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PTPierce 01-08-2006 03:27 PM

Sailboat Insurance
I am a new boat owner. Can I get some opinions as to what type insurance coverage I should get? Our boat is 30 years old with a surveyed value of $31,000. Some companies I''ve called won''t even insure a boat that old. What kinds of coverage do most folks get?

WHOOSH 01-09-2006 03:41 AM

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!


PTPierce 01-09-2006 04:07 AM

Sailboat Insurance
Thanks, Whoosh! Great info. MetLife and USAA were also recommended by friends so I''ll call them today. We are just down the road from you, in Virginia Beach. We paid $26K cash for our good old boat so I don''t want to lose it all in a fire or hurricane, hence the confusion on my part about what to get. The marina we want to move to requires $300K in liability. The more I think about it the more it all sounds like good old car insurance. Thanks again!

Jeff_H 01-09-2006 03:49 PM

Sailboat Insurance
I don''t know for sure if BoatUS will ensure a boat that old, but I think that they do. I have had exceptionally good service from them and they have been quite competitive when priced against other companies.


gnrice 01-09-2006 04:32 PM

Sailboat Insurance
I second Boat US. Great service for us with our 1978 Pearson 30. She''s old, but not 30 years old, yet. Not sure when Boat US will give us the heave ho, but hopefully not for a while!

Izabella01 01-10-2006 03:36 PM

Sailboat Insurance
first unless you are military or some version of that or your parents or spouse are you cannot get USAA. They do not insure boats over 20 yrs old.
I own a 1973 Ericson. I ended up with Progressive. I got a policy that allows me to be ''legal'' for my marina.

fyi.. whomever you get... stay with them. Boat insurance is getting harder and harder to get. My policy with NO claims went up from $160/yr to $201 this yr. I am in florida and did not go anywhere near hurricanes last yr. Never left the marina.

progressive''s number is

you other alternative IF you wish to insure for complete coverage is to call one of the brokers listed in the major sailing mags and see if they can find you a full coverage policy...just be ready to provide a survey.

Boat U.S. would have insured my boat with a survey. That was a minimum policy.

good luck

catamount 01-11-2006 04:22 AM

Sailboat Insurance
I have liability insurance on my "project" boat with Boat US. They did want a survey report, and they wanted to know my plans for addressing the surveyor''s recommendations, as well as my plans for securing the boat in my absences (the boat is in the water in MD, I live in NH). I send them a letter after each trip down to work on the boat, describing what I''ve accomplished. I haven''t gotten any feedback in response to these letters, but I haven''t gotten a cancellation notice, either.



Snorky 01-29-2006 09:01 PM

Sailboat Insurance
I got insurance for the following boat through Trident insurance in Sydney for only $1,500 Australian

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