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Old 15-11-2010, 18:30   #1
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Cruising without Insurance in the Caribbean ?

I can't get insured to sail south of the tropic of cancer. How many people are sailing in the Caribbean without insurance on their vessel? I imagine it is suicide during hurricane season and peak tourist season with a lot of green sailors drunk on charter boats. Has anyone did a risk assessment of sailing down there on a medium sized yacht valued under 100k?
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Old 16-11-2010, 00:58   #2
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Grüsse Lock. Insurance of any type is not mandatory in the Caribbean countries. Some marinas and boatyards will ask for proof of liability insurance but that is all. Most insurance policies that cover you during the hurricane season while inside "the box" have very strict policy rules regarding named storms and the risk they and you run is very clearly seen in the prices they charge.

Several US-Based insurance companies offer well-priced insurance policies for the Caribbean. Your licensing and ship's flag isn't as important as producing a recent survey of the boat and the whole process can take just a couple of days.

I opted to put what premiums I would have paid to an insurance company into a separate bank account for the boat and so far feel that I've made a good choice in self-insuring my boat.
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Old 16-11-2010, 05:07   #3
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I can't believe that it is impossible to get insurance for that trip. There are thousands of insurance companies all over the world -- if you want insurance you should just keep looking, and asking people here.

I would not self-insure, personally, and I don't think it's a good idea. You don't need insurance for the kind of hazard which you can cover with your accumulated policies. You need insurance for the rarer catastrophe. The most frightening casualty is something which happens to a third party, and to people and not property. You can be in for something like that for millions and that's where you really really need insurance, even if the likelihood is remote.

To reduce the cost of your insurance, take a high deductible. So you are self-insuring for all casualties up to a few thousands.

I pay less than 1000 UK pounds (about $1600) a year to cover the better part of a million dollars worth of boat and equipment, with several million dollars of liability coverage. I think it is a fantastically good bargain and I would never sail without it.
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Old 16-11-2010, 06:05   #4
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I can't believe that it is impossible to get insurance for that trip. There are thousands of insurance companies all over the world -- if you want insurance you should just keep looking, and asking people here.

I would not self-insure, personally, and I don't think it's a good idea. You don't need insurance for the kind of hazard which you can cover with your accumulated policies. You need insurance for the rarer catastrophe. The most frightening casualty is something which happens to a third party, and to people and not property. You can be in for something like that for millions and that's where you really really need insurance, even if the likelihood is remote.

To reduce the cost of your insurance, take a high deductible. So you are self-insuring for all casualties up to a few thousands.

I pay less than 1000 UK pounds (about $1600) a year to cover the better part of a million dollars worth of boat and equipment, with several million dollars of liability coverage. I think it is a fantastically good bargain and I would never sail without it.
Dockhead,

A point here - there are actually only several handfuls of insurance companies in the boat/yacht insurance game, even fewer for global coverage. There are thousands of insurance brokers.

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 16-11-2010, 11:50   #5
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Well, I found ONE company in England willing to give us a binder. We are paying a shinny penny for it as well. However you can never have too much insurance. It covers the US, Bahamas, and the Caribbean only.

If we were to have only US and Bahama coverage, then we are not allowed to exceed 50 miles off US shoreline. Having coverage in the Caribbean opens that up though.

Our insurance broker said "you have no idea how many people jump into a yacht and learn they arent able to insure it!".
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Old 16-11-2010, 11:53   #6
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Quote:
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Our insurance broker said "you have no idea how many people jump into a yacht and learn they arent able to insure it!".
Yup.... things have changed a hell of a lot in the last 40yrs....
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Old 17-11-2010, 02:06   #7
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What sort of a yacht do you have - oftentimes no broker will find a company willing to risk insuring a concrete or one-off wooden boat. But going to Pantaneus you'll probably get a quote but at 5% or more of the insured risk, whereas generally one is looking at around 2%. The quotes that I got all allowed me to singlehand and go more than 50 miles out, they just had restrictions regarding Cuba, Venezuela and remaining inside the "box" during the hurricane season.
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Old 18-11-2010, 16:07   #8
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Dockhead - If you are ever thinking of venturing from the UK to the Caribbean and want hurricane cover, watch your premium rise from $1,600 to about $16,000.

Lock - there are dozens, if not hundreds, of yachts valued under $100k cruising the Caribbean without insurance, and many of them have been here years. Have you tried Mannheimer Nautima in Germany?
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Old 18-11-2010, 16:15   #9
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Pantaenius covered me in the Caribbean out to 200 miles then no cover till Azores then another blank spot till 200 miles of European coast....
Mind... that was solo...
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Old 19-11-2010, 13:11   #10
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Never had it in 17 seasons there Only minimum liability when hauled
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Old 19-11-2010, 14:43   #11
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Never forget that it's the insurance company that you need to worry about - can they / will they pay the claim? A good broker with a good relationship with the insurer is a better bet.

And, finally, the claim is ALWAYS larger than the annual premium. So if you decide to self insure the boat's hull value, build up that fund slowly while buying less cover before going totally without insurance.

You will probably never be able to afford to drop the third party liability, and even if you can afford it, that is not a sound financial decision.
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Old 19-11-2010, 14:53   #12
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Hey... Pantaenius is my company of choice for deliveries.... we have a history... so as far as I'm concerned they're number 1..... and that goes back to pre-delivery days...
Prompt settlements.... they've even flown surveyors from the UK to the Azores to assess a claim at no expense to me... show me better
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Old 24-11-2010, 09:34   #13
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The quotes that I got all allowed me to single hand and go more than 50 miles out, they just had restrictions regarding Cuba, Venezuela and remaining inside the "box" during the hurricane season.
Zanshin- Do they actually say you are allowed to singlehand? For how long? I only know of two that specifically will allow you to single hand, and only for periods of up to 24 hours. Do the quotes/ policy booklets contain language with a seaworthiness clause? If so, you're violating it if you single hand for more than 24 hours- "failure to keep a proper watch" will be reason for denial of your claim.
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Old 24-11-2010, 09:44   #14
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Hello Susan (I'm actually awaiting a quote from IMIS this week for both liability and comprehensive... come to think of it, it has been a week since my last mail from IMIS, I'll have to check that up).
The Pantaenius quote explicitly stated singlehanding. The wording is such that if the accident while singlehanding is caused by breaking the COLREGs it would not be covered. The other quote was similarly worded and I can't recall the name of the company/re-insurer. There were no 50-mile limitations or time limitations. I told both companies that I wanted quotes for singlehanding and that is probably why the rates were higher than I was willing to pay, at least for comprehensive.
If you are really interested, I can send you further information via PM. Unfortunately, the Pantaenius quote is in German and probably of little use to you)
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Old 24-11-2010, 10:02   #15
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Zanshin- I'll send you a PM, since this sounds like it's getting a bit too specific for the general forum. But one thing to note: Pantaenius UK (we are agents for both US & UK) is a Named Perils policy, which means it only covers the list of 23 occurrences listed in the booklet. And some of the exclusions listed are non-standard. So it is far less comprehensive coverage than an All Risks policy, which is what most other companies offer, which is why Pantaenius UK is usually quite cost competitive. But they are a reputable company, which is why we use them in some limited cases, after warning the client of the drawbacks. And yes, Pantaenius UK is one of the two that I know of that allows single handing, so good on you for figuring that out.
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