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Old 24-01-2015, 00:59   #1
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Interesting conversation with insurance underwriter

Today, I spend a while on the phone with an insurance underwriter, after I spent even more time with an insurance salesperson, who asked me a lot of detailed questions. Big Insurance Company!

The underwriter kept asking me about our "Hurricane Plan" and who will care for your boat in case of a hurricane?

I pointed out, several times, that Hurricanes are relatively rare in Calm San Diego - (remember no Americas Cup 'cause the wind doesn't blow here?) but the underwriter was insistent that I needed a Hurricane Plan. I then said no hurricane has ever struck San Diego ( this may be disputed by some locals who remember the hurricane of 1858 but I was close to the truth) and I was not sure how to generate a hurricane plan.

OH Well, no point in arguing details such as history and water temperatures so I remembered that my next door live aboard neighbor was a reliable Heavy Weather Support Person.

Do we all now need to conform to Florida insurance requirements?

Of course I did tell the underwriter that we tell the dockmaster when we are leaving (we are full time liveaboards and he likes to know stuff like that) and we ask the other five liveaboards on our dock to keep an eye on the boat. They have our cell phone number and will call if needed.
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Old 24-01-2015, 05:41   #2
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Re: Interesting conversation with insurance underwriter

Even if you have your boat is a place where they have hurricanes the insurance is relentless. I've filled out "Hurricane Plans" every few months only to be asked again and again for another plan. I've sent registered mail and it still seems like they never receive it or misplace it every time.
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Old 24-01-2015, 06:23   #3
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Re: Interesting conversation with insurance underwriter

Yes, this is common even for boats not in hurricane zones. However, they accept anything reasonable as a "plan". Our "plan" states that we will keep the boat outside of the insurance policy noted hurricane zones (these will be noted on your policy), and that if a hurricane should approach, we will secure and prep the boat properly in either a protected anchorage or a marina.

This seems to satisfy them.

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Old 24-01-2015, 11:51   #4
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Re: Interesting conversation with insurance underwriter

After seeing the canvas some people left on their boat with the approach of a hurricane I'm not surprised the insurance company asks the question.


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Old 24-01-2015, 12:40   #5
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Re: Interesting conversation with insurance underwriter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerrycooper56 View Post
After seeing the canvas some people left on their boat with the approach of a hurricane I'm not surprised the insurance company asks the question.
A valid point and concern BUT - why ask for a Hurricane Plan in a location that has NEVER had a hurricane and where it is almost physically impossible to have a hurricane? 60-degree water for many hundreds of miles SE of here protects us pretty well.

I've kept our boat in San Diego for almost six-years now and have not seen more than 30-knots at the dock more than five or six times and those winds seldom last 30-minutes.

But - why don't they ask about:

Tsunami Plans - there have been several significant events here in the last 50-years

I am sure none of this matters!
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Old 24-01-2015, 12:54   #6
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Re: Interesting conversation with insurance underwriter

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Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
A valid point and concern BUT - why ask for a Hurricane Plan in a location that has NEVER had a hurricane and where it is almost physically impossible to have a hurricane? 60-degree water for many hundreds of miles SE of here protects us pretty well.

I've kept our boat in San Diego for almost six-years now and have not seen more than 30-knots at the dock more than five or six times and those winds seldom last 30-minutes.

But - why don't they ask about:

Tsunami Plans - there have been several significant events here in the last 50-years

I am sure none of this matters!

True. I think to some extent we (boat owner) have bought this upon ourselves. Whether it's in Florida or California insufficient care in some cases have led to preventable loss. I sat and watched live TV in Florida of marina after marina of boats being savaged by storm/tail end of hurricane - some with all sails, Bimini, dodger and dinghy installed. The numbers involved can't be all absent owners with no one to prepare the boat in case of bad weather.
Now, the insurance companies can look back and ask us all sorts of inane questions, to reduce their risks.


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Old 25-01-2015, 09:22   #7
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Re: Interesting conversation with insurance underwriter

If you are certain that no hurricanes happen where your boat is you may ask the insurance company to add a rider to your policy that excludes hurricane caused damage from the covered risks. Than, ask for premium discount as the total risk is reduced.
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Old 25-01-2015, 09:29   #8
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Re: Interesting conversation with insurance underwriter

It sounds like they were following some script, or else are used to selling insurance in an area that does have hurricanes.

Large insurance companies are basically just trying to check a bunch of things off a list, and if you fail any of their requirements they reject you. Best to give them what they want (honestly of course).

At least you're lucky they haven't ruled you out yet based on some factor you can't change. I'm looking for insurance now - talking to the big companies first - and Progressive won't insure comprehensive (physical damage) on boats older than 20 years, and Geico won't insure first-time boat owners (requires prior ownership of a similar length >30').
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Old 25-01-2015, 11:54   #9
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Re: Interesting conversation with insurance underwriter

We had the same problem when we bought our first sailboat, a Seaward 32RK about 2 years ago. Nobody wants to insure a first time boat owner on a boat over 30'. We were able to get insurance initially from Liberty Mutual which was also our auto insurer at the time. It had some restrictions and then we stumbled across Seaworthy Insurance Company, which is a Berkshire Hathaway Company. One thing that I think may have made the difference for us, was that we hired a licensed captain to go out with us on a sail and "check us out" on the boat. The captain then provided us a letter that we were competent sailors of the vessel, which we provided to Seaworthy. Sometime I think the underwriters have some leeway if you convince them you know what you are doing.

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Old 25-01-2015, 12:07   #10
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Re: Interesting conversation with insurance underwriter

"some locals who remember the hurricane of 1858 "
Heheh. So if they were six years old when the storm hit, they'd be 163 years old now.
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Old 25-01-2015, 17:47   #11
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Re: Interesting conversation with insurance underwriter

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"some locals who remember the hurricane of 1858 "
Heheh. So if they were six years old when the storm hit, they'd be 163 years old now.
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Old 26-01-2015, 07:58   #12
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Re: Interesting conversation with insurance underwriter

Well, what is your hurricane plan? Think about it and then make one.

Seriously, it's better to have this figured out in advance than on the eve of a storm. It doesn't have to be an actual hurricane.

Will you move the boat to a safe location? Have it hauled? Remove the canvas? Double up the lines at the dock?

I don't have to have a hurricane plan for my insurance company but I do have to have one with my marina. Boats have to be hauled and stored on land (by the marina) or moved somewhere else. No boats can stay in the slips.
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Old 26-01-2015, 08:19   #13
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Re: hurricane plan

I stay in a pretty special marina. Not only can we keep the boat there (not sure where else I could go) but they workers stay thruout the storm, adjusting the dock lines, checking things. Have had water 4 ft over the docks - excellent reputation from other boats there.
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Old 26-01-2015, 09:52   #14
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Re: Interesting conversation with insurance underwriter

"Well, what is your hurricane plan? Think about it and then make one.

Seriously, it's better to have this figured out in advance than on the eve of a storm. It doesn't have to be an actual hurricane."


I am afraid you are missing the point of my wonderment about the need for a San Diego Bay hurricane plan:

- There has never been a hurricane in San Diego
- San Diego Bay is separated from the Pacific Ocean by a 1/4 mile wide channel that makes a right angle turn thus preventing any waves from entering
- Our marina requires another right angle turn to the entrance channel and then another right angle turn to get to the slips

There is no possibility of storm waves affecting a boat in a San Diego Bay marina

San Diego does not get storm force winds from frontal passages. The fronts are just wimpy little lows by the time they get here.

The only threat for very strong winds are the Santa Ana winds that blow downslope from the mountains to the east and northeast. Those winds blow offshore and can gust to low hurricane force but seldom actually reach San Diego bay.

The insurance company I contacted lowered my premium by 20% when we moved from Puget Sound to San Diego Bay. They would increase the premium by 100% if we moved to SW Florida. Apparently, their underwriters do consider the type of risk the boat faces when they establish the premium. If that is true, then why do they ask for a Hurricane Plan in a location where a hurricane is physically impossible?

As I said before - tsunami or earthquake is a far greater risk here and both have occurred since we brought our boat to San Diego. Yet, no one asks about those risks.

Just something to think about.
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Old 26-01-2015, 10:12   #15
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Re: Interesting conversation with insurance underwriter

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Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
Do we all now need to conform to Florida insurance requirements?

You've got a lot of nerve, given the requirements California has levied on everyone else regarding every issue their legislature cares about....



But in answer to your question, perhaps they are considering that you might move your boat from time to time, and they just want to know you're thinking about their concerns (hurricanes and named storms). It's been known to happen.

More likely, they have a general requirement, and the box needs to be checked.
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