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Old 12-04-2020, 11:10   #1
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Vessel insurance update- Spring 2020

Iím writing this from our home (M/V Pau Hana) dockside here in Seattle, playing by the current rules of ďStay Home, Stay HealthyĒ. I hope this finds all of you well and, like Kathy and I, eager to get out on the water to cruise, fish, and simply enjoy our passion.

Like the Covid situation, the opening months of 2020 have seen vessel insurance enter uncharted new territory. As I alluded to in the Fall 2019 insurance update, things have changed dramatically here stateside, as well as for our offshore cruising friends.
  • Domestically, a very large Pacific Northwest insurance carrier, Premier Marine Insurance, has apparently completely vacated the market. Iíve had numerous boating friends and neighbors report that they have received notice from Premier stating that their coverage has been non-renewed, and they must secure new coverage immediately.
  • Pantaeneius USA has departed the market.
  • GEICO Marine has capped the age of new business to vessels no older than 50 years of age.
  • The number of insurance carriers catering to those wishing to cruise offshore (Trans-Atlantic, Trans-Pacific, South Pacific) have dwindled to but a handful- and the criteria to obtain said coverage has become extremely stringent (experience, crew complement, vessel parameters, and more).
Lest I seem all doom and gloom, Iíve very optimistic that the vessel insurance carriers that remain standing will be better and stronger for their customers. Many of the companies that have exited the market had unsustainable, artificially low rates- which led to their demise. I can see potential rate changes, as well as a relaxing of some insuring criteria as things settle out.

Weíre taking this time to complete boat projects that have been on the table too long, and looking forward to a great summer on the water with friends. More later in the summer update!
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:09   #2
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Re: Vessel insurance update- Spring 2020

Allianz (Germany) has stopped renewing liability only polices. We're now on the hunt for a new policy from anyone, anywhere, but being a US boat/owner, we've been rejected from all that we've asked for a quote.

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Old 12-04-2020, 19:54   #3
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Re: Vessel insurance update- Spring 2020

would like to hear about the status and recommendations of other global (non-US) companies?
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Old 12-04-2020, 20:07   #4
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Re: Vessel insurance update- Spring 2020

My comprehensive policy renewal recently came in from the broker with zero changes to coverage or cost. This is for a policy covering Canada/US down to above the hurricane zones, and north to Labrador. Underwriter is Intact.
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Old 13-04-2020, 09:22   #5
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Re: Vessel insurance update- Spring 2020

My initial thought was that with various versions of stay home orders, a drastically reduced economy, and the potential for extended isolation orders, payouts would be less due to many not being able to afford to sail or cruise. Upon further review, I can see an increased risk due to "lightening" or other "accidents" caused by those who can't afford their toys any more.

A few years after the financial downturn in 2008, the gas prices went up a little, and there were some reports of people with car loans and gas guzzlers torching their "stolen" SUVs.

This will be one more thing that will be interesting to watch shake out as all the after effects start to happen.
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Old 13-04-2020, 09:47   #6
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Re: Vessel insurance update- Spring 2020

We encountered a major problem finding insurance last year (2019) when we were just about to set off from Mexico to French Polynesia. We obtained suitable coverage in 2018 for the voyage but an accident on the dock just prior to departure that year, led to a March 2019 departure date. We started trying to renew the policy in January 2019 and ended up stuck for 10 days in March because the underwriter from 2018 would no longer insure Canadian boats. There were no brokers in BC that could find insurance for us anywhere in the world, but The Marina Shop in Opua, NZ found a London based insurer working with Munich Re that would. But as the OP noted, the conditions were incredibly stringent in terms of crew experience and number, routing, storm deductibles, etc. AND, the premium was US$1500 more than the previous year's policy that only required rigging less than 10 years old and at least one bilge pump capable of 25 gals/m. By this time we had no choice so we bought it.

This year, the boat is still in Papeete and the renewal price for the policy remained the same but so did the restrictions. We were able to find a BC broker who could supply a policy similar to the more flexible one as long as we don't leave FP. And the price is about US$1200 cheaper than last year. At the moment the boat is parked in a marina in Papeete and will likely be there for awhile. If and when we get back there, we plan to spend the season or longer in FP so the policy is fine for this year.
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Old 13-04-2020, 09:49   #7
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Re: Vessel insurance update- Spring 2020

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pau Hana View Post
Iím writing this from our home (M/V Pau Hana) dockside here in Seattle, playing by the current rules of ďStay Home, Stay HealthyĒ. I hope this finds all of you well and, like Kathy and I, eager to get out on the water to cruise, fish, and simply enjoy our passion.

Like the Covid situation, the opening months of 2020 have seen vessel insurance enter uncharted new territory. As I alluded to in the Fall 2019 insurance update, things have changed dramatically here stateside, as well as for our offshore cruising friends.
  • Domestically, a very large Pacific Northwest insurance carrier, Premier Marine Insurance, has apparently completely vacated the market. Iíve had numerous boating friends and neighbors report that they have received notice from Premier stating that their coverage has been non-renewed, and they must secure new coverage immediately.
  • Pantaeneius USA has departed the market.
  • GEICO Marine has capped the age of new business to vessels no older than 50 years of age.
  • The number of insurance carriers catering to those wishing to cruise offshore (Trans-Atlantic, Trans-Pacific, South Pacific) have dwindled to but a handful- and the criteria to obtain said coverage has become extremely stringent (experience, crew complement, vessel parameters, and more).
Lest I seem all doom and gloom, Iíve very optimistic that the vessel insurance carriers that remain standing will be better and stronger for their customers. Many of the companies that have exited the market had unsustainable, artificially low rates- which led to their demise. I can see potential rate changes, as well as a relaxing of some insuring criteria as things settle out.

Weíre taking this time to complete boat projects that have been on the table too long, and looking forward to a great summer on the water with friends. More later in the summer update!
Have you tried BOAT U.S.?

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 13-04-2020, 11:00   #8
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Re: Vessel insurance update- Spring 2020

We're happy Boat U.S. members, at $20. per year including towing it's a no-brainer.

We've had our insurance through them for years, underwritten by Geico, and have been happy with their service and cost. Our premium is up for renewal this month and is about the same as last year (@$20 bucks less).
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Old 13-04-2020, 11:11   #9
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Re: Vessel insurance update- Spring 2020

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Originally Posted by SV__Grace View Post
We're happy Boat U.S. members, at $20. per year including towing it's a no-brainer.

We've had our insurance through them for years, underwritten by Geico, and have been happy with their service and cost. Our premium is up for renewal this month and is about the same as last year (@$20 bucks less).
BoatUS is pretty good, but the basic membership is $24 per year, which does not include towing. The salt water towing is either $175 or $159 per year depending upon the plan. Freshwater towing is less. I like their insurance and found it to be fairly comprehensive in its coverage and very reasonably priced.

I highly recommend them!
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Old 13-04-2020, 12:04   #10
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Re: Vessel insurance update- Spring 2020

You might try Hamburger Yacht- Versicherung, Schomacker Versicherungsmakler GmbH, Katharinenhof Zippelhaus 2, D 20457 Hamburg
Tel. 0049-40 3698490 / FAX 0049-40 36984911.
We have used them for 2 years now, but we are sailing only in the Mediterranean, so I'm not sure about ocean crossings.
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Old 13-04-2020, 13:34   #11
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Re: Vessel insurance update- Spring 2020

Geico cancelled all policies in the Caribbean, so we are looking for an alternative. We have one quote so far, but 50% more than we paid last year. Hoping for something more affordable.
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Old 13-04-2020, 19:58   #12
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Re: Vessel insurance update- Spring 2020

FWIW,, we sail the NE Caribb, leaving the boat on the hard in Marina Del Rey, Puerto Rico from mid-May-early-Nov; it's the schedule we've followed for the past 6 years......and yes, we rode thru both hurricanes 2 years ago-we lost the masthead windex, but that was it. Our ins company (Blue Water Ins, Fla) had a real problem finding a policy just after the storms. They did, finally, find us a policy that included named storm coverage, that was only a little more expensive than our previous policy.
We just renewed about a month ago -for $100 more than we paid last year (complete with named storm coverage!). Never have had a claim, so I can't comment on payout, but we have full hull coverage, personal liability, pers belongings, dinghy+O/B, uninsured boater, etc...-all the bells and whistles we had before.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:07   #13
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Re: Vessel insurance update- Spring 2020

JE-ZUZ

Progressive just told me they won't insure my Tayana in Kemah Texas because it's longer than 35 feet. I was looking for liability only.

Geico wants $1900 for the year for liability only.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:23   #14
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Re: Vessel insurance update- Spring 2020

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Originally Posted by tradrockrat View Post
JE-ZUZ

Progressive just told me they won't insure my Tayana in Kemah Texas because it's longer than 35 feet. I was looking for liability only.

Geico wants $1900 for the year for liability only.
That seems high for just liability.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:36   #15
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Re: Vessel insurance update- Spring 2020

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Originally Posted by ArmyDaveNY View Post
That seems high for just liability.
Right?!?!?!

I figure there's got be a mistake, but when I called them, they basically told me to submit a survey and that was the quote. I'm 90% sure I just had somebody not listening to me and trying to give me a hull value quote or something.
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