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Old 15-10-2021, 09:32   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Norfolk, Virginia
Boat: 1984 Passport 42 pilothouse cutter
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Insurance

I need some help.

been a customer of BoatUS since 2008, they had my tow package, and i maintained the membership although i have significantly reduced all West Marine purchases the last few years. I am active duty Military and just transferred from San Diego to Norfolk last year. i don't know where I am going to retire too yet so i am living on the boat while doing a refit right now. 1984 Passport 42, sailboat.

Last year my yearly premium was $1700, for $100k on the boat, 300k liability & uninsured boater, 10k medical (donít need), $997k fuel and spill. first payment was ~$3-$400, followed by ~ 200 payments for ~9 months. Previous premium was $1200 i believe, ~$900 before that I believe. i have had no accidents, claims or issues in that time. currently doing a refit so the boat sits at the dock. I am a professional mariner, US Navy small boat coxswain & Tactical Small Boat Coxswain, at my previous command i wrote the coxswain/Tactical Coxswain training course and have been teaching sailors to safely operate boats in normal and intense conditions for over 15 years. have a decent number of formal marine engine manufacturer schools/courses, and military boat/ship/engine courses.

So i get my notice to renew my policy and make a payment for the next year. says $900 but i didn't think anything of it, i thought it was my yearly premium. i call them this morning and they tell me that due to the number of claims they have raised rates. my premium is now over $3000, and they want $905 for the first year payment ~30% they said. that's the remainder of my paycheck. marina requires insurance or kicks you out.

so my option is to starve and not pay remaining bills until the 1st but keep my slip, or have no insurance after the OCT 26th and get forced out of the marina, have to anchor out somewhere (not really an option since i have to work every day). Highly pissed, like hung up on them twice and promised to picket their booth at the Annapolis boat show and tell people how crappy of a company they are, kind of pissed.

cant tell you how upset, angry and vulnerable to these overpayed Aholes i feel right now. needless to say I am looking for a new insurance company before my policy expires. already got a quote from Progressive for $414-$520 for the year, but itís mostly liability only. a good stop gap measure but they are not a marine insurance company. I see a few marine insurance companies, but not sure what the best move going forward is. im going up to the Annapolis boat show Sunday and Monday, so I have calmed myself down enough to try and be patient and shop around a bit.

Reality is I will be sitting at the pier at least until next summer, and I donít know these waters so nothing major at that, all time, energy, and money is going into the refit right now. The mast is still at the boat yard waiting to get painted, after having the boat trucked over. All the Mast hardware, equipment, and fittings were refitted 2019 before getting orders and shipping the boat, so I just need to paint it. Been ripping out the old wires and refitting the boat after what was originally just supposed to be a Marine AC install, that has since become a bigger project. I donít really want to get a survey until after the refit, spring maybe once the mast is back up. I am living onboard while doing the refit, to be able to work more and put more money into the refit.

What Marine Insurance companies are worth the money for the Chesapeake bay area? Live aboards? Should I even put down that Iím a live aboard ect? Best tow service package to replace boatUS? Any other tips and tricks regarding Boat insurance? Iíve never gone outside of boatUS so im feeling a bit nieve and unexperienced at the moment. Progressive will work in a pinch but they donít have the full coverage and the last thing I need is trying to fix the boat on my own after some idiot hits me, or a storm pushes a boat into me or something. i don't want to pay for liability and then have to change insurance anyway when i start testing systems and operating the boat.
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Old 15-10-2021, 10:05   #2
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Re: Insurance

Hello Alaskan Viking, after reading your post. I checked my Geico insurance and it recently went up 163 dollars a year. I’m going to shop around and see if I can get it down.

I wouldn’t state your a live aboard. You just visit the boat more than you visit land is what I’m thinking. From my understanding saying your a live aboard is not a well accepted term with insurance and financing people.

Sam
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Old 15-10-2021, 10:10   #3
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Re: Insurance

Boats (assuming you're a BM from your experienc),

If you aren't already, I'd join USAA and then get insurance throught them. They use Markel for marine/yacht policies, but they've been great in my experience (even when moving up to a bigger boat and struggled with other companies).

PM if you have any specific questions.

Greg
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Old 15-10-2021, 11:24   #4
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Re: Insurance

If you are really not going to move the boat, you could call various brokers till you find one that can write a Port Risk Only policy. These do not allow you out of the port and are usually significantly cheaper.
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Old 15-10-2021, 11:28   #5
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Re: Insurance

+1 on USAA though when I got insurance through them it was with Progressive.


I hope the OP can work this out. Doubtful the marina will come knocking each week to ask if insurance is still valid. Mine doesn't. And if you just need to satisfy the marina then get the liability. With boat not moving your risk of a loss is much lower. Be aware that if you say "Not a liveaboard" and you need to file a claim, they will investigate and could nullify your insurance.
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Old 15-10-2021, 12:37   #6
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Re: Insurance

Sounds like your annual premium went from $1700 to $3000. Time to find another underwriter - there are literally dozens which write boat policies with varying levels of coverage. If you are buying simply based on price, it shouldn't be difficult to find a cheaper premium. The problem comes into play when people buy based on price rather than value.


The present inflation rate is the highest it has been in 13 years. Insurance rate increases for our toys are only a symptom of a bigger problem.



Just be grateful you don't own Florida beachfront property. By contrast, you got a bargain.
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Old 15-10-2021, 12:56   #7
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Re: Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenWave View Post
+1 on USAA though when I got insurance through them it was with Progressive.


I hope the OP can work this out. Doubtful the marina will come knocking each week to ask if insurance is still valid. Mine doesn't. And if you just need to satisfy the marina then get the liability. With boat not moving your risk of a loss is much lower. Be aware that if you say "Not a liveaboard" and you need to file a claim, they will investigate and could nullify your insurance.
I am leaning towards the liability option. I'm not going out right now, and the mast is down so not likely to attract lightning. It is also the simplest option. they do get storms here from time to time. While I have good lines, I haven't been here long enough to gauge how those storms will affect the docks and boats here. Last thing I need is a boat to break free and pinball around the docks to hit me. I prefer that extra coverage just in case.
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Old 15-10-2021, 13:02   #8
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Re: Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenWave View Post
. Doubtful the marina will come knocking each week to ask if insurance is still valid. Mine doesn't. And if you just need to satisfy the marina then get the liability.

Most marinas ask to be listed as an "additional insured" and require hull insurance though it varies.


If they are listed as an "additional insured" then the insurance company will notify the marina if the coverage is about to lapse.
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Old 15-10-2021, 13:03   #9
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Re: Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskanviking View Post
What Marine Insurance companies are worth the money for the Chesapeake bay area? Live aboards? Should I even put down that Iím a live aboard ect? Best tow service package to replace boatUS? Any other tips and tricks regarding Boat insurance? Iíve never gone outside of boatUS so im feeling a bit nieve and unexperienced at the moment. Progressive will work in a pinch but they donít have the full coverage and the last thing I need is trying to fix the boat on my own after some idiot hits me, or a storm pushes a boat into me or something. i don't want to pay for liability and then have to change insurance anyway when i start testing systems and operating the boat.

If you want cheap use whoever writes insurance on your car.
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Old 15-10-2021, 13:08   #10
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Re: Insurance

Talk to Jon Horton at Jack Martin & Associates in Annapolis; 443-336-6838. He got me a full policy thru Progressive that included comprehensive at agreed hull value, towing, fuel spill, 500k liability, etc. with no survey required. Agents have access to more marine coverage options for Progressive than you can get through their website. Went from $1560/yr with Geico/BoatUS to under $950.
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Old 15-10-2021, 13:11   #11
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Re: Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenWave View Post
+1 on USAA though when I got insurance through them it was with Progressive.


I hope the OP can work this out. Doubtful the marina will come knocking each week to ask if insurance is still valid. Mine doesn't. And if you just need to satisfy the marina then get the liability. With boat not moving your risk of a loss is much lower. Be aware that if you say "Not a liveaboard" and you need to file a claim, they will investigate and could nullify your insurance.
I've been told the marina is quick on that. Not worth aggravating them, they are good people. When I was coming in they were pretty aggressive about getting my insurance paperwork with the marina on it.

The live aboard part worry's me. Yes if there was a claim they would investigate. It's a loaded word I don't see many insurance companies that ok it. I'm truly not home a lot, I'm at work, or they fly me somewhere. I do pay the live aboard fee at the marina. Not sure what the difference in risk is compared if you were cruising actively. On the boat about the same amount. I'm not sure what the best way on that is
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Old 15-10-2021, 15:20   #12
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Re: Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4arch View Post
Talk to Jon Horton at Jack Martin & Associates in Annapolis; 443-336-6838. He got me a full policy thru Progressive that included comprehensive at agreed hull value, towing, fuel spill, 500k liability, etc. with no survey required. Agents have access to more marine coverage options for Progressive than you can get through their website. Went from $1560/yr with Geico/BoatUS to under $950.
For anyone else this is applicable to.

The liability insurance with progressive was $400 for the year, and I only had to pay $60 to start it. I talked to progressive on the phone after setting it up in the website. I was able to change it so the boat was fully insured, not just liability. Found out they won't go for a value over $60k on a 20yr boat. That's not the value of the boat but it's more than the boat loan currently. I took that option and with $1000 deductible my annual premium is approx $1500. The fuel spill coverage is part of the insurance, and I included their boat tow service (not sure how good it is)

So good for now, emergency thwarted for the year. Policy is not an exact match but comprible to what I had with BoatUS. Good enough to get through the refit, hual out and survey, and good enough where I'll feel comfortable enough to take it out spring/summer to test things. Maybe the industry will calm down enough by then to get some kind of normalcy.

I do have USAA but they didn't have a policy to match my boat, and we're a bit expensive comparatively. I had them before for Auto and loved their customer service, but they are higher than others.

Still looking for better options, but I'm gtg in the immediate. Still going to flame Gieco/BoatUS, highly irritated about the position they put me in. They used to be decent but they don't seem to care much for their customers now since Gieco bought them.
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Old 16-10-2021, 22:52   #13
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Re: Insurance

USAA and Markel for sure. We have been with Markel for 8 years and so far they have been great. We have a 50í mono 2004 vintage agreed value of 225k 5k deductible 10k for named storm boat is moored in Florida. Rates slowly rising currently premiums are at about 5k per year. Customer service great no claims filed but overall happy with coverage. Also good idea to not present yourself as a liveaboard, not sure why itís an issue but keep it to yourself.

Good luck
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Old 16-10-2021, 23:44   #14
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Re: Insurance

GreenWave my marina here in Queensland emails me before my insurance runs out and asks for the new certificate of currency, the same goes with my boat registration. Often they will ask before I have even been emailed a bill from my insurer.
Cheers
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Old 23-10-2021, 15:17   #15
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Re: Insurance

I am in the process of a boat purchase, and I was just informed by BoatUS / GEICO that they will not insure the boat that I would like to purchase because it is >40 years old (44 yrs in my case).
Based on the responses here, I also contacted Markel and will wait to hear back from them, but any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I am a Canadian living in Massachusetts and I am not eligible for USAA.
Thanks!
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