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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-15-2011 06:32 PM
TakeFive My first year I used State Farm. They did not require a survey. For my second year I shopped around for a better price. In addition to a substantially lower price, I discovered that policies from carriers who are more oriented toward the marine industry covered important things that the State Farm agent wasn't familiar with, like liability for environmental release, consequential damages from a non-covered failure, and salvage of a wrecked boat. The latter was covered by SF but capped at the agreed value of the policy. In other words, if my boat is a total loss they'll pay its agreed value, but there will be NOTHING left to cover costs of salvage that the local authorities might require.

So be sure to read all the terms of your policy carefully. Cars, homes, and boats are very different things, and there is a benefit to dealing with someone who is used to the specific needs of boaters.
05-15-2011 03:24 PM
jfurlong I have been pleased with Boat US. Prce is reasonable for Boar US members and includes West Marine disacounts. I've filed one claim in the last 15 years, for a lightning strike that took out all of my electronics. Boat US responded quickly and paid promptly with no increase in premiums.
05-15-2011 03:16 PM
mdbee I went with Progressive, the same is my auto policy. Of course it depends on your boat, where you live etc.

Since I trailer, I liked having the same company as my SUV. Just in case... no pointing of fingers.

I did try US Boats but they were quite a bit higher. An added bonus, I got an additional discount because of the boat on my auto insurance.

Mine is a 26', no one asked for survey or pictures. that I remember, it's been about 5 years.

Side note, my boat sits on the driveway the majority of time. I called Progressive about that and asked about cutting back on coverage in the off season. Surprisingly, they said sure, no problem. So we dropped the excess liability coverage as well as a few other things. It really dropped the cost. He said just call them when I'm headed back out with it and they would put the old coverages back into affect. When I asked them how often I could do this during the term of the policy (I thought maybe once?) he said, when ever I use the boat. When I get back from a few days on the water I could go back can cancel the higher limits. "I said are you sure???" He said no problem, they do it all the time.

That wouldn't work on a boat that stays in the water but for a trailer sailer it makes a difference. I'm not really planning on switching back and forth every weekend but it's nice to be paying less in the off season and gives me more options.

Shop around.
05-15-2011 08:24 AM
Originally Posted by wingNwing View Post
....They're brokers, not agents, and that means their loyalty is to you rather than a particular company.
This can be technically true, but they are still paid by the carrier, so reputation is just as important as with an agent. Either a broker or agent could be motivated to put you where they are paid the most. WW is giving a good reference, which is the best way to find the right insurance professional, imho. A good professional wants a long term relationship, not just their first year commission. Telephone sales agents, imho, don't care.

Now, the technical difference between a broker and an agent is important to understand, but navigable once you do. An agent can typically contract on behalf of another party, a broker can not. Therefore, when your agent says your coverage is in effect or makes another promise, it is done. The broker must wait for the carrier themselves to contract.
05-14-2011 09:29 PM
wingNwing Since you're going to be in the MD area, try International Marine Insurance Services (IMIS). They're brokers, not agents, and that means their loyalty is to you rather than a particular company.
05-14-2011 08:42 PM
rconn2 Thanks for the replies. Yes, we only want liability or minimal "comprehensive" (I wouldn't get comprehensive for a $3675 car -- though we'll put more into this boat to make it nice, I doubt we'd get much back).

"basic medical kind of stinks". So what about personal liability? Property damage is one thing, but what if a guest sprains an ankle (or of course worse) on your boat or another because of your supposed negligence (storms were forecast for later that afternoon, poor docking etc.)? These are unlikely but possibly catastrophic liabilities (which is the purpose of insurance).

The boat (Catalina 27, w/ an Atomic 4) is on the hard getting looked-over and fixed up. We expect to have her in the water (Middle River, MD) and sail/motor her to Oak Harbor (Rock Creek, MD) in another week or so.

We have no problem w/ getting the boat thoroughly inspected and in as good condition as possible. But, a formal marine survey (heard of it costing $900), doesn't seem worthwhile. A good marine mechanic is already working on her.
05-14-2011 05:32 PM
Minnewaska I strongly recommend a local independent agent that represents more than one carrier. There should be several experienced agents near any marine town. It's takes a pro to know all the subtle differences in coverage. GEICO makes a fortune by shortchanging small coverage details that you don't even know about.
05-14-2011 05:15 PM
JimsCAL You basically have two parts - liability and hull. Similar to car liability and comprehensive/collision. At that price level you can consider liability only. Like a car with liability coverage only, you are on the hook for any damage to your boat unless you are damaged by another boat that is insured. It basically covers damage you do to others.

And in spite of what kd3pc says above, I recently had a very good experience with Progressive on some storm damage. The adjuster knew boats, was very professional, and had a check in my hand within days of his inspection. When the actual repair began and some additional work was needed, again they were great. I was impressed.
05-14-2011 12:42 PM
kd3pc NOT progressive, would be a good start and really not neither are experienced in boat claims....

BoatUS. Or self insure for damage, and a liability for fuel spill or damage you and your boat may do to others.

You definitely don't want to go without...just see the Annapolis boat ran aground thread here.
05-14-2011 12:36 PM
tommays Well

The survey issue comes up above about 25 feet as at that point they tend to have more items that can sink the boat SO there going to what some assurance its in OK shape

For example my J24 by Boat US only required some pictures were as my Cal 29 requires a survey

Your looking for basic insurance that would cove fuel spill liability and the cost of getting it out of the water if it sank or broke fee and damaged another boat

The basic Medical coverage kind of stinks and is soemthing you will have to talk over

The down side of company's that don't require a survey is if the boat sinks from a obvious neglected part coverage becomes dicey
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