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Old 20-02-2008, 08:14   #1
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Cruising without insurance, how tough?

I keep reading about how a lot of marinas these days are requiring insurance. How prevalent has this become on the east coast and through the Caribbean? I plan to buy an older boat soon, and I don't intend to insure it, simply because I have no desire to spend my precious money to protect other peoples assets. I feel that marinas which demand insurance are akin to Walmart telling me I can't enter the store to shop because I don't have health insurance, and I might slip and fall so I need to insure myself in order to protect their assets from a lawsuit.
From '95 to 2002 we lived aboard and cruised our sailboat between the Chesapeake and Caribbean and were never once asked for proof of insurance. Never once needed insurance. The money I saved by not buying insurance could have almost bought the boat over again after only 7 years. When I put my car in a parking garage or take it to a mechanic for work, I'm never asked for insurance. How difficult will it now be for me to find marinas where I can stay, or haulout facilities to work on the boat? Does anyone know of a list of friendly marinas where I won't be required to buy their insurance for them? I know there are plenty of cruisers out there without insurance, what are you doing and how bad has it really gotten?
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Old 20-02-2008, 08:22   #2
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I'm also curious to hear the responses for this question. I also will not insure except in areas of the world where it is compulsory. Plan to buy a 20-30 year-old 30-35ft boat.
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Old 20-02-2008, 08:32   #3
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And exactly how will you cover damage done to other's boats? I am not saying you have to have insurance. I am just asking if something goes wrong. How will you cover the loss for someone else. I am sure if you are not insured, and your boat is damaged you may be left with a broken dream....It's a roll of the dice... is that how you would like to leave it for others?

If you choose to go without insurance you become a much more attentive skipper of your vessel. Sometimes insurance makes people lax about their responsibilities. It is a two edged sword, and I have done it both ways...............
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Old 20-02-2008, 08:43   #4
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And exactly how will you cover damage done to other's boats?
I find it extremely unlikely that my boat will damage somebody elses while sitting in a marina, due to any fault of mine. I'll take that risk. Perhaps at anchor I may drag and scrape somebody elses boat, in which case I would of course fix any damage. I'm confident enough in my seamanship to believe that I won't be averaging $1000 a year in damages to other boats.
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Old 20-02-2008, 08:57   #5
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I find it extremely unlikely that my boat will damage somebody elses while sitting in a marina, due to any fault of mine. I'll take that risk. Perhaps at anchor I may drag and scrape somebody elses boat, in which case I would of course fix any damage. I'm confident enough in my seamanship to believe that I won't be averaging $1000 a year in damages to other boats.
That's why you should have insurance, for the "extremely unlikely" things that might happen! Like a short in your wiring that starts a fire and destroys neighbouring boats. By all means don't have your hull insured but you should have liability insurance. It's not your risk to take, you are risking others if you don't have liability. Just one mistake and it won't be just a $1000, it might be $100,000. How are you going to pay for that? Going without liability is just foolish selfishness. Any good yard or marina should require proof of liability insurance.
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Old 20-02-2008, 09:09   #6
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It's not your risk to take, you are risking others if you don't have liability.
So my very presence is a risk to others, and therefore I should protect everyone else? Sorry, I really don't want this to be a 'should I buy insurance' thread, which will surely turn into a socialist versus deregulation political argument. I was hoping to hear from cruisers who can tell me how pervasive this recent trend has become, and what people are doing about it.
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Old 20-02-2008, 09:13   #7
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So my very presence is a risk to others, and therefore I should protect everyone else? Sorry, I really don't want this to be a 'should I buy insurance' thread, which will surely turn into a socialist versus deregulation political argument. I was hoping to hear from cruisers who can tell me how pervasive this recent trend has become, and what people are doing about it.
In my East Coast experience, it has become 80-90% of all marinas will require you to have insurance.

Trying not to comment on the insurance vs. no insurance stuff... VERY difficult not to!
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Old 20-02-2008, 09:31   #8
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In my East Coast experience, it has become 80-90% of all marinas will require you to have insurance.

Trying not to comment on the insurance vs. no insurance stuff... VERY difficult not to!
Thanks for the restraint!
I know I'm in the minority with my views on insurance. I remember when it was once about protecting your assets, not everybody elses. But at 80-90% of marinas, it sounds like another one of those things I may be forced to do "for my own good"!
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Old 20-02-2008, 09:39   #9
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You only need what we call 3rd party insurance, your not covered but anyone you damage is. Generally the premium is much lower than comprehensive insurance. Of course if you anchor out and never drag an anchor (rocna) down on another boat you could safely go without.
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Old 20-02-2008, 10:10   #10
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my marina wanted insurance and a copy of a recent survey or pictures. had a few "nasty boats" in the past and wanted to make sure I wasn't bringing in a wreck.

That said, very happy in this marina, good people, good $/ft rate.
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Old 20-02-2008, 11:03   #11
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Many/most marinas in FL require insurance for haul outs - don't know about slips. When we went cruising several years ago we had trouble getting liability only coverage on our boat. We wound up with a $500K general liability policy reinsured through Lloyds for $300 a year.

We were never asked about insurance for haul out in Grenada or slips/haul out in VZ.
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Old 20-02-2008, 11:06   #12
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So my very presence is a risk to others, and therefore I should protect everyone else?

No, you're not protecting everyone else. You're protecting yourself against the liability of you damaging others' boats. I have insurance. If my boat is damaged by yours and you have no insurance my insurer will pay and then sue you. I have one million liability. My yacht club says that's the minimum one should carry. If you look at the price of boats you will see that it's very easy to incur a very large liability if should damage someone else's boat. Having been hit while at anchor by a large boat with two supposedly competent, licensed skippers aboard I can assure you that s**t happens.
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Old 20-02-2008, 11:45   #13
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Which type of insurance do boat yards and marinas require? Liability or hull coverage? I am also inclined to self-insure for hull coverage but will maintain a liability policy. That is provided, I can still get the boat hauled for annual service.
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Old 20-02-2008, 12:02   #14
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They don't require hull coverage, just liability. They don't care what you do with your boat what they worry about is what you may do to other boats.
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Old 20-02-2008, 12:22   #15
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I had a jackass smash into my transom, doing 10K in damage. I'm glad he had insurance.
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