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Old 22-09-2005, 15:53   #1
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insurance for coastal waters

i am shopping for insurance for coastal waters, northeast or eastern seaboard. i am looking at travellers and boat us. i have given both plenty of premiums over the years, but never had a claim. anyone know how either company acts when we want them to actually pay out ?
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Old 22-09-2005, 18:17   #2
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Both have excellent reputations.

I had travellers insurance on my last boat. Several years ago, Connecticut was hit with a severe winter storm that damaged the hull on my boat. I submitted the claim and Travellers paid the bill without a survey or anyone looking at the damage.
I couldn't have been more pleased that I didn't have to go to war with the insurance company.
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Old 30-09-2005, 09:30   #3
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Try West Marine. I know they are now joined with Boat U.S. but I got different quotes from the. Neither of them is actually the underwriter. I have shopped West several times and have not found a better rate. I have yet to have a claim so canít rate how they pay out.

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Old 30-09-2005, 10:49   #4
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I have had BoatUS for decades. I have competitively shopped them every few years and found them very competitive for the boats that I have owned and the type of insurance that I have needed (older boat, coastal cruising, winter use, able to race, full coverage of contents on board including personal items, no-depreciation of older equipment). They have not required the frequent 'insurance surveys' that some insurance have required (although a survey was required to get BoatUS insurance given the age of the boat.)

I have had two claims with them, and BoatUS was super on both. The first was a propeller blade that was damaged by a crab trap warp, and which was handled very well. The second claim was a lightning strike that wiped out the electronics and and quite a bit of associated wiring. They were great on that claim as well; extremely responsive, and really understood the nature of lightning strikes, which is to say that they were quick to respond as new damage was discovered.

They have a 'direct shopping service' for replacement parts that is an amazing asset. You simply give them a description of the damaged part typically a manufacturer and model number for what was lost, they track down either that part or and updated version, you approve it and then they ship directly to you. It beats chasing around and trying to find the pieces and parts. My coverage replaced all of the older equipment with comparable new gear. Even though this was not an ugrade perse, the new stuff was far more advanced than the stuff it replaced andf in many cases in order to get the features of my old gear a free upgrade was given. For example, my boat had an old handheld GPS that dropped into a cradle and tied into an deck mounted antenae, the autopilot, and on deck instruments, and the unit was recharged off of the ship's battery. In order to replace that with a hand held with all of those features, BoatUS had to provide a hand held model with a chartplotter which they did at no cost to me except for the electronic charts which was sold to me a greatly discounted price.

Another neat feature of this direct purchasing system and of BoatUS is that they offer a reasonably serious discount on anything that you decide to upgrade in the course of the work. At first this sounds strange but it makes sense in a lot of ways. For example in order to run the new wiring I had to disassemble a bunch of my cabinetry. I thought that as long as the cabinets were disassembled and the boat out of commission, I would repaint the interiors of the cabinetry, and while I had access to the 'Y' valve and head plumbing I would change them out as well. The Direct Purchasing Service savings were very useful.

Good luck,

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Old 03-10-2005, 05:15   #5
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insurance

Do Boat/US and West Marine have their own insurance companies, or do they act as brokers for established insurers? FWIW, I would not buy insurance directly from an insurance company; I want to have a broker. A broker will usually give you a better choice of policies and coverages, plus when the stuff hits the fan and you have to start battling the insurance company for coverage, the broker (if he's a good one) will intervene and go to bat for you.

We have used Intl. Marine Ins. Svcs. (IMIS) for years with excellent results (esp. when we holed our keel last year and ended up with 4+ ft. of water in our port hull). If you are interested, their number is 410-827-3757.
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Old 03-10-2005, 06:59   #6
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thanks for the info - nice not to see any horror stories as yet. in home insurance, a major claim often leads to a major screwing. in my experience, agents are not really helpful when things get tough and in the end you deal directly with the company. insurance companies these days are not doing well on home, auto and boat, so i am being careful to understand what they include and what they exclude. these policies are not very exciting reading, but the exclusions continue to expand, including areas Jeff H. mentioned in electronics and personal property as defined in the policy. if you have not read a policy in a while, you may want to pull yours out. capt. lar
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