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Old 02-10-2013, 06:18   #1
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insurance survey

This survey requirement stuff to renew my boat insurance is just such a rip off! The cost of this is 1/2 the cost of what the insurance costs each years.

On the face of it it sound reasonable to get your boat checked for safety. But having to pay someone else to do so it just crazy! And my house never has been inspected and is insured (cost less for the insurance to insure somethng more expense).

I do all my own boat work and can inspect though hull fittings, valves, hoses etc. just fine without payng someone to do it. And we all know that a surveyor doesn't really dig all that deep into a boat and that a "clean" survey means nothing.

On top of that the insurance company will go along with anything that is on the report that costs the owner money. If the report says the boat needs a bug zapper as a "best practice" the underwritten will require you to get one.

So why cannt:
1 - The insurance company come up with a self inspection form?
2- I bet the major insurance companys have lots of boats in the general boating areas, so why don't they have their own inspector in the area if it is so important to them, car companies have these.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:50   #2
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Re: insurance survey

insurance companies are not your friends.
insurance companies, just like their lobby, is out for own self. what else you want from a money for nothing scam forced on public by a corporate lobby purchasing its own lawmakers.
as long as there are lobbies and purchasers of lawmakers, this will happen.,,
good luck.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:06   #3
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Re: insurance survey

I'm not anti-insurance and want insurance. But I don't need to support other marine industries in order to get get insurance.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:32   #4
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Re: insurance survey

Why would an insurance company accept your word that the boat is is in insurable shape? What happens if it sinks the next week. They would just come after you for fraud. Most boat insurance companies require an independent survey, not more than a year old (sometimes 6 months), on a new policy. Then a renewal survey every 5 years on some policies. An older boat they may ask for more frequent survey, but I'd go somewhere else. It creates a great push to stay with your current company - but I don't see it as evil. Just makes sense.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:41   #5
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Re: insurance survey

Shop around for a surveyor and make sure you tell them it is an "insurance survey" only - not a prepurchase survey. For an insurance survey, many surveyors will just give the boat a cursory inspection to make sure that it is seaworthy and the listed equipment is on board. This will take only an hour at most and the price will be a fraction of a regular survey. We have had them done for <$200.

The insurance company only wants to know that they still have a reasonable level of risk in the game - most surveyors know how to fulfill that need while saving you money. Everyone is happy then.

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Old 02-10-2013, 08:53   #6
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Re: insurance survey

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Shop around for a surveyor and make sure you tell them it is an "insurance survey" only - not a prepurchase survey. For an insurance survey, many surveyors will just give the boat a cursory inspection to make sure that it is seaworthy and the listed equipment is on board. This will take only an hour at most and the price will be a fraction of a regular survey. We have had them done for <$200.

The insurance company only wants to know that they still have a reasonable level of risk in the game - most surveyors know how to fulfill that need while saving you money. Everyone is happy then.

Mark
I asked the orginal surveyor who did the purchase inspection 3 years ago for a price. I figured he already had a report written with all the boats' details etc.

It was bargain compared compared to other prices in the area, but it was still $450 to renewal a policy that is only $900/yr.

Far as the thing about why an insurance companyn would take an owners word, they do so for your car and house!
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:04   #7
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Re: insurance survey

I would check pricing with other insurance companies....if they had a survey three years ago that should have been sufficient....unless there were major problems.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:15   #8
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Re: insurance survey

The question I have is: Why is the cost borne directly by the boat owner?

It's an issue for the insurer, so why doesn't the insurance company arrange and pay for the survey? (I know ... we'd still pay for it in the cost of the premiums, but still...). The purpose of the survey is (supposedly) to help determine, and minimize, the risk to the insurance company. So why don't they take on the task of performing the survey?

If insurance companies had to directly manage and bare the costs, they might be more rational about how often, and even who needs to be surveyed, instead of applying these carte-blanche rules.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:21   #9
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Re: insurance survey

Because insurance companies want survey done, every time the Eagle is pulled I have a hull survey, which I send into the insurance company, and my peace of mind. The about every 3 to 5 years will have an insurance survey in water done which I send to the insurance company and again for peace of mind.

About 10 years ago the insurance company sent one of the internal surveyors to go through the Eagle. He inspected using the ABYC guidelines from the bow to the stern and top of the mast to the bottom of the bilge. Wrote up a 6 page report listing 16 so called recommendation that had to be done before the renewal date. 7 of them were electrical, 4 alarms, 2 fuel, and 3 misc. Being a live aboard I did not mind the survey and because of it the Eagle is a lot more saver. I did 80% of the work, and a marine electrician and diesel mechanic did the rest which cost about 6 grand, but well worth it.

2 year ago, I had a in water insurance survey done to see what the value of the Eagle was, as we are/where thinking of selling her. It was 75 grand under the insured value but the insurance company did not change the insured value.

Most older boats can not pass a survey done according to ABYC which most surveyors are doing and insurance requite. Being a live aboard I am for insurance company requiring third part surveyors as it make the surrounding boats saver.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:37   #10
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Re: insurance survey

Mayber you need another insurer. In 40 years I've never been required to resurvey after the initial purchase. how often are you required to do it?
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:44   #11
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Re: insurance survey

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Mayber you need another insurer. In 40 years I've never been required to resurvey after the initial purchase. how often are you required to do it?
It will be 3 years since my last/ffrst survey. And this is for a Northeast boat that is only in the water 1/2 the year.

I do have a quote for a different insurance compan. It is the same price I'm currently paying, but they don't require a new survey. So at the moment the insurance cmpany stands to lose a customer over the survey requiremment.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:42   #12
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Re: insurance survey

how about that 450 bucks for a survey of a 43' boat when a chunk of the work is already done...

what a rip.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:49   #13
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Re: insurance survey

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
....
Far as the thing about why an insurance companyn would take an owners word, they do so for your car and house!
The automobile market is completely different - volume and costs. In the house market at least you have the land left after the house burns down.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:12   #14
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Re: insurance survey

So I pushed by on the insurance company about this and now I can do a self survey since I had a full survey done when I bought the boat and they sent me a form to use (attached).

Bet this isn't common knowledge that you can do such a think.
Attached Files
File Type: doc Markel.SailSelfSurvey[1].doc (64.5 KB, 40 views)
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:38   #15
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Re: insurance survey

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
This survey requirement stuff to renew my boat insurance is just such a rip off! The cost of this is 1/2 the cost of what the insurance costs each years.

On the face of it it sound reasonable to get your boat checked for safety. But having to pay someone else to do so it just crazy! And my house never has been inspected and is insured (cost less for the insurance to insure somethng more expense).

I do all my own boat work and can inspect though hull fittings, valves, hoses etc. just fine without payng someone to do it. And we all know that a surveyor doesn't really dig all that deep into a boat and that a "clean" survey means nothing.

On top of that the insurance company will go along with anything that is on the report that costs the owner money. If the report says the boat needs a bug zapper as a "best practice" the underwritten will require you to get one.

So why cannt:
1 - The insurance company come up with a self inspection form?
2- I bet the major insurance companys have lots of boats in the general boating areas, so why don't they have their own inspector in the area if it is so important to them, car companies have these.
Having a disinterested, objective 3rd party survey your vessel is part of the cost of boat ownership. Surveys are generally required every 5 years or so, and a 3 year old survey is still considered current. Some companies do offer self surveys on vessels in lieu of having the vessel hauled and inspected- have you asked your agent if this is an option?

I find it amazing that so many are wholly of the opinion that:
  • Insurance is a ripoff.
  • Surveys don't mean anything- surveyors are idiots.
  • Vessel insurance should be as cheap as car insurance.

Let's look a little deeper at these:
1) Insurance is a ripoff.
You do have choices- you can opt for minimal coverage, or self insure. At the same time, you may want to have very deep pockets, as a total loss of a $100k boat (ie., sinking) can quickly lead to seven figures in liabilities and damages.

2) [COLOR="rgb(65, 105, 225)"]Surveys don't mean anything- surveyors are idiots.[/COLOR]

Funny that I hear this argument most from the owners of smaller vessels with values under $100k +/-; the folks who deem that they know more about boating than any surveyor might. We have and do insure professionals in the marine industry professional skippers, shipwrights, engineers, designers, and more) that own vessels that ranger from $300k to several million and never hear them say that their survey is worthless.

3) [COLOR="rgb(65, 105, 225)"]Vessel insurance should be as cheap as car insurance.[/COLOR] Economies of scale. Vessels are considered a luxury or desired acquisition, with values that eclipse the vehicle market. The loss frequency on vessels is generally much lower than on vehicles- but the loss amounts are staggering compared to a typical auto loss.

I live aboard my vessel, and do all my own service work, equipment installation, and maintenance. I know I'm competent, and I don't shortcut my repair work. I also have no problem having a survey performed every 5 years, as I like having a fresh set of eyes take a look at the boat.
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