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Old 28-11-2012, 17:44   #166
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Re: Published Costs of Cruising

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What? That is an insane statement and goes against every lesson you parents should have taught you. Shame on them.
Ha! My parents taught me to be self-reliant and not rely on something like insurance to bail me out. YMMV.
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Old 28-11-2012, 17:51   #167
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Re: Published Costs of Cruising

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Ha! My parents taught me to be self-reliant and not rely on something like insurance to bail me out. YMMV.
Being self reliant is about having insurance not the other way around.
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Old 28-11-2012, 18:34   #168
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Re: Published Costs of Cruising

My final word on insurance. Nothing wrong with it. Just don't rely on it.
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Old 28-11-2012, 19:15   #169
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Re: Published Costs of Cruising

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My final word on insurance. Nothing wrong with it. Just don't rely on it.
Not trying to criticize anyone on either side of the issue but want to put a question out for consideration. What happens if your boat gets away from you and you seriously damage another boat? It can happen, I've come close a couple of times in forty years.

Shift linkage broke on a charter boat once, fortunately just after I reversed to a stop in a slip. I was docking in a 15+ kt crosswind in a very crowded marina and if the linkage had failed a minute sooner it could have been exciting. Had an engine choke once coming into a dock in a strong current and smacked the dock very hard. Fortunately only damaged my boat and a couple of planks on the dock.

However, either one of these occurances could have ended up quite differently if there had been another boat in the way. If one happens to hit a genuine yacht and take out say the bow pulpit, stem, fitting, the roller furling and gouge their new awlgrip paint job it could add up to tens of thousands. So how many of us have the wherewithal to pony up $10-$15-$20 thousand in cash in that situation?

And, what if it's not a fancy yacht you hit? What if it's some liveaboard cruisers home and sum total of his or her assets and they have no money or insurance?


If you don't have the cash and don't have insurance then what's the solution for the other boat owner?
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:00   #170
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Re: Published Costs of Cruising

I have insurance on my boat(actually on everyone else's).

I pretty much have this insurance to help someone harmed by my boat to be made whole and it makes life a little easier for everyone.

In other words, I'd like to think that if I feel responsible for someone else's damage, that my insurance company will agree with my assessment and act accordingly.

BUT . . . I'm not so ignorant to not understand that insurance companies "keep" money by not paying out claims whenever it's possible to do so. We hear about instances, all-the-time, where insurance companies actually appear to purposely screw people over for the sake of keeping profits high. This is why we often need attorneys too.

I sometimes wonder why a person, such as myself has insurance when in reality, I'm what is called judgement proof. Evidently it's a personal thing, cause when one doesn't have anything to lose, one also doesn't have anything to protect.

Some might call this simple economics(or as they say in the "real" business world . . . nothing personal . . . just business . . . just reality).

I've never understood acceptance of big business not acting responsible as being "business", while the average joe's lack of responsibility is absolutely abhorent(sp).

So . . . if a boater is truly judgement-proof, then what's the benefit(to the boater), to be, basically . . . over insured . . . other than a sense of self-imposed responsibility?
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:25   #171
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Re: Published Costs of Cruising

Before the invention of insurance, people didn't buy big expensive things they couldn't afford.

Also if you broke something it was expected you would fix it, (or work as an indentured servant until you did). It was also expected if the event was non fault, (IE act of nature), that both parties would work together to fix their own stuff, and help the other fix what they could....but that was also before lawyers.

Alas; those days are gone. Now we live in a world; where if a million dollar yacht scratches it's paint because YOU were in IT's way, a lawyer will hand you a bill for a several hundred thousand dollar paint job.

Insurance is one of my biggest expenses, (and I worked for an ins. co. for a while, it is the most profitable business in the world). Face it, when is the last time any of us had a million dollar judgement against us??? Yes it COULD happen, but how often DOES it happen?

Most weathly self insure. If you can afford to replace your boat, and pay a few months marina bill for someone elses, what do you need insurance for again?

IF you cause a wrongful death, you will be spending some time in prison, whether you have insurance or not.

If you don't have a lot of ready cash, and park in a marina full of fancy boats, I would say get at least a basic liability policy,...if you are cruising in the sandwich islands in a boat you have ready cash to replace, you probably don't need to bother.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:34   #172
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Re: Published Costs of Cruising

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So . . . if a boater is truly judgement-proof, then what's the benefit(to the boater), to be, basically . . . over insured . . . other than a sense of self-imposed responsibility?
I think you already have the answer. Other than the fact that more marinas and boat yards are requiring proof of insurance, there is no benefit other than knowing you have done what you can to insure that you can cover the damage you might cause to someone else's boat.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:12   #173
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Re: Published Costs of Cruising

I can understand when someone without insurance says they don't need it because they are so responsible that an issue of needing it will never occur. But I doubt that people with insurance ever plan on needing it either.

Question - you don't have insurance and someone else's boat breaks free and hits your boat that is most of your life's assets and that boat doesn't have insurance; what do you do?

but then isn't this a different topic?
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:16   #174
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Re: Published Costs of Cruising

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Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
Insurance is one of my biggest expenses, (and I worked for an ins. co. for a while, it is the most profitable business in the world). Face it, when is the last time any of us had a million dollar judgement against us??? Yes it COULD happen, but how often DOES it happen?
Exactly right Bill. Insurance is simply our rich society's way of dealing with risk. Risk has two factors: the likelihood or frequency of an event happening, AND the implications or severity of the event.
In simple mathematical terms Risk Frequency X Severity. As either factor approaches zero, risk also approaches zero.

The problem I see is that while we are very good an judging Severity (Bill's $1M paint bill), an increasing number of people do very poorly at rationally judging Frequency (how often the $1M bill gets handed out). We tend to focus on the factor we understand: the $1M bill, but we downplay or ignore the Frequency factor. In doing so we scare ourselves into believing the risk is high -- or more accurately, we are scared into this belief.

Those who profit from our ignorance promote the Severity of risk (recall ads for insurance, lawyers, for more police and tougher jail terms, etc.) and purposely downplay the Frequency factor.

I'm not saying insurance is always a scam, or that it is not warranted in some cases. Where risk is high, such as in a crowded and busy marina, insurance might in fact be warranted. But for most cruisers, insurance is unnecessary and, yes, a scam.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:21   #175
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Re: Published Costs of Cruising

If you cause a "wrongful death", you will be spending some time in prison, whether you have insurance or not.

I do believe a wrongful death is a tort.

Murder, attempted murder, homicides and a lot of other things are generally felonies and can wind a person in jail/prison. But accidents without willful negligence are probably torts.

My take . . . purely from a financial/business viewpoint is that a person who is "judgement proof", has no need for insurance, cause that person has nothing that can be taken away. Generally most bankruptcy protections apply even when no bankruptcy is filed. The boater with a 1966 sailboat with no working motor gets the same protection Donald Trump gets bankruptcy protections . . . well . . . aside from the donald's better representation.

It's just the way laws are.

That's why a number of states(maybe all of them), passed laws requiring auto insurance, or a form of bond to drive on public roads.

For me, the cost of insurance to cover other people's butts appears to be quite reasonable and it's much better to be a good neighbor in general.

I would much prefer to give someone I harmed, the name of my insurance company than to tell him to get stuffed even though I could do either . . . legally.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:24   #176
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Re: Published Costs of Cruising

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Exactly right Bill. Insurance is simply our rich society's way of dealing with risk. Risk has two factors: the likelihood or frequency of an event happening, AND the implications or severity of the event.
In simple mathematical terms Risk Frequency X Severity. As either factor approaches zero, risk also approaches zero.

The problem I see is that while we are very good an judging Severity (Bill's $1M paint bill), an increasing number of people do very poorly at rationally judging Frequency (how often the $1M bill gets handed out). We tend to focus on the factor we understand: the $1M bill, but we downplay or ignore the Frequency factor. In doing so we scare ourselves into believing the risk is high -- or more accurately, we are scared into this belief.

Those who profit from our ignorance promote the Severity of risk (recall ads for insurance, lawyers, for more police and tougher jail terms, etc.) and purposely downplay the Frequency factor.

I'm not saying insurance is always a scam, or that it is not warranted in some cases. Where risk is high, such as in a crowded and busy marina, insurance might in fact be warranted. But for most cruisers, insurance is unnecessary and, yes, a scam.
Agree completely with all your points. Insurance basically builds on one's fears, very obvious in most of the ads, but there is some truth behind the hype.

Even if the frequency is extremely low, if the risk is extremely high then for me it's worth paying for the insurance. I do know people that have been financially devastated by an accident. These days with a particular breed of ambulance chasers ready to sue anyone for anything, you run the risk of losing everything you own if something happens and doesn't even have to be your fault.

A company I worked for had to pay out almost a million dollars plus legal fees for a bogus lawsuit. Even the plaintiffs doctors and attorneys admitted that the clients death was most likely due to natural causes so they offered to settle for one million instead of six.

Another observation, even the most skilled, careful and meticulous boat owner can be bit in the butt by Mr Murphy. Also, every boat has to come to a dock occasionally for fuel, hauling for bottom painting, whatever so one cannot completely remove the risk of bumping into a neighbor.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:54   #177
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Re: Published Costs of Cruising

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Agree completely with all your points. Insurance basically builds on one's fears, very obvious in most of the ads, but there is some truth behind the hype.

Even if the frequency is extremely low, if the risk is extremely high then for me it's worth paying for the insurance. I do know people that have been financially devastated by an accident. These days with a particular breed of ambulance chasers ready to sue anyone for anything, you run the risk of losing everything you own if something happens and doesn't even have to be your fault.
I agree Skip, we can never remove all risk, but that's why I argue for rational assessment of risk. An event which has high severity, but "extremely low" frequency, is a low risk. Not zero, but low. Understanding that the risk is low, one can then move onto the cost-benefit analysis of buying insurance, or not.

If the cost of insurance is nominal (and that's a relative term), then it's an easy choice. But if the cost, as seems to be the case for most cruisers, is quite significant, then it makes less sense to waste that financial resource on a low-risk event.

I also agree with you that risk is situational. In your country (and increasingly in mine) the severity of an event is being driven up by the rapacious nature of the so-called "ambulance chasing" lawyers. We're increasingly told that every bad event that happens to us is likely someone else's fault. So we should sue everyone we can. It's part of the reason I'm trying to step away...
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Old 06-12-2012, 13:57   #178
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Re: Published Costs of Cruising

Insurance companies are much more willing to take your money than they are to pay out. They are experienced at and have teams of lawyers whose only purpose is to make sure that the insurance companies pay out as little as possible (if at all). Unless the only use you plan on getting out of insurance is just having insurance for where it is required (liability). You should look really carefully into what the company offers, what they will and wouldn't pay on. Example: even though you may be paying to insure your boat for x amount, they might only pay a fraction of that amount. Some insurance companies limit where you can travel, some require "electronic documentation" (you need to keep your chart plotter on and recording at all times. Some require specifics about construction, rigging (some require rigging be replaced far more often than is necessary and then only by "professionals").... It is in an insurance companies best interest to find as many reasons not to pay out as possible, even though they have to tell you, you have to ask....then wade through all the legalese in the fine print.
Alot of insurance companies will not cover me because it is a wood boat and/or I live on board and/or I plan on taking it out of US waters.
Just be really careful about the insurance you buy...for me the boat is my home, it's all I own in the world
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Old 06-12-2012, 14:09   #179
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Re: Published Costs of Cruising

These comments on insurance seem to focus on some big liability issue. If you have a lot of assets then they could be at risk by a liability claim. I carry insurance to insure the losses that I could have if the boat was lost (hit a reef) or a significant event like a lightening strike. These are not huge losses, just losses that are more than I am comfortable eating myself - hence I agree to share the risk with others by buying insurance. Insurance for these risks is higher than just liability costs, but still worth it to me. Even if the likelihood of an event is fairly low, the damage to me financially is fairly high. That said, where we cruise I would not say that the risk of lightening is low.
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Old 06-12-2012, 15:00   #180
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Re: Published Costs of Cruising

What is your guys experience with liability insurance; how do the rates compare to hull + liability insurance? Do they still require regular surveys, and are as particular about your itinerary?

Our boat is currently insured, but... part of the reason we did not look at significantly more expensive boats is that we wanted the flexibility to be able to skip insurance, if it ever got in the way of what we want to do.
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