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Old 26-08-2009, 11:41   #31
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EU ( at least UK) liability insurance rates are very inexpensive, Rhosyn Mor has EU wide liability insurance for 2 mill sterling at a cost of less than 100 sterling.
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Old 26-08-2009, 11:50   #32
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How many of you actually know if your Liability Ins covers an oil/diesel spill? Seems I saw it specifically excluded a couple of years back..... then of course, if you are negligent it becomes excluded also right? (why didnt you go down and check the boat if the wind was blowing 25?)
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Old 26-08-2009, 17:32   #33
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When I purchased liability only insurance, I found it to be very different from a full insurance policy. I did not have to get a survey done for one thing which was one of the appealing factors to getting such insurance.
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Old 26-08-2009, 17:41   #34
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Fishwife: The is serious important information about Gibraltar. Any idea if short term policies are available locally in Gibraltar as most cruisers never carry that level of insurance? I know you can get the required insurance for Italy - in Italy.

Hellosailor: Absolutely very true, but normally the starting minimum premium cost is based on your boat. You can apply for higher levels/coverage - like the requirements "Fishwife" mentioned for Gibraltar - but the premium will be correspondingly higher than the minimum coverage. So it is important to assess your anticipated requirements factoring in your personal exposure. As I mentioned before, if you have nothing of value (or exposed assets) they cannot get anything and will not sue. Lawyers are in the business to make money and if you don't have any, they are not going to take the case. That said, most of us do have exposed assets, so it is totally your personal decision how far you want to hang your bare butt out. Also, your good post is one more reason for "sailing off into the sunset" away from the USA.
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Old 26-08-2009, 17:47   #35
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Originally Posted by nautical62 View Post
When I purchased liability only insurance, I found it to be very different from a full insurance policy. I did not have to get a survey done for one thing which was one of the appealing factors to getting such insurance.
Great information - can you name the company and agent that you got your liability coverage from? The one I use via IMIS required a full "normal" application process and survey.
- - And your Bahamas website looks very good. I added it to my favorites.
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Old 26-08-2009, 19:19   #36
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Great information - can you name the company and agent that you got your liability coverage from? The one I use via IMIS required a full "normal" application process and survey.
- - And your Bahamas website looks very good. I added it to my favorites.
It was from Boat US for a trimaran with a coverage area of U.S, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos. When I checked with them 6 months ago, they informed me they no longer offered liability only for the Bahamas, but still did for the US waters. I can't say if that's still true. It may have been boat dependent as well.

According to their page, they now have a liability plus package that addresses the fuel spill and a few other questions brought up. It includes:

Liability and Medical Payments
Liability for Dock Contracts
Full Salvage Assistance
$800,000 Fuel Spill Liability
$25,000 Supplemental Family Medical

BoatUS: Marine Insurance - Policy Information

Thanks for the comment on the web page. I'm looking forward to more cruising and a serious update afterwards.


All the best.
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Old 26-08-2009, 22:00   #37
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Jeff, liability insurance has nothing to do with the value of your boat. It has to do with "How much damage to the world is Jeff likely or able to do?" In a way, it may be more expensive because your boat is older and (in theory) not as well maintained as a new pricey boat.

If your old boat, with old dock lines, breaks free and t-bones a Hinckley then carrooms off a nice old S&S classic...you could easily run up a six-figure damage bill.

If you have any other insurance (car?) you may be able to get the boat added as an additional vehicle, or a rider to your liability policy. But yes, especially at clubs where members have taken previous losses, and marinas that have had previous liability payouts, everyone wants to know that you can and will be able to pay for any damages you make, before they'll let you within cannon-shot of the anchorage.

Do also look to see if you have salvage and recovery coverage. If your boat simply sinks at the dock, or in a channel, you may find that the locals or the USCG have responded, deployed pollution controls, and then removed your hull--and dropped a $25,000 bill on your desk. If you have no insurance, they'll seize your assets. If you have no assets, they'll ask for something like 10% of your income "forever" until everything is paid off.

Insurnace isn't such a bad idea.
Can you show me cases where this actually happens? Local municipalities may try and drop a bill on a desk, but they'll have to sue in court to get actual damages awarded. Then they'll have to sue to get the awarded damages collected. If the owner was not negligent, I don't see this happening too often.

I doubt reality is as dire as the insurance companies maybe want folks to believe.
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Old 26-08-2009, 22:12   #38
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I still wonder--and ask aloud if anyone who has been in the position of requiring those policies when a boat came into their marina--does anyone do anything besides look at the piece of paper and say "OK, you've got an insurance policy." ?

I mean, in the US if a cop asks you for your auto registration and insurance card, the card can be scanned into a computer for verification, or called in along with the registration--where the database is usually linked to show insurance status.

In a marina...does anyone do anything besides put the paper in a folder?
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Old 26-08-2009, 22:28   #39
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I have been required to actually present the policy coverage page which they copied and put into a file with my other documents copies and bills/invoices, etc. I seriously doubt if they actually telephone the insurance company to verify coverage. But they are covered in any case because they got-cha if you give them a phony document and something happens.
- - And as to getting nailed for USCG or US Park Service for a violation - there is no suing you involved. They issue you a citation just like a car moving violation "ticket" which you either pay or they haul you into their court to lock you up or confiscate what they can of your assets. You are dealing with a government entity and you have to prove you are innocent, not the other way around.
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Old 26-08-2009, 22:43   #40
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Got dropped from my insurance this month while still undergoing a claim.... needless to say it was impossible right now to get insurance with the engine out, and various 'things' needed to be done before survey.
I was able to get liability only insurance thru progressive (they have a deal with my bank USAA) for roughly 200 USD. This was for 300K.
Not sure how the one person got it for 50 bucks, seems to cheap to be true.
Once the work is done, I will resurvey and reinsure.
If you have any assests, my sugestion is to buy all the insurnace you need. Not worth going to jail over.
And if you hit anothers boat, or you spill oil or whatever... you will be glad you had it.
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Old 26-08-2009, 23:58   #41
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- - And as to getting nailed for USCG or US Park Service for a violation - there is no suing you involved. They issue you a citation just like a car moving violation "ticket" which you either pay or they haul you into their court to lock you up or confiscate what they can of your assets. You are dealing with a government entity and you have to prove you are innocent, not the other way around.
You have your fourth amendment rights. They ('the people' as plaintiff) do indeed have to sue you for damages in a civil court, following civil proceedure. And civil court isn't about proving "innocence" but about showing "liability". If I walk into court with a recent survey, and photographs of my docklines (which I always take), I seriously doubt I'd be found liable.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd like to see actual examples (cases that would be used as precedent) and statistics, rather than heresay or hypotheticals.
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Old 27-08-2009, 06:19   #42
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If you are cruising in highly regulated, litigation prone countries, frequenting overcrowded marinas where the over-polished, perfect, go nowhere yachts… abound…. then it makes sense to have an insurance buffer since fenders sometimes are not enough to satisfy the landlubbers of your abilities.

However in the big “Blue Water” world where boats are worked with good intent, your best insurance is strong ground tackle and an experienced weather eye.

I agree with Orissail… it is a matter of making a practical choice in the Blue Water world, with honorable intent, rather than a necessity.
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Old 27-08-2009, 07:29   #43
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anotherT34C - interesting name, I flew those machines back in Pensacola way back in time.
- - I presume from your post that you lived a very clean life and have not been cited for any serious moving violations in cars or cited by US Park Rangers for violations. I have lived a more rogue lifestyle in my younger days and have not been so fortunate as I have too much experience in exactly those areas.
- - First off, it was not pleasant to learn that the US Constitution is NOT admissible in a US or State Court of Law. Only at the Supreme Court level. So you have no way of asserting what is in the Constitutional unless admissable "Case Law" about it and that it is relevant to specific assertion, exists. Finding that requres extreme amounts of time and legal research capabilities. If you wish to undertake such research you will find "actual examples" yourself. That is up to you to do, not others here on the forum. We only provide "past experiences" of what happended to us or friends as a guideline to others to be aware of and be careful about. Just like passing on the word of a new unwater hazard that is not on the charts. Whether you believe the hazard exists or not is not our concern, it is your concern. We did our duty by passing on the information.
- - Secondly, Police officers and other "officials" holding "Officer" type designations which includes Park Rangers - have legal status as "Experts." Which translates to when they will appear in a court and said you "did it"- then you are automatically "guilty as charged" unless you can prove your innocence or that the "Officer" did something wrong in his procedures. In real life, this is not difficult but is very expensive in time, effort and money. And you will normally always lose at the first level regardless of your proof. You then have the right to appeal "the record" at the next level where you have a much better chance of winning - if - you properly got all of your defense into the "court record" of the first trial.
- - For a fine in the $1K and above and certainly for those in the $25K to $50K or more range you will most certainly want to "fight it". But you must have evidence relavant and germane to the "point in time" that the incident occured and extreme volumes/amounts of evidence. Overcoming legally the "expert" status of a "Officer" is something neither the courts nor the governments want you to be able to accomplish, so they make it very difficult. Bottom line, you will spend as much or significantly more money than the amount of the fine "proving" your innocence. And forget going sailing anywhere for the next 5 to 10 years.
- - All of this supports the posts above that strongly recommend having proper coverage insurance. And you are paying premiums for more than adequate levels of coverage. This is extremely important in countries (e.g., USA) where these liabilities exist. In any case the insurance company will usually simply pay the fine and you will be left with a "record of conviction." It is totally up to the insurance company to decide to simply pay off or "fight" the case in court - that is in the fine print of the insurance contract. You cannot make that decision unless you have something other than a "normal policy."
- - The long and short of it is basically you are correct but the mechanisms by which you win or lose are stacked very much against your success. And involve considerable time and money if you wish to assert your innocence. At all the levels of government - they assert this system is necessary to prevent the courts from developing backlogs stretching in the next century. Practicality and expediance generally always wins unless you are wealthy enough to afford battalions of lawyers. I have "sort of won" once using that technique as the court dismissed the charges rather than jeopardize their "expert witness" precedent.
- - You need to be prepared with plans and equipment to document your innocence at the time of the incident. Or, just don't let yourself get in a position where such a thing might occur. That is not easy, but a lot can be done to reduce the opportunity for such an incident from happening in the first place. In my case with the Park Ranger I was lucky to have a 22 y.o. "built" bikini'd young lady as park of the crew and the Officer was a young single man. She, by wiles and smiles, convinced the Officer that no damage was done and he tore up the citation. Saved me $50K and got her free sailing for life.
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Old 27-08-2009, 13:40   #44
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I'm sorry osirissail, but you offer heresay and hypotheticals. You're under no obligation to do otherwise, of course. However, if your goal on the thread is to convince, then I do require some real examples and statistics. Otherwise, I don't believe the claim that ruinous damages are at all likely for someone who is not negligent, and doesn't have "deep pockets".

Maybe I'm wrong, but where is the actual case of a regular guy whose boat caused a $500,000 oil slick, who was sued, found liable, and paid damages to the tune of a half a million dollars? And what are the odds? One in a thousand? One in a million? These are the questions that inform whether it is really worth it to shell out for liability, and how much that premium ought to be. Otherwise, it seems that the insurance companies are simply fooling (scaring?) folks into playing lotto.
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Old 27-08-2009, 15:15   #45
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I can't speak of half mil spills, but do have first hand knowledge of an aquaintance who was lost at sea on his second day of a solo world tour. Boat sunk in about 40-50 feet of water off the NJ coast, and his widow as rather promptly notified by the NJSP and USCG that if she didn't have the wreck removed "immediately" they would remove it for her--and send her the bill.

No mention of fuel issues, it is possible that his tanks were holding, or that the ocean and storm had dispersed whatever leaked.
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