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Old 14-01-2012, 18:46   #1
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Insurance Recommendations – Let’s Try to be Positive …

I’ve search this forum in hope of sourcing a good, reliable insurer. Mostly I found rants about insurance. I’m starting this thread to ask you all fine cruisers for your recommendations. I’m seeking an insurer that will be there when/if I ever need and that provides no-nonsense coverage. Let’s face it, we all hate to pay for insurance. I think I prefer the dentist… But let’s try to be positive about this necessary evil.

One corollary question I have is how much liability is enough. 1 million seems short to me, considering the multi-million dollar yachts that moor next to me from time to time.

I cruise the Caribbean’s, but I’m Canadian. This year I will leave my s/v in the Caribbean’s. I guess I will have to limit my insurance to the area of interest and change it every year as I cannot find a no-nonsense global coverage. Some insurers limit me in time, they prohibit sailing south of Hatteras from June 1st to November 1st – which I find so stupid, insurers obviously don’t sail. It is extremely hazardous to sail in November in the north east as I again experienced in a really bad storm this past October 30th, between NYC and Chesapeake. Any insurer listening?! Then read about this from the expert, Don Street, a very interesting post on Caribbean Compass this month: READERS' FORUM.

I’ve been reading my current insurance policy carefully, OMG! I admit overlooking it before, just reading the headlines and coverage data. There are so many “ifs” that I might as well not be insured – except for liability. Furthermore, I dealt through a broker whom insured me with a company based in Ukraine… I don’t want to have preconceived opinions, but it does not inspire me confidence. There must be a good US ar Canadian insurer?!

Actually, I’ll go for any no-nonsense policy from a reputable insurer, irrespective of its country of origin. Hence this post, so please let me hear what you have to say.
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Old 14-01-2012, 19:12   #2
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Re: Insurance Recommendations – let’s try to be positive…

I've been happy with Ace in the US. Competitive rates, and although I haven't had a boat claim, I've had car claims and they have been settled quickly and fairly.
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Old 14-01-2012, 19:18   #3
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Re: Insurance Recommendations – let’s try to be positive…

We got around the world coverage through Al Golden at IMIS 800-541-4647. Al is a broker and somehow he convinced the underwriters at Markel to insure us despite the fact that there were only two of us onboard, we were crossing oceans and we had VIRTUALLY NO BOATING EXPERIENCE when we crossed our first ocean. Other brokers had tried an failed to get us coverage with every carrier out there. Even Lloyd's of London had rejected us!

Last month a Nordhavn caught fire and burned down in Thailand. Al Golden got the claim paid in 2 weeks. No idea who the carrier was, but Al was on the ball and proactive in dealing with them.

World wide coverage is ridiculously expensive. It is much wiser to get coverage only for the area you are traveling in. Also, you can get out of season coverage, it just costs more. You can also decide how much liability coverage you want; it is simply a matter of how much you are willing to pay. I personally agree with you that a million dollars is not enough coverage. IMHO, I'm seeing more high end boats on the water.
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Old 14-01-2012, 19:50   #4
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Re: Insurance Recommendations – let’s try to be positive…

Pantaenius of Germany - Best going and sensible.
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Old 14-01-2012, 20:43   #5
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Re: Insurance Recommendations – let’s try to be positive…

I'll second the I.M.I.S. recommendation. But if you are a single-hander - be warned the fine print will most probably void your insurance when underway. At anchor, in a marina or boatyard you will be covered, but I don't know of any companies that will insure single-handers underway. Then again you can take a friend with you and the IMIS Markel will cover you then.

As to keeping the boat in the Caribbean "box" during the hurricane season you can keep it "out of the box" in places like Trinidad, A.B.C.'s, and Panama. Or some companies will recognize "hurricane proof boat yards" in the Virgin's and Puerto Rico and keep your coverage active even though you are "in the box."

Coverage - liability (third party) I have most commonly seen is $100/300K but lately in Florida I have seen marinas starting to require $500K coverage.
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Old 14-01-2012, 21:29   #6
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Re: Insurance Recommendations – let’s try to be positive…

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otia View Post
I’ve search this forum in hope of sourcing a good, reliable insurer. Mostly I found rants about insurance. I’m starting this thread to ask you all fine cruisers for your recommendations. I’m seeking an insurer that will be there when/if I ever need and that provides no-nonsense coverage. Let’s face it, we all hate to pay for insurance. I think I prefer the dentist… But let’s try to be positive about this necessary evil.

One corollary question I have is how much liability is enough. 1 million seems short to me, considering the multi-million dollar yachts that moor next to me from time to time.

I cruise the Caribbean’s, but I’m Canadian. This year I will leave my s/v in the Caribbean’s. I guess I will have to limit my insurance to the area of interest and change it every year as I cannot find a no-nonsense global coverage. Some insurers limit me in time, they prohibit sailing south of Hatteras from June 1st to November 1st – which I find so stupid, insurers obviously don’t sail. It is extremely hazardous to sail in November in the north east as I again experienced in a really bad storm this past October 30th, between NYC and Chesapeake. Any insurer listening?! Then read about this from the expert, Don Street, a very interesting post on Caribbean Compass this month: READERS' FORUM.

I’ve been reading my current insurance policy carefully, OMG! I admit overlooking it before, just reading the headlines and coverage data. There are so many “ifs” that I might as well not be insured – except for liability. Furthermore, I dealt through a broker whom insured me with a company based in Ukraine… I don’t want to have preconceived opinions, but it does not inspire me confidence. There must be a good US ar Canadian insurer?!

Actually, I’ll go for any no-nonsense policy from a reputable insurer, irrespective of its country of origin. Hence this post, so please let me hear what you have to say.

I know a number of people who have been satisfactorily reimbursed from their insurance policies. One guy lost his headsail in a storm that he knew was coming. he knew the direction. He knew his continuous line headsail might deploy in a storm. Two different people told him to criss-cross lines to secure it further.

He chose not to follow the advice. TWICE -- even after it happened the first time, he STILL didn't do it the second time! (I have a separate line I use for the reverse wrap, because doing it with both jib lines really makes a mess when you want to undo it, but its' not hard at all).

He didn't report the first one, but when the second went within six months, he did report that and got a replacement. Then there was the incident I've spoken about before where the guy ended up on a lee shore and had his keel pushed through the bottom of the boat, totaling it.

Again, he could have avoided it, but they still paid, and they still insure him (according to him).

Boat US.
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Old 14-01-2012, 22:10   #7
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Re: Insurance Recommendations – let’s try to be positive…

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveT View Post
Pantaenius of Germany - Best going and sensible.
If your boat is in North America or the Caribbean, they won't touch anything under a $1 million in value as per personal communication to them 6 weeks ago.
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Old 15-01-2012, 00:37   #8
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Re: Insurance Recommendations – let’s try to be positive…

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Originally Posted by ChristiGrab View Post
somehow he convinced the underwriters at Markel to insure us despite the fact that there were only two of us onboard, we were crossing oceans and we had VIRTUALLY NO BOATING EXPERIENCE when we crossed our first ocean. Other brokers had tried an failed to get us coverage with every carrier out there. Even Lloyd's of London had rejected us!
With all due respect I hope they charged a hell of a high premium to insure you. I would hate to think I was subsidising other people's risks.
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Old 15-01-2012, 06:17   #9
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Re: Insurance Recommendations – let’s try to be positive…

We have Commandeur, and found their rates and coverage conditions the best out there. We have filed a substantial claim for a lightning strike and they paid it. If you want higher liability than the marine policy covers, you can always get a personal liability umbrella policy from a domestic insurer for not much cost.

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Old 15-01-2012, 06:22   #10
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Re: Insurance Recommendations – let’s try to be positive…

You ask folks to be positive, then you call insurers stupid for placing restrictions on sailing south in hurricane season? Insurers are not stupid. They have sound actuarial data to back up such restrictions.

I find threads like this are usually not helpful because the best insurance for an individual involves many many different factors.
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Old 15-01-2012, 07:59   #11
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Re: Insurance Recommendations – let’s try to be positive…

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Originally Posted by NoTies View Post
With all due respect I hope they charged a hell of a high premium to insure you. I would hate to think I was subsidising other people's risks.
Christigrab left out most of the story. As I understand it from an I.M.I.S. agent, I.M.I.S. developed a special policy - the "Jackline" - specifically for cruising couples (two people) sailing about the world and put it out to the insurance companies. Markel agreed to it and for at least 6 to 10 years now the product has had a great reception from cruising couples. I would guess that it is now the #1 boat insurance policy purchased by cruising couples from the USA. They pretty much cornered the market and as such got enough depth in the market to make it viable.

See: IMIS Jackline Insurance Program

And 6 or more years ago they added the feature of being able to sell a "liability only" version of the policy which significantly cut the cost of the premium from the full comprehensive version.
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Old 15-01-2012, 08:17   #12
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Re: Insurance Recommendations – let’s try to be positive…

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With all due respect I hope they charged a hell of a high premium to insure you. I would hate to think I was subsidising other people's risks.
Hmmmm....

Insurance is pooled risk. You are "subsidizing" a whole lot of peoples' risk, just as others in the pool are supporting, or subsidizing, your risk.
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Old 15-01-2012, 11:15   #13
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Re: Insurance Recommendations – let’s try to be positive…

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Hmmmm....

Insurance is pooled risk. You are "subsidizing" a whole lot of peoples' risk, just as others in the pool are supporting, or subsidizing, your risk.
My own premium is lower than others for same insured value with the same company because of my experience, qualifications and no claims in 350000nm. Twice the risk should be twice the premium.
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Old 27-03-2012, 17:57   #14
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Re: Insurance Recommendations – Let’s Try to be Positive …

I'm searching as well ... but don't have the boat yet making it more difficult.

In other threads I saw recommendations for two brokers: Offshore Risk Management and Joe Kolisch of Kolisch Marine Insurance.

We'll be short handing most of the time, I've done a fair bit of offshore racing in Oz (Syd-Hob etc.) and we've coastal cruised together, but no blue water stuff.

Advice I've received so far is to insure for each area as you go - i.e. Caribbean for while we'll be there (box + name storm ideally), then when we go to Panama do Panaman/Pacific and drop Caribbean coverage. Anyone else gone down that road?
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Old 28-03-2012, 11:22   #15
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Re: Insurance Recommendations – Let’s Try to be Positive …

Well, skipping the rhetoric, I would certainly recommend IMIS or their friendly competitor, Jack Martin in Annapolis.

Insure with someone who does offer coverage in any area you may be cruising and then ammend it to add or delete cruising areas as you move from one to another. Your agent will know who to consider for coverage.

As others have said, it isn't dumb not to insure south of Hatteras during hurricane season. That is why my insurance is less than half of the cost to insure my boat in Florida during September.

Most marine insurance has a $300,000 liablity limit. If you own a home or car it is fairly straight forward to take out an umbrella liabilty policy with that insurance company to add another $1MM or more coverage on top of the basic policy. You buy these from whoever insures your home or car. Set it up so it covers personal liability (like your homeowners does), auto liability and your boat. It is cheap. Don't know if it will cover risks outside of the US though.

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