The current state of boat insurance

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Phil Herring, Jun 10, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Phil Herring

    Phil Herring Dethroned Admin

    Joined Mar 25, 1997
    4,406 posts, 342 likes
    Hunter 450
    US Bainbridge Island
    We ask this question every few years so we can crowd-source the latest trends in boat insurance.

    What's happening with your rates?
    Any mandated changes in coverage?
    Have you switched or compared rates across companies?
    Any problem *getting* insurance?
    Have you had a claim? How did that go?
    Any insurers to prefer or avoid? (please keep these stories factual; no name calling or presuming motives)

    insure.jpg
     


  2. tfox2069

    tfox2069

    Joined Apr 8, 2011
    51 posts, 11 likes
    Hunter 36
    Intrepid US Deale, MD
     


    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  3. kappykaplan

    kappykaplan

    Joined May 1, 2011
    1,004 posts, 212 likes
    Pearson 37
    US Lusby MD
    What's happening with your rates? About the same, maybe $20 increase this year
    Any mandated changes in coverage? No
    Have you switched or compared rates across companies? No, still happy with Markel
    Any problem *getting* insurance? N/A
    Have you had a claim? How did that go? Did two claims for towing back to my slip several years ago, no issues
    Any insurers to prefer or avoid? (please keep these stories factual; no name calling or presuming motives) N/A
     


  4. gettinthere

    gettinthere

    Joined Nov 26, 2008
    1,866 posts, 161 likes
    Endeavour 42
    US Cruisin
    Cruising the US east coast, BoatUS used to have 3 tiers; Fla, Coastal north of Fl and Chesapeake Bay. I could get adjustments as I entered each area. 2 yrs ago at renewal they dropped all that and gave me a MUCH lower rate including Fl year round, basically the Chesapeake Bay rate which was the lowest tier.
     


  5. jon hansen

    jon hansen

    Joined May 25, 2012
    2,093 posts, 1,815 likes
    john alden caravelle 42
    us sturgeon bay, wis
    is boat insurance mandatory like with automobiles? i never really knew.
    and yes i have it.
     


  6. gettinthere

    gettinthere

    Joined Nov 26, 2008
    1,866 posts, 161 likes
    Endeavour 42
    US Cruisin
    Any loan will require insurance. Most marinas require liability insurance. I know of no governmental requirement, I think there should be a requirement for environmental damage and salvage insurance but it's not there.
     


  7. jon hansen

    jon hansen

    Joined May 25, 2012
    2,093 posts, 1,815 likes
    john alden caravelle 42
    us sturgeon bay, wis
    got it. the only job i ever worked was on the ships. each season i would come home with my years wages in my back pocket. i lived with zero overhead at that time. i was always a cash player. i have never had a loan of any kind and i do not keep my boat at a marina.

    plus the us stock market in the 70's and 80's and 90's was like winning the power ball. blind luck. well, my grandmother ran my money while i was on the ships. smart woman and there is no recession in toilet paper. :)
     


    LloydB likes this.
  8. Parsons

    Parsons

    Joined Jul 12, 2011
    761 posts, 326 likes
    Catalina 36
    US Bay City, MI
    Rates fell about 5% and deductible also lowered automatically, following year of no claims except one towing (damn diesels!).
    No mandatory changes in coverage.
    No rate comparisons, still happy with BoatUS / Geico for coastal insurance.

    As for "mandatory" insurance discussion, everyone that touches that boat has the same requirements - $300K liability + enviro liability. Everyone: yacht club, transient marinas, winter storage, lender. The guy I bought beer from at the supermarket wanted to see my insurance certificate. Perhaps not the government, but I don't think that you can touch a boat to land without showing that you're insured.
     


    LloydB likes this.
  9. jon hansen

    jon hansen

    Joined May 25, 2012
    2,093 posts, 1,815 likes
    john alden caravelle 42
    us sturgeon bay, wis
    so i called my boatyard just now and asked them why i never get asked for insurance like you all. the boat has been maintained there since 1980. everyone at the yard knows me quite well. my office gal said, ' jon, we just call your agent down the street cause it is quicker than waiting for you to respond'. which is true. i'm number one seniority at the yard. been there longer than all the employees. have told them that i will stay there till i'm dead. they always hold my spot. you gotta love small town service.
    i keep my formula ocean racer there too.
     


    Captain Larry-DH likes this.
  10. jon hansen

    jon hansen

    Joined May 25, 2012
    2,093 posts, 1,815 likes
    john alden caravelle 42
    us sturgeon bay, wis
    sorry for all that drift Phil
     


    Captain Larry-DH likes this.
  11. JimInPB

    JimInPB

    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    1,499 posts, 435 likes
    Hunter 26.5, 212, 170
    us West Palm Beach
    6 months ago, when I was considering buying a Soverel 33, my insurer was unable to add another boat to my current policy. Less than two months ago, when I bought another Hunter, they were able to add it. The story changed over the course of a few months.

    A live-aboard friend of mine who is currently anchored in my area with a 50ish foot boat, is being told that this time of year, he can't get insurance for his boat unless he takes it north to the Carolinas or further, due to Hurricane season.
     


  12. 31seahorse

    31seahorse

    Joined Aug 2, 2005
    955 posts, 207 likes
    Celebrity Class 19
    US Penn Yan, NY (Seneca Lake SP)
    Funny you should ask...….
    We just added a Celebrity sailboat to our corral and also renewed the coverage for the Sea Pro powerboat. No claims on boat damage or on liability in our boating history, and we hope to keep that same record. Two companies quoted for us. Liability only and the mandatory fuel spill coverages are all we carry. If something is damaged on these small, old boats we will fix them or park them in the yard as flower planters! We chose BOAT/US insurance as we have maintained coverage with them on a variety of boats for many years and in different states.

    I will add that about 5 years ago BOAT/US quoted a premium of nearly three times the cost of the powerboat coverage to add a restored Celebrity sailboat just like the one we added now. I could not understand why a small, daysailer sailboat with a 3 Hp engine would cost so much more than the cost of insuring the powerboat with a 50 Hp engine. Both were/are kept in the barn and on their trailer when not in use. The only requirement for the new coverage this time (beyond HIN, location, and other required information) was a request for a picture of the restored sailboat. No need for a survey probably because the boat is 19.5 feet with no internal tanks or accommodations.

    BTW......I'll soon add the final installment to the restoration story about the Celebrity. I need to get pictures and hold the renaming ceremony. I plan to do that in the next two weeks. Yes, I invite you all to attend in spirit or lust in your heart, as the case may be.
     


  13. DougM

    DougM

    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    1,661 posts, 212 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Manistee, MI
    I have had very little increase in premium in the 14 years I have owned my boat.
    Insurance is kept in force during winter storage, a fairly common yard requirement, and our sailing season is remarkably short.

    The insurer has required a survey at year 10 of ownership, and evidently every 5 years thereafter.

    During the time I have owned the boat, I had one major claim which was for a dismasting that occurred during winter storage. The claim was handled promptly, and the settlement check arrived in a very timely manner.

    I have gotten quotes from Boat US et al, and the premiums I pay are fairly comparable for the same coverage.
     


  14. BrianRobin

    BrianRobin

    Joined Dec 31, 2016
    241 posts, 87 likes
    Beneteau Oceanis 351
    Ca Charlottetown
    It's mandatory in Canada if you are at a marina. Any boat under 25' is automatically covered on your homeowners insurance at no extra cost, liability coverage is 1million,but the boat value has a limit of $2500.00 (yes, that's twenty five hundred).
     


  15. Captain Larry-DH

    Captain Larry-DH

    Joined Jun 14, 2010
    732 posts, 395 likes
    Quorning Dragonfly 1200
    US home
    My town marina rate is cheap, but the town requires $300k minimum watercraft liability insurance. That’s not a problem for most working people, but some of the retirees on fixed incomes complain. When I think about that, it’s a good thing it’s required. Wouldn’t want to see one of those people get wiped out by a lawsuit.
     


  16. JimInPB

    JimInPB

    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    1,499 posts, 435 likes
    Hunter 26.5, 212, 170
    us West Palm Beach
    Here in Florida, most marinas & yacht clubs will require you to have insurance in order to keep your boat there, but a lot of trailer sailors go without, because they can. I'm not advocating that, I'm just observing.
     


  17. Kent C

    Kent C

    Joined Jun 10, 2019
    1 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 33
    Lunar Transit CA Prince Rupert
    Just joined forum. Been watching for a few months and had to register to respond to this.
    Just renewed insurance. renewal quote went from $870CAD to $1415 (160%) due to "heavy losses in marine insurance". Never had a claim, surveyed 2018 with all improvements done.
    Shopped around and got better coverage at $950.
    insurance is current value, liability, under insured, towing, etc.
     


  18. tfox2069

    tfox2069

    Joined Apr 8, 2011
    51 posts, 11 likes
    Hunter 36
    Intrepid US Deale, MD
    Shopping around is DEFINITELY the way to go. I got comparable quotes from all the major names, but when I went through USAA, who partners with Markel (had never heard of them) they came in at half the price of everyone else - with better coverage. I had been with BoatUS for 12 years, assuming I'd been getting a good deal. Gotta shop around.
     


  19. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,751 posts, 1,734 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    We've been with BoatUS and whomever since 1984. Typically the rates have run around 1% of agreed hull value. After BoatUS and GEICO merged, my rates went down and coverage area increased. After 4 claim free years the deductible is eliminated until the year after a claim is filed.

    A few years back, I did look at USAA for boat insurance, however the rates were not that attractive and the policy was not an Agreed Hull Value.

    My marina wants proof of liability insurance.
     


  20. tfox2069

    tfox2069

    Joined Apr 8, 2011
    51 posts, 11 likes
    Hunter 36
    Intrepid US Deale, MD
    Yeah, I didn't even know USAA did boat insurance, and never quoted them. Technically they don't, but they've partnered with Markel. I will say that BoatUS has the best towing insurance around.
     




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