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Boat insurance companies

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by 993RSR, Jun 11, 2020.

  1. 993RSR

    993RSR Senior Member

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    I often hear boat owners talk about shopping for the cheapest annual premium for boat insurance. This is a perfect example of you get what you pay for.

    I have a 1983 32' former working lobster boat that I insured with Geico. The policy is bare minimum with more pages of what they don't cover than what is actually covered. She is an old girl with not a big value so the cheap rate is welcome.

    That got me thinkin I better read my Eastbay policy. The Eastbay insurance is with Chubb. I was pleasantly surprised.
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Good post. Two comments.

    1-Read the entire policy. You need to know before you sign and definitely before a claim arises. Horrible to hear, "your policy excludes that on page 37." Price means nothing if you don't know what is and isn't covered.

    2-There's a tremendous difference in boat insurance policies. There is no standard policy like you find on autos.
  3. 993RSR

    993RSR Senior Member

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    Good points. If you submit a claim your rates go up or you get dropped. I have had no claims and a clean driving record (since I matured in 2017) so my premiums are OK. If I run aground submitting a claim is equal to financing the damage.
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    And one more thing. Do not lie to the agent or company. They'll write the insurance based on what you say. However, they'll investigate when paying claims. I knew a guy decades ago who had a car in NYC, but registered it in SC, at his brother's home. Car was stolen outside his brownstone in NYC. Insurer didn't pay a dime. I also knew a guy who claimed experience he didn't have on the water. He ran his boat aground. Insurer investigated and didn't pay.
  5. 993RSR

    993RSR Senior Member

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    Misrepresentation (ok lying) always comes back to bite you in the ass
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Well, the guy with the SC insurance walked around his NY office bragging to everyone about what he was saving. That stopped when his car was towed and he wasn't covered.
  7. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    I would also recommend using a yacht insurance agency, not your general agent as good as he/she may be. These are specialty agreements that you want to be able to depend on if the need arises. They will know the nuances of inclusions that can be obtained, like mechanical/equipment failures, etc.

    A material misrepresentation can void the entire policy.

    Also an owner might consider umbrella liability insurance, it not that expensive.
  8. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    I also have a recommendation. Regular survey updates, plenty of photos, keep all receipts.
  9. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    What’s The sense of paying a lot of money for a fancy insurance policy if they’re Only going to drop you or stick it to you and Up your premiums after you file a claim?
    You might as well self insure, save the money get the cheap policy to cover damages and bodily harm to other boats and boaters .
    I’ve never filed a claim with either my cars or the boats but in general I hate insurance companies.
    Just for that reason they always get their money back from you or others.
    And They generally make it difficult to get a legitimate claim paid out.

    let’s see ...IRS , Insurance companies..
    Insurance companies, IRS ...
    I’m not sure which ones worse it’s a tossup.
  10. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    I also have Geico for my 1974 Chris Craft 22’ Dory ..
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    This, the last thing you need after a hurricane is trying to get ahold of your agent who is too busy dealing with damaged houses, cars, and who knows what, and also doesn't now a single thing about boats. Whereas a yacht insurer only deals with yachts.
  12. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    My first call after a lightening strike was to notify the agent. I then immediately hung up and got my surveyor back aboard to assess, in writing, the damages and values. I had that already in hand by the time the insurance company got their adjuster to the boat.
  13. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    You need think about the repercussions of filing a boat claim. If it has anything to do with deferred maintenance, operator error, or not complying with your hurricane plan... might be best to just fix it and move on if not a major loss. Speaking of lightning strikes, can be very hard to determine the total damage, good idea to get your surveyor, electronics/electrical tech aboard.
  14. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    If you deal with a reputable insurance company that has not been my experience. Agree that claims falling within your deductible should be be avoided.
  15. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    They all operate the same.
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Do you actually have the money to self-insure; not just the cost of the boat but liability? Crash your S20,000 20 footer with guests aboard and it could cost millions.
  17. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Cost of proper insurance is part of the cost of ownership, imo. I'm not defending insurance companies or taking sides, but over the years I've seen a lot of people trying to pass off bogus claims, so vexation runs in both directions. I gladly pay my premium and hope I never have to file, but I make certain I retain companies who remain friendly to their customer if a claim is filed, and are industry leaders in their area of insurance. That might cost a bit more. Going all the way way back to the first post for a quote"you get what you pay for" Its akin to folks running cheap, cheap gasoline thru their V8 and then complaining they didn't get 200,000 miles.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
  18. Demani

    Demani New Member

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    I am a firm believer in having a quality insurance company as well as car insurance company. I have never had Geico for anything, I've had two different people rear end my cars, one in 2006 and the other in 2016, and both times I had to get a lawyer involved for Geico to pay the doctors and hospitals. I figure if they are that bad with car insurance I don't want them for a boat either. When I had my boats I always insured them with Markel and was well satisfied with my coverage and premium. In all my years of ownership though I never had a claim so I can't respond on that end, but my premiums never went up much and I always had coverage where ever I cruised in the USA, Mexico, or the Caribbean.
  19. Ralph Holiman

    Ralph Holiman New Member

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    I don't blame the insurance companies for high rates as much as I blame the people who don't do anything to prepare their boats for hurricanes other than to say, "That's what I have insurance for."

    And, I generally hate insurance companies. :)