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Old 27-01-2014, 12:24   #1
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Insurance for circumnavigation

Hey cruisers,

I've bought a boat and now I'm a year off from my circumnavigation. Although I have been sailing since I could walk and have off shore experience, I admitedly have no ocean crossing experience and neither does my girlfriend. Ideally, we would like it to be just the two of us on board.

Since the boat is financed, I'm going to need to have it insured. I haven't found any insurance companies that will insure unless there's someone with ocean crossing experience on board.

So I have several questions;
- Does anyone have any recommendations for this?
- What are the consequences for voiding insurance right before the crossing and then getting it again once the boat has crossed?

Worst case scenario, I will find crew, but the main point of my question is that I don't want to hire crew. We are well informed of the risks involved and we're comfortable with them. *Please* keep this on topic and help us with our questions and don't lecture us on the risks and dangers of going alone

Thanks
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Old 27-01-2014, 12:28   #2
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Re: Insurance for circumnavigation

You may have to start with an experienced skipper and then when you can book an ocean crossing you will be good to go. Its pretty normal for the insurance companies to want 3 people on board.
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Old 27-01-2014, 12:31   #3
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Re: Insurance for circumnavigation

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
You may have to start with an experienced skipper and then when you can book an ocean crossing you will be good to go. Its pretty normal for the insurance companies to want 3 people on board.
Thank you, I was aware of this. It's just extremely frustrating since I'm doing this trip for the experience. I don't need to get the boat from point A to point B, but I want to. And I want to do it with one person of my choosing, without additional crew. I'm trying to find out if any insurance companies will support this or how other people have gotten around this.
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Old 27-01-2014, 12:39   #4
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Re: Insurance for circumnavigation

I was in the same situation when I was a singlehander on my first boat. I had good luck, and still do, with IMIS in Maryland:

IMIS Contact Information

It might make your case easier - and cheaper - if you get insurance for the Caribbean and spend some time there first. Then you can extend coverage to the Pacific and once you make it there extend it further. It is always easier to get "permission" for one area at a time and gain experience (and let them collect premiums for a while) before you use the word insurance companies hate, "circumnavigation."

Good luck.

Dhillen
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Old 27-01-2014, 12:48   #5
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Re: Insurance for circumnavigation

I can tell you that when I started out I had the same issues. I was able to get insurance for coastal cruising and there was a limit in how far away from shore the company covered but it seems to me it was around 250 miles. I didn't harbor hop I just went out around 150 miles and sailed around 1000 miles. Did that a couple of times and when I finally had to cross an ocean I was able to report that I had several thousand miles offshore and they insured me but I did have to drag my Son along with us, which was great fun but they would not drop the minimum crew of 3. I don't know where you are starting out from and whether or not you could sail a fairly long distance staying within the coastal cruising limits of some insurance company.
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Old 27-01-2014, 12:57   #6
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Re: Insurance for circumnavigation

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Originally Posted by YoloSF View Post
Thank you, I was aware of this. It's just extremely frustrating since I'm doing this trip for the experience. I don't need to get the boat from point A to point B, but I want to. And I want to do it with one person of my choosing, without additional crew. I'm trying to find out if any insurance companies will support this or how other people have gotten around this.
I know it isn't what you want, but you could always take someone with experience who is to do nothing unless some emergency merits it. They can advise you to whatever degree you choose, but it's to let you learn while someone with experience is there for insurance purposes. We've done some of this in our boats, where our Captain does nothing but watch and point out where we could have done something better.
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Old 27-01-2014, 13:00   #7
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Re: Insurance for circumnavigation

Best way around your insurance problem is to have the boat paid off.
Hopefully you haven't put your trip on hold because you've borrowed beyond your budget capacity.
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Old 27-01-2014, 13:23   #8
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Re: Insurance for circumnavigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhillen View Post
I was in the same situation when I was a singlehander on my first boat. I had good luck, and still do, with IMIS in Maryland:

IMIS Contact Information

It might make your case easier - and cheaper - if you get insurance for the Caribbean and spend some time there first. Then you can extend coverage to the Pacific and once you make it there extend it further. It is always easier to get "permission" for one area at a time and gain experience (and let them collect premiums for a while) before you use the word insurance companies hate, "circumnavigation."

Good luck.

Dhillen
This is good advice, thank you. I've done some further research and everyone recommends to work with them, and they have the "Jack line" insurance program that seems like it might work for us. Thanks!

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I know it isn't what you want, but you could always take someone with experience who is to do nothing unless some emergency merits it. They can advise you to whatever degree you choose, but it's to let you learn while someone with experience is there for insurance purposes. We've done some of this in our boats, where our Captain does nothing but watch and point out where we could have done something better.
Hahaha... not sure if I want the captain watching and pointing out what I could have done better if we're talking about the kinds of things I like to do with my girlfriend. This may or may not involve sailing

This will be my last resort, I'm trying not require anyone else though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DumnMad View Post
Best way around your insurance problem is to have the boat paid off.
Hopefully you haven't put your trip on hold because you've borrowed beyond your budget capacity.
I'm 25 years old and don't want to wait until I'm a "dumnmad" old grump like you to go cruising, thanks for your input.
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Old 27-01-2014, 13:34   #9
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Re: Insurance for circumnavigation

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- What are the consequences for voiding insurance right before the crossing and then getting it again once the boat has crossed?
Most of the circumnavigation sailors do not carry insurance. I do not intend to get insurance when I crossing the big pond. Sailing is a part of risk management.
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Old 27-01-2014, 13:35   #10
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Re: Insurance for circumnavigation

Shouldn't have to wait too long to get the budget sorted. There's a $13,500 boat for sale in our marina thats done 2 circumnavigations.
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Old 27-01-2014, 13:39   #11
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Re: Insurance for circumnavigation

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Most of the circumnavigation sailors do not carry insurance. I do not intend to get insurance when I crossing the big pond. Sailing is a part of risk management.
Correct. And I'm comfortable with risk management up until lightning comes into play. I'm curious as to how people manage the risk of getting hit by lightning and frying some very expensive electronics. I've done some research on this and there doesn't seem to be any proven way to prevent it from happening. In these cases, $2k seems very reasonable instead of $25k to replace everything I'll have on board, no? I'd like to see some more comments on this!


Quote:
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Shouldn't have to wait too long to get the budget sorted. There's a $13,500 boat for sale in our marina thats done 2 circumnavigations.
Unlike many peope on this forum, my circumanvigation will be a 2 year adventure/sabbatical, not a lifestyle. I prefer $135,000 boats and financing them, thank you.
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Old 27-01-2014, 13:55   #12
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pirate Re: Insurance for circumnavigation

I use Panteanius as a solo sailor.. full cover to 200 miles offshore.. after that your on your own till 200 miles from the next bit of land... likely the best deal you'll find..
Also it comes with a list of countries/areas which invalidate it... face it.. its the hard bits that present the danger.. and if you want to do the 'Horn'.. no cover... as its a choice not a necessity..
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Old 27-01-2014, 14:01   #13
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Re: Insurance for circumnavigation

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Correct. And I'm comfortable with risk management up until lightning comes into play. I'm curious as to how people manage the risk of getting hit by lightning and frying some very expensive electronics.
I would not worry about lightning unless you intend to sail the Great Lakes. With salt water and proper precautions, I would rather spend more time on storm tactic management . Have fun.
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Old 27-01-2014, 14:08   #14
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Re: Insurance for circumnavigation

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I prefer $135,000 boats and financing them, thank you.
Well you only live once, I think you should get $300k boat, Why bother spend your youth fixing up the boat. Buy the right boat and go sailing with your GF.
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Old 27-01-2014, 14:59   #15
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Re: Insurance for circumnavigation

As I plan on heading off this year, as is a friend, we have been looking into the insurance aspect. Coastal Insurance up to 250 miles offshore should not be too difficult. While they may want a crew of 3 it is possible that they will accept a known windvane or high quality autopilot as third crewmember if you have some overnight or offshore experience. We have been quoted about $1,700 for coastal offshore. The sticky part gets to when you want to do an ocean crossing. Here I was told you need to have at least one, and preferably two, crew onboard that have previously crossed an ocean. I believe my friend checked in with IMIS and they said the could insure him for an ocean crossing after his coastal offshore experience for an additional rider bringing his total insurance up to $2,400/year. He has not signed any papers so this might just be talk over the phone though.
Since my boat is paid for I am somewhat inclined to just get liability insurance but lightning worries me as well. There is plenty of lighting in tropical places, not just Florida or the Great Lakes.
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