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Discussion Starter #1
I've found a boat I'm interested in, and it's a 1979, so finding insurance has been a bit tricky. I was eventually able to convince BoatUS to cover me (they didn't like the age, but their bigger problem was the boat is 37' and it's going to be my first boat), and they quoted me $1819/yr. This is their base east-coast plan, $300k liability, etc. I then went in search of alternatives, and contacted IMIS, who got me a quote through Windsor-Mount Joy Mutual Insurance Co. They quoted me $774/yr for their "skipper" policy. The deductible is about $600, compared to $1300 for BoatUS, and there is no separate oil spill liability (BoatUS offers $800k, with the other one is rolled into the $300k liability coverage). The only other difference I can see if that BoatUS will let me sail the east coast as far south as Florida, whereas the other one will only allow me as far south as North Carolina.

Does anyone have any familiarity with these policies that might be able to point out some major difference I haven't noticed? Any thoughts on why the premiums are so drastically different? Does Windsor-Mount Joy Mutual Insurance Co have a good reputation? I'm going to have my boat broker look the policy over, but I'd like some outside input too. Thanks.
 

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I'd point out that the maximum environmental remediation fine for an oil spill, as might happen if your boat capsizes, is knocked down or sinks, is $800,000, and if you get the Windsor-Mount Joy policy, you could be on the hook for as much as HALF A MILLION DOLLARS.

If you reduce the geographic area of coverage, your policy price should go down. I'd also recommend you check with Chubb and Ace Recreational Marine. If you don't have a good insurance agent, you might want to try Christine Hartge, who is very good, out of eastport. Hartge Insurance Associates - We Specialize In Your Unique Insurance Needs is the website.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I realize that the max fine can be $800k, but I have difficulty imagining how releasing 30 gallons of diesel could result in a fine quite that high... isn't that law written such that powerboats that release hundreds or thousands of gallons can be suitably punished?

I'll check out those other companies. Thanks for the tip. Have you used one or both?
 

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I have used BoatUS/CNA for many years and found them excellent to work with.

i tried Windsor Mt. Joy one season as they offered charter coverage, after six weeks of hasseling over mindless, conflicting, and dumb issues about a few trivial survey quesions (and they say.."oh, the the form really doesn't mean what it says, we wont hold you to it, just sign it..), I went back to BoatUS.
 

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I currently use Ace Recreational Marine and Christine Hartge is my insurance agent. :D

I realize that the max fine can be $800k, but I have difficulty imagining how releasing 30 gallons of diesel could result in a fine quite that high... isn't that law written such that powerboats that release hundreds or thousands of gallons can be suitably punished?

I'll check out those other companies. Thanks for the tip. Have you used one or both?
 

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I too got what I thought were very high quotes thru Boat US on a 9 year old boat. I finally called my car / house insurance company, Nationwide and with their affiliate company got boat insurance. Went over it line by line, same policy as Boat US, savings of $500 a year. Only exception was my policy will not cover racing, even beer can races. Having all our insurance thru one company made for quite a big discount. The biggest line item cost was the liability insurance to keep the marina happy.

michael
 

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I've found a boat I'm interested in, and it's a 1979, so finding insurance has been a bit tricky. I was eventually able to convince BoatUS to cover me
Any thoughts on why the premiums are so drastically different?
This reminds me of the Progressive commercials on TV where they claim you can choose the "policy (read - premium amount) that fits your budget. Never, repeat - never choose an insurance policy based on price.
Some of the other insurance threads here often compare premium amounts with no substantive discussion of what is included other than the typical agreed-value vs. ACV discussion which misses virtually everything one might reasonably expect to happen.
It should be obvious that the reason premium amounts differ is because they insure different risks, have different limits, different exclusions and different compensation policies.
About the best thing you can do is ask a number of underwriters for a copy of their policy. Read them. Take notes. Compare exclusions. Only as a last action should anyone compare prices as only after thoroughly reviewing what they are selling can you make a reasonable judgment of value (not price).
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Discussion Starter #8
k1vsk, my point was that it seems to my layman's eye that there is no consequential difference between the policies (for my purposes, namely living aboard and cruising around new england). Thus I am comparing on price and reputation of the companies. I was hoping someone with experience with these policies could point to something I overlooked in my analysis of the coverage.
 

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Speaking of Progressive...I called them while looking for an ACV policy for an older car which has no "book" or "fiar market" value. Eventually the phone rep said their policies are written as "ACV or...whichever is less" and while they'd charge based on the agreed value, that wasn't necessarily what they would pay. Not impressive.

I'd call IMIS and ask them if you faxed up the BOATUS quote if they'd compare it line for line with you. They are usually very up front about differences in coverage and they know that sometimes they can't beat the competition. If there is something they can do to match the coverage, or other differences in the policy, they'll tell you.
 

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I would be real careful with Progressive..I had a claim in mid July...someone hit my motorcycle..agreed value $2K...they told me to get it from storage (almost $500) and I would have the check for that in 24-48 hours..I did so...still no check..

they are waiting for a police report, but have offered a $485 payment and they take the bike, as they rate the damage on a fair/good/better/best scale and THEY decided after they took premiums and an agreed policy..that they will only pay based on the "fair" scale which valued the bike at $650 not the $2K we AGREED and the bike was in primo condition, I even sent them pictures and an shop appraisal...still no check for either...and I have heard every excuse as to why...they won't pay...as they agreed...

I would go elsewhere if I were you..
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I, too, have heard bad things about Progressive for car insurance and stay away from them for that reason. I have Amica for my car insurance and couldn't be happier with their service. Sadly, Amica refuses to insure liveaboards for boats (even though they gave me a quote once; the agent I talked to was a former liveaboard, I wonder if he bent the rules... they won't do it again). Progressive likewise refused me a quote. I doubt I'd go with Progressive anyways, but it seemed worth getting a quote.
 

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I was quoted $1900 from Boat US when I bought Solare, but they only offered $300K in liability and my marina requires $500K. Called USAA and they got me an agreed value, top of the line Helmsman policy via Markel with the needed $500K for $600 a year.

It pays to shop around...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've heard good things about USAA in another thread as well, but I believe they require you to be military to get boat insurance (or so their website has led me to believe). If this isn't true, please correct me! I don't think my dad's time in the navy makes me eligible, since he's not a USAA member, and he might not be eligible himself.
 
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