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Old 07-09-2009, 17:51   #1
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What Insurance Carrier Do You Use for Offshore Cruising?

Have you ever had to file a claim? What was that like? Is your agent someone you know or is it all done on-line? Do you think the premium is reasonable or is it completely out of sight? What horror stories have you heard about other insurance companies?

Any input would be welcome.

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Old 08-09-2009, 08:11   #2
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Getting insurance for 45 year old wood boats is a challenge but we're happy with heritage Marine Insurance. Zurich is the underwriter. No we've never had to file a claim ( keeping fingers crossed), but they're well recommended.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:42   #3
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As a U.S. citizen with a U.S. based boat, I'm currently insured with CNA via Boat U.S. I've used them on a few boats over a number of years but never had a claim. Other companies I have considered are IMIS and Progressive. Progressive however, did not offer the Bahamas coverage I needed. IMIS has a very good reputation and found me an insurance company with reasonable rates, but there was no way I could address the deficiencies in the survey by the time I needed to start my insurance.

When I cruised the Great Lakes, I was able to get a rider for my home owners policy which was much less expensive than getting a stand alone policy.

It hurts to pay, a boat insurance premium that is twice my home owner's insurance even though my boat has only 15% the value of my home, but then again, I find my home isn't well suited for Bahamas cruising.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:55   #4
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Zurich Master Mariner & Quartermaster has exited the Maine Insurance Market (not accepting any new clients as of May 1, 2009).

Existing policyholders will be allowed to keep their coverage in force until their renewal date, at which point the policy will not be renewed. Policies with effective dates after August 1, 2009 were not renewed. In summary: Zurich's not an option for you.

S&S: Heritage has been allowed to continue their Zurich Program until November 1, and is working on replacing the coverage with another underwriter.

But that's kind of beside the point, since nhschneider asked for offshore insurance and Zurich doesn't offer that navigation anyway. By offshore, I mean outside North America & the Bahamas, for example Europe or the Caribbean. If you just want coverage from Washington to Mexico, there are lots of options. However if you want to head to the Pacific, there are still good reputable A rated companies, but fewere of them. You want to be sure that youre quote is from a company that is rated A or better by one of the major rating companies, like S&P or AM Best. Your agent should tell you the rating of the company when they send you the quote.

Best Regards,
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:16   #5
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Sorry - I missed the "offshore". My previous post was aimed more at coastal.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:57   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabbyCat View Post
Zurich Master Mariner & Quartermaster has exited the Maine Insurance Market (not accepting any new clients as of May 1, 2009).

Existing policyholders will be allowed to keep their coverage in force until their renewal date, at which point the policy will not be renewed. Policies with effective dates after August 1, 2009 were not renewed. In summary: Zurich's not an option for you.

S&S: Heritage has been allowed to continue their Zurich Program until November 1, and is working on replacing the coverage with another underwriter.

But that's kind of beside the point, since nhschneider asked for offshore insurance and Zurich doesn't offer that navigation anyway. By offshore, I mean outside North America & the Bahamas, for example Europe or the Caribbean. If you just want coverage from Washington to Mexico, there are lots of options. However if you want to head to the Pacific, there are still good reputable A rated companies, but fewere of them. You want to be sure that youre quote is from a company that is rated A or better by one of the major rating companies, like S&P or AM Best. Your agent should tell you the rating of the company when they send you the quote.

Best Regards,
Susan
Thanks for the info Susan. Does IMIS insure boats like ours? Zurich covered us up the Labrador coast but said we'd need to switch anyway if we wanted to go to Iceland or something like that.
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:28   #7
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Yes we do, but with wooden boat you'd need to have a recent hauled Condition & Valuation Survey to switch to any other company. They might also require a core sample.

So your first tactic is to contact your current agent, and see what they say - they may already be working with Heritage to find a home for their book of business. We had clients with Zurich, and one of the other underwriters relaxed some of the survey requirements due to the special situation, so we were able to move our clients over fairly easily.
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:35   #8
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Quote:
Sorry - I missed the "offshore". My previous post was aimed more at coastal.
Didn't mean to jump on you, I was actually trying to feel out what nhschneider meant. "Offshore" means different things to different people: For some it means up to 250 miles offshore, along the Canadian Maritimes, Mexico & the Bahamas. For others it means crossing an ocean. That's the problem with language- it's so open to interpretation!
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:02   #9
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For the past 4 years we have had our insurance through Pantaenius (we were mostly in Europe. They also covered us for the Atlantic with just 2 of us as crew) and they also covered us for this hurricane season in the BVI (as long as we were stored in an approved cradle). Prices have been in line with other good companies. We have not had any claims, but have heard from others that generally they were very happy with the company.
Now we plan to sail the Pacific and the Pantaenius quote is much higher than the others. They, of course, say their coverage and claim service is much better than the others. Maybe someone (Susan?) can explain why they would be so much higher? We will probably go with IMIS, but I would like to feel confident that the service if we do have a claim would be as good.
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:08   #10
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Jim - I contacted Pantaenius as well for a quote and it was the same thing for me, their quote was significanlty higher than the others I got and their response was that their coverage was better - in fact they included a boilerplate page about their prices in the quote itself. I am not sure if the extra charges are worth it, though.
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:20   #11
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Quote:
They, of course, say their coverage and claim service is much better than the others. Maybe someone (Susan?) can explain why they would be so much higher?
Jim, thanks for the invite.
Disclosure: We are actually agent for Pantaenius. Their primary market is boats sailing in European waters, and their rates for that navigation territory are quite low. They are highly rated, so no problem there. Their coverage, however, is actually not as good as Markel Jackline, Lloyds, Seawave, or Osprey. The reason I say that is because the Pantaenius policy is a Named Perils policy. All the other companies we work with for offshore coverage are All Risks policies.

Named Perils means only the 23 causes of loss listed in the Pantaenius Policy on page 3 are covered. EVERYTHING else is excluded. There are all sorts of things that can happen on a boat that could fall outside the list of 23 causes of loss.

All Risks means that everything is covered, except for the list of exclusions. Yes, the list of exclusions can sometimes be scary to read, and doesn't seem as friendly to read as the language of the Named Perils policy. But believe me, an unlimited number of causes of loss with only 10 exclusions is way better than a short list of things that are covered.

Fair Winds,
Susan
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Old 08-09-2009, 13:41   #12
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Susan,

When I compared the policies, Pantaenius would pay full replacement cost, while the Jackline was going to depreciate things. Is that your understanding also??

It would seem to me that the full replacement issue for partial losses is more important than 23 perils versus 10 exclusions.
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Old 08-09-2009, 14:21   #13
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Markel Jackline is Agreed Value for total & partial losses. The policy language states ...in the event that materials, parts, labor or equipment of like kind and quality are not readily available, no deduction shall be made from the cost to repair the Vessel for any resulting betterment to the Vessel [except for a short list of items] Betterment means that if your 1999 radar is hit by lightning, they are not going to charge you to replace it with a 2009 radar. Other insurance companies call this method "new for old". However, You can add an optional Replacement Cost Waiver Amendment that reduces your rate, but then you are agreeing that all partial losses would be subject to the betterment equation. Then you'd have to pay for the difference in cost between the 1999 and 2009 radar. Some people might want to do that to try to save a bit on the premium, especially if they knew they would only ever file a claim in a toal loss situation, since in a total loss, the policy would still pay Agreed value.

Pantaenius is Agreed Value for total losses, and New for old for Partial losses, unless your boat or the items damaged are over 10 years old. Then up to a 30% deduction applies: Where the Schedule states that the New for Old Deduction Clause is incorporated into the policy, in the event of Partial Loss, a deduction of 30% will be made from the claim settlement in respect of the cost of parts or materials where the part which is repaired or replaced was, at the time of the claim incident, more than 10 years old, other than the basic hull and deck structures of the Vessel. The deduction will not be applied to any labour costs.

Don't get to wrapped up in the words "replacement cost"- that's a confusing term. Replacement doesn't necessarily mean new, it means replacement with a like item.

And I have to differ with you on the Named Perils. In my opinion, it's more important to know that you are definitely going to get paid something than risk not being paid anything at all because your occurrence didn't fit neatly into one of the 23 causes of loss.
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Old 08-09-2009, 15:06   #14
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I am covered by Pantaenius (germany) They were excellent following a recent lightening strike. They sent a surveyor within 24 hours and replaced the equipment with new. Insurance is only useful if they pay up for a claim.
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Old 26-09-2009, 18:52   #15
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Albion Insurance

We got our best quote from these guys:
Topsail | Boat Yacht Insurance Brokers, Marine Insurance Agency
The underwriter is Albion Insurance Company
Zone covered for the current year: Australia to SE Asia
Full coverage and USD2M liability for less than USD3,000
Have had no claims so far.
Anybody else had experience with them?
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