Boat insurance, who? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 53 Old 05-02-2016 Thread Starter
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Boat insurance, who?

I'm looking to buy a 1988 30foot C&C sailboat to live aboard in DC. Who or what company do you insure through? I'm looking to sail the Chesapeake Bay. I have taken asa 101, 103/104 and been sailing for 2 years.
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post #2 of 53 Old 05-02-2016
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Re: Boat insurance, who?

Don't take anecdotal examples, from the internet, as good input. All insurance companies are forced to run separately, by state, so my experience with one could be entirely different than yours.

The best way to place coverage is to find a local agent, who represents several different insurance companies and knows the marine markets, to advise you. Beyond coverage and price, they can help you understand how good each is when you make a claim and how flexible they are, for example, if you need to haul or launch outside a defined window or allow someone else to move your boat, etc. Ask them about consequential damage coverage too.

The worst way to buy insurance, IMO, is to call the insurance company directly.
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Re: Boat insurance, who?

I have BOAT US . . . They were easy . . .
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Re: Boat insurance, who?

FWIW, I've been a Boat US customer for more than 20 years of boat ownership. Though, I've only had one claim in all that time, when I needed them, they were a pleasure to do business with: fast, communicative and efficient. They have a diminishing deductable plan.
Since I had never filed a claim, My deductable had gone from $500 to zero deductable, when I did. Which = no out of pocket costs.
I'm covered from Nova Scotia to Jacksonville Fla. Wtih no time restriction on being south of Norfolk Va.

Their unlimited towing ins. policy is probably the best purchase, I've ever made. I needed a tow once, that would have cost me over $800. The Bill was Zero. My only cost was a tip to the tow operator.

My marina was devasted by Hurricane Sandy, while I survived without damage, a great many boats did not. Boat U.S had a trailer,an office, and staff on-site within days to manage the claims, while handing out coffee and buns. While, I'm sure other adjusters were around, I didn't see anyone else with that level of service on-site.

I have no affilation with them other than membership and my 2 policies. I only speak from my own experience. I also, have not compared their price to other companies in many years, so I can't attest to where they fit in the pricing spectrum.
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post #5 of 53 Old 05-02-2016
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Re: Boat insurance, who?

Association sponsored programs, like BoatUS, can be good deals. Essentially, BoatUS is an agent, who places the insurance with a real third party insurance company. The insurance company will often create a unique set of coverages for a client like BoatUS, who has access to hundreds of thousands of potential clients and, undoubtedly, is paid a commission.

In some cases, the insured party gets a great deal on additional coverages (ie vanishing deductible) that others may not have access to. In other cases, you get more coverage, but you pay more for it. Then it becomes a question of whether the coverage is meaningful or appropriate for you.

Personally, I've found BoatUS coverage to be more expensive and they weren't willing to cover what I believe is the actual hull value of my boat. Yes, that is a negotiable point with many companies and a classic method that some companies use to say they will "save you 15% in 15 minutes". They just reduce the hull value and lower their exposure.


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Re: Boat insurance, who?

I'll check out both agents and individuals. What would be an example of individual companies? I bank with USAA (military) but they passed me to another company as they don't do boat insurance.

Also, someone said it might go on a home policy. Anyone heard of that?
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Re: Boat insurance, who?

I have been using Erie Insurance Exchange for 40 years, very, very reliable, outstanding coverage and the lowest price in the industry.

Gary
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Re: Boat insurance, who?

Quote:
Originally Posted by serpa4 View Post
What would be an example of individual companies?
You see them advertise on TV all the time. Again, varies by State.

Quote:
Also, someone said it might go on a home policy. Anyone heard of that?
Some do, but usually have an upper limit on the size and value boat they will add, before requiring it be a dedicated marine policy. Be very careful of the add-on and make sure you are still getting very important and specific marine environmental coverage, hurricane haul out, etc. The homeowner add-on may just cover hull loss in more narrowly defined circumstances.

There is another concept you should understand, called the Broker of Record. No two brokers (agents) can call to get a quote for you from the same company. If you call the company directly, the broker/agent, won't be able to get a quote for you as well and will not be able to compare features for you. Essentially, the insurance company won't compete against itself. It's best to let the agent do all the work for you. It's what they get paid to do.


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post #9 of 53 Old 05-02-2016
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Re: Boat insurance, who?

Do call your local agent, and, do call companies directly. Lately, for me, the company with the little Auzzie lizard is cheapest. For years before that, my agent was killing it.

I have been drifting away from the local agent because I started doing better on my own AND I stopped getting the personalized service I enjoyed. I don't mind paying the same or a tiny bit more for good service from a local business.

HANUMAN
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post #10 of 53 Old 05-03-2016
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Re: Boat insurance, who?

We had great success with Bill Hodgens of Yachtinsure -- when we got our first and only boat a brand new Jeanneau DS40 and no previous experience except a couple of charters and the asa courses you have we could not find insurance.
Bill insured us and kept changing the policy to meet our needs not the insurance company or his. He is a great guy who will work with you

as for local guys - I disagree they may not have the experience or reach to really find the best marine policy for you -- this is not house or car insurance. - it is different with different rules

We now have IMIS and they are great - each year we challenge them with our needs and they meet them each time - this year is a bit more of a challenge for them as we are headed into the Black Sea but they worked it out.

Just our thoughts and opinion
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