, the more potential risk and lesser potential profit, which is why you may be finding resistance by some carriers to provide coverage. (But when soliciting quotes, be sure to distinguish between the two if you are willing to consider liability coverage only). And then of course there''s the decision whether you want to acquire coverage thru a carrier directly (e.g. MetLife) or thru a broker, who will add a bit of cost but potentially offer some customer service and handholding, as well.

I would recommend soliciting quotes from the following:
1. A ''value'' carrier, someone with a very high financial rating and perceived excellent customer service. Two examples are USAA (if you qualify; excellent rates, excellent coverage) and MetLife (I say this because of their rep + their customer service in the home/car arena; I don''t know if they offer boat insurance but hopefully they illustrate the point)
2. Boating associations/organizations: the obvious one is Boat/U.S. but you may find you are elibible for ''group'' coverage at better rates from other sources as well (e.g. via a YC or SA membership). Association membership will typically guarantee access to coverage at some level and cost.
3. A reputable broker. I''d consult a broker because they may represent the widest choice of policies among all these sources, and because as a new boat owner you might truly benefit by their (somewhat unbiased) expertise. IMIS in Maryland has received constant praise from boat owners for many years now and would be my first call (in part because he''s my broker <g>). They really are top-notch WRT how they help with dealing with a claim, really the only thing you ''get'' for your premium.

I recommend seeking quotes from all three sources, not just one or two. Good luck & good hunting!

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