Can anyone recommend any particular insurance companies they like or use for boat insurance on east coast USA?
Thanks for your input, Minnewaska, but this forum has alot of folks with very valuable references and recommendations. So, asking for specific providers is very helpful for me as a place to start and i dont consider them random references. As for most boaters having very little knowledge of their policy, I am an attorney and I have been taught how to read and understand a policy. So, you didnt mention what insurer you use but I would value your reference and not consider it random in the least. I dont know anything about boat insurance so references are a great place for me to start and to begin reasearching it.I don't think a random reference is a good way to sort out an insurance provider. Circumstances can be very unique and most boaters have very little knowledge of their policy, other than how cheap/costly it is.
You need a good, local, knowledgeable agent/broker who represents several carriers and can compare and contrast coverages for you. Cheapest is usually cheapest for a reason. That reason may work for you, it may not. Get solid advice, not random references.
Thanks Jeff- I'm gonna call BoatUS and start learning about it -- maybe i'll post a question in the next few months about specific types of coverage, etc. I'm getting close to taking the plunge. I looked at the boats you had recommended awhile back and they all are definitely better sailing vessels than what I am looking at. You guessed it.... (I can see you smile and shake your head)....I want a big, fat tub of a boat that I can eventually live on for a few years after I learn to operate it..(notice I didn't say 'sail it' - ha-ha...you get where this is going?) It will be big enough for me and my wife to handle but also live comfortably in with its 12-foot beam...motor down the ICW to s. florida, keys..then across the Gulf to the bahamas and eventually, with confidence..south to D.R. and Virgin islands....that's right, a used IP35. I'm sure I'll do alot of motoring on the Chesapeake on it - built for comfort, not for speed.I have had coverage with BoatUS for over 30 years. I have gotten quotes from other companies quite a few times during those years and compared pricing and coverage. None have offered significantly less expensive prices for the amount of coverage and most companies have been more expensive or had significantly less coverage.
I have had several claims with Boat US and they have handled the claims extremely well, with prompt and comprehensive service as well as 'perks' such as being able to buy additinal items at wholesale when rebuilding after a claim. (For example, my boat was hit by lightning. We had the whole boat apart and so it was a good opportunity to replace the plumbing. They sold me all of the hoses and fittings at a greatly reduced price.)
I have also assisted quite a few people with claims with other companies. While some offered similar levels of dilligence and fairness, most have not and many of the big names don't really understand marine claims so their price may seem cheap, but recovering for the repairs was way less than comprehensive. (For example, a friend's boat filled with water and flooded over his battery charger, monitor, and alternator amoungst other things. They all worked once the boat was dried out, but failed within months of the sinking. His insurance company fought him on that since the components were operational when the initially dried out. I don't believe that a dedicated marine insurance company would not have fought that.)
I believe that BoatUS does have shortcomings if you are doing prolonged offshore cruising, but I don't know whether that is true or not.
So who do you have coverage with? How long have you used them? How many claims have you filed? How good we're they at handling the claim process?Consequential damage coverage is one of the most important to have, most difficult to find and least likely for a novice to even know what it means.
I agree with your assessment but not necessarily your solution. I've always found it odd that north Florida is in the hurricane zone and the Carolinas (especially North) are not. No hurricane has made landfall north of Vero Beach, FL and south of the Georgia-SC line in more than 30 years. By contrast, the Outer Banks seem to get repeatedly walloped every few years yet they are considered in the "safe zone". Beyond the zoning creating a herd mentality, which I believe was never an intentional consequence, it also may end up creating a false sense of security for those keeping boats in the "safe zones" - as it did for people who lost boats in Sandy.What surprises me is that with climate change our hurricane/storm patterns changed. But hurricane season and the hurricane zone has not when you are speaking of insurance.
I think this results in a increase in potentially unsafe passages. I would sooner prefer a given passage to be "blessed" by a weather router as a insurance requirement then the current situation creating thundering herds taking to the water twice a year. I would note in other industries this occurs. Last night spoke with a contractor who told me they can't start a roof until cleared for weather by the insurance company.