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Old 25-04-2021, 08:52   #1
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A year to prepare for insurance

So my girlfriend and I are buying a 40 foot sailboat on the hard with cash. We are going to fix it up and plan to get it in the water a year from now.

I have had a nightmare dealing with insurance, this is the reason we are foregoing a boat loan and paying cash since the marina doesn’t require any insurance.

I have a year to make myself look better for the insurance companies, what courses do you suggest and/or experience I can try to get to make this process easier a year from now?
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Old 25-04-2021, 08:59   #2
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Re: A year to prepare for insurance

Can you get any coverage now, even just local or port risk? If so, having a year of coverage is likely to make getting the following, more extensive, policy easier,
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Old 25-04-2021, 09:00   #3
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Re: A year to prepare for insurance

Where are you? ASA or US sailing courses for sure, but also, time on the water, can you crew on races, or join a club and be out on the water at least once a week through the fall?

A course like starpath coast navigation covers rules of the road and gives you a certificate. You can also join a sail training journey that will give you many miles at sea over 7 or 10 days.
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Old 25-04-2021, 09:03   #4
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Re: A year to prepare for insurance

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Originally Posted by PNWSalmon View Post
Where are you? ASA or US sailing courses for sure, but also, time on the water, can you crew on races, or join a club and be out on the water at least once a week through the fall?

A course like starpath coast navigation covers rules of the road and gives you a certificate. You can also join a sail training journey that will give you many miles at sea over 7 or 10 days.
Thanks for the reply!

The boat will be in North Carolina but in a year we plan on sailing the Caribbean.

We joined a sailing club and have been getting a good amount of hours on the water each week.
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Old 25-04-2021, 09:44   #5
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Re: A year to prepare for insurance

[QUOTE=Brassmonkeys;3394606
I have a year to make myself look better for the insurance companies, what courses do you suggest and/or experience I can try to get to make this process easier a year from now?[/QUOTE]

Well i had taken ASA course to bareboat and had a year experience before buying my first boat, 39’. The insurance company still required an additional 30 hours of instruction on my boat with a captain (was not a big deal as ineeded crew to move it). That was 13 years ago and since then have sailed up/down the east, to the Gulf, to the Bahamas numerous times and that experience did nothing for my rates.

So i would ask an insurance provider what they would require instead of guessing.
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Old 25-04-2021, 10:05   #6
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Re: A year to prepare for insurance

The insurance market has gotten a lot tighter in the past couple years, but shopping around may help. Different carriers have different requirements.

Put together a boating resume that puts whatever experience and training you have in the best light. When we first started cruising I highlighted ASA101-104, but also 30 years experience owning and driving a ski boat. In my opinion driving a 18' ski boat gave me little useful experience to skipper a 41' sailboat, but 30 years of 'boating experience' looked good.

Also, if you have home/car insurance you might ask around about carriers that will also insure your boat. Change your home/auto policy to that carrier and then try to add your boat in a year. GEICO for example.
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Old 26-04-2021, 09:56   #7
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Re: A year to prepare for insurance

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Originally Posted by Brassmonkeys View Post
............I have had a nightmare dealing with insurance, this is the reason we are foregoing a boat loan and paying cash since the marina doesn’t require any insurance. I have a year to make myself look better for the insurance companies..........
Lots of good advise on sailing courses, getting lots of insurance quotes and finding out exactly what the insurance companies require..........Be sure to get a marine survey avaliable to submit it to the insurance companies with a signed compliance form indicating when you will resolve the survey deficiencies. Also reach out to insurance brokers who can source insurance quotes from multiple companies OR at least get a million dollar umbrella insurance policy to at least cover liability in the event your boat has an incident, like fire, falls off its cradle and damages other boats or marina property or persons.
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Old 26-04-2021, 10:31   #8
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Re: A year to prepare for insurance

If you have the time, try to get with a delivery captain as his third crew. You will learn a lot, plus get valuable experience for your own boat. I think insurance companies value time on water, distance traveled, and size of vessel.
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Old 26-04-2021, 10:55   #9
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Re: A year to prepare for insurance

Liability insurance shouldn't be too tough to get. Most yards require it, but I guess you got lucky.
First, take a USCG Auxiliary safe boating course. That's often the first question insurance companies ask. They usually even have it as a "check the box" item on applications.

Your auto insurance broker may provide insurance for a "recreational boat". It's often a bargain, and if you are not living aboard while working on the boat, it should not be too tough to get. This will establish an insurance record before you live aboard.
With insurance companies offer only what is asked. Customs officials too!

My first cruising boat insurance was through my auto insurance. Coincidentally they covered rec boats "within 75 miles of the coast". So I sailed to Southern Cal from the PNW through the "graveyard of the Pacific" within 75 miles of the coast and was covered for almost nothing! I doubt it's this way any more.
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Old 26-04-2021, 11:12   #10
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Re: A year to prepare for insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
My first cruising boat insurance was through my auto insurance. Coincidentally they covered rec boats "within 75 miles of the coast". So I sailed to Southern Cal from the PNW through the "graveyard of the Pacific" within 75 miles of the coast and was covered for almost nothing! I doubt it's this way any more.
I believe that is still the norm. I have a 24 foot sportfishing boat which I primarily use in rivers and bays along the West Coast of Oregon and Washington. I have boat insurance through State Farm for that vessel. It is valid up to 100 miles offshore.
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Old 26-04-2021, 11:16   #11
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Re: A year to prepare for insurance

Go and watch recent Gone with the Wynns episode on insurance coverage. You will find this most helpful.
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Old 05-05-2021, 08:58   #12
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Re: A year to prepare for insurance

Any boating experience is of value for insurance purposes. I just bought my first sail boat and the insurance company gave me a lot of credit for 23 years of boating experience for owning and paddling kayaks :-) Mostly whitewater kayaks.
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Old 05-05-2021, 17:24   #13
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Re: A year to prepare for insurance

Above answers are great. I'd throw in the age and condition of the boat will impact coverage as well as sailing territory. The insurance market has gotten incredibly tough. I've always used a broker. I don't know if that makes it easier or harder, but they did the work. Great your marina does not require insurance, but many places do (in the US I was never asked for proof of insurance for overnight stays, but most marinas will require insurance if you intend to stay.) Good luck.
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Old 05-05-2021, 17:52   #14
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Re: A year to prepare for insurance

What are the best companies to use? Heard progressive may be one?
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Old 05-05-2021, 18:23   #15
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Re: A year to prepare for insurance

So, to be clear, did you (the OP) seek insurance and were denied based on lack of experience? Or were you denied because the boat has too many issues? The way you describe the boat I'm inclined to think it is the latter issue, not the former.

I've never, ever, been asked by any insurance company anything about my experience as a boater. I'm going on two decades of cruising boat level ownership now and never once has my experience come up. In fact, I volunteered that I'd taken courses -- they didn't care. They only seem concerned about the boat survey.

Nothing wrong with taking courses. It's a good way to learn and to get some experience, but it has never been part of my insurance negotiations. Maybe another difference between Canadian and American insurance worlds?
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