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Old 27-01-2015, 18:34   #31
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

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Originally Posted by Benz View Post
I got liability only from BoatUS with no survey at all! I don't have towing though, since I try to stay off the bottom, usually with some measure of success. All the other insurers I spoke to wanted a survey. I wonder why the unequal application?
The age of the boat, the value of the boat, the type of boat, the experience of the skipper and perhaps they already had a file on the boat. Too many variables to provide an answer.
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Old 27-01-2015, 18:56   #32
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

^^ah, it would be sweet to think that I sounded an experienced enough skipper on the phone to not need a survey! I'm going to hang on to that.
No previous file, since I'm the only owner of the boat and I built it myself from a bare hull, and it launched in 09, so not too shocking old. Whatever the cause, I'm pretty happy not to have to get surveyed, since that costs a bundle.
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Old 28-01-2015, 07:40   #33
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

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And you're comparing some apples to oranges. You're talking about Boat US's tow insurance which is a significant value and a must have as opposed to just a regular liability policy. You need to separate that in your comparison.
Both policies are 100,000/300,000/50,000 with unlimited towing insurance. Both companies use contracted boats/skippers for towing. Both companies pay the towing contractor directly and nothing ever comes out of your pocket.
How am I comparing apples to oranges? Unless you meant apples cost 137 dollars and oranges cost 1117 dollars for the first year?
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Old 28-01-2015, 07:41   #34
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

I'm assuming that you have a home or vehicle insured with someone. Call your agent and ask about insuring your boat as well. You may even get a discount for multiple policies. My company (Nationwide) did not require a survey.

One advantage of insuring everything with one company is that you can get an "umbrella" policy (excess liability) that will cover liability above what each individual policy covers.

TowBoatUS unlimited towing is about $140 per year in the USA.
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Old 28-01-2015, 07:43   #35
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

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Originally Posted by Benz View Post
^^ah, it would be sweet to think that I sounded an experienced enough skipper on the phone to not need a survey! I'm going to hang on to that.
No previous file, since I'm the only owner of the boat and I built it myself from a bare hull, and it launched in 09, so not too shocking old. Whatever the cause, I'm pretty happy not to have to get surveyed, since that costs a bundle.
How long ago did you get it again? maybe they recently changed their policy?
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Old 28-01-2015, 08:09   #36
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

Try having your boat added under your home owners..i insured my 1984 Catalina 27 sloop without a survey and purchased towing thru BOAT U.S. I currently have my Bristol 35.5 insured as part of a bundled auto, home, etc at significantly lower rate than a number of other carriers, including BOAT US, who wouldn't even insure her given her age (1978)..
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Old 28-01-2015, 08:24   #37
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

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Originally Posted by VinnyVincent View Post
Both policies are 100,000/300,000/50,000 with unlimited towing insurance. Both companies use contracted boats/skippers for towing. Both companies pay the towing contractor directly and nothing ever comes out of your pocket.
How am I comparing apples to oranges? Unless you meant apples cost 137 dollars and oranges cost 1117 dollars for the first year?
First, there is no such thing as unlimited towing. Nothing in insurance is unlimited. If they attribute the problem to a manufacturer's defect, what is their response? Is it any tow company, a major one, or do you have to wait until the AAA type they use shows up. What happens if another tow boat shows up first? What are the exclusions? How do they define towing versus salvage and what is their coverage for salvage? Wait until you run aground, the tow boat shows up, tells you because you're aground it's not towing but now salvage. What areas are covered?

Have you read both the actual policies completely? If not, you really don't know whether they are equivalent or not. You may be right. They may be. But if you haven't actually read them, you don't know.

And to add one more factor. What is the history of the company in payment and settlement. The best written policy in the world isn't any good to you if they refuse to pay and you have to go to court to collect.
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Old 28-01-2015, 08:35   #38
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

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I had the same experience last year, and the story is worse than you think. I went and got a survey, which I think cost about $250. It's not based on the value of your boat, it's based on whatever you and the surveyor negotiate. The surveyor found some things that I was glad he noticed and I fixed. He also found some things I thought were irrelevant, like no carbon monoxide detector, that BoatUS insisted I fix. Am I really going to fall asleep below in a 29 ft boat and leave the engine running by mistake? But it wasn't worth arguing about.

Then I drifted onto a mud flat. My bad, I wasn't paying enough attention to where I was and what the tide was doing. So I called TowBoat US. The cowboy who "came to my assistance" didn't bring any charts with him, and despite having his home dock less than 1/2 mile from where I was, had no idea where the water was. He towed me over 9 different shoals, one of which was only 19 inches deep. I draw 4.5 feet. When it got dark he just untied his line and took off, saying "I'll be back tomorrow". The next day he did in fact come back, and amazingly brought a chart with him. Towed me off, no problem. Unfortunately, in the first 9 attempts he managed to rip the rudder off the boat. Whose problem do you think that is? Apparently mine! No liability on the part of the tow boat or BoatUS. I'll be using SeaTow from now on.

BTW, the towboat who wrecked my rudder was TowBoatUS in Ft. Pierce, FL.

I've used Sea Tow for the last 10 years, only needed them once, for fuel (fuel gauge "stuck" at 1/2 full, or empty depending on how you look at it) on a windless night returning from a long distance race, they were spot on and helpful. Previously I used one of those other major tow services for 20 years and only called once when stuck in the mud due to my own stupidity, the local rep from that national franchise attempted to get me to agree to a salvage because he didn't feel like heading out at 7pm on a Sunday, for a simple tug out of some mud. Pissed me right off.
I've been with Sea Tow ever since. For $140.00 a year it's well worth it.
The Coast Guard limit the insurance company refers to is the maximum they can charge you with in the case of a sinking or accident resulting in a fuel/oil spill, it's $854,000.00 or something like that.
Be careful buying insurance, some policies have all kinds of exceptions, so you end up paying for something that basically covers nothing. Educating yourself on what the actual laws are and what the different insurance terms and stipulations are, you can definitely get into some hot water if you don't know. Also if you define the terms and needs the insurance rep will tend to pay attention a little more, especially if they think you're insurance literate. Of course you may get a bit of push back if they think you have a junker, they do tend to try to cover their own buts, after all, it's a business.
Do a search on this sight for insurance, there are a couple good threads on it with lots of info. I was on one about a year ago when I was fresh off insuring a recently purchased boat and the memory was fresh in my mind.
Practical sailor had some really good articles in their archives that spelled out the different insurance terms and needs in plain language.
By the way, ask the marina what their insurance is, I'd be interested in seeing what the carry. Most just cover their own assets, as in docks, buildings, equipment, etc and liability for personal injuries on their property, which is why they want the boat owners to carry their own insurance to cover boat owner loss in the case of damage or fire.
Once a fire starts in a marina it's pretty hard to put out, between fiberglass and fuel it goes up pretty fast and is hard to control, which explains why most marinas tend to want to see proof of insurance, in their eyes, if your not willing to have insurance your probably not too proficient about boat maintenance either. I'm not saying that's the case here but the marina has a huge investment, usually the end product of many years of hard work and don't want to see it all go up in smoke. Just think of the environmental fines from an incident like that, it boggles the mind.
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Old 03-02-2015, 18:18   #39
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

[QUOTE=VinnyVincent;1733974]I'm starting to wonder if the person I talked to knew what they were talking about. Why did she mention the state required spill coverage of 800,whatever thousand dollars? If required by the state, why doesn't the state require boating insurance at all?....sounds like a commercial boat requirement to me..."
$854,500 is the current legal maximum that you can be sued for pollution.(for example an oil spill)
So that's where the number comes from. Most MARINE insurance polices (Markel, ACE, Foremost, Pantaenius) will automatically include that coverage limit under separate pollution liability since it's a "statutory" limit. They then list a separate (usually lower) limit for general liability - usually $300,000 or $500,000 in the USA, aka P&I (Protection & Indemnity) for things like hitting other boats and marina docks. Policies from automobile insurers don't necessarily have that same coverage.

Most marine insurance companies require surveys for liability coverage, only a small number don't. The reason they require surveys is because they want to know that they're not contracting to insure a floating wreck that could cause an oil spill or burst into flames and incinerate an expensive boat tied up in the next slip. (this does happen!). The most common cause of boat fires is a poor shore power cord connection. Yes, I realize that this may make liability coverage expensive relative to the value of an older smaller vessel, but that's the explanation for you.
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Old 28-04-2015, 10:11   #40
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

Interesting...I just got this email from boatUS:

Quote:
Great News! BoatU.S. recently relaxed or removed survey requirements for the boat type referenced above. A survey is no longer required to start your coverage. A self-survey with boat photos is all that may be needed for coverage consideration.

Please contact an underwriter to discuss the application number referenced above, or you may re-apply online at BoatUS.com/insurance. Thank you for considering coverage through the BoatU.S. Program. We look forward to welcoming you aboard.
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