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Old 18-08-2009, 17:54   #1
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Liability Insurance

Hello Everyone,

I've been restoring my boat to live on and cruise. I was initially thinking of locating somewhere like Marathon, FL. I'm finding though that if I want a slip, they are requiring insurance for $300,000. I have a 1960 Pearson Triton and I wasn't really planning on carrying insurance because of the age of the boat and the associated cost. I'll assume the don't make exceptions for old boats because they are covering their own butt. Is $300,000 liability normal or is that excessive? Does anyone have a ballpark idea on the cost of the premium for carrying that much liability. I'm on a military retirement, so income is fixed. If I have no choice then I'll have too moor it or anchor it. Does this insurance issue also apply outside the US?

Sorry for all the questions, they just flowed out lol.

regards

Jeff
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Old 18-08-2009, 18:00   #2
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I just got $300,000 on a 1968 Islander 37 from 'State Farm' for $50 a year...
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Old 18-08-2009, 18:29   #3
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In "their" defense, they are protecting everyone. Themselves for associative liability, and the holder (you) from losing everything else you own if you accidentally run into someone, knock them overboard and cripple them for life.

Hopefully, $50 is in scope of acceptable for anyone.
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Old 18-08-2009, 18:44   #4
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Triton, Check with BoatUS...Name you can trust.
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Old 18-08-2009, 19:01   #5
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Liability insurance is cheap, and the protection is a good investment. Litigation often is frivolous and stupid. Having an insurance company go to bat for you can save you from lots of grief.
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Old 18-08-2009, 19:01   #6
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Don't judge insurance by the cover page, i.e., premium amount. Presuming you don't buy and pay for anything before looking at it, why anyone does just that for insurance really surprises me. Ask for and read a few policies and especially State Farm paying particular attention to the exceptions and limitations before you pay for liability insurance.
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Old 18-08-2009, 19:12   #7
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Excellent information, Thank you. $50 does surprise me. I was thinking that since so many insurance companies consider a boat a luxury, they would charge accordingly. That amount is very doable. So much so, there isn't even a question in my mind at this point whether to get it or not.

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Old 19-08-2009, 09:44   #8
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Actually if you have automobile or homeowners insurance you boat can be wrapped into the policy at very economical rates so long as you do not take the boat out of USA waters. Normally, home owners includes personal liability coverage so adding a small boat is not a huge expansion of coverage.
-- If you leave USA waters then you might want different insurance - only if you have a bank loan on the boat.
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Old 19-08-2009, 09:53   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
-- If you leave USA waters then you might want different insurance - only if you have a bank loan on the boat.
I don't have a loan, it's mine outright. But as I'm exploring different marinas, they are requiring liability insurance if you get a slip. I don't know what the Caribbean marinas require, does anyone have any idea?

Thanks for the help

Jeff
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Old 19-08-2009, 10:35   #10
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Answer: Yes
- - Sorry, I was interrupted by lunch. Outside USA waters most places do not require insurance and most certainly all the little local fisherman and local boats that do not deal with tourists (sometimes even them) do not have any form of insurance. The basic principle is that suing a poor fisherman is not very profitable. However, if you enter a USA owned island then marinas require at least liability insurance. As stated by others the purpose to keep the marina costs down as they transfer the liability for your boat and you to your own insurance company.
- - Other islands countries are bewildered by the USA, where everybody sues everybody else for the most silliest of reasons. The concept of personal responsibility is an endangered specie in the USA.
- - If your boat does not have a bank loan and/or you do not have significant resources (money and property) that you cannot afford to lose, then insurance is really not necessary.
- - And as corollary, not having insurance will inspire you to be a better sailor as they will be nobody but yourself to pay for your mistakes.
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Old 19-08-2009, 10:50   #11
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Liability should be inexpensive. Consider your car insurance company, just tell them it's a recreational boat.... with today's Environmental issues , It might be good to have anyway. When I did mine Boat US was the highest bidder by a LONG shot and I am a member...
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Old 19-08-2009, 10:52   #12
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I have to respectfully disagree with the above (regarding "If your boat does not have a bank loan and/or you do not have significant resources (money and property) that you cannot afford to lose, then insurance is really not necessary.")

The concept of mandatory insurance in many states for automobile insurance is a good metaphor - just because someone has no significant assets or drives a cheap car is no excuse for the often monumental expense he may cause because of an accident or negligence.

The same is true for boats - if you or anyone else inflicts serious harm to another boat/boater, personal responsibility dictates you should own up to that responsibility by having insurance. Some people are either too cheap or too inconsiderate, or both.
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Old 19-08-2009, 11:04   #13
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Never have believed in mandatory insurance of any kind. But liability is really cheap and one should choose to have it on their own, at least in "home " waters. Many of the offshore cruiser's I know do not have any boat insurance due to the outlandish cost and choose to run the risk themselves. After all, they are in charge of their own destiny. There is talk of mandatory health insurance lately also... let's see... if we can make the world cruisers have to buy boat insurance and have to buy health insurance... maybe we can just eliminate the lifestyle for all but the rich..... You dont have insurance to be responsible..
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Old 19-08-2009, 11:15   #14
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But would those same insurance companies take that cheap liability insurance and jack it way up when they find out I am sailing all over God's green earth, or in our case blue earth...

Jeff
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Old 19-08-2009, 11:18   #15
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My second post was strictly about using the boat outside USA waters. I know on no place inside USA waters that does not require at least liability insurance. If you go back and forth then obviously you need to comply with the most restrictive rules. That means having insurance.
And speaking of insurance - I would not enter USA waters without "towing, recovery" insurance such as TowboatUS or SeaTow or similar companies. Years ago a simple tow from an anchorage outside my home harbor to the docks 2 nm away in rough weather due to mechanical problems was invoiced at $8K and since I have TowBoatUS my cost was the $100 premium.
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