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Old 23-02-2018, 03:42   #256
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Re: Should there be mandatory liability insurance for boats?

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Originally Posted by CareKnot View Post
Hmm...

After I supplied the legal citations, I haven't heard back from anyone that consider driving or traveling in the US a 'privilege' of citizenship.
Thanks CareKnot, interesting citations.

I wonder if those judgements are more of an esoteric attempt by the Feds to follow the intent of the constitution while depending on the States to Administer it?

Seems that they allow for the States to License drivers to use Public Roads and remove those rights for just cause.

So in practice and reality, the States consider it a privilege, that can be withdrawn while the Feds wax on about higher constitutional intent.

Keeps the lawyers busy
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Old 23-02-2018, 13:35   #257
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Re: Should there be mandatory liability insurance for boats?

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Someone who causes damage or injury is responsible for compensation to the extend possible. Since personal funds are typically limited this means liability insurance is required to achieve acceptable compensation limits.

People who cause damage but can't pay for it are im my view not acting responsible. People who go uninsured are doing so at the cost & risk of others.

Of course its possible to insure against uninsured offenders, but it should not be necessary in the first place. Its the victim paying his own damage instead of the offender.
This practice seems to be the reality in the US, but this doesn't make it right.
Hello Rabbi. You may some good theoretical points, however the reality is quite different. In particular, let's look at the comment I highlighted in bold print. There is, in reality, no difference between a person paying for damages on his (or her) own and a person who has liability insurance. If a person is limited in their ability to pay for damages out of pocket, then they will be limited in the insurance they are able to afford, which means that you will be out the difference of what the their policy covers and your loss.

The end result is that you need to take care of yourself. Mandating anything just means that those who are responsible will do what they are supposed to do and those who are not responsible will find a way to ignore the mandate.

All of your theoretical arguments are correct; people should do the right thing. The reality is that a mandate doesn't fix anything; it still comes down to an individual must protect herself or himself.
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Old 23-02-2018, 14:16   #258
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Re: Should there be mandatory liability insurance for boats?

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I guess then, the more money you have, the more responsible you are.
The more money you have available for making good any damage caused the better in terms of responsibility. I don't care if it comes out of your own pocket or insurance.

Broke folks without insurance have nothing to loose. If they cause any damage all they can do is shrug their shoulders. That is in my view irresponsible behaviour.



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Numbers are arbitrary. It is unreasonable to push your expensive and excessive lifestyle onto others. 500k for a damage claim on a boat is obscene.
500k is not my number but a legal requirement in Greece that is actually enforced:
You need a DEKPA there for crusing, thats something like a cruising permit/log. Costs just a few bucks, but you need boat papers and insurance to apply for it. No insurance => no dekpa => no legal way of cruising greece.

Italy have a legal requirement of 6 mil Euro liability insurance.
Guardia Finanza is pretty active at the tip of the boot and Sicily due to illegal immigrants. They board quite a few yachts and if yo can't show insurance they may tow you to their dock and put your boat on the chain while you sort this out. Of course not if you are just executing your right of innocent passage (not crusing / anchoring).


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How is it US specific? You don't need insurance anywhere in the world.
You do, see above.

Spain may require it, too, I don't kow. I have been boarded by customs and they asked for ships papers, VAT proof, license, and insurance. No clue if they had the right to do so, but I would not start to argue with them. Spanish customs is not your coast guard friend.

Insurance is definately required by all Marinas I have ever been to in Spain, Greece, Italy, France, Germany, Croatia. So you can't go there as you can't be 100% sure you never need a marina.
We plan to anchor 100%, but we have maybe 2-5 marina nights each year due to storms, repairs, health issues, etc

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I think it's pretty obvious I can sail in europe if I want to without insurance, I know plenty of people who have. Although I do not do this, I also know plenty of people who make fake insurance so they can stay in marinas.
You can sail a few regions if not going into a marina.
With a lot of luck you may even sail Italy and greece. Just make sure you are never visited by officials of any kind, a missing DEKPA is taken seriously there as it shows disrespect for their rules.
Hoping for good luck doesn't make it legal.

Your friends with fake isurance can find their boats seized and themselfs in jail. Don't mess with Italian customs.
Falsifying an insurance is fraud and forgery of documents. Maybe they won't be in jail for more than a few days, but their boat will most likely be seized until the case is closed (and that can take years in Italy).

I guess we can agree to disagree.
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Old 23-02-2018, 14:33   #259
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Re: Should there be mandatory liability insurance for boats?

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The more money you have available for making good any damage caused the better in terms of responsibility. I don't care if it comes out of your own pocket or insurance.

Broke folks without insurance have nothing to loose. If they cause any damage all they can do is shrug their shoulders. That is in my view irresponsible behaviour.
Actually, rich people can also have ďnothing to loseĒ, to put it your way. Itís well established that the rich can game the legal system to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. And thereís plenty of interesting and credible research which suggests the richer people are, the less responsible they behave in certain circumstances. Behavioural economics is ripe with this kind of finding. Itís fascinating reading...

Thanks for clarifying the legal requirements in Europe though. Iím pretty sure there were other European cruisers here who stated the opposite ó that liability insurance was not legally required.
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Old 23-02-2018, 14:35   #260
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Re: Should there be mandatory liability insurance for boats?

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Hello Rabbi. You may some good theoretical points, however the reality is quite different. In particular, let's look at the comment I highlighted in bold print. There is, in reality, no difference between a person paying for damages on his (or her) own and a person who has liability insurance. If a person is limited in their ability to pay for damages out of pocket, then they will be limited in the insurance they are able to afford, which means that you will be out the difference of what the their policy covers and your loss.

The end result is that you need to take care of yourself. Mandating anything just means that those who are responsible will do what they are supposed to do and those who are not responsible will find a way to ignore the mandate.

All of your theoretical arguments are correct; people should do the right thing. The reality is that a mandate doesn't fix anything; it still comes down to an individual must protect herself or himself.
I agree that a mandate requires enforcement. Otherwise it doesn't work.

The reality we live in is just a result of the collective decisions we take. If US government mandated and enforced a minimum liability insurance then the total boating population would be insured. There would be no reason for an insurance against uninsured.
But as there is no enforced mandatory insurace I would insure myself against uninsured boaters in regions frequented by US folks.
I have no problem doing so but this doesn't make it right.



With regard to insurance:
Here in germany (and that is true also at least for Netherlands, France, Spain) liability insurance for boaters is dead cheap.
Even broke folks can afford a 10 mil insurance, mine costs 110 Euro. These insurances are tightly regulated, so they dont have tons of holes. Even in case of drunk driving the insurance covers the damage of the other party (but may seek full re-imbursement from the drunk client to the extend possible, driving their own customer into bancruptcy)

So over here insurance does make a difference. I know the US is different but maybe thats because of their legal system.
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Old 23-02-2018, 14:40   #261
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Re: Should there be mandatory liability insurance for boats?

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Actually, rich people can also have “nothing to lose”, to put it your way. It’s well established that the rich can game the legal system to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. And there’s plenty of interesting and credible research which suggests the richer people are, the less responsible they behave in certain circumstances. Behavioural economics is ripe with this kind of finding. It’s fascinating reading...
I competely agree that increasing wealth doesn't improve morality!
Wealth makes them "untouchable" and the greed that allowed them to collect their wealth often keeps them from acting responsible.



Which in my view is a good point for insurance against uninsured / non-paying offenders. If Abramovich runs over my little boat and leaves my insurance would pay me, but would try to get their money back from the other party.
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Old 23-02-2018, 15:16   #262
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Re: Should there be mandatory liability insurance for boats?

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I competely agree that increasing wealth doesn't improve morality!
Wealth makes them "untouchable" and the greed that allowed them to collect their wealth often keeps them from acting responsible.

Which in my view is a good point for insurance against uninsured / non-paying offenders. If Abramovich runs over my little boat and leaves my insurance would pay me, but would try to get their money back from the other party.
Agreed. It just seemed like you were saying there was a relationship between wealth and responsibility. I was surprised, and glad to hear that is not your view.

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Old 23-02-2018, 15:34   #263
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Re: Should there be mandatory liability insurance for boats?

Many of you seem to have an amazing faith in Insurance companies to pay.
My experience is that they will try every dodge possible , to avoid paying. The bigger the claim, the more imaginative the excuses!

We had a large motor boat crash into us and get pinned to our bow by the current in the Brisbane river when we were berthed at Docksides.

The passing ferries scoured both sides of our bow with his mast and steel davits right down to bare steel.

He was pinned there for hours until the current eased and the police tested him for booze.

When i got to the dock, the police sargent said he was just "under" the legal limit.

His insurance company refused to cover him because he was "close" to the limit....

Our own insurance company refused to get involved because we were obviously not at fault being tied to the dock and that wealthy boater had adequate insurance.

....and then the legal mess began, where next day his lawyers re-registered his boat from his name to a company with no assets.... Then present it in the local media as a David vs Goliath event.....Very Ugly!

My point,.....That was in a "civilized" country where you would expect responsibility and the rule of contract law to be clear. But that is how lawyers make their money!

I have more faith in a simple fisherman who bangs into me, to do his best to repair the damages with his own labor and to make amends , (even if only with fish), than corporate "names"

Other examples of Insurance companies folding, just when they are needed is prevalent in the Superyacht Industry.

So who insures the Insurance Companies?
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Old 23-02-2018, 15:54   #264
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Re: Should there be mandatory liability insurance for boats?

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Agreed. It just seemed like you were saying there was a relationship between wealth and responsibility. I was surprised, and glad to hear that is not your view.

Ooops, maybe i haven't expressed myself clearly. My point is:
There is a correlation between wealth and the _ability_ to make good financial damage.
That doesn't imply that wealth improves morality (more the contrary, as greed often is the driving force for accumulating wealth)

Poor folks can't make good much damage (even if they want to) so they should be insured. I consider myself poor enough to buy insurance.
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Old 23-02-2018, 16:10   #265
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Re: Should there be mandatory liability insurance for boats?

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His insurance company refused to cover him because he was "close" to the limit....

Our own insurance company refused to get involved because we were obviously not at fault being tied to the dock and that wealthy boater had adequate insurance.

....and then the legal mess began, where next day his lawyers re-registered his boat from his name to a company with no assets.... Then present it in the local media as a David vs Goliath event.....Very Ugly!

My point,.....That was in a "civilized" country where you would expect responsibility and the rule of contract law to be clear. But that is how lawyers make their money!
Thats to me a question of legislation and regulation of insurance companies.

We have standardized insurance terms set by the government that the insurers are not allowed to change in a negative way. They can improve on them but not reduce.
For example drunk driving: No insurer can deny a liability claim because his client was drunk. The insurance company of the offender simply has to make good the damage and pay, there is no escape.
They will then grab the balls of their their drunk client and squeeze to get as much of their money back as possible.
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Old 23-02-2018, 16:15   #266
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Re: Should there be mandatory liability insurance for boats?

In the US, the insurance companies have purchased the legislation/regulation process and they get good value for their money spent.

In the auto insurance arena the mandatory insurance limits are minimal. Definitely won't cover a lot of the scenarios pointed to here as a reason.

For the record I carry liability but its primarily for the environmental coverage and the additional insured for the marina.
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Old 23-02-2018, 16:29   #267
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Re: Should there be mandatory liability insurance for boats?

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In the US, the insurance companies have purchased the legislation/regulation process and they get good value for their money spent.

In the auto insurance arena the mandatory insurance limits are minimal. Definitely won't cover a lot of the scenarios pointed to here as a reason.

For the record I carry liability but its primarily for the environmental coverage and the additional insured for the marina.
I guess our system is somewhat different.
Minimum required liability in Germany is 7.5 million Euro for injured persons and 1.2 million for property damage. Thats just the required minimum and typical liability is way more, like 50 million total damage.

Liability has to cover not only damage to the car but more importantly any medical cost and possibly a lifetime pension for compensating lost income, which can easily be a few million.

I just learned that we even have a collective insurance against uninsured drivers: All insurance companies have to pay into a natinoal fund that takes care of these rare cases.
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Old 23-02-2018, 16:39   #268
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Re: Should there be mandatory liability insurance for boats?

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Many of you seem to have an amazing faith in Insurance companies to pay.
My experience is that they will try every dodge possible , to avoid paying. The bigger the claim, the more imaginative the excuses! Ö
Insurance companies make money by keeping theirs, not by paying it out. So just like with legal efforts to minimize taxes, companies will do everything they can to not pay out. Itís just good business. This is why contract language is so important. Understand your exact coverage, including any limitations or possible loop holes, and your legal rights. And be prepared to fight for what is right.

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I have more faith in a simple fisherman who bangs into me, to do his best to repair the damages with his own labor and to make amends , (even if only with fish), than corporate "names"
It sounds quaintly naive, but ME TOO! In fact, I have more faith in most fellow cruisers in general than I do in faceless companies. I donít live in fear of what some nautical poor or rich person may do to me. I find that the people I encounter are mostly good, responsible and caring folk.

Iíve been bumped, scraped and damaged a few times by fellow boaters, and I have bounced off a couple of boat as well. In ALL cases weíve always worked things out amicably, and without the need for insurance.

Iím not naive to think life is always like this. There are narcissistic jerks out there (both rich and poor). But thatís not the norm in my experience. And I donít start with that assumption when I meet people, or when something goes wrong in the anchorage.

Accidents do happen, and sometimes itís no oneís fault. But most people will do what they can to help out others, and to make things right. I like living like that.
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Old 23-02-2018, 16:57   #269
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Re: Should there be mandatory liability insurance for boats?

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Iíve been bumped, scraped and damaged a few times by fellow boaters, and I have bounced off a couple of boat as well. In ALL cases weíve always worked things out amicably, and without the need for insurance.
I have never caused any damage, but I have had three damages with my first cat. They joys of "med mooring" next to a transient slip with folks coming and going on daily basis.


#1 was just a small scratch, but required a haul out as it was just above the waterline and cut throught the outer shell into the core.
Damage was 2000 Euro, mostly haulout cost of a 7.15m wide cat and the survey required by the insurer

#2 bent stanchions and a few gelcoat scratches. Damage just 300 Euro.

#3 complete newby scratched the hull from bow to stern with his anchor, ripping out mooring a cleat and stanchions. About 3000 Euros total damage.


#1 and #3 the insurance companies paid without many questions, #2 the owner decided to pay on his own as it was within his excess.
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Old 23-02-2018, 19:18   #270
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Re: Should there be mandatory liability insurance for boats?

Seems to me that Med Mooring is a major catalyst in needing liability insurance in Europe and ironically the knowledge of having that cover, removes some of the conservative seamanshiip necessary when you try a maneuver beyond your total control.
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