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Old 29-12-2016, 06:01   #1
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Insurance for Bahamas & Caribbean

So I ask to get insurance for the Bahamas added to my insurance policy using the same date limits I have now for being north during hurricane season. I expected it to be more, but was kind of surprised that it was 26% more (is the Bahamas really 26% more dangerous to the boat).

So since the Bahamas is pretty shallow I figure maybe that is it and maybe it would be better to just go ahead a get coverage for the caribbean (still with the being north during hurricane season). But to get this the insurance company wants a new survey of the boat and rigging, a detailed crew list and resume (that would be my wife and I that they have been covering for years), and a detailed itinerary of where and when we will be. And once that is done it is going to be 400% more than my current insurance.

So is the deeper water of the caribbean really 374% more dangerous than the shallow water of the Bahamas. And is it more dangerous than sailing around the rocks up North and all the shallow water down the ICW etc. and my current coverage than goes from Nova Scotia to Brownsville Tx?

What did others find their insurance go up by to go to the Bahamas and Caribbean?
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Old 29-12-2016, 06:45   #2
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Re: Insurance for Bahamas & Caribbean

Perhaps you need to look at alternate insurers. Our insurance is provided by "Seaworthy", aka "Geicomarine", and covers us from the Canadian Border to Brownsville, Tx including the Bahamas through the T&C's for a premium that is about 1.75% of the Agreed Value coverage. We are covered for a "Named Storm" although our deductible in such an event is somewhat higher but the policy will pay the cost of a haul out and tie down to secure for such events if we choose that alternative. A rider for coverage through the EC is not very costly when we need it.

FWIW...
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Old 29-12-2016, 07:21   #3
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Re: Insurance for Bahamas & Caribbean

Some insurers have no expertise in providing coverage beyond coastal cruising and price their products accordingly. Premiums are based on many factors beyond how “dangerous” it is for the vessel. Good advice on previous post to shop around.
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Old 29-12-2016, 08:07   #4
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Re: Insurance for Bahamas & Caribbean

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Perhaps you need to look at alternate insurers. Our insurance is provided by "Seaworthy", aka "Geicomarine", and covers us from the Canadian Border to Brownsville, Tx including the Bahamas through the T&C's for a premium that is about 1.75% of the Agreed Value coverage. We are covered for a "Named Storm" although our deductible in such an event is somewhat higher but the policy will pay the cost of a haul out and tie down to secure for such events if we choose that alternative. A rider for coverage through the EC is not very costly when we need it.

FWIW...
I have that same coverage for less than 1% of insured value now. But I don't understand why it would become 4% to include Caribbean out of hurricane season. I think they just don't want to do it!
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Old 29-12-2016, 08:20   #5
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Re: Insurance for Bahamas & Caribbean

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I have that same coverage for less than 1% of insured value now. But I don't understand why it would become 4% to include Caribbean out of hurricane season. I think they just don't want to do it!


Likely that is exactly it.
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Old 29-12-2016, 08:51   #6
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Re: Insurance for Bahamas & Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
So I ask to get insurance for the Bahamas added to my insurance policy using the same date limits I have now for being north during hurricane season. I expected it to be more, but was kind of surprised that it was 26% more (is the Bahamas really 26% more dangerous to the boat).

So since the Bahamas is pretty shallow I figure maybe that is it and maybe it would be better to just go ahead a get coverage for the caribbean (still with the being north during hurricane season). But to get this the insurance company wants a new survey of the boat and rigging, a detailed crew list and resume (that would be my wife and I that they have been covering for years), and a detailed itinerary of where and when we will be. And once that is done it is going to be 400% more than my current insurance.

So is the deeper water of the caribbean really 374% more dangerous than the shallow water of the Bahamas. And is it more dangerous than sailing around the rocks up North and all the shallow water down the ICW etc. and my current coverage than goes from Nova Scotia to Brownsville Tx?

What did others find their insurance go up by to go to the Bahamas and Caribbean?
Would you be so kind as to tell us who this lovely insurance company is?
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Old 29-12-2016, 09:01   #7
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Re: Insurance for Bahamas & Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
So I ask to get insurance for the Bahamas added to my insurance policy using the same date limits I have now for being north during hurricane season. I expected it to be more, but was kind of surprised that it was 26% more (is the Bahamas really 26% more dangerous to the boat).

So since the Bahamas is pretty shallow I figure maybe that is it and maybe it would be better to just go ahead a get coverage for the caribbean (still with the being north during hurricane season). But to get this the insurance company wants a new survey of the boat and rigging, a detailed crew list and resume (that would be my wife and I that they have been covering for years), and a detailed itinerary of where and when we will be. And once that is done it is going to be 400% more than my current insurance.

So is the deeper water of the caribbean really 374% more dangerous than the shallow water of the Bahamas. And is it more dangerous than sailing around the rocks up North and all the shallow water down the ICW etc. and my current coverage than goes from Nova Scotia to Brownsville Tx?

What did others find their insurance go up by to go to the Bahamas and Caribbean?
It sounds to me like after having the discussion with you, they are nervous or disinclined to insure you.

Did you treat them with respect during all communication?

Another possibility is the recognition that most insured boats sit at the dock about 95% of the time, where they are exposed to lesser risk.

As soon as you request "cruising" insurance, then the insurer must anticipate that the vessel is subject to greater risk, hence the likelihood of a claim increases.

Insurance companies are in business to make money. (Whodathunkit.)

That they request a survey is not surprising. Most insurance companies request one every 5 years. In my opinion, anyone planning a significant cruise should get one for their own purposes (an independent opinion of vessel soundness), well before disembarking, so that any necessary work can be completed to your schedule.

We are planning our first long cruise in 2017. We have been making many modifications to our boat to increase comfort.

I plan to have a survey performed in early spring, to help identify any vessel "soundness" deficiencies I may be overlooking, and to provide ample time to make specified corrections. Then, when I apply for my insurance changes, I can advise that I have had a recent survey and made all recommended corrections. That should provide a reasonable level of assurance that the vessel is up to the task, and that I am a prudent sailor.
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Old 29-12-2016, 10:15   #8
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Re: Insurance for Bahamas & Caribbean

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It sounds to me like after having the discussion with you, they are nervous or disinclined to insure you.

Did you treat them with respect during all communication?
Sounds to me that you know nothing and are just looking for a way to show it.

I didn't speak to anyone, just emailed a request for a quote from my agent.
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Old 29-12-2016, 10:18   #9
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Re: Insurance for Bahamas & Caribbean

surveys every 5 years? In 30+ years of sailing I've never had a request for survey from either a bank or my insurance except when I first purchased the boat. This includes boats with a mortgage. My boats were able to travel to Mexico/ Bahamas too (upon suitable additional premium).

I've never had an insurance claim, but I don't think this impacts the survey situation.
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Old 29-12-2016, 10:31   #10
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Re: Insurance for Bahamas & Caribbean

IMO, the Bahamas and points south are not so much more "dangerous", but even minor events are often very expensive and/or can lead to complete loss of the boat. Theft of equipment and even boats is much more of a problem once you leave the USA. Operator experience, in the islands!, and boat condition become much more critical, so I really don't blame insurance companies for being careful and adjusting their rates- BUT, they should be realistic.
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Old 29-12-2016, 10:47   #11
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Re: Insurance for Bahamas & Caribbean

Once you get out of US waters the charts are less accurate...in 6 years in the Caribbean we saw at least one boat per year on a reef.

Crossing the Pacific two of the 200 or so boats we knew or had contact with sank!

Once that boat gets out of a US marina the risks go up significantly.

I pay about 2.5% of hull value for worldwide cruising with just my wife and I on board with a survey every 5 years. There are less expensive policies but my insurer has been know to pay out on the claims.
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Old 29-12-2016, 10:56   #12
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Re: Insurance for Bahamas & Caribbean

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IMO, the Bahamas and points south are not so much more "dangerous", but even minor events are often very expensive and/or can lead to complete loss of the boat. Theft of equipment and even boats is much more of a problem once you leave the USA. Operator experience, in the islands!, and boat condition become much more critical, so I really don't blame insurance companies for being careful and adjusting their rates- BUT, they should be realistic.
B
"Should be realistic" ?

Surely you jest!

I'll give you an example of just how realistic insurance companies are.

This is car insurance - but risk is risk, boat or car.

No tickets - no accidents - no losses for over 30 years.

Travelers went up every year on the premium. But when you read the policy, in the event of a loss, the actual cash value would be reduced each year for depreciation. Still, in 6 years the premium increased $800.00, the potential payout was reduced each year.

Told the agent, either get rid of Travelers or I'll find another agent.

Within 2 days, they had a quote from Allstate ($855.00 vs. $1,600.00) for the same coverage (1 Mil, 750,000/$750,000), ACV, $500.00 deduct.

Next year, Allstate goes up $275.00. I ask the Agent why?

Says their experience in the state was not good. I ask where this can be documented. The Agent contacts Allstate and they supposedly tell the Agent that the information is "proprietary."

Meantime, but Allstate, Travelers and most (but not all) insurance pay megabucks for slick adds on TV, and give mucho bucks to charities, the Olympics, board members etc. Why should our insurance premiums be given to charities?

Insurance companies need to make a profit to stay in business, yes. It use to be that State Insurance Commissioners made the insurance companies prove they needed a rate increase before they could put one into permanent effect, and where they temporarily raised rates, if they didn't prove their rate case, they had to refund those premiums.

But the State Insurance Commissioners have been emasculated by the insurance lobby's - and are nothing more than an expensive state fixture incapable or unwilling to regulate insurance companies.

Its all thanks to deregulation folks.

So, get use to it. They do what they want, and you either find another company or bend over.
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Old 29-12-2016, 10:57   #13
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Re: Insurance for Bahamas & Caribbean

BOAT US charged me $100 additional for the year 2015-2016 on Bahamas only, NO Caribbean ins from them.
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Old 29-12-2016, 11:07   #14
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Re: Insurance for Bahamas & Caribbean

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Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
Once you get out of US waters the charts are less accurate...in 6 years in the Caribbean we saw at least one boat per year on a reef.

Crossing the Pacific two of the 200 or so boats we knew or had contact with sank!

Once that boat gets out of a US marina the risks go up significantly.

I pay about 2.5% of hull value for worldwide cruising with just my wife and I on board with a survey every 5 years. There are less expensive policies but my insurer has been know to pay out on the claims.
Sounds like a good insurance company - who are they?
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Old 29-12-2016, 13:06   #15
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Re: Insurance for Bahamas & Caribbean

I can't offer any other sources for less expensive (there is no such thing as cheap) insurance but I will offer this:
1) Insurance companies were formed to spread the cost of a few catastrophes over a large pool of users that, hopefully, will not need the coverage. So, if one foolhardy individual takes his $100K boat to a dangerous place and stands a 1 in 3 chance of losing the boat, his rate will be a minimum of $33K, ignoring the cost of doing business.
2) The other point is that, at some point, due to regulations or common sense, the insurance company must show a substantial fund in place to make good on any claims. This became a "lookie see" this big pool of money "not doing anything". If we can invest the pool, we can make more money and "save our customers money". Oh, look, there is a big pool of money, making more money, we can "invest in this business" and make more money. The insurance broker is now a cash cow that is now in the business of making investors money more than protecting the poor customer. That also means they must make hard decisions as to the likely hood of loss by the customer, amounts of payoffs required due to the catastrophes, and, oh yeah, a fair return on investments to share holders/holding companies etc. etc.
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