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Old 14-05-2017, 15:39   #1
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Visiting foreign ports without insurance?

My idea of sailing is to just go, to feel free. I don't want to be restricted in one area by an insurance company. I also figure that if I sink while crossing an ocean I got more immediate things to worry about. Plus I only spent 15 grand on my boat including all the upgrades so I will hardly break the bank. What I was wondering is would they allow me to enter through customs without insurance papers
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Old 14-05-2017, 15:47   #2
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Re: Visiting foreign ports without insurance?

In 10 years and 30 countries the only places that have asked for insurance are boat yards and marinas and that is liability insurance only.

However, if your boat drags its anchor and damages my boat are you going to pay cash?
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Old 14-05-2017, 15:50   #3
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Re: Visiting foreign ports without insurance?

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Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
In 10 years and 30 countries the only places that have asked for insurance are boat yards and marinas and that is liability insurance only.

However, if your boat drags its anchor and damages my boat are you going to pay cash?
My anchor held in 50 knots+ I don't drag.
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Old 14-05-2017, 15:51   #4
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Re: Visiting foreign ports without insurance?

Few ports require insurance but many marinas do. In some EU countries you are actually breaking the law if you do not have a third party insurance. E.g. Spain.

We were never asked for insurance if anchored or using commercial or fishing docks.

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Old 14-05-2017, 16:00   #5
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Re: Visiting foreign ports without insurance?

Only one marina, ever, has asked me for insurance in a foreign country. Here in the nanny state US, I've had to carry liability. I'm rarely asked for it, but it's required by the place I store for winter.
I've never been asked for insurance in order to check in to a country, but all my cruising has been in the Americas.
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Old 14-05-2017, 16:20   #6
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Re: Visiting foreign ports without insurance?

VAriant, if you come to Australia and want to use a marina, boatyard or slipway, you WILL be required to have at least third party (liability) insurance, and to the tune of 5 million AUD coverage. Yep, 5 million! This is not optional in any sense, and in most places you will be required to show a copy of the policy to be admitted.

Further, your belief that you will NEVER drag is laughable. There are various factors beyound your control that can lead you to damaging another's property, and frankly, you don't sound like you have the reserves to cover such damages out of pocket. It may be your desire to practice "My idea of sailing is to just go, to feel free", but to go without the means of covering potential liabilities is pretty damn irresponsible IMO.

We've seen enough sad evidence to have some strong feelings about this, so even if the country that you visit does not have legal requirements for some insurance, some coverage is morally required if you are to be a member of the international cruising community.

Fortunately, third party insurance is not terribly expensive. Here in Oz our cost is about 350 USD per year FWIW. I'd rather spend that on good wine, but the reality is that the insurance is both functionally and responsibly needed.

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Old 14-05-2017, 16:56   #7
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Re: Visiting foreign ports without insurance?

Many marina's around the world require insurance. Don't use them and they won't ask.
Mexico requires liability insurance when you clear in. No other country has asked us for insurance.
As Jim said, only the truly cocky believe they will never drag.
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Old 14-05-2017, 17:16   #8
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Re: Visiting foreign ports without insurance?

Mexico doesn't require insurance to clear in, I wasn't asked for it in Isla, and Cozumel asked but allowed me to explain why I didn't have it.
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Old 14-05-2017, 17:58   #9
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Re: Visiting foreign ports without insurance?

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Mexico doesn't require insurance to clear in, I wasn't asked for it in Isla, and Cozumel asked but allowed me to explain why I didn't have it.
If you don't mind me asking, what did you tell them?
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Old 14-05-2017, 18:24   #10
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Re: Visiting foreign ports without insurance?

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As Jim said, only the truly cocky believe they will never drag.
And dragging is not the only way to end up damaging another boat when the SHTF.
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Old 14-05-2017, 18:37   #11
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Re: Visiting foreign ports without insurance?

Never heard of customs demanding proof of insurance. Have heard about plenty of private marinas and yacht clubs doing so.

Im not fan of insurance, but I am a big fan of accepting personal responsibility for ones actions and choices. As Jim says, liability-only is fairly cheap. You either have the resources to make others whole, or you carry liability.

Anchoring is never 100%. If you anchor you will drag. Everyone does eventually.
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Old 14-05-2017, 19:09   #12
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Re: Visiting foreign ports without insurance?

The Port Capt. on Isla Mujeres (Mexico) explained to a group of us that liability insurance is required but they don't ask for proof unless damage takes place. If that happens you would be fined for every day you have been in Mexico without it. Imagine a panga running without lights through the anchorage and clipping your whatever.... anchor rode, dingy or dingy painter or for that matter the side of your boat. Really bad news as you are in the wrong if you are not legally insured.
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Old 14-05-2017, 20:38   #13
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Re: Visiting foreign ports without insurance?

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Mexico doesn't require insurance to clear in, I wasn't asked for it in Isla, and Cozumel asked but allowed me to explain why I didn't have it.
Liability insurance is required in Mexico for cruisers. Just like all checkin procedures in Central America (and much of N. America) how they are interpreted and applied varies port to port and official to official. When we cleared in in Ensenada they checked. I'm sure many boats don't get asked. Marina's in Mexico do typically ask.
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Old 14-05-2017, 20:47   #14
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Re: Visiting foreign ports without insurance?

Saying you will never drag anchor or never damage another boat in any way is like saying you will never run aground.
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Old 14-05-2017, 21:06   #15
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Re: Visiting foreign ports without insurance?

Liability insurance is relatively cheap if you stay in one area. If you want to get a policy that covers you everywhere, it gets really expensive. The problem is that your insurance issuer has to have a local subsidiary or partner in every country you go to, and most of them don't. As far as marinas enforcing policy requirements, things range from where Cburger had his boat damaged by a fire on an uninsured boat in New York, to the public marinas in Hawaii, who want to be additional named insured for an overnight stay.
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