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Old 01-07-2022, 12:52   #1
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I Can't Get Boat Insurance

When I first got my boat, I had it titled under both myself and my father so she could be added to my family's BoatUS policy, which already had other boats on it, and because I didn't have my own insurance for anything at the moment (I was 20 at the time). But now, my boat's specific policy within my family's policy was accidentally allowed to lapse, so I need new boat insurance and was planning on just getting my own at this point.

The trouble is: no one will insure my boat. Apparently, after the original policy lapsed, BoatUS changed their policies and will no longer cover boats over 40 years old. And every other company I have called won't insure her for any variety of reasons: she's old, I'm young, the boat is steel, what have you. I have asked about just getting liability insurance and crossing my fingers, but no company I have spoken with will even do that. I have managed to get one quote for over $1000/month, which I simply can't afford.

For anyone out there who has a "classic" boat (what the insurance companies are calling her) and/or a steel boat, any tips?? Any specific companies I should call?
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Old 01-07-2022, 13:11   #2
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Re: I Can't Get Boat Insurance

Our boat is jot quite that old and I can see the market tighten.

A lot has to do with where you are and how you use the boat and life circumstances.

If you are simply within the USA and have insurance on your car and/or home that insurer would he a good place to start.

BTW, what do you have? I don’t recognize the boat.
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Old 01-07-2022, 13:26   #3
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Re: I Can't Get Boat Insurance

Hpeer has it right. Start with your current auto insurer and just get liability. They like to do add ons like that.

You won't be able to get comprehensive, nor would you want to if you saw the rate vs your boat's value, but the liability to satisfy the marina should be within reach.

you have boats in the family. Make sure you include all of your boating experience when you talk to them as well. Not to mention that you have already taken the boat all the way to Florida and back? Something like that. I remember your ICW thread a long time ago.
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Old 01-07-2022, 13:35   #4
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Re: I Can't Get Boat Insurance

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Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
If you are simply within the USA and have insurance on your car and/or home that insurer would he a good place to start.

BTW, what do you have? I donít recognize the boat.
She's on the east coast of the US with no plans for another long trip anytime soon. We take her out on day trips and some weekend and weeklong trips up and down the Chesapeake, or perhaps off the coast of Virginia Beach but all nearshore. The trouble is I don't have any other insurance of my own- I'm still on my family's health insurance and don't own a car or house or anything else. We tried working with my partner's insurance, since he owns a car and a house, but they wouldn't do it either.

And she's a 1974 "Noord Nederland Jachtbouw Seahawk 31" - steel, Dutch-built, 30 feet overall. But despite her age, she had a 2020 refit that included a new 2020 diesel and all new running gear, new standing and running rigging, new sails, all new electronics, the works. So aside from the hull and mast, everything else is basically new, but that hasn't seemed to help my case so far.
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Old 01-07-2022, 13:37   #5
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Re: I Can't Get Boat Insurance

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Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
You won't be able to get comprehensive, nor would you want to if you saw the rate vs your boat's value, but the liability to satisfy the marina should be within reach.

you have boats in the family. Make sure you include all of your boating experience when you talk to them as well. Not to mention that you have already taken the boat all the way to Florida and back? Something like that. I remember your ICW thread a long time ago.
Yea I am coming more and more to that realization that liability may be all I can get, which would be fine, but I still haven't had luck with even just that.

And yes- every company I've spoken with I've given them my extensive sailing history to attempt to combat the age thing, but it still hasn't seemed to outweigh the age of the boat and hull material.
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Old 01-07-2022, 13:41   #6
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Re: I Can't Get Boat Insurance

My boat is 54 years old, I was able to obtain insurance (in Canada) but only after a survey was done, and every 5 years I need a new survey. Try asking if this is an option for you.
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Old 01-07-2022, 13:45   #7
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Re: I Can't Get Boat Insurance

Seems if you have a boat too old for insurance that is too valuable to lose it is time to sell it and get a new boat
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Old 01-07-2022, 13:48   #8
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Re: I Can't Get Boat Insurance

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My boat is 54 years old, I was able to obtain insurance (in Canada) but only after a survey was done, and every 5 years I need a new survey. Try asking if this is an option for you.
We tried to get a survey while she was still in the yard, but could only find 2 categories of surveyors within several hundred miles: 1) those who would do private vessels, but not steel ones and 2) those who would do steel vessels, but not private ones. Most of the insurance companies said that even with the survey they still wouldn't do it, and the one that said they would insure the boat if there was a survey said that the $1000/month would remain the minimum :/
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Old 01-07-2022, 14:09   #9
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Re: I Can't Get Boat Insurance

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Originally Posted by KelseyB View Post
She's on the east coast of the US with no plans for another long trip anytime soon. We take her out on day trips and some weekend and weeklong trips up and down the Chesapeake, or perhaps off the coast of Virginia Beach but all nearshore. The trouble is I don't have any other insurance of my own- I'm still on my family's health insurance and don't own a car or house or anything else. We tried working with my partner's insurance, since he owns a car and a house, but they wouldn't do it either.

And she's a 1974 "Noord Nederland Jachtbouw Seahawk 31" - steel, Dutch-built, 30 feet overall. But despite her age, she had a 2020 refit that included a new 2020 diesel and all new running gear, new standing and running rigging, new sails, all new electronics, the works. So aside from the hull and mast, everything else is basically new, but that hasn't seemed to help my case so far.


Ooof. you really may not be able to get insurance then. This is unexpected that you don’t have any other type of insurance.

I would say that the only way to finagle this situation and have a hope, would be to transfer that boat ownership to your partner‘s name and let them go through their current auto insurance. Or maybe put it back in your family‘s name. Possibly not something you want to do. However, that’s the only way I could see that working.

Sorry to be bearing some bad news, but I really think after all of my decades dealing with this kind of stuff, this is probably the only way to actually do it. Things are getting more difficult all the time. I definitely give you some credit for seeing this all through. Between that Marina thread and this insurance thread, I would be pretty fed up at this point.

Later, after you have other insurance policies in life, then you could add a boat. But it might be just not the time yet.

I hate to see the changes that have happened. I’m going to sound like a really old man here, but when I was your age and had a boat, I didn’t have all the hassles that you are running into. Yes, it was always very difficult to find somewhere to put it. A lot of the time I was able to use a mooring because my friend worked at the local yacht club. He figured out which one was not going to be used for the season and let me put my boat on it without the harbormaster's knowledge. It was a huge mooring field. That really made things a lot easier because I would have to trailer launch it each time otherwise. It was a trailer sailer.

I never had any insurance on the thing. No one asked about it and no one required it back then. The complexities that have been layered on boating are painful to see herein your threads. it just shouldn’t be this hard. it’s supposed to be about freedom. Sometimes it seems the exact opposite.

do you have any friends you can draw on? You have an extensive history around boats. Can you get the word out that you need a place to put it? I’m just really thinking outside the box here too get around the problems. Maybe you know somebody that has a mooring? That’s not getting used for the season? Maybe somebody has a slip at a house? maybe there’s a yacht club facility you can talk to? The whole thing seems to be precipitated by that original marina kicking everyone out and then now you have to go to the one with the difficult policies. If only you could find a different fit for the boat, maybe it would alleviate some of these issues.

Another possibility is putting it somewhere more remote. And then just dealing with having to drive to it. If I remember correctly there are a lot of little tributaries and nooks and crannies in the Chesapeake area that are in some really small towns. Towns were they may have a few less boats in a little bit more leeway.
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Old 01-07-2022, 14:55   #10
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Re: I Can't Get Boat Insurance

When we took off sailing our insurance agent conned us talked us into taking out a renter's policy at my mother's house. We were using that address for mail and banking, so had a nexus that allowed it. That policy cost us $12/month but allowed us to maintain our relationship, our umbrella policy, and to qualify for a homeowner's policy when we returned.

In the end it was worth the money we spent on it. Perhaps you could get a renter's policy and then leverage that to get liability on the boat?
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Old 01-07-2022, 14:58   #11
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Re: I Can't Get Boat Insurance

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Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
I would say that the only way to finagle this situation and have a hope, would be to transfer that boat ownership to your partnerĎs name and let them go through their current auto insurance. Or maybe put it back in your familyĎs name. Possibly not something you want to do. However, thatís the only way I could see that working.

[...]

I hate to see the changes that have happened. Iím going to sound like a really old man here, but when I was your age and had a boat, I didnít have all the hassles that you are running into... The complexities that have been layered on boating are painful to see herein your threads. it just shouldnít be this hard. itís supposed to be about freedom. Sometimes it seems the exact opposite.

[...]

do you have any friends you can draw on? You have an extensive history around boats. Can you get the word out that you need a place to put it? Iím just really thinking outside the box here too get around the problems. Maybe you know somebody that has a mooring? Thatís not getting used for the season? Maybe somebody has a slip at a house? maybe thereís a yacht club facility you can talk to?
Yea we went down that route of ownership transfer because I am willing to retitle to include my partner on it, but his insurance won't do it either, although they do deserve some credit for calling up every other company they work with and making an effort to try.

And yea I agree. I have mixed opinions on it. On the one hand boating is definitely safer, and things like insurance requirements are definitely a good thing as all types of boating have become more popular and there are more inexperienced people on the water. But on the other hand, I do feel like there are significantly more barriers in the boating world than there used to be (from what I've heard at least), even besides price, and definitely much more hostility to younger sailors and older boats especially when they're put together.

And unfortunately, not really. There are very few private docks in the area as all of the waterfront is occupied by industry, seawalls, or marinas, and no mooring fields that I know of, and the next closest place we could go to would be Deltaville, which is 2 hours away by car on a good day. It really is all quite a pickle, and the fact that all I have is a 30-foot boat (in excellent shape) that I'm trying to take out on the weekends does make it decently infuriating.
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Old 01-07-2022, 15:04   #12
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Re: I Can't Get Boat Insurance

Kelsey, imo, what Chotu suggests would be easier. But in your shoes, first you need a credit rating. Maybe not first. You can try dealing with insurance brokers, and maybe someone here will be able to recommend someone in your area. However, nowadays, to be a bona fide person, you need to be able to show you are "responsible", and the present ways of doing that are to have a good credit rating and insurance. It really is very hard on young people, but you will probably have to establish those in the course of your lifetime, anyway, if you stay in the States. For the credit rating, they want to see that you can make a year's worth of payments. Don't pay it off early to avoid the interest. The interest is what you pay for the rating. Consider spending it on continuing education. Expect to have to pay very high rates.* We are seeing a lot of "can't get insurance" threads now. You might want to check them for possible solutions to the problem.

* Might motivate your folks to help, add you onto the house or vehicle insurance they now carry.
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Old 01-07-2022, 15:11   #13
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Re: I Can't Get Boat Insurance

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Kelsey, imo, what Chotu suggests would be easier. But in your shoes, first you need a credit rating. Maybe not first. You can try dealing with insurance brokers, and maybe someone here will be able to recommend someone in your area. However, nowadays, to be a bona fide person, you need to be able to show you are "responsible", and the present ways of doing that are to have a good credit rating and insurance. It really is very hard on young people, but you will probably have to establish those in the course of your lifetime, anyway, if you stay in the States. For the credit rating, they want to see that you can make a year's worth of payments. Don't pay it off early to avoid the interest. The interest is what you pay for the rating. Consider spending it on continuing education. Expect to have to pay very high rates.* We are seeing a lot of "can't get insurance" threads now. You might want to check them for possible solutions to the problem.

* Might motivate your folks to help, add you onto the house or vehicle insurance they now carry.
Perhaps shockingly, I do actually have a very solid credit score... so far no company has asked! I do think the renter's insurance idea was interesting, though. And I'll check out some of those other threads, thanks!
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Old 01-07-2022, 15:28   #14
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Re: I Can't Get Boat Insurance

KelseyB.......find a marine insurance broker to source a competitive insurance quote. I did that through Heritage in Mystic, Connecticut and I received a couple of competive quotes, one of which was Chubb, who my 38 year old popwerboat and 16 year old sailboat are insured with.
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Old 01-07-2022, 15:33   #15
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Re: I Can't Get Boat Insurance

Try Progressive. They will insure for liability only to meet marina $300+ rules.
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