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Old 12-01-2021, 15:11   #1
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Insurance for Catamaran

Hello Cruisers,
We are set to purchase a used lagoon 410 in June 2021. No financing needed but looking for insurance to sail / dock in U.S. Gulf Region. Problem: Zero hours on the books for a Yacht this size. (So Geico / Boat U.S. said they need 3 years prior experience.) We are ASA 101 certified, and will be 103 / 104 by then as well.
Please advise and thanks for your help in advance.
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Old 12-01-2021, 15:19   #2
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Re: Insurance for Catamaran

We are with Nationwide. You can try them and Progressive. But, right now insurance is very, very difficult. We wanted to go to the Caribbean. But we had only 2 quotes, from companies with crappy reputations, it was very, very expensive, and realistically, only covered the boat in the case of a complete loss. They are ALL way over extended. So, they quote unrealistic policies with huge premiums, hoping you will bite.
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Old 12-01-2021, 15:47   #3
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Re: Insurance for Catamaran

Quote:
Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
...

So, they quote unrealistic policies with huge premiums, hoping you will bite.
I had a guy tell me his company couldn't provide a quote. I said at any price? He said they could not provide a quote. He wouldn't even make a ridiculously high offer.

I had already been insured for two years with another company who were no longer going to cover catamarans. I have no insurance claims on boats I've owned. I've never taken my boat beyond my insured coverage area. I have 35 years of sailing on various sailboats, regions, and conditions.

It seems that they got hammered over the past five years and they're all running numbers and realizing that new modern boat owners are HIGHLY irresponsible and unprepared to care for their boats. Why would they front money to insure that?

Quote:
Problem: Zero hours on the books for a Yacht this size.
Yeah, that's a problem. What did you do your ASA training on? What other boating experience do you have? You're buying this boat and have no experience on a boat this size? Did you take it out for a sea trial? How do you even know it's what you want?

Out of curiosity, what type of coverage are you looking for? Personally we have full replacement and all other liabilities - but I don't know if anyone is quoting liability only. It might be worth asking if you can stomach a total loss. I might be asking that next year when I have to renew again and likely find another company.
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Old 13-01-2021, 06:53   #4
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Re: Insurance for Catamaran

This is interesting because I had my 34' tri insured with BoatUS (before the Geico buyout). I got full coverage on stated value without the requirement for a survey or sailing history from me. I guess that's over now.
So, coverage is almost impossible now? I have Nationwide auto ins. now for what it's worth.
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Old 13-01-2021, 07:43   #5
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Re: Insurance for Catamaran

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Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
This is interesting because I had my 34' tri insured with BoatUS (before the Geico buyout). I got full coverage on stated value without the requirement for a survey or sailing history from me. I guess that's over now.
So, coverage is almost impossible now? I have Nationwide auto ins. now for what it's worth.


I got the same coverage through Geico on our Searunner 38 and no survey requested.
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Old 13-01-2021, 07:52   #6
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Re: Insurance for Catamaran

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I got the same coverage through Geico on our Searunner 38 and no survey requested.

Thanks SMJ,

Do you still have their coverage and did they ask about your experience?
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Old 13-01-2021, 07:55   #7
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Re: Insurance for Catamaran

I am insured through State Farm, It was much cheaper then the other options and did not require a survey. The sailing area is limited with in 100 miles of the east Coast of the USA and the Bahamas.
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Old 13-01-2021, 07:57   #8
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Re: Insurance for Catamaran

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
Thanks SMJ,

Do you still have their coverage and did they ask about your experience?


Yes still have their coverage, and I donít believe they asked for our experience but weíve been insured with them for close to 30 years with one hiatus.
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Old 13-01-2021, 09:02   #9
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Re: Insurance for Catamaran

We have a Merkel Jackline policy obtained through IMIS/Gowrie Group. Premium is a bit steep. Survey required. Our coverage currently includes West Coast of North America. For additional premium we can get South Pacific, etc.. IMIS has been very helpful.


All that said, we're seriously considering foregoing hull insurance and going with liability only.
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Old 13-01-2021, 10:05   #10
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Re: Insurance for Catamaran

Whenever I see the posting of someone complaining that they canít get insurance companies to quote for them at any price, I wonder...

How many people understand that one of the pieces of the risk assessment that goes into the machine is your credit rating. If you have shown yourself to be a bad credit risk for other venders, it is highly unlikely you will find an insurance company willing to take you on.

This is never mentioned here, but itís an important piece of the puzzle.
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Old 13-01-2021, 17:42   #11
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Re: Insurance for Catamaran

And another important piece of the puzzle at the moment is that the whole insurance market globally has moved into what the industry calls a "hard market". Insurers have been losing money and are pulling back on risk, raising premiums, and exiting whole markets as demonstrated by Pantaenius exiting the US marine market. Everyone should not be surprised to see premiums continue to rise and available coverage to decline independent of their personal situation.
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Old 13-01-2021, 18:08   #12
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Re: Insurance for Catamaran

Because of the propensity of major storms anywhere along the gulf coast will have an elevated risk and thus be more challenging and expensive to obtain insurance for hull coverage and personal goods.

Reference:

https://www.thebalance.com/best-boat-insurance-4169755

https://www.investopedia.com/best-bo...urance-5070058
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Old 13-01-2021, 18:35   #13
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Re: Insurance for Catamaran

Use a broker instead of going straight to the insurance company. They only make a commission if they find you an acceptable offer. Try more than one broker.

Brokers always get multiple quotes. Insurance companies know this and don't love the idea of losing business going to a competitor. So they usually try a bit harder.

The lack of experience is your biggest problem. You may have to hire a captain for the first year. The ASA courses help a little but what the insurance company is looking for is a history owning similar size boats in similar waters with no claims.

Consider hauling your boat during hurricane season (June 1 - November 15) for the first few years.

Will you live-aboard or very close to your marina? Insurance companies HATE unattended boats during hurricane season - or really anytime. They want you down at the boat adding more lines as the storm approaches.

If the price is shocking, try going for a higher deductible. This can make a big difference. I always do this anyways because I don't plan to make a claim for anything less than $20,000. I haven't had a claim in 25 years. That gets their attention A no claim record also makes switching to a better priced insurance company easier. I get several quotes every few years just to check.

Insurance pricing is driven by actuarial loss history. It's nothing personal. Larger boats owned by owners who haven't owned large boats have high loss rates. Larger sailboats in the southern US have higher loss rates. Catamarans have higher loss rates than monohulls (lightening strikes).

If you were getting a 35ft monohull in the North East you'd have no problem getting insurance.
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Old 14-01-2021, 07:47   #14
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Re: Insurance for Catamaran

Another thing that may be helpful would be to secure a letter from a reputable Captain / Sailing Instructor stating that they believe you to be competent to sail a 40 to 50 foot catamaran without supervision.

I second the advice to engage with a broker instead of going it alone. It does not effect the premiums and they have numerous companies they can shop. I have been with the same company for the past two years. American Modern was inexpensive when they were trying to get into the boating market, but after one year and a couple of hurricanes, they almost doubled the premium. Sad part is that so did everyone else. Unless you can pay cash for the boat and then afford to self insure, not a lot of options available.
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