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Old 22-01-2015, 11:00   #1
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Need help finding liveaboard insurance

I appreciate all the help I can get. I am desperate. That being said, please only respond if you have factual help. I can't use help that starts with "some guy told me" or "I think". I have been calling insurance companies (based on ones recommended in other posts) all week and am finding dead ends everywhere.

I am currently waiting on quotes from Markel Marine and IMIS. Quotes are taking days to get.

Allstate, Geico, Progressive, Allied (Nationwide) do not do liveaboard insurance. Pantaenius is only for high dollar boats. The one I am looking at getting is way too small.

I got a quote from BoatUS. They want $4200/yr. The current boat owners have BoatUS and pay $1200 or $1400. I know it is based on experience. The largest boat I have been operating is 26', but they have only had the boat a few years themselves.

I need to know from other motoryacht owners who they have that is cheap. I really want full coverage, not liability, but that may be all I can afford. I am also not going to lie. I am getting liveaboard insurance, not pleasure boat insurance. I don't want to give them a reason to not pay a claim. If you live on a boat, yes, you are required to state you live on it. If you don't say so, don't plan on the insurance company paying.
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Old 22-01-2015, 13:07   #2
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Re: Need help finding liveaboard insurance

I know I am replying to my own post. I just got really good news and wanted to share.

Just got off the phone with Markel Marine Insurance. They seem real nice. I got a liveaboard quote of $1300. The boat is insured for $25000. Make/model doesn't really matter, just as long as it is a motoryacht. It covers all intercoastal waterways, lakes, rivers, etc from Texas to North Carolina except Florida. Florida would cost more. It allows entrance into the Gulf up to 25 miles from land. If I wanted to do an extended Gulf trip including Florida, it would cost about $100 more. The one thing that is not covered by the insurance are firearms. They do not have insurance riders for them, either. Most people won't be concerned with this as guns are "evil", but I do thoroughly enjoy killing paper plates at a range.
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Old 22-01-2015, 13:22   #3
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Re: Need help finding liveaboard insurance

Good news indeed! I was self insured the entire time I lived aboard (except liability which was required by the marina)…. and that was ten years ago, glad to see the coverage offered.

Oh, and let’s not turn this into a gun thread folks :-)
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Old 22-01-2015, 13:25   #4
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Re: Need help finding liveaboard insurance

I guess the question is what are you defining as liveaboard insurance.

We have had allstate for several years. We told them exactly what we are doing and they were fine with covering us. Even covered florida during hurricane season since we are from Michigan (we got an email to confirm that they checked).

My guess is you may have confused them by asking for liveaboard insurance rather than asking for insurance and by the way you liveaboard and travel full time. I do agree, you shouldn't lie but how you phrase the question can have an impact on the answer.

On a side note, our insurance went up dramatically after hurricane sandy even though we were in the Great Lakes at the time and we even offered to take the east coast off our allowable cruising grounds. With the new rates, $1300 sounds in line with what we pay depending on the price of your boat and your experience.
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Old 22-01-2015, 13:57   #5
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Re: Need help finding liveaboard insurance

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post

My guess is you may have confused them by asking for liveaboard insurance rather than asking for insurance and by the way you liveaboard and travel full time. I do agree, you shouldn't lie but how you phrase the question can have an impact on the answer.
Agree, from shopping experience, its really just a matter of semantics. Regular insurance companies give better rates (if rates at all) when they hear you spend "significant time aboard" as opposed to "living-aboard" both are accurate terms. Realistically, if you're still working and commuting, factor in where you are spending the most amount of your time. I consider "living" in a place where 51% or more of the day is spent within a 24 hour period.

For example during the 6 work week, within a 24hr period, I spend @25% of my day at home and the other 75% at work/commuting.........oh god.... Even if I spent a full 7th day at home, that would only amount to 21% of my weekly time in one area. I don't live at home, I just sleep at home.

TL/DR: Words matter and can save you money...... Also,
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Old 22-01-2015, 14:19   #6
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Re: Need help finding liveaboard insurance

One company defined liveaboard as being on the boat more than 50% of the year. As long as you are only on the boat 50% of the year or less it is considered a pleasure boat.

Allstate in Illinois and Texas defined liveaboard as the boat being your primary residence. Allstate in Texas specifically asked me at the end of the quote "Do you plan on living aboard this boat?" If you answer yes, you are automatically denied through them. They will cover you through an underwriter, though. So, some people have Allstate, but the money goes to someone else. Allstate just manages the policy. (I have spent the last 5 days working on this with Allstate)
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Old 22-01-2015, 14:21   #7
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Re: Need help finding liveaboard insurance

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Originally Posted by SailingwithSoul View Post
Agree, from shopping experience, its really just a matter of semantics. Regular insurance companies give better rates (if rates at all) when they hear you spend "significant time aboard" as opposed to "living-aboard" both are accurate terms. Realistically, if you're still working and commuting, factor in where you are spending the most amount of your time. I consider "living" in a place where 51% or more of the day is spent within a 24 hour period.

For example during the 6 work week, within a 24hr period, I spend @25% of my day at home and the other 75% at work/commuting.........oh god.... Even if I spent a full 7th day at home, that would only amount to 21% of my weekly time in one area. I don't live at home, I just sleep at home.

TL/DR: Words matter and can save you money...... Also,
Slight clarification, we sold the cars and the house (insured by them also they knew they were going away). Moved aboard and worked from home (ie: the boat). So we weren't playing games with what percentage of time we were on the boat.

An insurance company isn't going to accept that you live at the office because that is where you spend the largest percentage of your day.

Again, when you ask for liveaboard insurance, they can't find it on thier menu, so they ask corporate, who doesn't find it on their list, it sounds complicated and more hassle than it's worth, so the answer is no.

Just ask for insurance and then verify how much time you can spend on the boat and they find insurance on the list and because liveaboard probably doesn't show up as a significant risk (full timers are usually more experienced boaters and they are less likley to head out in bad weather since they don't have to be somewhere by a certain date), there is no exclusion for being full time, so it's OK. At least that is the take I got from our insurance agent when we discussed it with her.
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Old 22-01-2015, 14:25   #8
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Re: Need help finding liveaboard insurance

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One company defined liveaboard as being on the boat more than 50% of the year. As long as you are only on the boat 50% of the year or less it is considered a pleasure boat.

Allstate in Illinois and Texas defined liveaboard as the boat being your primary residence. Allstate in Texas specifically asked me at the end of the quote "Do you plan on living aboard this boat?" If you answer yes, you are automatically denied through them. They will cover you through an underwriter, though. So, some people have Allstate, but the money goes to someone else. Allstate just manages the policy. (I have spent the last 5 days working on this with Allstate)
I hadn't thought about that but southern states may be a different situation because in Michigan, no one lives year round on the boat (well almost no one).

Same way marinas in Michigan really don't care if you live on the boat in the marina. They know come winter, you will be leaving.
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Old 22-01-2015, 14:37   #9
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Re: Need help finding liveaboard insurance

Allstate was honest and they were the ones who recommended I not use the term liveaboard as it can confuse common insurance companies, for the reasons Valhalla360 stated. Instead the agent recommended I say I spend a significant time aboard. It was easier getting quotes after that. Ultimately, it didn't matter.
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Old 22-01-2015, 15:21   #10
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Re: Need help finding liveaboard insurance

When you are buying insurance, you are betting on a loss, the insurance people are betting there won't be a loss. I don't feel good on betting that I'm stupid, but alas we sometimes have to have insurance for legal reasons. When I am faced with this I hedge the game by demanding high deductibles, taking safety courses and obtaining certificates of competency. I only have liability insurance, 209.81/yr. This also works well with motorcycle insurance, home owner's and in some areas auto.
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Old 23-01-2015, 09:05   #11
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Re: Need help finding liveaboard insurance

Have you tried Blue Water Yacht Insurance, Inc?
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Old 23-01-2015, 18:30   #12
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Re: Need help finding liveaboard insurance

You might try: Boat Insurance Quote: Classic Boat Insurance & Vintage Boat Insurance | Hagerty

Most auto insurance companies only want the small sport boat business. Hagerty is the underwriter for many agents. But they sell direct and do big boats. They allow any US and Canadian waters.

One cost issue is the liability the insurance faces in a sinking cleanup. Environment damage from oil and fuel. Not to mention a fire in a crowded marina.

This boat is 1942, wood, 83'. Liability alone is about $1500/yr. I am an experienced, careful mariner. At times I do full coverage, but usually not. I went thru this boat when purchased and inspected and in most cases replaced anything that might cause fire or flooding. Full coverage is about 10% of value. In 10 years of full coverage I will have paid for a 2nd boat. A sister ship of this vessel sank last year in a Puget Sound marina. Salvage and cleanup cost 1+1/2 million.

Another place to look are agents that insure commercial boats. Also, the UK has lots of live aboards. They don't seem to have the anti-boat nazis the US does. My 1st insurance on this vessel was thru a UK underwriter.
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Old 23-01-2015, 19:07   #13
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Re: Need help finding liveaboard insurance

I learned at a young age (7 years old) and tough to me by my dad (son of a sailor) be honest and stay out of the system and do the right thing. No brag, just fact.
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Old 23-01-2015, 19:20   #14
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Re: Need help finding liveaboard insurance

OK, that did not sound right. I meant get insurance and be honest so you are covered no matter what. Sorry you would have to know me to understand what I am saying. I will try and be better at this.
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Old 24-01-2015, 04:22   #15
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Re: Need help finding liveaboard insurance

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.........................

...................... Full coverage is about 10% of value. In 10 years of full coverage I will have paid for a 2nd boat. ...........
My boat is far smaller and thirty years newer than your; however it's still over forty years old. I have also "paid" for my boat by not keeping a hull coverage policy for many years, but keep a strong liability coverage.

I believe Captain Blue's very important message is to be forthright and clearly honest with all aspects of your boat and it's use when dealing with insurance providers in order to avoid problems.
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