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Old 23-09-2009, 16:43   #1
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Cats Have More Insurance Claims

Catamaran Controversy

In this older article from the Caribbean Compass newspaper they report the substantially higher insurance claims that occur with cats. The article was written in 2006 but claims on cats are still higher today than monohulls.

Some of the more common claims discussed in the article are:

Lightning Strikes
Dismastings
Poor seamanship
Poor dockage in a tropical storm
hauling out
sailing to the USA from the Caribbean
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Old 23-09-2009, 16:55   #2
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More charterers on Cats

Premiums are still less than 1% here, how about there?
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Old 23-09-2009, 17:35   #3
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Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
More charterers on Cats

Premiums are still less than 1% here, how about there?
Insurance premiums are more like 1.2% here, especially if you stay in the hurricane box for the season.
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Old 23-09-2009, 20:32   #4
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My insurance premium on my cat is exactly the same as it was on my monohull - 0.9% of the boat value.

If there was a significant difference in the insurance claims by cats then it would show up in the premium. Unless insurers have become more charitable of late....
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Old 23-09-2009, 22:26   #5
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I read that article and even as a steadfast mono-huller, I found it biased, silly and to be kind…tongue in cheek.

Like any new developments in yachting, early editions usually have problems both in engineering and operators learning curve.

To cite them as examples of the standard today in multi hulls… is ridiculous!

Good seamanship can overcome a bad design…but,
Bad seamanship will not be saved by a good design.
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Old 23-09-2009, 22:37   #6
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So often, and I mean extremely often, I hear people long term cruising on cats say they its the only boat the wife would come away on. Of these the vast majority of wives couldn’t previously sail. The main reason for buying a cat vs mono was that it doesn’t heel.

So, on the balance of probabilities, I would suggest that more Cat couples have one crew member who hasn’t had as much sailing experience. Thus more and higher claims.

Footnote: 1)I am not slagging cats or cat owners etc, just commenting on what folks say to me.
2) I don't know if people gain more experience faster on a Mono or a Cat. Nor do I know if its relevant.




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Old 23-09-2009, 23:21   #7
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To reiterate: If it doesn't show up in the insurance premiums then it's nonsense - insurance companies aren't in the business of subsidizing premiums.
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Old 23-09-2009, 23:43   #8
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To reiterate: If it doesn't show up in the insurance premiums then it's nonsense - insurance companies aren't in the business of subsidizing premiums.
Thats a good point. Is it similar for most countries?
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Old 28-09-2009, 19:56   #9
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Mono here, were about .4% of agreed upon value. Not sure what the multis in the marina pay but will ask a friend who just switched.
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Old 30-09-2009, 09:10   #10
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Hi guys!

That old Caribbean Compass article rears its head now and then (usually wielded by monohullers seeking some sort of anti-cat vindication) and we have discussed it many times on other boards.

Here is what I had to say about it on the Lats and Atts board a couple of months ago:

That article in the Caribbean Compass got some heat after it was published.

Sally (the editor whom I like very much) often publishes something pretty opinionated just to get the fleet down there going. It's "entertainment" and revs-up the letters from the readers in subsequent issues. It's fun.

Most people realize that and take Compass articles like that one in good sport and with a grain of salt.

For the same reason she printed that guy's statistically vague anti-cat rant, Sally published my article named "Who are you calling a Cruiser?" that poked a finger in a lot of uppity-eyes of self-professed "real crusiers" who were knocking others at the time.

The Compass likes to stir things up.

Anyway, Mr. Matthews' article is void of the actual statistical numbers. Nor does he delineate whether his remarks are limited to HIS claims desk (which statistically means nothing), his company's entire claims (which means almost statitically nothing), or allegedly those of the entire industry which may or may not mean anything depending on the real spread of the actual numbers of the statistics.

For example, I don't have the figures handy, but I looked into the actual numbers of lighting claims on cats versus monos versus trawlers. Cats have more, followed by monos, and then by trawlers . . . just as one might imagine . . .

BUT, NONE of the numbers are so far apart that it would cause one to worry about lightning, let alone have it dictate which boat to buy, etc. For example, I don't remember the actual numbers, but if the chance of a cat getting hit is .000002 percent and a monohull is .000001 percent, is that something to really jump up and down about? The chances for both are still very small.

All that is REALLY CLEAR in that article is that Mr. Matthews got utterly humiliated by not having the sailing skills to handle a Hobie Cat and he was embarrased and has resented cats ever since.

He covers his butt, though, with one single disclaimer sentence buried in his article:

"I hasten to add that I am fully aware that a few rugged salts skillfully sail multihulls in formidable conditions ranging from the howling southeasterlies and thin waters of the Laguna Madre to bluewater voyages across oceans; therefore the comments herein are empirically derived from claims crossing the Yacht Claims Desk and do not refer to these competent mariners. "

The only thing I take issue with is that he says only a "FEW" rugged salts know how to sail a bluewater catamaran. Bullfeathers! Thousands know how to safely handle cruising cats. And my wife, Melissa is beautiful, not rugged.

And more: if I we can do it, anybody can do it. Mr. Matthews just needs a little therapy and a few lessons after his Hobie incident, that's all.

After reading his article I reflected about his remarks (an insurance adjuster's rant as viewed from a catamaran's deck at sea) and I was not offended by anything really EXCEPT I did not like his implication that catamarans are complicated contraptions that monohull people (like him) just don't have the skills to sail. Again, BULL!

Funny . . . he wanted to point out disadvantages of cats, but to so so he had to resort to self-deprication and knock the skills of monohull sailors like him . . .

Anyway, when an article claiming to compare statistics does not contain any actual claims numbers whatsoever . . . just alleged ratios with no supporting numbers or context . . . you gotta wonder why?

I am a realist and cats certainly have their drawbacks and y'all know me . . . I don't participate in any "Rah Rah" blind cheerleading on any single boat or design. They ALL have drawbacks. ALL boats have weaknesses.

From that perspective, and having a good bit of ocean experience on my cat and while sailing in the company of many other cat owners, I can say that Mr. Matthew's article is very honestly titled . . . his view is from a desk . . . .

I guess it's a good thing my first boat was a Hobie Cat and I could handle it, otherwise I would have been in "deep doo doo' when it became glaringly obvious that a modern cruising catamaran is generally a much more comfortable choice as a full-time liveaboard sailboat on the hook in the tropics.

Anyway, it is all good and I appreciated the article for its humor and that was obviously its main offering.

All the best,

Buddy
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Old 30-09-2009, 09:43   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbug
... if the chance of a cat getting hit is .000002 percent and a monohull is .000001 percent, is that something to really jump up and down about? The chances for both are still very small ...
Q1. Doesn’t a statistic’s validity depend more upon the number of samples, than the resultant probability?
Q2. Doesn’t the difference between 0.000002 and 0.000001 represent a doubling of likelihood?
Q3. Does the argument conflate a very small probability with a zero probability?

These are questions, not arguments - I'm mathematics & statistics challenged.
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Old 30-09-2009, 09:50   #12
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It all sounds like the movie "Airplane":

"He has a 50/50 chance of surviving but there's only a ten percent chance of that!"

I'll let the math wizards go for it. But, yes, the cat has twice the odds of almost no probability of lightning striking it.

If you are the one that gets hit, though, it is then that statistics have no meaning all of a sudden.
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Old 30-09-2009, 11:01   #13
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Has anyone ever bought a boat based on its odds of getting, or not getting, hit by lightning, or how much relative damage would be done if hit? If this was a large consideration, wouldn't we all be on steel boats (or maybe wood) and the magazines and industry pimping the heck out of steel/wood boats' lighting safety record?

I just don't see the relevance of lightning strike probability as it pertains to any one type of boat - here or in the other threads about it. Lightning strike mitigation, however, is relevant, but is basically the same for all types of boats.

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Old 30-09-2009, 13:32   #14
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Mono-hulls, wonderful, but then I got tired of up hill cooking, cleaning and all those other things in life, a cat was the answer, and then I went on a trawler that had a kitchen, not a galley. Blessed life and then I went on a stabilized trawler. I sold out, sorry, blush and all that, but it's like chalk and cheese. And the insurance is lower
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Old 30-09-2009, 13:42   #15
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Being in the chesapeake and out of hurricane alley our insurance premium is .6% of hull value with BoatUS. I actually did contact an insurance company and talked to a a guy who'd been employed for a long time doing claim calls on different catamarans. His only recommendation was to stay away from balsa cored boats as he'd seen several where the boat was basically unsalvagable due to he penetration of water throughout the core and the subsequent rot. As to the "doesn't heel" argument etc, the vast majority of catamaran owners started as monohull owners because they are a cheaper way of getting started sailing and then switched because they preferred catamarans. I haven't found any current monohull owner who knew what they were talking about regarding catamarans as they'd never owned one, some may have chartered, but that's like saying you've got in depth knowledge of home repair and construction because you stayed in a hotel once. In fact, for everyone I do know who currently own catamarans they have a variety of reasons for buying them, from comfort, visibility, redundancy of key systems, etc, but we all do appreciate the fact that we don't heel. But that's a far cry from saying that it's our predominant reason. If I were to say what the predominate reasons are between cat owners, it would probably be comfort, followed by safety.
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