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Old 18-03-2016, 18:07   #1
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Sailing from the Caribbean to the U.S. - insurance without a survey?

I own a 1997 Beneteau Oceanis 36 CC in St. Thomas, USVI. I will be sailing to the United States in less than a month - St. Thomas to Puerto Rico, up the north coast of the DR then Turks and Caicos, up the Bahamas to Nassau before sailing to the Chesapeake Bay where I will drydock her for at least the next six months. I don't currently have insurance or a recent survey.

In my experience U.S. insurance companies are expensive, unreliable (outside the U.S.), unfriendly to liveaboards and require a full survey. Most cruisers I know with boat insurance in the Caribbean use European companies. Edward William has been recommended to me, but some of what I found about it online seems sketchy. Also, I'm a bit wary of trying to chase a company down from across the pond when they don't want to pay a claim.

I'm looking for coverage at least for the delivery of the boat from the USVI to the U.S. Once there, I will be hauling the boat out anyway so I wouldn't mind getting a survey done and/or get a new, cheaper policy that conforms with the bare minimum requirements of the boat yard.

Any thoughts? I noticed several huge companies like Allianz, Progressive and GEICO offer boat insurance and they don't seem to require a survey. What would you recommend?
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Old 18-03-2016, 18:17   #2
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Re: Sailing from the Caribbean to the U.S. - insurance without a survey?

I use Geico for my RV's but until you have a claim you do not know how good you will be treated.

Geico has a very good understanding of RV's in that they cover accidents at my RV site. Other insurance companies it was like pulling teeth to get them to understand my common RV configuation.

I would at least talk to Geico.

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Old 18-03-2016, 18:52   #3
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Re: Sailing from the Caribbean to the U.S. - insurance without a survey?

I'd try Topsail and Pantaenius.



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Old 18-03-2016, 19:08   #4
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Re: Sailing from the Caribbean to the U.S. - insurance without a survey?

I don't know whether being in the USVI would affect this but when I needed insurance on my 1965 Alberg 35, Progressive let me do a declared value for the boat without requiring a survey. I believe I had to sign a statement that the boat was in good condition. If something happens, their liability for a loss of the hull is limited to my declared value. Liability insurance etc. was the same as in other policies. Rates were reasonable. I'm not pushing Progressive, have no connection with them, and as a previous poster said, you really don't know until you have a claim and I haven't had one. Just trying to be helpful; I had just bought the boat and new to me boat costs meant the $800 for a survey was something I just couldn't afford.
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Old 18-03-2016, 19:08   #5
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pirate Re: Sailing from the Caribbean to the U.S. - insurance without a survey?

Should be able to get 3rd party cover to be legal entering marina's.. that's all many of us have..
Mind.. one has to have the attitude.. if you can't afford to lose it.. don't buy it..
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Old 18-03-2016, 20:34   #6
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Re: Sailing from the Caribbean to the U.S. - insurance without a survey?

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Should be able to get 3rd party cover to be legal entering marina's.. that's all many of us have..
Mind.. one has to have the attitude.. if you can't afford to lose it.. don't buy it..
Yep, if you lose your boat offshore you've probably got other more important things to worry about.
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Old 18-03-2016, 21:43   #7
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Re: Sailing from the Caribbean to the U.S. - insurance without a survey?

We used foremost marine insurance. Had a dismasting caused by lightening strike on an Ericson 27. They sent a rigger and new mast to the marina hauled us out and replaced the mast chain plates and all standing rigging. We never saw a bill or even an estimate sheet from anyone.
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Old 19-03-2016, 05:46   #8
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Re: Sailing from the Caribbean to the U.S. - insurance without a survey?

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I'd try Topsail and Pantaenius.



If the boat is due for a major overhaul, I wouldn't bother with Pantaenius. They will let you fill out all the forms with no indication of an issue and then a week later tell you they can't underwrite you with no indication why.

Liability insurance shouldn't be hard to come by.

Full coverage without a survey for offshore work will be a lot tougher to come by. In the unfortunate event of a claim, expect a lot of resistance to payout if you took out insurance and the boat sank a week later.
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Old 19-03-2016, 06:06   #9
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pirate Re: Sailing from the Caribbean to the U.S. - insurance without a survey?

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Liability insurance shouldn't be hard to come by.

Full coverage without a survey for offshore work will be a lot tougher to come by. In the unfortunate event of a claim, expect a lot of resistance to payout if you took out insurance and the boat sank a week later.
Yup.. that's why home build Wharrams became a No No for full cover..
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Old 19-03-2016, 06:52   #10
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Re: Sailing from the Caribbean to the U.S. - insurance without a survey?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Nonixskis.
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Old 19-03-2016, 08:18   #11
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Re: Sailing from the Caribbean to the U.S. - insurance without a survey?

If you have a US address, connect with the owner of IMIS, Al Golden.

Al is an ex-cruiser and will give you straight feedback, and very good service. He will let you know up front if he can cover you, and give you guidance if not.

Cheers!

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Old 19-03-2016, 09:19   #12
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Re: Sailing from the Caribbean to the U.S. - insurance without a survey?

I also have a declared value coverage from Progressive, who did not require a survey. Their pricing was inexpensive compared to 'marine' insurance providers like BoatUS. I've never had a claim with them, so can't comment there. But it gets me into a marina which requires insurance. And I have a coastal policy which I believe only covers me within 75 miles of the US coast. I don't know what Progressive requires for an international waters policy.

I had an auto claim with Gieco with a $2,300 payout, which they refused to allow me to pay out of pocket and then they increased my rate by $1700 per year! They said the premium would stay that much for 5yrs... So I switched and pay less annually then their increase alone.

good luck
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Old 19-03-2016, 09:33   #13
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Re: Sailing from the Caribbean to the U.S. - insurance without a survey?

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I also have a declared value coverage from Progressive, who did not require a survey. Their pricing was inexpensive compared to 'marine' insurance providers like BoatUS. I've never had a claim with them, so can't comment there. But it gets me into a marina which requires insurance. And I have a coastal policy which I believe only covers me within 75 miles of the US coast. I don't know what Progressive requires for an international waters policy.

I had an auto claim with Gieco with a $2,300 payout, which they refused to allow me to pay out of pocket and then they increased my rate by $1700 per year! They said the premium would stay that much for 5yrs... So I switched and pay less annually then their increase alone.

good luck
From personal experience I would not consider Geico. Son thought he had insurance with them but they'd cancelled without notifying him due to his car having a branded title and he got a fine for driving without insurance. That's how he found out!
Progressive ok with liability w/o survey on our Cape Dory and reasonable but never did a claim so can't speak for that.
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Old 19-03-2016, 09:48   #14
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Re: Sailing from the Caribbean to the U.S. - insurance without a survey?

Seaworthy, our old company was bought out by GEICO marine. I am not impressed. They have no clue how to do business outside the US. They wanted to send a US check. Which is strange since they offer auto insurance to the military in Europe.
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Old 19-03-2016, 10:01   #15
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Re: Sailing from the Caribbean to the U.S. - insurance without a survey?

First: You are not living aboard... you are sailing from ST T. to Chesapeake. Think in those terms when getting insurance.
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