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Old 17-09-2015, 09:01   #31
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Re: List of insurers that don't require a survey

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^^ FWIW . . . . . GEICO owns BoatUS

That explains a lot of things.


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Old 17-09-2015, 10:46   #32
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Re: List of insurers that don't require a survey

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Mike are you insured just in Canada or internationally with IMIS? Do you know what the underwriter is?
We're currently insured for Canadian waters (south of the 52 parallel I think), but we're headed further afield so have been investigating our options. I took a SSCA webinar a few months ago which was hosted by a senior person with IMIS. I put the liability-only question directly to him during the event and was informed, in no uncertain terms, that they do demand a current survey even for liability-only coverage. From the tone and content of his response I came away understanding they don't like to issue liability-only policies.

Sorry Tatia, I don't know who their underwriters are.
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Old 17-09-2015, 18:02   #33
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Re: List of insurers that don't require a survey

IMIS is an agent/broker. Their "Jackline policy" is from Markel American Insurance Company. But they also sell policies from several other insurers (including BoatUS).

Al is a good guy - cares about cruisers.

Yea he does not think "liability only" is a good choice for most cruisers. . . .but he lives insurance and 'believes in it' and thus has a built in bias that way.
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Old 07-12-2015, 14:05   #34
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Re: List of insurers that don't require a survey

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Turned out that "insurance surveys" were not adding much value.
I can well believe that. Pretty much every "insurance survey" report that I have seen consists of a bare recitation of the boat's vital statistics (builder, date of construction/completion, dimensions, engine type, etc.), registration / serial numbers, and a listing of the type and number of fire extinguishers and life jackets. Essentially, anything that is easily identified or quantified. There is rarely if ever any sort of subjective analysis, or detailed commentary about a boat's condition that would require the author to demonstrate actual judgment/expertise.
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Old 07-12-2015, 14:07   #35
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Re: List of insurers that don't require a survey

I just checked with the AZ insurance agent that handles our US insurance on an RV and tow vehicle, registered to our LLC in Montana. He says there is NO standalone blanket liability insurance policy available that he knows of, and he's been in this business a long time.
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Old 07-12-2015, 14:08   #36
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Re: List of insurers that don't require a survey

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I can well believe that. Pretty much every "insurance survey" report that I have seen consists of a bare recitation of the boat's vital statistics (builder, date of construction/completion, dimensions, engine type, etc.), registration / serial numbers, and a listing of the type and number of fire extinguishers and life jackets. Essentially, anything that is easily identified or quantified. There is rarely if ever any sort of subjective analysis, or detailed commentary about a boat's condition that would require the author to demonstrate actual judgment/expertise.
I blame the insurance companies for the existence of the many (most) incompetent surveyors. These fly night charlatans could not exist if the insurance companies refused their useless reports whether for pre-purchase or insurance purposes.
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Old 07-12-2015, 14:23   #37
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Re: List of insurers that don't require a survey

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I blame the insurance companies for the existence of the many (most) incompetent surveyors. These fly night charlatans could not exist if the insurance companies refused their useless reports whether for pre-purchase or insurance purposes.
bp, that's a very valid point. Have we considered the alternative? A "complete no-holds-barred, show me the warts & all" survey, such as I had done on my boat when I bought her in 1998, had a list an arm long and most of the stuff didn't "need" to be done. While I've got most of them "done" over the years there are one or two that I haven't. One is a connection of a relief vent line from the CNG regulator to "outside." You know the whole CNG story already, so that went far down on my list.

However, should insurance companies "require" these things to be done, before they will continue your existing policy, along with yet another "inspection" before they will do so, then things could get more difficult, not less.

There may actually be a "place" for a "cursory survey for [extensions of marine] insurance purposes" alone.

I agree that those kinds are never any good when buying a boat, which is why I avoided those kind of reports like the plague back when I bought. For "re-insurance etensions", they may be appropriate, I think.

After all, one could say, "I've kept the damn thing floating this long, what yer problem now?!?"
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Old 07-12-2015, 16:43   #38
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Re: List of insurers that don't require a survey

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bp, that's a very valid point. Have we considered the alternative? A "complete no-holds-barred, show me the warts & all" survey, such as I had done on my boat when I bought her in 1998, had a list an arm long and most of the stuff didn't "need" to be done. While I've got most of them "done" over the years there are one or two that I haven't. One is a connection of a relief vent line from the CNG regulator to "outside." You know the whole CNG story already, so that went far down on my list.

However, should insurance companies "require" these things to be done, before they will continue your existing policy, along with yet another "inspection" before they will do so, then things could get more difficult, not less.

There may actually be a "place" for a "cursory survey for [extensions of marine] insurance purposes" alone.

I agree that those kinds are never any good when buying a boat, which is why I avoided those kind of reports like the plague back when I bought. For "re-insurance etensions", they may be appropriate, I think.

After all, one could say, "I've kept the damn thing floating this long, what yer problem now?!?"
Insurance companies leave me baffled. In all my years in surveying I have only been required to revisit a vessel once to confirm that the recommended actions were in fact carried out. Sometimes the will send the insured a letter stating that they must fix A,B or C but There is rarely a followup.

I once wrote a survey on a charter fishing boat. My concluding comment was "this boat will explode". That fella got his insurance and was taking families out on Lake Ontario a few days later. I don't think most insurers even read the reports and wouldn't understand them if they did (BoatUS excepted), they simply look at the value and write a policy.

I sound cynical, I know but this is what I have seen over the last 20 years.
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Old 07-12-2015, 16:58   #39
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Re: List of insurers that don't require a survey

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youi do not require a survey for insurance here in Australia. But in their contract they have a clause that states the boat has to be in a seaworthy condition. They employed me recently to do a survey on a boat that had made a claim. I sent them my report just stating the facts and they decided not to pay out on the claim. You cannot get a car insured in Oz without a road worthy certificate,so why should boats be any different? It is only every 5 years and it is all about risk evaluation. Surely the insurance company has a right to know the probability of a claim being made?
Firstly, I'm not aware of ANY insurance company that requires a road worthy certificate for a car. And it would be pretty hard to accommodate here in Tasmania where we don't have road worthy certificates at all.

I've just moved to Youi for a huge saving in premiums. But my vessel is kept sea worthy at all times.

I left Club Marine recently because they require me to have a valuation every two years due to it being a steel boat and over 20 years old. It's the only insurance company I'm aware of that requires this.
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Old 07-12-2015, 17:31   #40
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Re: List of insurers that don't require a survey

It's pretty simple really. The survey points out things and the insurer requires certain ones to be completed. They don't need to read much of the survey. I'm sure they are fine with you not doing those things as you have violated the contract and they wont have to pay if you don't, even though they collected your premiums. So if your boat stores a propane bottle in sail locker and you don't fix it and it blows up. Good luck getting paid for that.
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Old 07-12-2015, 17:36   #41
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Re: List of insurers that don't require a survey

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Firstly, I'm not aware of ANY insurance company that requires a road worthy certificate for a car. And it would be pretty hard to accommodate here in Tasmania where we don't have road worthy certificates at all.

I've just moved to Youi for a huge saving in premiums. But my vessel is kept sea worthy at all times.

I left Club Marine recently because they require me to have a valuation every two years due to it being a steel boat and over 20 years old. It's the only insurance company I'm aware of that requires this.
"Seaworthy" is actually a legal term not a marine term and means a very different thing to insurance companies than it does to most of us. They use an Admiralty definition which includes qualifications of master and crew, ships stores, charts, navigation equipment, hull, electrical systems, mechanical systems, medicinal and first aid stores, food ..... a whole list of things and .... only for a specific voyage.
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Old 07-12-2015, 19:02   #42
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Re: List of insurers that don't require a survey

Here's a modest proposal: If the insurance companies want these things, then why don't they hire the surveyor, and pay for the survey?

Surveys are a tool for the insurance company, so they can assess the risk and therefore price their service appropriately. IOW, it is their need that is being fulfilled, not yours. We purchase insurance as a way to mitigate and guard against risk. We go to the market and ask for prices on this service. Since risk assessment is an essential part of how this service is priced, the companies should pay for it.

There would be a lot of benefits to putting this on their plate. If insurance companies managed the survey system there would be a lot more standardization in the survey product. They would be able to establish proper credentials for surveyors, likely weeding out a lot of the questionable characters, and generally raising the bar for the industry. Bulk purchasing of the service would lower costs. And finally, it would remove the often ridiculous hassle boat owners have to go through to get these things done.

And before you all run to your keyboards to say how crazy I am, consider this: The overall risk of almost all recreational boating is exceedingly low. If you isolate cruising boats from the data, then the risk drops even lower. Insurance companies know this. This makes the whole pre-insurance survey even sillier and wasteful for all.
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Old 07-12-2015, 19:10   #43
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Re: List of insurers that don't require a survey

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"Seaworthy" is actually a legal term not a marine term and means a very different thing to insurance companies than it does to most of us. They use an Admiralty definition which includes qualifications of master and crew, ships stores, charts, navigation equipment, hull, electrical systems, mechanical systems, medicinal and first aid stores, food ..... a whole list of things and .... only for a specific voyage.
so, what your saying is, it has to be 'seaworthy' for the particular voyage your planning on going on? Is that right?
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Old 07-12-2015, 19:11   #44
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Re: List of insurers that don't require a survey

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Here's a modest proposal: If the insurance companies want these things, then why don't they hire the surveyor, and pay for the survey?

Surveys are a tool for the insurance company, so they can assess the risk and therefore price their service appropriately. IOW, it is their need that is being fulfilled, not yours. We purchase insurance as a way to mitigate and guard against risk. We go to the market and ask for prices on this service. Since risk assessment is an essential part of how this service is priced, the companies should pay for it.

There would be a lot of benefits to putting this on their plate. If insurance companies managed the survey system there would be a lot more standardization in the survey product. They would be able to establish proper credentials for surveyors, likely weeding out a lot of the questionable characters, and generally raising the bar for the industry. Bulk purchasing of the service would lower costs. And finally, it would remove the often ridiculous hassle boat owners have to go through to get these things done.

And before you all run to your keyboards to say how crazy I am, consider this: The overall risk of almost all recreational boating is exceedingly low. If you isolate cruising boats from the data, then the risk drops even lower. Insurance companies know this. This makes the whole pre-insurance survey even sillier and wasteful for all.
INsurance companies are a business. They don't pay for anything. We do. It call comes back into the premiums.

and I don't think your crazy.
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Old 07-12-2015, 19:17   #45
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Re: List of insurers that don't require a survey

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INsurance companies are a business. They don't pay for anything. We do. It call comes back into the premiums.

and I don't think your crazy.
Thanks Rustic. I'll let my wife know there are now two of us who don't think I'm crazy .

You're right, of course. We always pay the cost. But the system I suggest should lower costs b/c insurance companies would feel the market forces. Right now it is a hidden cost to them, so there is no way for them to use their buying power to lower the costs. It would also force them to assess what the real value of these things are. I suspect that if they had to manage and pay for the surveys, we'd see a lot less of them.
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