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inshallamiami 09-18-2012 11:29 AM

Car insurance for cruisers
 
We haven't owned a car, or had car insurance, since we threw off the dock lines in 1999. Lately we've been toying with the idea of buying a beater to tool around in while we are here in Florida. When I call insurance companies I get this " it's complicated" response.

Is it possible to get insurance after such a long lapse that is affordable? I am retired but license is current and clean.

Still have the bicycles but curious what other cruisers do.

Barquito 09-18-2012 11:52 AM

Re: Car insurance for cruisers
 
Looks like Florida just requires liability. Don't need to insure the value of a beater car.

eherlihy 09-18-2012 12:22 PM

Re: Car insurance for cruisers
 
A related problem is that most car rental agencies assume that you have insurance on your car. If you don't, they will charge you a higher rate.

SVTatia 09-18-2012 12:51 PM

Re: Car insurance for cruisers
 
I had the same problem. After 5 years absence I really had to work hard to find a company interested in me.
You just have to shop around to find the rate that suits you. Thing is, after 6 months I was back into the dreaded system that I so was so happy to leave :(

Cruisingdad 09-18-2012 02:05 PM

Re: Car insurance for cruisers
 
We got rid of one of ours and are on the last one (paid off even). It is a truck which is great because it is like a mobile storage unit. However, we will likely sell it soon. The reason is that as we move, we have to move the truck to. The marinas wont let us just leave our truck laying there - understandably. Also, our rates (no wrecks or tickets) is roughly $960/year insurance. We listed our friends address in Fort Myers beach versus Tampa (since that is our next stop and as close to a home base as we have). Tampa was nearly 50% more!!! THat is for a paid off 2007 Ford F150 worth maybe 20,000. Most of that cost is liability, incidentally.

What you can do is list the address of your marna where you are for the insurance policy. We used State Farm. If you have a homebase somewhere else, try listing that instead to see if it is cheaper. But I warn you, the car is great while you are stationary but a real PITA when you move. You have to rent a car just to move your car... so you're not getting out of renting no matter what you do.

What almost everyone here does is rents a car from Enterprise every other weekend or so. Its realtively cheap and they will typically pick you up and drop you off. Mileage doesn't matter and you should be able to take out their insurance (which is about $17/day IIRC... high). Still the total costs will likely be a lot less than what you have invested in a beater car and monthly insurance. Plus, you still have to sell that car AND you gotta move her everytime you move and rent a car to do so.

Last summer I was in the keys for several months and all I used was Enterprise (as described above). If you get to know the manager, they often swing you some deals. I think I paid like $4xx/month. Sometimes it was $20/weekend. Avoid the airports as they dont work with you, dont get to know you, and have lots of high taxes and crap they throw on.

Just some thoughts. Hope that helps.

Brian

inshallamiami 09-18-2012 03:20 PM

Re: Car insurance for cruisers
 
Well I'm glad to see its doable, I haven't bought anything yet, I will call up a bunch of insurance companies using a hypothetical car to try to get an idea of how much, I mean, are we talking thousands or hundreds for fl liability only?

Not really sure if I want to go down this road tho.....feels like I'm giving in , or up, even if it is just for a few months while I increase the kitty.

And the rental thing won't work...no credit cards, only debit (my, I AM outside of the mainstream) which precludes renting for the most part.

Cruisingdad 09-18-2012 04:17 PM

Re: Car insurance for cruisers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by inshallamiami (Post 923597)
Well I'm glad to see its doable, I haven't bought anything yet, I will call up a bunch of insurance companies using a hypothetical car to try to get an idea of how much, I mean, are we talking thousands or hundreds for fl liability only?

Not really sure if I want to go down this road tho.....feels like I'm giving in , or up, even if it is just for a few months while I increase the kitty.

And the rental thing won't work...no credit cards, only debit (my, I AM outside of the mainstream) which precludes renting for the most part.

Actually, I think the car rental companies are taking debit cards now. They charge an extra $200 or something onto your card and release it after the rental. I think that is how it works. I have not done it that way.

Brian

hellosailor 09-18-2012 05:21 PM

Re: Car insurance for cruisers
 
Very few auto insurers will issue what you want, which is called a "liability only" policy, to new customers. All insurers treat existing customers differently from newcomers, and since "liability only" with no car is an unusual request, most would rather not write it.

You might try asking a broker on this, rather than directly. Could be that if you buy a beater and simply don't get collision/comprehensive insurance on it, you'll get a better deal on the liability coverage. If you have insurance on your boat--speak to those folks, they might not be so upset at the concept.

snaxbox 09-20-2012 09:21 AM

Re: Car insurance for cruisers
 
I agree to the above posts. It's hard to insure a car based on your situation. Might as well just rent one since you prefer to sail than travel on land but try shopping around if you have time. You might find a company who would be willing to offer you their insurance plan if they have considering your situation. Good luck.

codysalvick 10-03-2012 07:39 AM

Re: Car insurance for cruisers
 
You could contact The Hartford for auto insurance quotes. We’ve been with them for about 10 years now and I have no complaints about their service or rates. Also, if you’re over 50, you could go through the AARP and get further discounts. Worth looking into, in my opinion. Good luck!


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