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  #1  
Old 03-06-2011
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US Coastwise Insurance - Who do you recommend?

Greetings all:

So - the bill for winter storage of our mast arrived the other day - it's time to get the 2011 sailing season underway!

I have been insured by the same company (Ace) for 5 years now, no claims have been filed. The premium dropped year-over-year for awhile, but last year it began to rise again (for the exact same coverage). The boat is a 41 foot sloop, 1965, and is solid fiberglass - very ruggedly built. We only sail US East Coast. We're paying a pretty good chunk in premiums each year, and have a pretty sizeable deductible.

Sooo - me thinks it is time to consider other insurance companies - please share your recommendations -or horror stories- with insurance companies
?? Thanks for sharing your wisdom!
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Old 03-06-2011
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I have an older boat as well, a 1980 P-35. My current insurer is ACE as well and yes my fee has been going up the last few years. I got a quote from Boat US just out of curiosity and it was about $200 cheaper. Not sure if I would need a survey or not which could elminate my savings over next 2 or 3 years. I have nothing good or bad to say about either company other than the pricing seems be cheaper with Boat US (You do have to be a member which I already am. Annual membership is not much.)
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Old 03-06-2011
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We use BoatUS.. very responsive to our questions and their price is excellent. They also cover FL and the Bahamas with no restrictions for time of year. I've heard (but not experienced first hand) that they have a good claims process and are reasonable to work with in the event of a claim. They do require a recent survey for any vessel seeking insurance. This is standard - we looked at a variety of new insurances when we were looking to head to South America and they all required recent surveys.
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Old 03-06-2011
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I had boat/us insurance on my 1983 C&C 30 and wound up with a pretty substancial claim. Boat/us was very prompt in responding and can recommend them.
I have a commercial charter sailboat and received some excellent advice years ago that may or may not be available to private use vessels: have an attorney of your choice represent you in case of a claim, and have this attorney named in your policy. The point was/is: in case of a claim you have a representative looking after your interests, vs. an attorney on staff/hire of the insurance company handling the case. (Fortunately I have not had to put this theory to the test!)
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Old 03-06-2011
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We have Markel Insurance. USAA sent me to them since USAA doesn't cover boats our size.

By the way, if you have USAA house insurance, anything 37 feet or less is covered as part of your house insurance.

Haven't had a claim with Markel, but they are friendly, easy to work with and my rates dropped from last year. They also have the same price for in-water winter layup and on-the-hard winter layup. (Their system just wants you to have some period of layup.) In -water layup means you aren't out sailing her.

Regards,
Brad
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Old 03-06-2011
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Anyone have experience w/ Progressive? My 1999 36' sailboat is insured with them - cheaper than Boat US and seemed like comparable coverage.
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Old 03-06-2011
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Thanks for the input so far, guys! Yes, I have a dry lay-up period as well - 30 October thru 30 May, which is OK by me - winter sailing in Maine not too pleasureable. Although, once in awhile on a nice Spring day. . . . naw, the varnish would never dry!
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Old 03-06-2011
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Some ins. carriers will give you a hard time because of the age of your boat, I have found. Mine is from 1967.
We are currently covering our boat by using the carrier my boat partner uses for his home owners ins. You may still need to get an ins. survey.
Nice boat and nice name too.
Best of luck.
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Old 03-06-2011
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"Anyone have experience w/ Progressive?"
Spoke to one of their reps while looking for "agreed value" coverage on a classic car, and after insisting that I would want to see an actual policy the rep eventually conceded that an agreed value policy (which is charged based on the agreed value) would in fact only pay "market value or agreed value whichever is less".
Which left a slimy feeling, since that catch is EXACTLY the reason why folks ask for agreed value and NOT market value, since market value cannot be determined for some things that just don't come up on the market very often. If someone is paying for agreed value--that's what they are supposed to get, no weasel words about it.
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What Caleb said.

Back in 1965 they really built THICK fiberglass boats. I had a 1964 Victory 21. The fiberglass was thick. (Pre oil-shortage too, so no blisters.)

Regards,
Brad
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