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  #11  
Old 08-18-2012
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Re: Older Boat Insurance

For those of us cruising our boats (homes), we are completely at the mercy of these scallywags. As we search for reasonable (hah, that's a laugh) insurance, we're being over-charged or denied coverage if we're in a "hurricane zone" or if the boat's too old or a hundred other "risk" categories. We are aboard 24/7/365, should anything go wrong. Aboard to hear that leak that began as a tiny trickle, smell the electrical wire burning or catch that broken topping lift before it fouls the mast in the next slip. It should cost us LESS, not more.
By the way, any company that doesn't require a survey on an larger sailboat or ocean cruiser is a con. You can't believe that an insurance company will take your word that your boat is actually worth a hundred thousand to a quarter million dollars. Beware!
But it really boils down to this, for me; damage claims rarely equal the deductible for us cruisers, so am I going to bet the insurance company 6-10 thousand dollars a year that I WILL sink my boat? There's something just plain WRONG about that.
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  #12  
Old 08-19-2012
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Re: Older Boat Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
My insurance company asked for a survey on my boat this year, and I have no problem with that. The survey they conduct is not the same for insurance as for a purchase. They are looking at seaworthyness and safety. It is not unreasonable for the insurance company to want to confirm that the mast isn't going to fall down, or the keel fall off! My survey flagged a couple of potential issues that I wasn't aware of, and have since addressed. They only ask for it every 5 years on older boats so if you amortize the cost over that time it isn't that expensive. (if it breaks the bank for you then perhaps you shouldn't be a boat owner!) If it keeps my insurance premiums down, then I have no problem with it!
Seaworthiness. So how long does it take and what kind of "expert" charging $700 (my latest estimate for a survey) does it take to confirm that a boat is not falling apart at the seams? You just keep paying through the nose without questioning this rip-off. If you need someone else to tell you there is something wrong, perhaps you should not own a boat.
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  #13  
Old 08-19-2012
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Re: Older Boat Insurance

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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
The problem is not the cost of an insurance policy, it's the requirement to get a "survey". IMO, this "survey" procedure ought to be reserved for people who want to buy a boat and find out if there's anything wrong with it, not as a requirement to get insurance. It is just too costly to pay someone $700 to come and look over an old boat to confirm that, "yep, it's a boat." Companies do not seem to be able to use photos or send people of their own to look at a boat like they do with houses or cars. Instead, they expect you to pay this outrageous cost so you can then be qualified to pay them some exorbitant amount. This antiquated procedure is a circle jerk.
Most insurance companies will want a survey/estimate on classic cars as well, it's not just boats. But yes you are right, they don't require anything but pictures for a house or a new car...it is weird isn't it.
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Old 08-19-2012
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Re: Older Boat Insurance

If you have just purchased a house you would know this.
No bank/lender is going to give you a mortgage on a house that has (a) asbestos, (b) bad septic system, (c) crumbling foundation, (d) decomposing structure etc, etc.
The lender will require a survey before they sign off on lending the money. It is in their own interest. Building codes have also become much more stringent over the last 50 years which means that a "C or O" is much more rigorous these days then it was back when.
The home insurers do not need a survey because they know that the Banks involved have already done some due diligence to make sure that the house actually exists and is mostly up to code.
Buying a house these days is much more complicated then buying a boat. With the housing market everyone has their hand in your wallet. It is really not so different with boats actually. Once you have purchased your dream boat then, and only then must you begin to pay monthly, yearly fees just to own it. Then there are incidental expenses...

A new car has a title which is supposed help to cut down on fraud. Boats and cars made before 1973 do not have titles and as such are not as highly regulated.

While I agree with smurphny that you should be able to survey your own boat the reason for 'marine surveyors' is so that the insurers do not have to take your word for the fact that your boat is worth $750,000. What they are trying to do is cut down on fraud (that perhaps only a few commit but the rest of us get to pay for).

If you want insurance at all, then it is their sandbox and you have to play by their rules or save up for your own sandbox ($1M + in bank for self-insurance).
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  #15  
Old 08-19-2012
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Re: Older Boat Insurance

You're absolutely right Caleb. We all get left holding the bag because of people who have no ethics and rip off insurance companies. The idea of insurance is great: all chipping in to cover the misfortunes of others, but when you throw in the cheating nature of people, it complicates things.
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  #16  
Old 08-20-2012
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Re: Older Boat Insurance

I dunno, smurph. The small-time scoundrels try to cheat the insurers. The medium-size scoundrels in the legal and judicial systems refuse to prosecute adequately. And the really successful scoundrels, RUN insurance companies and try their best to shear the sheep. Plenty of scoundrels to go around, and as long as folks refuse to run them ALL out of town on a rail, they'll only be more of them. (Anyone who doesn't understand why running someone out of town on a rail was a death sentence might want to look that up.)

Then of course there's a mutual assurance company, which is a pool of folks sharing the costs to insure themselves as a group, with no profits to be skimmed. The only problem there, is figuring out a way to keep the scoundrels out.

Seems like the only way to win, is simply to become a scoundrel. In some states, car insurance IDs come with a bar code and zip-zip it can be scanned and verified on the spot. In other states...and with, ahem, other types of policies...if no one makes a phone call, they just file it. Is that ripe for trouble or what?

Of course if you want to win BIG, start an insurance company. That should help the boat budget, too!
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  #17  
Old 08-20-2012
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Re: Older Boat Insurance

Holy smokes Hellosailor. You mean actual punishment for white-collar thievery? What a concept!
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  #18  
Old 08-20-2012
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Re: Older Boat Insurance

The guy that does my survey work was a measurement official going back to the IOR days and has been inside more sailboats than almost anybody and is involved in a LOT of repiar work

He is very fair and would not even take any money when he did the first look through on Seafever and gave me the list of things that needed to happen for him to sign off

IMHP is time is well worth the money
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  #19  
Old 08-20-2012
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Re: Older Boat Insurance

Just wondering if the boat insurance people play the same games as the auto insurance people do in that they have you pay X number of dollars for a 20K vehicle but when something happens they say it's only worth 7...etc. Insurance is insurance so I would suppect they do?
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Old 08-20-2012
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Re: Older Boat Insurance

Well I'm in the process of getting my 1968 Columbia insured because of the marina I just moved to. Boat US is the only insurer I could find that would even consider a policy on the boat and all I wanted was liability. It's a had pill to swallow paying that amount of money for someone to say, "Yep it floats". But I guess I'll be responsible and take the hit.
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