Originally Posted by colemj
. . . . What will you do if your actions/inactions or your boat causes damage to another?
This is an age-old quandary - not only for cruisers for for those on land. Folks with little or no exposable assets from a strictly monetary viewpoint have little to gain or lose by not having insurance. Which is probably the motivation for various governmental legislatures making automobile insurance mandatory. But even then the minimum required level amount is so low that should an accident
occur the opposing parties rarely resort to lawsuits as there "isn't any money" to be gotten.
Same with cruisers in "paid up" low value boats who are also most probably also in a very low income
bracket (if there is any legally visible income
at all) - having boat insurance is an expense that is just not cost effective from a strictly financial aspect.
However, if you have a rather large investment in your vessel and/or you have a bank loan on it, then having full insurance (comprehensive and liability) is very advisable, if not also mandatory because of the boat bank loan. However, such policies - as folks on this thread have posted - is not inexpensive and often borders on extremely expensive. [I am talking here about reputable and established insurance companies that actually "pay off" when you have a claim.]
Somewhere in between is the region of "third party/liability only" insurance coverage. For a fraction of what full comprehensive coverage costs you have insurance for when you and/or your vessel does damage to a third party. Also this is normally the minimal acceptable type insurance if you wish to stay in many marinas
So you can take care of the moral dilemma quoted above - but at the cost of not being able to be compensated for any damage to you or your vessel.
Some folks seem to travel around with the proverbial "black cloud of doom" following them and incur all sorts of minor or major disasters that perpetually empty their wallets. Here full comprehensive insurance is very advised. Other folk seem to tread a magic path unscathed by the wreckage surrounding them.
But I submit, (without any proof whatsoever) that not having insurance when it is not mandated by bank requirements or just good common sense (e.g., you just purchased a mega-buck catamarran, etc.) is more common "out there" than most folks realize. I sure met an awful lot of old timers who don't or never had any form of insurance and seem to just do fine.
standards and processes for recovering compensation due to a loss in the 3rd World and many other countries makes paying for full insurance not very cost-effective. That is, you are not going to be able to recover anything from the "local" and hopefully you have the foresight to carry "uninsured vessel" coverage as part of your policy.