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post #1 of 14 Old 08-16-2010 Thread Starter
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insurance price variation between companies

I've found a boat I'm interested in, and it's a 1979, so finding insurance has been a bit tricky. I was eventually able to convince BoatUS to cover me (they didn't like the age, but their bigger problem was the boat is 37' and it's going to be my first boat), and they quoted me $1819/yr. This is their base east-coast plan, $300k liability, etc. I then went in search of alternatives, and contacted IMIS, who got me a quote through Windsor-Mount Joy Mutual Insurance Co. They quoted me $774/yr for their "skipper" policy. The deductible is about $600, compared to $1300 for BoatUS, and there is no separate oil spill liability (BoatUS offers $800k, with the other one is rolled into the $300k liability coverage). The only other difference I can see if that BoatUS will let me sail the east coast as far south as Florida, whereas the other one will only allow me as far south as North Carolina.

Does anyone have any familiarity with these policies that might be able to point out some major difference I haven't noticed? Any thoughts on why the premiums are so drastically different? Does Windsor-Mount Joy Mutual Insurance Co have a good reputation? I'm going to have my boat broker look the policy over, but I'd like some outside input too. Thanks.
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-16-2010
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I'd point out that the maximum environmental remediation fine for an oil spill, as might happen if your boat capsizes, is knocked down or sinks, is $800,000, and if you get the Windsor-Mount Joy policy, you could be on the hook for as much as HALF A MILLION DOLLARS.

If you reduce the geographic area of coverage, your policy price should go down. I'd also recommend you check with Chubb and Ace Recreational Marine. If you don't have a good insurance agent, you might want to try Christine Hartge, who is very good, out of eastport. Hartge Insurance Associates - We Specialize In Your Unique Insurance Needs is the website.

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post #3 of 14 Old 08-16-2010 Thread Starter
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I realize that the max fine can be $800k, but I have difficulty imagining how releasing 30 gallons of diesel could result in a fine quite that high... isn't that law written such that powerboats that release hundreds or thousands of gallons can be suitably punished?

I'll check out those other companies. Thanks for the tip. Have you used one or both?
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-16-2010
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I have used BoatUS/CNA for many years and found them excellent to work with.

i tried Windsor Mt. Joy one season as they offered charter coverage, after six weeks of hasseling over mindless, conflicting, and dumb issues about a few trivial survey quesions (and they say.."oh, the the form really doesn't mean what it says, we wont hold you to it, just sign it..), I went back to BoatUS.

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post #5 of 14 Old 08-16-2010
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I currently use Ace Recreational Marine and Christine Hartge is my insurance agent.

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I realize that the max fine can be $800k, but I have difficulty imagining how releasing 30 gallons of diesel could result in a fine quite that high... isn't that law written such that powerboats that release hundreds or thousands of gallons can be suitably punished?

I'll check out those other companies. Thanks for the tip. Have you used one or both?

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post #6 of 14 Old 08-16-2010
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I too got what I thought were very high quotes thru Boat US on a 9 year old boat. I finally called my car / house insurance company, Nationwide and with their affiliate company got boat insurance. Went over it line by line, same policy as Boat US, savings of $500 a year. Only exception was my policy will not cover racing, even beer can races. Having all our insurance thru one company made for quite a big discount. The biggest line item cost was the liability insurance to keep the marina happy.

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post #7 of 14 Old 08-16-2010
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Quote:
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I've found a boat I'm interested in, and it's a 1979, so finding insurance has been a bit tricky. I was eventually able to convince BoatUS to cover me
Any thoughts on why the premiums are so drastically different?
This reminds me of the Progressive commercials on TV where they claim you can choose the "policy (read - premium amount) that fits your budget. Never, repeat - never choose an insurance policy based on price.
Some of the other insurance threads here often compare premium amounts with no substantive discussion of what is included other than the typical agreed-value vs. ACV discussion which misses virtually everything one might reasonably expect to happen.
It should be obvious that the reason premium amounts differ is because they insure different risks, have different limits, different exclusions and different compensation policies.
About the best thing you can do is ask a number of underwriters for a copy of their policy. Read them. Take notes. Compare exclusions. Only as a last action should anyone compare prices as only after thoroughly reviewing what they are selling can you make a reasonable judgment of value (not price).
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-16-2010 Thread Starter
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k1vsk, my point was that it seems to my layman's eye that there is no consequential difference between the policies (for my purposes, namely living aboard and cruising around new england). Thus I am comparing on price and reputation of the companies. I was hoping someone with experience with these policies could point to something I overlooked in my analysis of the coverage.
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-16-2010
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St. Paul fire and marine. I have coverage up to 200 miles off shore for the entire US coast. My Boat is a 1999 and the cost of my insurance is less than numbers you have been talking about. My deducable is 2%, more or less $1500.


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post #10 of 14 Old 08-17-2010
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Speaking of Progressive...I called them while looking for an ACV policy for an older car which has no "book" or "fiar market" value. Eventually the phone rep said their policies are written as "ACV or...whichever is less" and while they'd charge based on the agreed value, that wasn't necessarily what they would pay. Not impressive.

I'd call IMIS and ask them if you faxed up the BOATUS quote if they'd compare it line for line with you. They are usually very up front about differences in coverage and they know that sometimes they can't beat the competition. If there is something they can do to match the coverage, or other differences in the policy, they'll tell you.
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