Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Lili429, Mar 17, 2015.
Does anyone have any advice to offer regarding the best vendor/price for insurance for the boat?
I'm sure others will have specific recommendations on specialty carriers, but don't be bashful about asking the agent currently handling your homeowner's/auto/medical/life/personal liability coverages, particularly if they are a broker (as opposed to representing only one company). It's a good place to start.
If you don't currently have some excess liability coverage (sometimes referred to as an umbrella policy), now is the time to consider it, especially if you are going to have guests on the boat.
We have had insurance for one year including a Captain's Warranty. We are working through that since we both have OUPV diplomas - but not the actual license yet.
We are leaving our current captain on the policy. Although we have our licenses we are certainly not ready to take her out on our own. Side note - so many dates and trips that our current captain can't fulfill.
We have insurance through a contact from our broker who sold us the boat and just I just want to see who everyone else is using.
I think this question might be answered by Boat Owners (not to bother any others) but would love opinions from anyone who knows.
There are two ways of approaching this. One is to go straight to the company and the other is to find a good insurance broker to help you in evaluating and obtaining coverage. I'd recommend some yacht insurers like Pantaenius. Your current general insurer may provide good coverage but the problem with boat policies is they aren't all created equal. The differences in coverage can be significant. What about environmental and salvage? Read and understand every page of the policy. What about named storms? Hurricane plans?
You should also have someone you have confidence in reviewing all your insurance coverage. Someone mentioned umbrella policy and absolutely.
Shopping around is good but you can't do it on price and you can't do it without copies of the policies.
You mentioned license as it pertains to insurance. While license may be important, most insurers are really looking for experience and history. They'd rather insure someone who has 15 years experience operating 60' and up boats than someone who just got a license but only has a couple of years or than someone with a lot of experience but all 30' and under.
Ok. That's good advice.
Try Scott Jarvie at Oversea Insurance Agency. The one on Seabreeze in Ft Lauderdale. Oversea ...there's no 's' on the end.
Choose an agent wisely. If one agency shops you around and you decide not to use them you will not be happy. The way the carriers work is once you get shopped around the next agency is locked out.
Oh this is news. Ok. I will take this knowledge and be careful.
Interesting wrinkle. Does the agent issue com into play with agents working for one insurance company, or with the other variant which goes out shopping for a fitting policies at various companies?
There us also rather simple and obvious stuff. Don't start by reading the policy. Let the company A explain why their policy is better than the policies from B, C & D. Take notes, maybe research some points further to clarify. Then read and compare policies. (Or read first, and then start a second round with the new gained knowledge. The insurance companies know exactly how to show holes in other policies.)
One of the major wrinkles is all risks vs. agreed risks (please insert correct term).
Insuring everything but a list of exclusions OR insuring nothing but a very defined list of risks. - Guess which variant is much more likely to cause problems for you if there is a claim...
I use Charter Lakes (charter lakes.com). They were about half what I paid previously....
I'm in the general lines insurance business and some of the advice here was pretty good. Call three different marine insurance agents and ask them for recommendations and weaknesses of other carriers. Then read the policies. Choosing a carrier based on price is probably not the best advice you will get. The biggest names in marine insurance are Chubb, Ace and Premier and they are all good companies. The only issue I have seen with Premier is that I know two different people who had catastrophic engine failures after one small part failed.
Most yacht insurance policies will pay for the resultant damage after a failed part, but will not pay for the failed part itself. In the two cases I am familiar with, Premier declined the claims because the damage was not caused by an "accident." Both guys went through a many-month process of calls, forensics, etc, and both had to hire an attorney and threaten a lawsuit before they got paid. Both were unhappy. This may or may not affect your purchasing decision. I don't represent any of the companies named, and I have no financial interest.
Was there a reason you left Pantaenius off your list?
And as to the problem you referred to on Premier, this is what you're looking for an insurer to do:
• The consequential losses arising from wear and tear will be covered;
only the defective part itself is excluded.
That is a very critical requirement you pointed out. That is a cut and paste from Pantaenius' web site.
I did not intentionally leave off Pantaenius. I live and work in the Pacific Northwest and I named three companies that I frequently see (my boat-owning policyholders often bring me in their insurance policies to review).
I have not seen a Pantaenius policy, so I don't know a thing about them. My yacht is a 50-footer, so I'm on the low end of this site's totem pole. The insurance policies I have reviewed were for boats in the 40-70 foot range.
I checked out Pantaenius' website and their US office is in New York. Looks like a great company for large yachts around the world.
They would probably be the largest carrier for larger yachts around the world. Perhaps Lloyd's would be second on megayachts. Pantaenius has a lot of customers here in South Florida but I also know of many in the PNW they insure.
Regardless of who one uses, they should look for the features Pantaenius offers in their policies.
Here are just some of the things that people should consider when selecting a policy, regardless of the carrier:
(I'm not saying these are all applicable to everyone, but should just be considered and looked at).
1. All risk coverage.
2. No exclusions for implied warranty of seaworthiness. This has often been an issue with some carriers. Yacht breaks apart (see Bertram) so insurer claims it's not covered as it wasn't seaworthy and it's a manufacturer issue.
3. Worldwide navigation for those who will be traveling elsewhere.
4. No hurricane or named storm exclusions and no requirements to be north of certain points for certain parts of the year.
5. No issues based on where the boat is flagged.
6. Third party liability and extra pollution and environmental coverage plus salvage coverage. Many don't realize that salvage and environmental can easily exceed the value of their boat. Let your boat break anchor and land on a protected reef.
7. Coverage as you stated above for consequential damages.
8. Coverage for crews and chartering if planned.
9. Coverage for things like war and piracy if you see a need based on where you intend to cruise. Ransom coverage in the cases of piracy and kidnapping.
I just encourage people to read the complete policy in advance. Concentrate especially on the inclusions and exclusions. I greatly prefer one that is all risks and covers everything not specifically excluded, plus excludes very little.
I also strongly encourage Umbrella policies so one is covered liability wise for some of the enormous claims that are possible.
Last, find someone to advise or consult with you that you truly trust. Maybe more than one person. Perhaps it is your insurance agent or broker, but I'd just them on their completeness, their showing the actual policies and them carefully and fully explaining what is and isn't covered. Shopping based on price alone is very dangerous. You might even need a risk management advisor who is paid on a time basis, not commission to oversee all your insurance and exposure as for those who have businesses, autos, boats, and homes, a comprehensive solution is needed. I'd add that is highly unlikely to all come from one insurer too. If you have an attorney who knows all your business well, then using them as a final review may make sense.
And last, don't play games or tell half truths. Answer every question with complete honesty. You lie in some critical area and you've just given the insurer money for what might be no coverage. A real life example. I had an acquaintance who worked and lived in NYC. He had a very nice Mercedes convertible he drove around. I was surprised to see his South Carolina license. He had it registered and insured at his brother's home in SC. I warned him. He didn't listen. One year later it was stolen. He had no coverage as he wasn't insured for a car kept in NYC. One of the reasons his premium was so much lower was theft risk in the city. Last I knew he was still paying for the car while walking, taking the subway, and riding buses.
For those with larger yachts, don't overlook Lloyd's. Of course they will insure most anything, but one feature they offer for boats that is often overlooked is insuring a new build during the entire process. The builders risk insurance the builder has is generally not adequate to protect you, the purchaser. If you're getting a boat built, you need to protect yourself against the Northern/New World and Christensen situations.