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Old 26-01-2015, 12:38   #1
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Marine survey for Liability!?

Why?

I really wanted to go with BoatUS for liability/towing insurance at my marina, mainly due to the good reputation they have for towing insurance. I thought I could save some money by lumping liability together with tow insurance.
I was in shock when the representative informed me that they would require a survey for liability. She had no explanation for why other than "it's our requirement for any policy".
Even after I get this hypothetical survey done, their policy for minimum coverage with towing is 357 a year.

Progressive has the exact coverage and they also offer something called "sign and glide" which I suppose is their version of seatow or boatUS membership towing insurance. They don't require a survey and it's only 134 a year VS BoatUS and their 357 a year.


Now, I think it is worth mentioning that this is a 2500 dollar boat that I threw an outboard motor on. I'm not too keen on paying someone 800+ dollars to come "look" at it for the sole purpose of getting accident coverage to pacify the marina.
I doubt ANYONE with an old, cheap boat like mine would be keen on getting a survey just for liability. I'm wondering how they manage to sell enough polices for liability to even stay competitive. I could understand if this was full coverage, but come on...


I know this seems like a no brainer to go with progressive and I probably will...Only problem is I've read some really bad things about them.

Could they really be THAT bad? 134 dollars a year VS 1200+(if you factor in the survey) for the first year and then 357 after?
With it being liability I doubt I would ever even deal with filing a claim, except for their towing insurance.


I could even just go with progressive for the liability with no tow insurance at 100 a year, get a seatow membership for 167 and still come out MUCH cheaper than BoatUS.

I really don't know what my question is. I guess I am just dumbfounded as to why they would require something so ridiculous for liability coverage... I hear it is pretty standard so kudos to progressive for not being totally anal.
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Old 26-01-2015, 13:20   #2
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

Hi Vinny,
Sounds like standard insurance non sense to me. I've always needed to provide proof of insurance for a slip. And insurance has always demanded a B.S. survey, even on cheapy boats. I've hired cheap surveyors to handle this, but the surveys are bizarre, they don't even describe my boat. But they seem to pacify insurance. Strange world.

I have a more expensive boat now, so I have a real survey, but I've definitely been down the B.S. trail they're sending you down.

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Old 26-01-2015, 13:30   #3
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

your survey would only cost a percentage for the boat sale/value price! I had my initial survey for our boat, and it was $540.00 for the purchase price of $54k, for a full insurance survey. There is no way your survey would/should cost $800. Your survey should not cost more than $150. Also I have a bass boat and my insurance co. only required a couple of pics. This was to show them that they were insuring an actual vessel. I did not require a survey for that boat. I can see Boats U.S. requiring a survey, but only to make sure that there is actually a real boat, ands that it is serviceable!!!!!!!
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Old 26-01-2015, 13:30   #4
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

Hi Vinny,

What is the exact name of the Policy from Progressive please? A link to it would be even better.

When I was in the USA a few years ago Progressive did not have a policy for Liability only. As I a coming to the US again in a few months I wuld like to get one. The one I got last time was $500.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 26-01-2015, 14:15   #5
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Hi Vinny,

What is the exact name of the Policy from Progressive please? A link to it would be even better.

When I was in the USA a few years ago Progressive did not have a policy for Liability only. As I a coming to the US again in a few months I wuld like to get one. The one I got last time was $500.

Thanks for your help.
I can't post a link to the actual policy without my personal info showing up.
What you need to do is go here:

Boat Insurance: Progressive

and fill out your personal info. When you select coverage, it should look like this:

(your marina may require more that 300,000 for accident coverage, but mine didn't)

Quote:
Policy coverages
Bodily Injury & Property Damage Liability $100,000 person/$300,000 accident/$50,000 property damage
Uninsured Boater No coverage
Medical Payments No coverage
Fishing Equipment No coverage
Vehicle coverages for 1977 Other Manufacturer Not Listed 28
Comprehensive No coverage
Collision No coverage
Disappearing Deductibles No coverage
Sign & GlideŽ Selected
Coastal Navigation 75 Nautical Miles
Replacement Cost Personal Effects No coverage
Did you call them or go online? One thing I did notice is that the sales reps like to randomly add coverage that you don't ask for to get you to pay a higher premium(more commission for them)...I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they told you they didn't offer liability in order to take advantage of you, especially if you aren't from the US.

When getting qoutes, I always do it online now...I also notice that companies who don't offer online qoutes or want to finalize things on the phone also almost always have higher premiums.


If you need me to help you through it, you can PM me.
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Old 26-01-2015, 14:33   #6
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

Thanks, terrific.

Mark
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Old 26-01-2015, 14:42   #7
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

BoatUS is smarter than Progressive. They know that an $800 junker could cost them millions when it sets the whole marina on fire.
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Old 26-01-2015, 14:51   #8
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike d. View Post
your survey would only cost a percentage for the boat sale/value price! I had my initial survey for our boat, and it was $540.00 for the purchase price of $54k, for a full insurance survey. There is no way your survey would/should cost $800. Your survey should not cost more than $150. Also I have a bass boat and my insurance co. only required a couple of pics. This was to show them that they were insuring an actual vessel. I did not require a survey for that boat. I can see Boats U.S. requiring a survey, but only to make sure that there is actually a real boat, ands that it is serviceable!!!!!!!
It's a 2500 dollar 28 foot boat. All the surveyors I found online around here charge 15 dollars or more per ft.

So...420 for the surveyor if I use the cheapest one I can find. He's going to need to have it hauled out, which is 140 just to take it out of the water. I'm not sure how long he needs it to be out of the water, but assuming it's 24 hours, that's another 200 dollars.

That's 760 dollars to get a 2500 dollar boat surveyed. Or 30% however you wanna look at it.

For your bass boat was it full coverage?
I just can't see needing a full marine survey for liability. A picture maybe, so like you said I can't just lie say I ran into something and have them fix it when there was in fact no accident involving a boat...Even that makes no sense. It's not like the boat isn't registered and titled...

To make matters worse I had to call them and ask what was going on because it had been over a week since I applied for a quote. The woman told me that they hadn't gotten back to me, because I listed my purchase price as 2500. When I told them it was correct she say's "so was this a salvage title, is it damaged, or..."
I told her no, that's just what I paid for it.
Then she starts asking about why I listed the value at 6,000. I said "because that seemed like a fair market value for the boat with no engine, like I bought it" then I just hear ".........." so I tell her it doesn't even matter because I only wanted a quote for liability.

Also, she told me fuel and other spill liability was required by the state for the amount of 854,400...if it's required, why didn't progressive make mention of it??? Am I missing something? Should I try calling and talking to someone else?
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Old 26-01-2015, 14:57   #9
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

So you think that BoatUS should just take your word (and a photo) for it that your boat is safe and not a threat to every other boat in the harbour and assume a million dollar liability on your say so alone ? ...... Like I said, BoatUS is smarter than that.
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Old 26-01-2015, 15:26   #10
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

You an AAA member? They insure boats to 32' - no survey requirement for liability only. (At least they didn't require me to )
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Old 26-01-2015, 15:30   #11
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

Foremost Insurance also offers liability coverage without a survey at a very reasonable price. Got it through my local independent insurance broker.
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Old 26-01-2015, 16:20   #12
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
BoatUS is smarter than Progressive. They know that an $800 junker could cost them millions when it sets the whole marina on fire.
By "smarter" did you really mean "knows how to protect themselves from every possible situation known to man, including damage caused by meteor impact, no matter what it costs their customer"?

How could it cost them millions when I only have 300k in coverage?


Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
So you think that BoatUS should just take your word (and a photo) for it that your boat is safe and not a threat to every other boat in the harbour and assume a million dollar liability on your say so alone ? ...... Like I said, BoatUS is smarter than that.
No, I expect them to be reasonable. Obviously since other large companies are able to offer liability with no survey, it's possible to do so without jeapordizing the whole company's financials.

Does the marina not carry their own insurance that protects them if the entire marina burns down, subsequently costing "millions"? If not, why does the marina only require 300k in cpverage? If you are worried about some freak fire burning your boat down, should you not carry full coverage?

The scenario you describe is pretty extreme, bro. I'm pretty sure the marina require's insurance for petty things like collisions, not things like a comet being attracted to some rare metal in your 1977 boat and destroying the entire city.

While we are on the subject of extremes, I could rip all the wires and fuel tank out of my boat, have it surveyed, then install new, extremely hazardous wiring and fuel systems after I pass the survey with flying colors. Should they start requiring a monthly survey to prevent that too? Oh! That's right...they would probably lose all their business to competitors...smart company.

BTW what type of "marine services" do you offer? I'm guessing it's surveys or insurance lol
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Old 26-01-2015, 16:29   #13
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

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.
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Old 26-01-2015, 16:47   #14
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

^ WOW!

Thanks for sharing that. Apparently I wouldn't be getting superior coverage, in spite of paying 3x as much per year and having to jump through hoops to get a policy.
At this point I'm leaning toward progressive insurance with a seatow membership for towing. That is, unless someone can convince me that BoatUS offers more to me, the consumer... other than being "smarter" lol...I'm looking for insurance here, not a girlfriend.
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Old 26-01-2015, 16:49   #15
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Re: Marine survey for Liability!?

Boat U.S. protocols seem to be ever changing. When I went to insure one 26-foot boat with them I kept getting conflicting answers depending on who I spoke with. It may be worth talking to another rep reading the survey requirement to verify that you received the correct information the first time. When I got liability only insurance with them, no survey was required, but that was some time ago.

I get a sense that Progressive is more oriented towards boats like yours so it wouldn't surprise me if they are a better deal. I think Boat US really has no desire to insure smaller boats.

Another thing about the rate comparison is that the tow services each includes may be very different. What tow services for example are contracted to work with their sign and glide policy?
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