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post #11 of 18 Old 09-25-2018
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Re: Hurricane and Caribbean insurance

One claim with Travelers. Had a noríeaster come through, while tied to a floating dock and fully exposed to the Bay to the East. Despite cross tying the boats, the marina took 2-3 ft seas, fenders jumped and the slipís rub rails failed. The nails that were previously holding the rub rail did $20k in cosmetic damage. Paid in full, less my deductible. Iíve had two hurricane haul claims too, come to think of it. Both paid, although, those terms are tough. I have to decide whether Iím going to haul, before knowing whether the coverage will apply. Needs to be a named storm inside the NHC cone within 48 hrs. If I wait that long, itís too late to get on the lift.


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post #12 of 18 Old 09-25-2018
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Re: Hurricane and Caribbean insurance

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
There is no way in heck I could believe that GIECO is the way to go. Ask oneself... who is going to fully explain the coverages?
Geico owns Seaworthy and BoatUS insurance, and they have been consolidating the names under the parent Geico moniker. So "Geico" insurance right now could mean anything from an iffy rider on a car policy to a full-blown solid marine policy.

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post #13 of 18 Old 09-25-2018
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Re: Hurricane and Caribbean insurance

I use GEICO through boat US. Since I sail 2-3 days at most, costal, it is easily sufficient (having read the fine print), I'm mainly worried about keeping the marina happy, and storm damage and haulout. I'm VERY happy about what they say my boat is worth.

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post #14 of 18 Old 09-25-2018
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Re: Hurricane and Caribbean insurance

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During a cockpit, drinks session with other cruisers was told a story of a clear claim against Pantaenius. Was told as US citizen you donít have ďstanding ď so need to work through a British solicitor. Claim was successful but took 3 years to resolve. Admittedly this is total hearsay and just one occurrence but it raises concerns. Pantaenius is more expensive but the coverage details seem better than Geico. Anybody have claim experience with any of the available companies serving this market? The
Pantaenius has two separate companies operating under the same umbrella company. One is European, and the other is US. Each has separate policies with regard to legal actions against them - if you are insured by the European company, you use European court systems. Likewise for the US you use the US court system. It sounds like your example was a US citizen with a European Pantaenius policy, and a claim in US waters?

After the past hurricane(s) in the E. Caribe, I heard a couple of bad stories about Pantaenius not paying a claimed loss. Since we have a vested interest in this, I tracked down the actual stories. In each case, the insured clearly and knowingly violated the terms of their policy. One was even outside their policy navigational area.

Insurance is something we have paid a lot of attention to. We almost yearly review our policy and compare it to other quoted policies. Pantaenius is the 4th company we have insured with, and have had it for 3yrs, so I'm not fan-boying - we will change at a drop of the hat for a better overall policy.

What we have experienced in our research is:
1. Many people claiming inexpensive policies from companies like Allstate, etc have terms that are not acceptable to us. Things like depreciated assets, coastal limits, etc. We know quite a few people with these policies who were caught unaware in making a claim that they did not have an agreed-value policy, and that their damaged equipment was only insured for pennies on the dollar in depreciated costs. Some have been caught unaware that their navigation limits were within 100nm of land, and had claims denied when the damage happened offshore. One didn't realize that lightning damage was specifically excluded.

2. Non-US insurance has been the best overall policies we have had. Certainly less expensive. However, we were being kicked off our policies because the companies began to refuse insuring US citizens due to litigation and regulation issues (even though we were being covered outside the US). We would move to other good non-US policies, but eventually those companies made the same decision. Three years ago, all good non-US companies simply refused to insure US citizens at all. That is when we moved to US Pantaenius. This year, we did another extensive search for insurance and was refused quotes by every European company on the grounds that they no longer insure US citizens.

3. The price of a policy reflects the level and quality of coverage one desires. There really isn't that much price difference between companies when apple-apple comparisons are made with every policy point being identical. Maybe 5-10% difference. The price differences are in navigational limits, layup periods, agreed-value vs depreciated, deductible, personal belongings, liability, dinghy. Make each policy identical in these categories, and they will pretty much be identical in price. However, you won't find identical policies because different companies have different coverages. This is where people mistakenly believe they have found less expensive coverage for their boat compared to someone else with an identical boat.

For example Pantaenius waives the deductible for lightning damage, while another company we looked at this year that was a bit cheaper doubled the deductible. That company also didn't cover the dinghy unless for theft, and only if it was demonstrably locked to the boat and there was actual provable damage to the boat and dinghy in its removal. Pantaenius allows us to make passages as far and long as we like with only 2 of us on board. Other policies we have considered require 3-6 people for any offshore passage further than 100nm from land.

Navigation limits and layup periods play a large role in costs. Our policy dropped 50% this year when we agreed to move our boat to Brunswick GA instead of Fernindina FL - a distance of 20nm! It would have doubled if we wanted to stay in FL, but not put the boat on the hard with hurricane tie downs.

One must decide where that price/coverage/risk sweet spot is for them individually. There is no such thing as a significantly less-expensive policy - only a cheaper policy for different coverage and risk.

Mark
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post #15 of 18 Old 09-25-2018
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Re: Hurricane and Caribbean insurance

Evaluating policy terms and coverage is obviously important to understand what you *think* you are getting, but way more important is how the insurance carrier will handle a claim in the event of a loss. For that, it is very difficult to find credible information. Claims handling practices are some of the most closely guarded secrets of all insurance companies. All employ the 3 Ds -- Delay, Deny, Defend -- to some degree in their claims handling. This is how they make money. Even if they have to pay out, how long can they hold on to your money with the 3 Ds? Your claim for $20k, $30k or $100k, doesn't mean much at all to the carrier, but across all claims, there is billions of dollars that they'd really like to hang onto as long as possible for their quarterly earnings reports.

The key is finding out where on the spectrum of the 3 Ds do individual insurance carriers fall. The most aggressive ones will deny legit claims as part of their business plan, figuring that many of those claimants will walk away, and that the eventual payment to those persistent claimants who hire attorneys and pursue the claims for years, will yield a net savings over just paying all legit claims to begin with.

It is very hard to win with insurance as a consumer when the for-profit motives that drive the very existence of the company dictate that it must try to avoid paying money out on claims.
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post #16 of 18 Old 09-25-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Hurricane and Caribbean insurance

Last two posts the best of the lot. Thanks. In process of getting quote from Pantaenius. Hassle has been getting statement from yard they are in compliance of Pantaenius named storm requirements but yard seems to want to help. May take a day or few to get this all worked out.

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Re: Hurricane and Caribbean insurance

Last time I spoke to "Pantenaeus" they pointed out that is a foreign corporation that does not offer underwriting to US citizens based in the US. Their affiliate "Pantenaeus-US" is what Colonials will deal with. The rules and rates will differ. Unless this has changed and they've re-absorbed theirselves.

I'd suggest what the overwhelming number of insurance threads say: Call IMIS.
True professionals who often have excellent rates, and will *always* tell you if a policy offering has shortcomings and landmines in it. Price isn't everything, it is nice when someone in the business offers to check the fine print for you.
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post #18 of 18 Old 09-25-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Hurricane and Caribbean insurance

I called IMIS. They did mention Concept and Pantaenius. The broker was in NZ. Comunnication so far via email. Wasnít smart enough to ask about UK v. US. .

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post #19 of 18 Old 09-25-2018
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Re: Hurricane and Caribbean insurance

IMIS usa contact gave me a no bullsht answer within 24hrs about coverage i was seeking...solo no-go.
Answer came via NZ to usa contact.
I liked the way they got to the root fast.
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post #20 of 18 Old 09-27-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Hurricane and Caribbean insurance

Looks like weíre going with pantaenius US. A bit more money. Waiting for policy. Will read and if up to snuff will sign binder. Geico was cheaper but coverage didnít look as good. Be able to compare when broker sends details.
Thanks for the helpful posts.

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