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Old 10-11-2010, 10:54   #1
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Insurance Obligation ?

Does Caribbean coast authorities (Customs) check for insureance of the boat? Say a small sailboat less than 33' has troubles finding a insureance company who wants to cover his boat and/or his liability (it is hard to find). Can he take the risk and sail freely from country to country?
(I know that marinas wants you to have insureance, but that si another issue.).
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:21   #2
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We were never asked about insurance in the Lesser Antilles islands we visited, neither when clearing in nor in the few marinas in which we took a slip. This includes all of the island nations save Barbados, Montserrat, and Anguilla.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I was asked for proof of insurance when I had my boat hauled and laid up in boatyards in Grenada, St. Lucia and Antigua.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:27   #3
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For over nine years, I visited every Caribbean Island from The Grand Caymans to Trinidad and then on to the Bahamas. Starting in 2008, Customs at St Barth's asked for a Insurance Company carrier's name. When I said I was self-insured, they asked me to sign a wavier to accept reasponsiblity for myself and my boat, which I did and was allowed to stay.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:13   #4
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why would getting insurance on your boat be hard to find? is it a function of cost? or is there i history of damage or claims that increase the premiums?

I had asked earlier in a different thread about insurance and later found my answer...

I think it was BOATUS that offers insurance for Florida area, and from what i read, they have no issues with hurricanes or whatever...

They also have a policy/plan that is similar to AAA in that you pay extra and get so many tows/miles per year.... They do have different plans for having your boat towed from other places then your 'home port', and a policy for towing from your home port... which was about $20 more a year?

again, I love AAA... the best $50 a year i ever spent, and i only used the insurance once in 5 years i had it... so, although i would have been better off saving that money and just paying for teh one tow out of pocket, I probably wouldnt have set that money aside and it would have hurt to pay the $300 for the tow and service i rec'd

as, basically, that is what insurance is... it is a self imposed savings plan to pay for things...so that you dont have to worry about setting the money aside and saving it yourself..
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:38   #5
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insurance can get costly where USCG doesnt patrol and if you have no captian certification from an insurer"s recognized school,,we have never been asked clearing customs from USA to st. lucia however there were occasions where we might have maid claims as dingy and motors were stolen on several occasions{once our tender was stolen first night in san juan still tied to the dock in front of the pink customs bldg. with 24hr guards},,hard to say if the total premiums over ten years would have covered stolen dingy claims,,the boat was also robbed of all electonics,outboard and deflated dingy while in crib in castries st. lucia,,there are those who would like to make liability insurance mandatory in north american waters same as automobiles and i suspect the insurance companies would want the business guaranteed,,its mostly powerboats that run over swimmers and cause serious monetary loss situations however we were at anchor in la romana, domican republic when a sailboat can in at night at hit the high power lines crossing the back end of the anchorage,,a real hazard not in the cruising guide,,power got offed for a while but at least noone on board was holding rigging so noone got hurt,,the grounding noise woke us up as well as the local cops,,im sure some pesos changed hands but would the local cops wait for your insurance to settle the claim for shutting off their sugar refinery? i figure if you sail self insured and can feel comfortable then good for you unless the loan company makes you get insurance the premiums will buy you alot of supplies,,some companies will not let you pay just for fire at say 200k or a value your comfortable with as instead they want to sell you a replacement cost policy with alot of bells and whistles same as house insurance and the cost can be high,,especially outside of coast guard waters,,cheers,,dont risk more than you can afford to lose same as the stock market,,read the fine print of any policy,,
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Old 12-01-2011, 20:01   #6
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They ask in Martinique and Guadeloupe. But we were accepted without one too.

You can buy your third party locally. Cost approx 50-100 Eur per year depending on the agent.

barnie
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Old 13-01-2011, 06:02   #7
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Currently Martinique and Guadeloupe (where I currently am anchored) are using the French computer check-in/out system and there isn't any entry on the computer form for insurance. Things are always changing and trying to keep up can be a challenge especially when sources like Noonsite and others have almost a year lag in some of their posted information. Just part of the "game."
- - If you don't haul out or stay in a fancy marina, having or not having insurance is not an issue in the eastern Caribbean.
- - Reading the policies carefully is very important - especially - the addendum's, attachments or rider pages at the back of the policy. Typically, what is stated in the main body of the policy can be negated by something in the back. Dinghies is one major example. Towing a dinghy is often stated as negating the coverage for a lost/stolen dinghy. The devil is in the details. . .
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Old 13-01-2011, 06:38   #8
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Yep. Correction: I should have said 'the marinas in Martinique and Guadeloupe'. I did not mean checking in with customs/immigration.

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Old 15-01-2011, 16:51   #9
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insurance woes

the devil truelly is in the details as it took me 4 years to settle a simple auto injury claim,,yes ,,dingy riders are necessary when the tender is also bat shore where it is most vulnerablke to theives,,simply put,,we learned to leave a person on shore guarding our dingy in some areas,,yea,,sad but true BUT replacing 4000-5000 dingy packages made this a necessity and our GUARD was always supplied with cold beer etc, while waiting,,the other solution is to row or paddle your dink to shore and lock it up with a chain a fireman would need 4 foot long boltcutters to snap and then everyone can leave the dink and go wild on shore for days without concern,,at least there are no vandals in the islands who cut the dinks in frustration like in the florida /usa dink docks....i heard only 2 level devils know how to make insurance profit ,,ha,,ha,, especially life insurance,,,i better, i better, off ten,,between the devil and the great blue SKY,,done,,knot gonna happen..
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