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Old 30-11-2007, 08:22   #1
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
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insurance for older boats

I don't have a boat yet, but am researching the whole thing with goal of living aboard then crusing when the kitty allows. Since I'm not rich I'm looking at older boats and my question is about insurance for them. I asked a broker already but didn't really get an answer. So..

For an older sailboat say about 1980, what is the experience of members in getting insurance. To take it further lets say I get a 1980 boat and plan on using it another 10 years (so it would be 37 years old by then) am I still going to able to get insurance? Does there appear to be an age when you just can't get insurance at all. Would seem you need to know this way before you start looking at choices.

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Old 30-11-2007, 09:34   #2
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1975 Hans Christian over here, and I work in the insurance industry, for whatever that's worth.

You can get it insured. We're fully covered (bank loan still being paid), so we're paying about $1100 a year. You can get nearly anything insured if you try hard enough.

Without doing the whole insurance story, essentially there are carriers that are banks, and they invest in risk. Most carriers want to invest in the lowest risk possible, and get the highest return (no claims / high premiums).

The boat insurance world is weird, because it's rather small (compared to home insurance), and the values are fairly low (for a broker). There aren't any rich insurance agents out there that only do yacht insurance. For a $2000 premium policy, a broker is lucky to make $100 net take home on it. Maybe more if he/she is solo and not with an agency.

And that's the crux of the issue. If you have a big premium, brokers (a.k.a. producers) dance for you, because they get a big slice. But for boats, if it doesn't fit into the easy stream that allows them to write it in 30 minutes and make a quick hundred bucks, they don't care. There's just not enough money in it.

But you can find some brokers that specialize in it, especially if you're in a harbor town (LA, Seattle, Norfolk, Boston, etc). They might ask for an additional survey or two. I've seen some carriers demand a ship survey, an engine survey, and a rigging survey. I even had an underwriter call me up and quiz me before they allowed our policy to go through.

So yes, you can do it. There are a ton of wonderful older boats out there like mine that are fully insured. Call these guys in your area, and ask to speak with a broker: International Marine Underwriters If you get any flack, just tell them you have a friend in San Diego with a 1975 Hans Christian that uses them, so... what's up? They have a lot of flexibility.

Seriously though, even the guys who take hot air baloons around the world get it insured. You can insure anything.
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Old 30-11-2007, 11:31   #3
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My 1980 Endeavour Ketch is insured with a "Helmsman" policy - as I live aboard. In addition to the typical boat insurance coverage, they also have a few other things they cover that pertain to the liveaboard. Right off the top of my head, I don't know who the underwriter is, but they have been insuring me since 2000. The did require a survey initially and about 4 years ago (I was hauled out so no big deal).
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Old 30-11-2007, 12:04   #4
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thanks

thanks rebel & S/V

so it looks that you can get insurance, has anyone heard of a boat not being able to get insuranced just due its' age (condition of the boat being good)?
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Old 30-11-2007, 12:09   #5
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Don -

It was tough for us to find something; we probably went through at leat 5 brokers before we found one that would work with us, and that was on the list that supposedly specializes in old boat insurance.
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Old 30-11-2007, 12:14   #6
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I like your "Keep the water on the outside..." saying Rebel.

When I was on submarine duty I used to say it as "Keep the water out of the people tank."
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Old 30-11-2007, 12:16   #7
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Quote:
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I like your "Keep the water on the outside..." saying Rebel.

When I was on submarine duty I used to say it as "Keep the water out of the people tank."
Fellow bubblehead! I was an FT on a boat out of Groton, CT.
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Old 30-11-2007, 12:20   #8
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now I understand the "stick" part
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Old 30-11-2007, 13:40   #9
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<--- Surface fleet Only good thing about a bubblehead was they had a sail on their boat!!!

In any case, getting back to insurance; you can get insurance on ANYTHING ... just a matter of what you are willing to pay.
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Old 30-11-2007, 13:45   #10
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Only two things in the water: submarines and targets. :-)
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Old 30-11-2007, 14:38   #11
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Of course the sail on a sub doesn't help you in a breeze.

I got a lot more info on the insurance issue from an old post of "insurance or not" that by the time the topic got off track by page 2 of the posts started giving enough examples of those who have insurance to figure out the answer. So now I can go back to looking at the older tried and true boats and pick myself out a "target" of my own.
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Old 13-04-2012, 22:53   #12
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Re: insurance for older boats

Is there any suggestions to insurance brokers. I am having a hard time getting my boat insured.
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Old 13-04-2012, 23:15   #13
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Re: insurance for older boats

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
Of course the sail on a sub doesn't help you in a breeze.
OT but there was one sub run out of fuel and sailed back to Hawaii..
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Old 14-04-2012, 05:32   #14
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Re: insurance for older boats

Don. I got insurance for my '84 Cal39 through Sue at IMIS. The carrier [Mount Joy in PA] specializes in older boats. Don't know much about them but my premium did go up 30% from year one to year two...no apparent reason.
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Old 14-04-2012, 06:04   #15
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Re: insurance for older boats

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Originally Posted by jimking100 View Post
Don. I got insurance for my '84 Cal39 through Sue at IMIS. The carrier [Mount Joy in PA] specializes in older boats. Don't know much about them but my premium did go up 30% from year one to year two...no apparent reason.
The broker needed a new car - so someone has to pay!
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