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Life is a wild ride!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reading through another thread about sailing schools and came across a post that mentioned discounts on insurance if you have taken certified courses. It piqued my curiosity as to whether or not this is actually true in reality, and if so, are those discounts significant enough to justify the cost of certification if I do not intend on ever chartering a boat. Does anyone have experience with this that they are willing to share? I don't like prying into peoples financial affairs.
 

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Deep Blue Crush
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Good question and something I would like to find out myself. I know for sure its needed when renting sailboat for a holiday, that makes sense, but I also read that the insurance final offer is influenced by the certifications of the boat owner. I was wondering what's the overall criteria for that but I couldn't yet find this data.
 

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A lot of insurors just want to see training certificate, they don't care what it says. I'm using Allstate on the Great Lakes and they gave me a discount for having a USCGAux cert (actually had several). When I got my 100 ton license they said I was already getting the only discount available in that area. I've heard the same about other companies as well. If you were insuring for crossing oceans, the level of training probably does make a difference.
 

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Master Mariner
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I haven't a clue about sailing school certifications, but as a licensed captain (4 licenses; USCG master, British Chief Officer unlimited, and 2 other unlimited master's certificates [all of which I've actually worked under)]), and a goodly amount of experience under power and sail, I've never gotten one thin dime of discount, operating commercially or privately.
 

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Life is a wild ride!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When I bought my first boat I had it insured with Farm Bureau, the same company that also insured my home and vehicles. They never mentioned any discounts other than the one they gave me for having multiple policies and I didn't know enough to ask. One possible reason is that I was on an inland lake and in a rural area. Most of the boats around my home are bass boats and pontoons. I've never attended a formal school nor do I have any certifications.

I've read about these discounts enough to make me curious as to the scope of availability and amounts of cost reduction. Maybe it depends on the individual insurance company? And even if these types of discounts are available throughout most of the industry, are they significant enough to warrant consideration in getting certified?

Capta, are your license's valid for sail as well as power craft? I'm not really sure on how the whole licensing thing works in regards to power vs. sail. Or could it be a regional thing like inland/coastal waters versus open ocean?

Capt. JGWinks, if you don't mind me asking, how much of a discount did you receive? And again, I'm wondering if insurer's make a distinction between inland/coastal areas of intended use and policies that cover crossing oceans.

Thanks for the responses!
 

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I've actually asked my insurance agents, both of them, and as far as the insurance company is concerned, the license has no bearing on the premium cost. It was the same regardless of whether or not I had a license or was certified. And, when I applied for the insurance on my boat, the agents never asked about a license or certification.

Gary :cool:
 

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I asked and my insurer said that it wouldn't make any difference to them I would still pay 100 a year (fomost maritime insurance)
 

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I can't dig back in history to prove it, but I could swear that a safety course allowed for a discount at one point. Perhaps, as they are often required by the States now, there is less differentiation between those with and without.
 

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Individual Insurance Carriers may offer discounts (or surcharges) for any number of things. It is up to the company to price their product as they see fit, depending upon the regulations in that particular state, of course.
 

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Life is a wild ride!
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Why not ask your insurance agent? If they don't offer any discount, try another company and see if they do.
I was hoping for responses from people across a much larger area than my home state. I'm not familiar with the internal policies of insurance companies but I suspect that location and intended use would play a big factor. Also, I was looking for real experience from policy holders rather than sometimes empty promises from corporate quotes. Besides, asking the forum gives me a good reason to talk to all the nice folks here.


I think it was 10%, which considering how cheap sailboat insurance is compared to powerboats, doesn't amount to much.
You're right. At what my monthly premium was, it would take quite a while for 10% savings to actually pay for the courses. I'm fairly sure though that the cost of the same policy would vary depending on location.

Judging from the responses so far it sounds as though discounts are dependent on each individual company. As was mentioned, with states requiring at least a boaters safety course, insurance companies may be less inclined to give up some profit. Until insurance became required by law, auto insurance was fairly reasonable to buy and the companies were more competitive about getting your business.
 

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I asked the agent what discounts they offered? The agent asked me how much sailing experience I had? I told him may years and this is not my first boat. He said then you will get a 10% discount. I asked what if I had no experience and he said Oh you would still get a 10% discount for being a first time boat owner. He saved me $40 buck so I bought another round for everyone at the club and he signed me up.
 

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.......As was mentioned, with states requiring at least a boaters safety course, insurance companies may be less inclined to give up some profit.......
Insurance companies are so often misunderstood. It's all a game of loss probabilities and how long they can keep your premium, invest it and make a return, before they have to pay it back out in claims.

When boater safety was voluntary, they would have calculated a lower risk across a large population of boaters that chose to be trained. It spoke to risk profile. What wouldn't surprise me is that they actually calculated more than a 10% decline in loss experience, but only reduced the premium that much. In other words, they could have made more money on the lower premium. Just food for thought.
 
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