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Old 16-03-2015, 07:19   #1
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Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?

I am in the process of renewing my insurance and as most companies do, they have navigational limits they require you to adhere to. My company is pretty generous with their terms. They allow me to spend hurricane season anywhere I want as long as I can follow the hurricane plan that I created. They have excluded the usual places, Cuba (I'm American), Venezuela, and Haiti. I cannot figure out why mainland Colombia is also excluded. Everything I am hearing is that Colombia has become a very safe and stable place for visiting yachtsmen. Is it because of it's proximity to Venezuela? Maybe, but they do not exclude Trinidad or Panama.
I know historically Colombia has had a bad reputation as a drug smuggling, crime ridden, banana republic, but as I understand it (I've never actually traveled to Colombia), times have changed dramatically. Am I missing something or is my insurance company just behind the times? Anyone else have a similar experience with their insurer?
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Old 16-03-2015, 07:30   #2
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Re: Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?

Can't answer your question specifically however I am insured through XL in Newport RI and have coverage for anywhere in the Caribbean except Cuba and Haiti. Actually was in Venezuela few years ago and had full coverage.
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Old 16-03-2015, 07:37   #3
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pirate Re: Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?

Insurers tend to follow their home countries politic's... hence if the US became friendly with Iran.. it would no longer be excluded.
Columbia's stability may well not a welcome thing to the powers that be..
Its to the USA's advantage to have an unstable southern continent if they cannot cash in and control..
History proves that.. and before the forum erupts with cries of 'Anti-Americanism' I'm not.. the Brits, the French have all played the same game..
Its what white folks do..

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Old 16-03-2015, 07:39   #4
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Re: Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?

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Originally Posted by Capt.Alex View Post
Everything I am hearing is that Colombia has become a very safe and stable place for visiting yachtsmen.
"Has" being the operative word. As you noted, Columbia used to be one of the more dangerous places to go. Insurance companies tend to be very slow to react, especially when it comes to expanding coverage (they're never slow to react when it comes to expanding premiums!).

You can find another company that is more up with the times, or wait until your current company catches up to today's reality.

Good luck.
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Old 16-03-2015, 07:48   #5
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Re: Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?

It's more worrying about boats being stolen or seized than politics. Insurance companies polices are usually about the bottom line. Their allegiance to profits trumps all.

The problem in Cuba and Hait, is people stealing boats to escape their homeland (I was on a Task Force with the Coast Guard in the Bahamas and it happens more than you know, but it's usually not reported because it happens in Haiti and Cuba, and neither one of them has a really robust media). Sometimes it's for smuggling people and sometimes for smuggling drugs. Sometimes it's the government of either one suspecting the boat is being or about to be used for either one and seizing the boats. In any of those cases, recovery is not easy.

The funny thing is, most of the boats we recovered or chased near Cuba and Haiti, were stolen in Florida, but I guess insurance companies have decided that Florida is worth the risk.

In Colombia, it's usually drugs. Even though Colombia is much better than it used to be, it is still a transhipment point for cocaine (a large percentage of cocaine labs, to render cocaine into it's final marketable version, cocaine hydrochloride, is still done in Colombian labs). So is Venezuela.

But, to think it's in support of any political point of view, is incorrect, in my opinion. It's about profit versus risk of loss and not much else.
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Old 16-03-2015, 07:56   #6
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Re: Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?

Insurance companies are "by the numbers" businesses. Everything is based upon the amount of risk and exposure and the amount of risk is based upon the number of claims vs. premiums paid. My guess is that the number of claims for the region reached the tipping point and they shut it down.
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Old 16-03-2015, 07:57   #7
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Re: Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?

Hi, I'm a long, long time lurker here on this forum trying to learn as much as I can about sailing, and I've only recently signed up for an account. I used to eagerly come in everyday when a poster was looking for a 65' Hat, and found those discussions highly entertaining, especially after having a coupla drinks.

I'm a long time resident of Colombia, but I have a U.S. Passport, and am of Croatian descent. If I don't use a proxy, I cannot make a hotel reservation in Europe, as hotels will not rent a room to Colombians. You can do a search and find that Colombians are the worst hotel guests in the world.

I don't want to run down my wife's country, but after several businesses and lots of contact with govt commerce and taxing authorities, I can tell you that there are more than a few here that would steal a hot stove, without gloves.

I sent in a "practice application" to an insurance company for an Amel to an insurance company in Switzerland, and they told me to get lost.

Right now, there is a problem with corruption at a marina in Cartagena and construction there has slowed. I agree with Capt Alex's insurance company, don't keep your boat in Colombia.
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Old 16-03-2015, 08:16   #8
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pirate Re: Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?

Yeah.. Corruption.. big fuss going on about that in the UK right now..
Embezzement and cover ups.. Paedophillia and possibily murder in the shadows of Whitehall..
Doubt we'll lose our cover though.. the offices are in the UK..
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Old 16-03-2015, 09:22   #9
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Re: Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?

I am not sure what company you are with but we used YachtInsure and they had no problem a few years ago and I know IMIS had boats insured down there. So maybe your company is not keeping up with current trends or what is going on.

And yes Cartagena is a great place to visit and one of the safest we visited in the Caribbean.
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Old 16-03-2015, 09:40   #10
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Re: Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?

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I am not sure what company you are with but we used YachtInsure and they had no problem a few years ago and I know IMIS had boats insured down there. So maybe your company is not keeping up with current trends or what is going on.

And yes Cartagena is a great place to visit and one of the safest we visited in the Caribbean.
Chuck,
I did get a quote from Yachtinsure that would provide Colombia coverage but it came with about a 25% higher premium. I did not mean to imply that an American yacht cannot get coverage. Just that my insurance company (unnamed) has a beef with the fine folks of Colombia.
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Old 16-03-2015, 09:45   #11
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Re: Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?

"Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?"
You can only get that answer from your insurance company. Anything else is just pure speculation. How about a different insurance company?
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Old 16-03-2015, 10:09   #12
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Re: Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?

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"Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?"
You can only get that answer from your insurance company. Anything else is just pure speculation. How about a different insurance company?
I am otherwise very happy with the company I am using and until I actually plan to sail Colombia, it's not a deal breaker. I looked into other carriers that allow travel there, but all were at a significantly higher cost. This thread was more of a rhetorical question as to why there is a premium to be paid to go there. What is the actual risk vs. the commonly perceived?
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Old 16-03-2015, 12:11   #13
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Re: Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?

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I am otherwise very happy with the company I am using and until I actually plan to sail Colombia, it's not a deal breaker. I looked into other carriers that allow travel there, but all were at a significantly higher cost. This thread was more of a rhetorical question as to why there is a premium to be paid to go there. What is the actual risk vs. the commonly perceived?
But did you ask them? What did they say?
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Old 16-03-2015, 12:33   #14
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Re: Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?

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But did you ask them? What did they say?
I only deal directly with my insurance broker in Florida. The company is a Lloyds backed UK insurer. My broker does not have an answer for the reason why, just that if I want coverage in Colombia I have to select another option. No doubt they have a good reason in their estimation, I'm not so sure its a valid one anymore though.

I guess the bigger question is- Can anyone with recent first hand experience demonstrate that Colombia is any more dangerous or more risk prone to an insurance company than Miami, Port-of-Spain, Colon, St. Vincent, etc? Looking at the Noonsite piracy pages and incident reports, as well as other web sites, Colombia doesn't seem to have too many reported issues lately.

I suppose it may have something to do with the weather in that part of the Caribbean. The coast of Colombia is notorious for having difficult conditions. Maybe they figure not many cruisers would venture into those waters if they do not have the ability to make a stopover in a Colombian port. But, they do not expressly exclude transiting offshore in that area.
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Old 16-03-2015, 13:02   #15
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Re: Insurer excludes Colombia-Why?

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Originally Posted by Capt.Alex View Post
I only deal directly with my insurance broker in Florida. The company is a Lloyds backed UK insurer. My broker does not have an answer for the reason why, just that if I want coverage in Colombia I have to select another option. No doubt they have a good reason in their estimation, I'm not so sure its a valid one anymore though.

I guess the bigger question is- Can anyone with recent first hand experience demonstrate that Colombia is any more dangerous or more risk prone to an insurance company than Miami, Port-of-Spain, Colon, St. Vincent, etc? Looking at the Noonsite piracy pages and incident reports, as well as other web sites, Colombia doesn't seem to have too many reported issues lately.

I suppose it may have something to do with the weather in that part of the Caribbean. The coast of Colombia is notorious for having difficult conditions. Maybe they figure not many cruisers would venture into those waters if they do not have the ability to make a stopover in a Colombian port. But, they do not expressly exclude transiting offshore in that area.
Wait 6 months and you will have your answer..
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