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Old 15-02-2015, 11:41   #1
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Insurance for an older, good old boat.

Last week I had an insurance survey on my 1977 Down East 45 schooner, with a view to getting it insured to go cruising, after a four year refit.
There were only a couple of issues, which we have now rectified, but the surveyor came up with a “fair market value” of only $75,000, which he admitted was pretty much a guess, because he could not find any other DE 45’s sold in “boats sold” to form a comparison value.
This is only a bit more than I paid for the boat four years ago, and I have piled much, much more that that into it, including new sails and standing rigging, and other safety features, which I assume insurance people are interested in.
This valuation is now making it difficult for me to find an insurance which will give me a replacement value above this $75,000 figure. I want something like $120,000, which is what I would expect to sell her for.
Could anyone please let me know, private PM if you like, if you have sold, or bought a DE45 recently, or even a very similar type boat, and at what price.
If I can show even a single sale at a higher price, the surveyor will amend the value.
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Old 15-02-2015, 21:47   #2
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Re: Insurance for an older, good old boat.

What if you went about it in a different way:
1) make a list of each item of the refit, with what it cost you

2) Write an open letter to the insurance companies you're considering, explaining, that the value of the boat is its purchase price, plus the items you have added that increase either its worth or insurability.

After all, if you want greater hull insurance, I don't see why you can't pay a higher premium and get it.

Anyhow, good luck with it.
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Old 16-02-2015, 05:36   #3
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Re: Insurance for an older, good old boat.

Hi Ann,
That’s a good idea, but I fear, from the conversations I’ve already had, even with underwriters, it will make little difference to their “risk analysis.”
I pointed out the improvements to the surveyor, and he put them in the survey. Like completely new standing rigging, new heavier chainplates, new sails, eight man liferaft (in certification), new ally spreaders, (replacing wood), five new fire extinguishers, CO detector, smoke detectors, high bilge water alarm, etc. etc.
However, I will make a dedicated list, including the errors the surveyor still made, and submit it with my next application.
Of course, at worst, I suppose I could accept a $75,000 value, because I don’t intend to sink her if I got a higher value, like one of the idiots implied.
By the way, who knows what a “shhoooner” is? That’s what two insurers called my rig.
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Old 16-02-2015, 12:08   #4
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Re: Insurance for an older, good old boat.

OP--your boat's market value has virtually nothing to do with how much money and time you put into it. The surveyor was probably very close to estimating its true value.
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Old 16-02-2015, 12:37   #5
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Re: Insurance for an older, good old boat.

" I suppose I could accept a $75,000 value, because I don’t intend to sink her if I got a higher value, like one of the idiots implied." Just remember that once there is 50% damage, i.e. $37,500, they might decide to total it. The big number isn't just there for a true total loss.


Any broker probably could give you a BUC book value, and that's based on actual sales. For one shot, I think you can still sign up and get one "personal" value from them as well. NADA also keeps a boat book, similarly limited access.


What you paid for the boat, or what you put into it, makes no difference. I can buy a used car or boat for twice what it is worth, and that won't change what I can sell it for. Heck, look at the housing market, now often paying 50 cents on the appraised dollar value since 2008, just six years ago. I know a condo unit that had multiple mortgage loans on it, totaling $250,000 in a building where no unit had ever sold for half of that. All formally appraised and approved, ahuh. In foreclosure last year for well under $50k.
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Old 16-02-2015, 12:48   #6
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Re: Insurance for an older, good old boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
I pointed out the improvements to the surveyor, and he put them in the survey. Like completely new standing rigging, new heavier chainplates, new sails, eight man liferaft (in certification), new ally spreaders, (replacing wood), five new fire extinguishers, CO detector, smoke detectors, high bilge water alarm, etc. etc.
Almost all of those items you listed would be required to be renewed/installed to get insurance anyhow. The rest would have been required replacement if found bad, or old, on survey.

Just a cursory glance through google land shows several of your boat model for asking prices ranging 50-100,000 - which makes 75,000 about right, if not somewhat generous if one assumes that sold prices would be less than asking.

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Old 16-02-2015, 14:18   #7
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Re: Insurance for an older, good old boat.

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Just a cursory glance through google land shows several of your boat model for asking prices ranging 50-100,000 - which makes 75,000 about right, if not somewhat generous if one assumes that sold prices would be less than asking.
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Old 16-02-2015, 14:25   #8
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Re: Insurance for an older, good old boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
OP--your boat's market value has virtually nothing to do with how much money and time you put into it. The surveyor was probably very close to estimating its true value.
Yep... why do you assume you can get $120k? In most cases I've lost the value of everything I've added to a boat as well as my labor when reselling.

Another way to think of the whole thing is; "Maybe I should have insurance for the worst case scenario... a total loss.
Can I live with $75k in that low probability scenario?
What are the odds really?
Will I likely even survive that scenario?
Isn't it mostly my abilities that create risk I'm going to loose the boat?"

$75k insurance will be cheaper than $120k insurance.

Many cruisers don't insure for long distance cruising at all.


Usually when something is totaled you can negotiate right of salvage as well as the payment.
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Old 27-02-2015, 10:25   #9
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Re: Insurance for an older, good old boat.

To those members who took the trouble to reply to my post:
I have finally managed to get the insurance I am happy with, in fact better than I expected.
I ran the gamut of US insurers and had quotes and restrictions ranging from the sublime to the downright stupid! Some didn’t even bother to reply, and none of ‘em knew what a Brigantine was!
I have now signed up with a British marine insurer, through Lloyds syndicate, for less premium than any US quote. It includes Florida waters year round, and named storm coverage.
Thanks for all your advice—persistence pays.
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