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Old 10-06-2024, 09:28   #1
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Insurance for a new catamaran: State Farm vs Concept Special Risks

Our new boat (Leopard 45) is getting delivered at the end of July in Ft. Lauderdale and we are in the market for insurance.

We have looked around a bit and there are not that many options (we are first time multi-hull owners and have always boated on the west coast).

It comes down to State Farm and Concept Special Risks. The latter is about 50% more expensive but State Farm is limited in the areas they cover (only part of Bahamas and not much further south).

Our planned itinerary is to take delivery of the boat end of July, do some upgrades and then head north to Georgia or beyond to avoid the brunt of the hurricane season. We will come back at the end of November and start exploring the Bahamas. We certainly plan to go beyond and further south but when we want to do that is not very clear. I suspect we will spend time until the end of the year exploring the box that State Farm covers.

We have very limited information on how good and reliable these underwriters are. On our current boat and the previous one (in Washington and California), we have always used BoatUS/Geico and have been happy with them.

Would love to hear experiences about these insurers and any other thoughts or suggestions.
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Old 10-06-2024, 11:14   #2
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Re: Insurance for a new catamaran: State Farm vs Concept Special Risks

Iím in the same geo area as you with a similar boat (Lagoon 400). I can say from experience that State Farm paid 100% of my claim for a direct lightning strike last year in FL. Everything electronic had to be replaced over the course of 8 months. They paid every invoice within 2 week of submitting (all digital pay, no need to receive and cash checks). I couldnít recommend them enough but as you mentioned, they have a box in the Bahamas and donít cover anything else outside the US.

I was expecting them to not renew us this year. Instead, they renewed us and lowered our rate by 20%. YMMV there, but that was my experience. I have no info on Concept Special Risks.
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Old 10-06-2024, 12:53   #3
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Re: Insurance for a new catamaran: State Farm vs Concept Special Risks

Thank you, super helpful.

Plotted State Farm's supported box, attached as an image. It actually doesn't look bad at all for the first 6-12 months of cruising.
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Old 10-06-2024, 17:40   #4
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Re: Insurance for a new catamaran: State Farm vs Concept Special Risks

If you are buying a new boat, surely your dealer will have help for you on this? He/She has a huge incentive to do the legwork to help customers line up insurance.

This is the kind of service that I expect from someone making a huge commission on the sale of this magnitude. If they haven't already done this kind of research for you they simply are not very good at their job. A good broker would do this.
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Old 11-06-2024, 10:48   #5
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Re: Insurance for a new catamaran: State Farm vs Concept Special Risks

If you have not yet cruised the Bahamas, I can promise you there is plenty there to fill a full cruising season without going out of the box they seemed to somewhat arbitrarily place around the Bahamas.

Another bonus with State Farm is that they don't need you to be above 36 degrees North before July 1st as many do. In fact, you could even stay in the Bahamas if you wanted to all summer.
However, I definitely would not recommend you do so until you have spent a few seasons there at the very least.

But if you're using Concept Special Risks you'll need to pay additional for being south in the summer - so I'm guessing all in you'll pay only 1/3 for SF compared to CSR.

Plus - you pretty much sign up and pay for insurance a year at a whack - but after a period of time you can cancel and get your premium back pro-rated. Usually between 3 and 6 months I think.
We did CSR for a second 1 year term and then switched to SF which also gave us a better date for renewal (November instead of May) so that when they ask "where do you intend to go" we had a better answer at that time of year since we're just winging it all anyway

So if you find that down the road you want to continue south you can switch to another provider mid stream and as long as you are past their cancellation penalty window you're not out anything.
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Old 11-06-2024, 11:47   #6
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Re: Insurance for a new catamaran: State Farm vs Concept Special Risks

FYI:
, if you go out of the box, SF wonít cancel the policy, they just will not cover anything that may happen while youíre out of the area.
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Old 11-06-2024, 12:49   #7
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Re: Insurance for a new catamaran: State Farm vs Concept Special Risks

I would have Concept change the navigation area to where you will cruise from boat's delivery until the end of Hurricane season, and then change the policy terms to increase the navigation area when you have a better idea of how far south you will go. Sounds like you dont need FL or bahamas coverage until November anyways.
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Old 12-06-2024, 03:26   #8
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Re: Insurance for a new catamaran: State Farm vs Concept Special Risks

We recently faced the same choice for insurance. This is our 2nd year having our catamaran. Not only is Concept Special Risks double the price, but their fine print about what they will cover and how is difficult to fulfill - they make you sign pages that says you know and will be compliant. For instance, even if the boat does not have a fire issue, but the fire extinguishers are expired (during the policy) they can (and do) deny coverage.

**Special note: our cat (also from South Africa) the fire extinguishers reached their one year time and were required to be inspected and tagged but we were cruising in the Bahamas and could not find anyone to do it where we were. What we would face is the same issue every year during the cruising season. This year we purchased new to meet the requirement, had to share exactly what date we purchased the new extinguishers and will be out of the country next year when they need to be inspected.

While my rant continues, the USCG says the extinguishers are good for 6 yrs as long as there is no visible rust, damage, or it has been used. Concept Special Risks doesn't care, they need to be inspected and tagged to be compliant with the policy. For us that meant 3 extinguishers at $150 annually - the bigger hassle is finding someone that is 'qualified' to do it where ever you are in the world.

ALSO: they make you sign a statement that says if you are in the area of a named storm you must remove the sails from the boat, antenna, dinghy, etc. Also reasons for not paying a claim.

In my opinion they are looking for reasons NOT to pay a claim - though our insurance agent Hugo from Hanham Insurance says otherwise.

Next year we will be doing the State Farm policy and getting a Caribbean policy for cruising season from a Caribbean only insurance company.
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Old 12-06-2024, 07:14   #9
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Re: Insurance for a new catamaran: State Farm vs Concept Special Risks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorlady2022 View Post
ALSO: they make you sign a statement that says if you are in the area of a named storm you must remove the sails from the boat, antenna, dinghy, etc. Also reasons for not paying a claim.

In my opinion they are looking for reasons NOT to pay a claim - though our insurance agent Hugo from Hanham Insurance says otherwise.
.
I have no dog in this fight about Concept, but stripping sailsóand everything elseóthat creates windage is absolutely normal standard of care for a boat that is likely to be hit by a named storm. It is something we do as part of our storm prep not because our insurance company insists, but because we love our boat!

I would not want an insurance company to pay claims to boat owners too lazy or ignorant to take proper care of their boat. That only raises MY rates.

In short, these rules are not a scam, they are just common sense to reduce losses.
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Old 12-06-2024, 11:29   #10
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Re: Insurance for a new catamaran: State Farm vs Concept Special Risks

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVE View Post
Iím in the same geo area as you with a similar boat (Lagoon 400). I can say from experience that State Farm paid 100% of my claim for a direct lightning strike last year in FL. Everything electronic had to be replaced over the course of 8 months. They paid every invoice within 2 week of submitting (all digital pay, no need to receive and cash checks). I couldnít recommend them enough but as you mentioned, they have a box in the Bahamas and donít cover anything else outside the US.

I was expecting them to not renew us this year. Instead, they renewed us and lowered our rate by 20%. YMMV there, but that was my experience. I have no info on Concept Special Risks.
Hi - I am looking to insure a new to me L400, please could you help - and share the contact / email address for the agent you dealt with at State Farm? I tried find a contact but their www kept me going in circles...
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Old 12-06-2024, 12:02   #11
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Re: Insurance for a new catamaran: State Farm vs Concept Special Risks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorlady2022 View Post

In my opinion they are looking for reasons NOT to pay a claim - though our insurance agent Hugo from Hanham Insurance says otherwise.

.
Many insurance companies are using the fire extinguisher excuse to get out of paying claims - even if no fire occurred. The issue went all the way to the Supreme Court where the court sided with the insurance companies. Every boater should carefully read their policy looking for the fire extinguisher clause and the "State of New York" clause.

I see no justification except as a "gotcha" to get out of what would otherwise be a valid claim.

https://loosecannon.substack.com/p/s...k-door-denials
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Old 12-06-2024, 13:29   #12
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Re: Insurance for a new catamaran: State Farm vs Concept Special Risks

I'm just buying my Cat (FP Isla 40) and going through the same hassle. I'm hoping to get State Farm and just say in the box... It's much more fiscally responsible and I think the box will provide enough fun for my first season.
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Old 12-06-2024, 13:50   #13
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Re: Insurance for a new catamaran: State Farm vs Concept Special Risks

Iíve gone to the Bahamas for 10 years and have so far never gone to the places outside the box (basically the Jumentos/Raggeds). We never had enough time or the weather was bad.
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Old 12-06-2024, 17:17   #14
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Re: Insurance for a new catamaran: State Farm vs Concept Special Risks

"While my rant continues, the USCG says the extinguishers are good for 6 yrs as long as there is no visible rust, damage, or it has been used. Concept Special Risks doesn't care, they need to be inspected and tagged to be compliant with the policy. For us that meant 3 extinguishers at $150 annually - the bigger hassle is finding someone that is 'qualified' to do it where ever you are in the world."

USCG does not set the standard for extinguishers, NFPA10 does.

Extinguishers are required to be INSPECTED monthly, or more frequently if condidtions warrant. Inspections can be performed by anybody.

They are required to be MAINTAINED anually by licenced personnel

After six years the annual MAINTENACE requires a hydrostatic pressure test.
It is usually cheaper to buy new ones every six years


Even Third World contries have fire departments which will provide the documentation of required maintenance, either by actually doing the work or with payment of a bribe.

https://blog.koorsen.com/fire-exting...f%20applicable).
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Old 12-06-2024, 19:35   #15
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Re: Insurance for a new catamaran: State Farm vs Concept Special Risks

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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
Many insurance companies are using the fire extinguisher excuse to get out of paying claims - even if no fire occurred. The issue went all the way to the Supreme Court where the court sided with the insurance companies. Every boater should carefully read their policy looking for the fire extinguisher clause and the "State of New York" clause.

I see no justification except as a "gotcha" to get out of what would otherwise be a valid claim.

https://loosecannon.substack.com/p/s...k-door-denials
You completely misunderstand the legal issue at stake in this case. It had nothing to do with the validity (or lack thereof) of the claim denial. The only issue before the Supreme Court was which state's rules govern the claim when the boat is insured in one state, and is damaged in another. That's it. I know it makes a boring headline that is not effective click bait, but that's the way it is.

The denial of insurance claims because of a lack of seaworthiness is a long standing standard of common law under federal Admiralty law. Nothing new here. Some states have passed laws that have precedence over this common law standard, others have not.

The boat in question had a policy issued in a state that prevented claims from being denied from noncontributing factors (like an unmaintained fire protection system in a claim for a grounding and hull breach) They grounded and were holed while cruising in Florida which does NOT have such a rule.

The Supreme Court ruled that Florida law (or lack thereof) was the applicable law in this case. Why this is the case is mired in legal details.

Your version is much more fun to rant about, but it is not the real case.
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