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Mark Van
11-17-2005, 11:05 AM
I decided to try (again) to get liability insurance. Since I couldn't even get a quote for any kind of insurance without a survay, I spent $400 getting my boat survayed when it was hauled out. I sent the survay to Lawrence Fox agency (advertised in WoodenBoat) and after a week, I was told that there are no insurance companies offering a liability only policy on wooden boats. I cannot afford (and don't really want) full coverage. If the hull was fiberglass, I could get cheap liability insurance without a survay. I suppose that next time I build a boat, I will say it is cored fiberglass construction when I get the title, then there would be no problem. In the meantime, there are very few marinas that I could keep my boat in that don't require liability insurance. I guess this is just a rant, but I am very frustrated at this time.

dreedy
11-17-2005, 11:18 AM
I own a 1964 wooden Thompson runabout in good to excellent condition and when I tried for full coverage from BoatUS they would only offer me liability insurance. Give 'em a try but be warned they do seem prejudiced against wooden hulls even though their insurance manager will not admit it. Also, review their quote carefully because after filling out their application online, they gave me a quote for a fiberglass runabout. Prejudiced?

DReedy

uncas
11-17-2005, 11:19 AM
Mark...join the club...
It is hard to get any insurance...An some yards won't even haul a wooden boat over say 20 years.

Brian Palmer
11-17-2005, 11:38 AM
In 2003, I was offered liability insurance on a 20 ft wooden sail boat (no engine) by USAA. $80 for $100K coverage.

-- Brian

uncas
11-17-2005, 11:43 AM
Brian...what's the name of the company...100K for a 20 foot boat! Wow...
I don't know what USAA is....

[ 11-17-2005, 12:43 PM: Message edited by: uncas ]

Gary E
11-17-2005, 12:54 PM
there are no insurance companies offering a liability only policy on wooden boats. I cannot afford (and don't really want) full coverage. What EXACTLY is FULL coverage?

I am going to assume that means the VALUE of everything should it sink, burn, be stolen, etc. The insur co pays you that amount.

Spose you agree with the insur co that the "VALUE" is 100$.. or splurge 1000$... would they then write LIABILITY ?

Mark Van
11-17-2005, 01:02 PM
The "value" is what the survayor says is the "fair market value" of the boat. Since you can't get insurance without a survay, you can't change the value of the boat. It seems to me to be a pretty good risk for an insurance company to insure a boat worth $50,000 and only pay $100 if the boat gets destroyed. Oh, well, I'll never understand the insurance business.

I was told that the few companies that did offer liability on wooden boats don't any more.

I don't think it is too hard to get a liability policy on smaller boats, under 26 feet. 39 foot liveaboards are a different story.

I tried for an online quote from boat US, and got 3 seperate letters saying 3 different reasons that they wouldn't cover me, after telling me on the phone that they didn't have liability only policy for a wooden boat.

[ 11-17-2005, 02:04 PM: Message edited by: Mark Van ]

uncas
11-17-2005, 01:09 PM
Mark...I went round and round with my surveyor...When he surveyed my boat...he suggested I put a value of $150,00.oo on it..
I said not possible...
It may be worth that much...I don't know but to find someone willing to pay that much is something else..
Fair market value is...how much an individual is willing to pay.
If someone can sell two pieces of wonderbread with the image of the Virgin Mary on it for $28,000....well, anything is possible.

WindHawk
11-17-2005, 01:12 PM
Does an umbrella liabillity insurace policy (say $1,000,000 for $350 or so), have an exclusion for boats? I wouldn't think so, but I don't know.

Torna
11-17-2005, 01:43 PM
My situation sounds similar so I'll offer it up for what it's worth.
For three summers I sailed Torna up & down the Maine coast, exposing her & her crew, to all the risks and rigours of service. Hull insurance for Torna and lots of liability coverage for persons or damage to other boats ran me about $1000/year.

Now Torna is on stands in a shed in my backyard - she will be there for the next several years while I do frame work and other repairs.

Obviously she faces no risks of service - to her, to her crew, or to other boats. I called the ins agent and explained the situation saying that I wanted coverage for fire, vandalism, and liability in case the neighborhood kids should decide that she looks like a good playground...
The insurance agent said that I was seeking what is called "Port Risk Only" insurance and the premium would be about $800/year. !!

Just doesn't make sense to me: sailing around exposed to hurricanes, groundings, sinkings, dragging her anchor into the nearby Hinkley - for $1000. vs sitting in my yard with none of those threats for $800.

I decided that an electric fence around her was far more cost effective.

2c
-leif

BrianW
11-17-2005, 02:25 PM
uncas,

I'm a different Brian, but USAA (https://www.usaa.com/inet/ent_logon/Logon) is a military member based insurance company.

I use them for auto, home, and my small boat insurance. They don't do commercial boats, so I can't use them for that.

Alan D. Hyde
11-17-2005, 02:29 PM
Does Lloyds still write this sort of risk????

Alan

uncas
11-17-2005, 02:30 PM
My Ex brother-in-law was miltary...I think...correct me if I am wrong...Any insurance through them has to be in the name of an ex mil individual or a spouse...or in my sister's case an ex-spouse.
Can't apply.

Mark Van
11-17-2005, 03:01 PM
One of the things that annoyed me was that I called the insurance agent before getting a survay, and I asked for a quote on Liability only for my boat. He said that he needed to see a survay before giving a quote, so I spent $400 on a survay, and then found out that I couldn't get liability anyway, so I basicaly wasted $400.

I did find out a few things on the survay.
1. the survayor was not very familliar with wooden boats.

2. The fair market value of my boat is only $25,000 (according to him). I think that is pretty low, since I spent almost that much in materials.

3. The replacement value is $60,000.

4. Coast guard requires double hose clamps on fuel tank fill hose.

I don't think that information is worth $400.

I can get full coverage for $1,300 a year, which seems pretty high for a $25,000 boat.

uncas
11-17-2005, 03:05 PM
Well...my ins. has just jumped from 1100.00 Chesapeake bay...to over 1650.00 because Uncas is in New England...
All i can say is that ins. companies have got you by the keel...

George Roberts
11-17-2005, 03:08 PM
Mark Van ---

Does $1,300 for insurance on a $60,000 boat sound better?

It gets you into a marina.

Mike Vogdes
11-17-2005, 03:21 PM
I believe your boat is fiberglass over plywood correct?
Instead of calling it a wood boat, try calling it composite construction and maybe you will get some attention from insurance companies.

1,300 doesn't sound all that bad for full coverage...

Tom Lathrop
11-17-2005, 03:43 PM
Mark,

I am at a loss to understand what liability insurance has to do with wooden boats. Are you more likely to hit other boats if your boat is wood? Are passengers more likely to be hurt on a wooden boat?

Have you tried to get a rider added to a homeowner's policy with a relative who owns a home? That is what I do (on our homeowner's policy) but don't know if it works on big live aboards. About $30 (sail or power) I think and there has never been a mention of survey.

Gary E
11-17-2005, 03:47 PM
Mike,
I will agree that 1300 prem sounds to high, it amounts to over 5% per yr of the boats value.

Did you know you in NJ pay the highest auto insur rates in the nation? so if your used to that it's no wonder you think that rate is a deal.

For a lot less than 5% of a houses value, closer to 2 1/2 to 3% you pay RE taxes, school taxes, and homeowners insur..course it dont float... cept if your on the Gulf coast...NJ residents must be really used to getting taken by insur co's.

Spose to make boats sound more expensive they tag them with the term "Yachts" .. smile.gif

brad9798
11-17-2005, 03:53 PM
Form an LLC for a couple hundred bucks ... deed your boat to the LLC.

Then get a 1,000,000 liability policy on the LLC.

Liability insurance has nothing to do with wood or plastic ... it is simply liability.

American Heritage Marine does mine.

Good luck.

Brad

Mark Van
11-17-2005, 03:59 PM
The problem with calling it a "composite" boat is that I called it a wooden boat when I originally got the title, so the title says "Wooden". I don't think I can change that very easily. (That is a good warning to anybody building a fiberglass-covered wood boat)

I think that the homeowners rider is limited to smaller boats. My Mom can easily get liability on her 20 foot boat.

Dan Payne
11-17-2005, 04:00 PM
believe it or not, State Farm insured my glass over ply Bartender. I know, I still can't believe it. Check 'em out...dp

Mark Van
11-17-2005, 04:05 PM
The only thing that I can see that would make insurance companies leery of offering liability insurance on wooden boats is that they may be more likely to sink in a slip than a fiberglass boat. That seems like it would only apply to older wooden boats in poor condition, not a 4 year old boat in good condition. (isn't that what the survay was for?)

emichaels
11-17-2005, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by uncas:
Brian...what's the name of the company...100K for a 20 foot boat! Wow...
I don't know what USAA is....USAA is a financial group offering many financial services . Banking, Insurance, etc. We have several policies with them , Autos, Three houses, Commercial building policy and Life. We have been really happy with their service and pricing. Check the web.

Eric

Mike Vogdes
11-17-2005, 04:43 PM
Mark, You have a legitimate reason to retitle if you would need to retitle, however I never had to produce a title to insure a boat.

Gary, I guess I'm a little tainted when it comes to taxes and insurance, New Jerseys rates suck...

Gary E
11-17-2005, 04:48 PM
Originally posted by Mike Vogdes:


Gary, I guess I'm a little tainted when it comes to taxes and insurance, New Jerseys rates suck...Yeah, I know... I used to live in Maple Shade for a while...

uncas
11-17-2005, 04:48 PM
I don't think I had to either...just to register the boat tis all.

Mike Vogdes
11-17-2005, 04:55 PM
Wow, small world. I grew up in Maple Shade...

Thorne
11-17-2005, 06:10 PM
I wonder if we are barking up the wrong tree here -- could it be the primary issue is LIVEABOARD, not material?

Liability for a home is a close comparison -- it covers the mailman slipping on the steps, burglars cutting themselves on broken glass (!!), roofslates hitting lawyer's kids, etc.

So if the companies are dealing with a combination of increased liability costs for liveaboards vs daysailing boats, and adding the potential for injury due to materials (think funky wood shack vs concrete mansion), maybe they are coming up with the mistaken perspective that wood boats used for liveaboards will cost them more than other types of boats?

Don Z.
11-17-2005, 08:06 PM
Originally posted by Thorne:
I wonder if we are barking up the wrong tree here -- could it be the primary issue is LIVEABOARD, not material?

Liability for a home is a close comparison -- it covers the mailman slipping on the steps, burglars cutting themselves on broken glass (!!), roofslates hitting lawyer's kids, etc.

So if the companies are dealing with a combination of increased liability costs for liveaboards vs daysailing boats, and adding the potential for injury due to materials (think funky wood shack vs concrete mansion), maybe they are coming up with the mistaken perspective that wood boats used for liveaboards will cost them more than other types of boats?Well, sort of. The reason marinas require liability is for things like:
If you sink at their slip, and don't haul the boat so that they have to, they want to be sure they can recover the fees.

If you dismast in a storm and take out three other boats and a floating dock, they want to be sure someone actually pays...

Sure, I guess you can say in that case, the "hit-ee" should be insured, but like in the mailman case you mentioned, yes, he has health insurance, but you pay...

The reason insurance companies shy from wooden boats is because there is a reputation for wooden boats being poorly maintained, and thus a higher risk (in this case, to them, perception is reality). Even with a survey, when you let a wood boat go, it goes quickly...

I don't agree with that, but there it is.

Also... a reason they don't like home builts is because there's no "proof" you put it together correctly.

I know... a survey should solve that... but do you really want to use logic with an insurance company?

And, a reason they don't like liveaboards is because the guys in the insurance ivory tower seem to think that a liveaboard is one step below a trailer... which means you probably aren't taking care of it anyway, and it's going to sink at the dock, dismast, and take out three other boats.

Again, perception is reality, and don't use logic with an insurance co...

A homebuilt, wooden liveaboard? HA!

And USAA? I was pleased with them once, have become less so as time goes by. They refused to insure the Chris Craft (but would happily underwrite a loan for it!?!), and wouldn't touch the 8mR.

Hagerty's, on the other hand, was very easy to work with. That is to say, they easily took my money for the policy. I haven't made a claim with them, so we'll see.

[ 11-17-2005, 09:07 PM: Message edited by: Don Z. ]

Neo
11-17-2005, 11:20 PM
Insurance, what a nightmare. I recently worked for 3 weeks straight trying to insure my 50 year old, 40 ft. wooden yawl. I tried all the companies listed in Wooden Boat and found the best and least expensive policy at State Farm. My marina required $500,000 in liability, I got it for $360.00 a year! I found almost no consistancy in any of the other companies reasons for pricing. Good luck.

Tom Lathrop
11-18-2005, 08:44 AM
DonZ,

A friend recently hit a deadhead (remnant of hurricane Ophelia) with his 50's Chris Craft runabout. He was close to the launch ramp and there were people available to keep it from sinking while he ran the trailer under it. I did the repairs for one large hole in the bottom next to the keel.

His insurance is with Hagerty's. They have given him the runaround. First, they would not accept digital photos of the damage, wanting "real" film photos. Then they wanted a boatyard estimate on letterhead. I don't have that crap.

In the meantime we have bartered services. He installed a house water softener for me and I fixed his boat.

They have, so far, come forward with nothing but another premium bill.

That is one reason I insure my own boats other than liability.

uncas
11-18-2005, 08:50 AM
Ya know...we all pay insurance...Insurance for this for that...we pay through the nose for coverage thinking that when there is a problem...it will be covered.
I have heard horror stories...excuses, wishy washy reasons for not paying out..
It continues to continue and yes, the premiums keep coming in.
As I mentioned yesterday...Have in hand 2 insurance bills...they came two days apart...same company...But within that two day period...the amount I owe went from 234.00 to 425.00
Now...I am damn'd if I do pay it and damn'd if I don't The only question I have is which one do I send in?
I am leaning towards the lesser amount obviously. As I have still not heard back from Heritage IIns. over my claim.

Gary E
11-18-2005, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by Tom Lathrop:



That is one reason I insure my own boats other than liability.Tom,
Can you explain just what "other than Liability" actually is?

Do these policies spell out what is and what is not covered?

Just a note,
I have so little knowledge on insurance, as anyone can tell. For example, I only have liability auto insur, never had collision even on all the new cars, so I know that if I dammage my car, it's MY FAULT, I pay...If I dammage your car...the insur is sposed to pay... so far never had to use it. Collision insur seem's to me as betting aginst yourself.

uncas
11-18-2005, 11:34 AM
Ya got it...the typical boat owner has no clue as to what is covered...Only the insurance company knoews and it can therefore pull the wool over your eyes..and deny any responsibility or claims.
Pollution insurance...Yes, once explained..made some sense but try filing a claim...you used the words..." supposed to " another indication of what the consumer expects and what he gets.
Just got the booklet...loosely described from my health ins. Co...The bloody thing is bigger than my dictionary...and I am expected to know what is written in every clause...etc...Right...Getting through the table of contents was a chore!

[ 11-18-2005, 12:38 PM: Message edited by: uncas ]

Tom Lathrop
11-18-2005, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by Gary E:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Tom Lathrop:



That is one reason I insure my own boats other than liability.Tom,
Can you explain just what "other than Liability" actually is?

Do these policies spell out what is and what is not covered?

Just a note,
I have so little knowledge on insurance, as anyone can tell. For example, I only have liability auto insur, never had collision even on all the new cars, so I know that if I dammage my car, it's MY FAULT, I pay...If I dammage your car...the insur is sposed to pay... so far never had to use it. Collision insur seem's to me as betting aginst yourself.</font>[/QUOTE]Gary,

You said it well yourself. If my boat is damaged, other than by someone else who has liability insurance, I take care it myself.

If I damage you or you are hurt on my boat, my insurance company pays. Never had such a claim in over 40 years and I think I have saved enough on full coverage premiums to buy a boat or two, at least the kind of boats I am likely to own.

Mark Van
11-18-2005, 12:07 PM
I never had insurance, and since I don't have liability, I am very carefull around other boats. The cost of gas (even at $3.00 a gallon)to take my boat from Knoxville to Ft Myers Beach is quite a bit less than what it would cost for insurance for a year. Since any damage that happens to my boat I can fix myself, I can't see any reason for full coverage.

chergui
11-18-2005, 12:10 PM
This just confirms to me why I avoid all insurance I can like a plague. Insurance companies don't provide much of a service anymore. They are a business whose goal is to make money. So premiums are expensive as possible and payments are few as possible and all reason goes out the window. It's really hard not to get jerked around by insurance companies these days. And why on earth you would need 1 million liability is beyond me. 80-100k quoted above is reasonable.

Edit: I like your thinking Mark. If it gets damaged, jut fix it yourself. If you don't know how, then you get to learn something in the process.

[ 11-18-2005, 02:23 PM: Message edited by: chergui ]

uncas
11-18-2005, 12:13 PM
Mark...what about the damage to say the other boat...? Or is that not relevent?

David McCollum
11-18-2005, 12:17 PM
My insurance experience has been with Hagerty since 1985. On my 1950 Matthews, I have had two claims: One in 1993 for flood damage, when the boat was hauled, up on dry land, the Mississippi R. came up to meet it, submerged the engine. They paid for the overhaul. The second claim was last year, when a windstorm knocked her over in the yard, punctured a couple of planks. Both claims were settled quickly and fairly. This is a "port risk" policy, as she has been out of the water since 1990. Premiums before "port risk" were about $350 per year. Since then about $300 per year. Hagerty has changed carriers in recent years to CNA. I forget who it was before that. They require a survey every 10 years to maintain coverage, and will require another survey after I finish the restoration.

Gary E
11-18-2005, 12:21 PM
And why on earth you would need 1 million liability is beyond me. 80-100k quoted above is reasonable. Well.... I can think of one reason, Spose your sittin in a slip with a duzzen sportfish boats around you, each one worth say....$300,000 maybe up to a mil or more... and your boat blows up...

And that's one reason why I am ohh so carefull with everything...

Mark Van
11-18-2005, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by uncas:
Mark...what about the damage to say the other boat...? Or is that not relevent?If I damage another boat, I guess that I will have to pay for it, which is why I'm very carefull around other boats. I would really like to have liability insurance, but that seems to be impossible without paying for full coverage.

George Roberts
11-18-2005, 04:45 PM
Mark Van ---

So how deep are your pockets?

I expect not deep enough.

uncas
11-18-2005, 04:52 PM
George....based on the reactions/actions taken by my insiurance company.. I too have to have deep pockets...
Perhaps those without shall I say insurance are no worse or better off than me.

jaburgin
11-18-2005, 08:01 PM
Mark Van, i pay 1000.00 a year on a 20.5 ' fiberglass boat i keep in the bahamas it was 800.00 a year but after the two hurricanes in sept. 04 it went up, my boat was damaged in both hurricanes while on the hard but the insurance company did an excellent job paying for everything.
oh yes it is underwritten by Lloyds.

Mark Van
11-18-2005, 11:08 PM
If my pockets were deep, I could afford insurance.

Not too much risk, though. I've been on this boat for 4 years, and cruised about 10,000 miles so far, and have never been close to damaging another boat. (knock on wood)

chergui
11-19-2005, 12:45 PM
Then a million dollars wouldn't cover it anyway. So what would you do then? It would be up to the owners of those boats to have insurance if they wanted it. Otherwise I think we just accept day to day risks of doing things. Can't guarantee everything.


Originally posted by Gary E:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />And why on earth you would need 1 million liability is beyond me. 80-100k quoted above is reasonable. Well.... I can think of one reason, Spose your sittin in a slip with a duzzen sportfish boats around you, each one worth say....$300,000 maybe up to a mil or more... and your boat blows up...

And that's one reason why I am ohh so carefull with everything...</font>[/QUOTE]

uncas
11-19-2005, 12:51 PM
Insurance is great until you find out what is insured ain't covered...
Small print...upside down on back of 5th page.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
11-19-2005, 09:10 PM
Hmm... I've read a number of threads like this, and I can't fathom it... up here I have my policy with whoever.. through my broker.. and it cost me $850 Canadian, with full coverage. The boat is insured for 30,000 which is a bit light, but that's because I've done a lot of work, and I need a new survey. We (canadians) don't seem to have this problem but I don't know why that is either. Liveaboard probably would change a lot of it... Maybe the fact that I own a recognizable commercially produced wooden boat makes a difference (CC) :confused: :confused:

uncas
11-20-2005, 06:05 AM
Maybe the fact that I own a recognizable commercially produced wooden boat makes a difference (CC)

Well...I thought I did too.

ssor
11-20-2005, 08:01 AM
When I have applied for quotes from most insurers when I get to the line that asks year of manufacture and I write 1968, the screen abruptly changes and I am informed that they don't insure boats that are that old!
That fact that she has been surveyed after a complete refit in 1998 doesn't seem to matter.
I have managed to get liability coverage with uninsured boater coverage but with out having filed a claim I can't tell whether or not the policy is worth the paper on which it is printed.
Ross in Bel Air

uncas
11-20-2005, 08:17 AM
Yup..been there...as you know mine is '48...twebty years older...Even harder.
This is my first claim and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere but the premium ( bills ) keep coming in...

Mark Van
11-20-2005, 04:57 PM
I imagine that it is easier to get insurance in Canada, how many hurricanes hit Canada in the last two years?

uncas
11-20-2005, 05:01 PM
Heck...how many hurricanes have hit CT in the last 8 yrs...and I'm being conservative..
Now...rates...New England is higher than MD...Chesapeake and yet boats US ranked MD 5th overall in the number of calls it received in 2004..
And ins. companies rarely give coverage for hurricanes anyway...very...very small print..paragraph two back of page 14...UNLESS you have a rider attached and are willing to pay a lot more...
Can't figure out ins. companies...
Just to keep the re4cord straight...for those who have been following this.
I do have liability insurance...well at least I pay the premiums...Collecting is something else.

[ 11-20-2005, 06:07 PM: Message edited by: uncas ]

sdowney717
11-20-2005, 05:49 PM
I have Boat US liability only on my rubber wood composite 1970 permaflexed Eggharbor sedan cruiser hull and it costs me 360 per year with 500,000 liability.
Since I have been out of the water for this rebuild, I called them wondering if I could drop coverage, but there is nothing lower than liability only so that was that. A total drop in coverage would then require a new survey to reinsure and I decided it was not worth the bother, just cheaper to keep the current policy going.

When I went to get insurance 6 years ago. I made sure the surveyor was acceptable to Boat US before getting hime to survey it. I know of 2 marinas here which dont ask for proof of insurance but you take a big risk. Say your boat breaks loose in a storm and damages something, are you really going to have the resources to pay big bill to fix the damages?

Another big gripe I have is some places refuse to haul you out on the travel lift. When you run into that issue, find out where the waterman go to have their woodies hauled and that will work for you.

That one marina had quite a few woodies and he rufused to haul any saying they would fall apart on the lift and then the woodies owners would sue the marina. Most people perceptions of a wooden boat being a seaworthy hull is a negative. It is not anything except old and rotten, leaking, prone to sinking, and poorly maintained, too big a risk to the insurers to bother with.

BrianW
11-21-2005, 01:39 AM
I tried to get a quote from Hagerty Insurance, and got this familiar response...


Our policy covers navigation in US and Canadian Territorial Waters only-
excluding Alaska and Hawaii.:(

Anyone have a website for the 'Heritage' insurance that was mentioned?