Originally Posted by jholder51
We are planning to not have a loan on the boat. Will that help with insurance?
No, I don't think so. (FYI, I am not an insurance expert. I'm just relating my personal experience and knowledge gained by navigating the insurance issue on my own boat.)
But not having a loan means you can "self insure", which is a euphemism for not having insurance at all. Many cruisers do this, it seems. Some would argue this is risky not only for the obvious reason that you may lose the money
sunk in your boat, but perhaps more so for the liability risk if you damage some other boat or its passengers that's worth a lot more.
In my case, experience was an issue even though I had been sailing all my life. As I said above, I was turned down by several companies for not having owned a similar size vessel previously. Of course, simply owning a vessel should not be equated with experience but this is what these companies used as a proxy for "experience". In the end I found a company who was savvy enough to understand how shallow the "prior ownership" question was for gauging experience. Your prior inland power boat
experience is not necessary worthless, however. To be sure you should talk to some insurance brokers or others with more complete knowledge than you'll get here.