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Thread: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

  1. #1
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    Default Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    I know this isn't a forum topic but I have always appreciated the forum's generous nature.

    Where do people get their old wood boats insured? I have not worried about insurance in the past but need to temporarily keep my boat in a marina that requires liability insurance. I inquired with my auto insurance company, which constantly sends out flyers advertising that they also carry boat insurance, but they rejected my application due to the wood hull and age of the boat.

    Is it customary that the boat be surveyed prior to a liability policy being issued? I would prefer to not have to pull the boat again until Spring.

    Thanks,

    Todd

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    I'm in the UK, but because insurance companies operate in the wider world this may be of help. I'm sorry if this is not the case. Third party insurance can be obtained from the Basic Boat Liability Insurance Company, cheap as chips and no survey required. Fully comprehensive insurance here does require a survey. The only company that I could find for full cover (after survey ) was St. Margarets in London. No-one else was interested....

    There must be equivalents in the States, or maybe the 2 companies mentioned above will operate in the US. Good luck! Stu

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    I had my old wooden boat surveyed prior to purchase in 1996. At that time I was holding State Farm house and auto policies for some 20 years. My State Farm agent had no problem underwriting a new policy for my (new to me) 41 year-old boat.

    I've owned the boat for another 14 years now, did a lot of improvements and never had a new survey done. My State Farm agent still insures the boat.

    Personal responsibility, a good track record and long-time relationships with insurance companies (and their agents) can't be over-estimated when it comes to insuring well-maintained vintage wooden boats. Be advised: a smart insurance agent won't issue a new wooden boat policy without a recent survey and will not continue insurance on a poorly maintained piece of junk.
    "Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over." -Samuel Clemens

  4. #4

    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    What kind of boat?
    The bigger names are Heritage Marine Insurance (mostly sail) and Hagerty (mostly power)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    Here on the West Coast, the company I deal with is Mariner's General Insurance. Either the owner, Byron Chamberlain or his son Craig should be able to assist you.
    http://my.marinersins.com/
    Another company, whom I have never delt with, is Hagerty Marine Insurance.
    http://www.hagerty.com/us/marine.aspx?id=57854
    Yes, you will need a survey.
    Jay

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    At the Wooden Boat Show in Mystic, I stopped at the Grundy booth. They do not require a survey - but do ask for a narrative of what's been done to the boat. http://www.grundy.com/ClassicBoats/

    Their prices absolutely blew Heritage & Hagerty out of the water - 1/4 Heritage's price, ~45% of Hagerty's. They, like Hagerty, got their start with classic cars & then the owner got into old boats.

    I have no connection with them, but unless someone comes up with a big reason why I shouldn't go with them, I am going to. Saving 2-3,000 is just too big a difference to ignore.

    All comments welcome!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    Mine is underwritten by QBE.
    Alan L
    Beatrice - A St Pierre Dory
    http://www.alphabyte.co.nz/beatrice

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    Global marine insurance agency provided liability insurance for my 1966 Atkin ketch without a survey. Seems a pretty reasonable rate too.
    Chris

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    A friend of mine who had his 1925 60 ft buyboat insured with Harerty for many years just switched to Grundy. No survey required, just some photos and the narritive thing. Half the cost of Hagerty.

    Our 23 ft. 1962 CC Sea Skiff is insured with Hagerty. I'll be looking into Grundy for that boat. Our 1955 37 ft sloop is insured with Boat US. If Grundy offers riders for the Bahamas (Hagerty doesn't), I may switch that boat also.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Here on the West Coast, the company I deal with is Mariner's General Insurance. Either the owner, Byron Chamberlain or his son Craig should be able to assist you.
    http://my.marinersins.com/
    Another company, whom I have never delt with, is Hagerty Marine Insurance.
    http://www.hagerty.com/us/marine.aspx?id=57854
    Yes, you will need a survey.
    Jay
    Byron Chamberlain is a great guy. I was chatting with him just last month about a project for a mutual friend. I'd endorse him highly!

    He's got himself a nice schooner boat, too... Rose of Sharon. A 1930 Starling Burgess design.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    Thank you everyone.

    I made a list of the companies you provided and will start contacting them. I will start with those that did not require a survey since I don't want to pull the boat until spring. I just had it out in May to repair frames and replace two floors.

    I will see if I can insure it now with the promise of a survey next spring.

    The boat is a 1962 Cheoy Lee Burmuda 30 (H28)
    Teak on Ipol, copper riveted

    Thanks again,

    Todd

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    I had no trouble insuring my 1936 boat (32') with Ace-Inamar marine insurance. They did want a full survey.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    Boat US and a survey.
    I pay around $350 per year
    I noticed it has crept up

  14. #14

    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    Ski Safe insures classic boats as does Hagerty.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    There are a few categories here:
    Underwriters: These are the insurance companies. They set the rate that they're willing to insure your boat at, and the conditions. They write the check if things go wrong.
    Agents. These are the guys who get bids for coverage from the underwriters. Some agencies, and some agents, specialize in marine, and are very expert at it. Some agencies do nothing but write marine, although it's mainly commercial. If you want to insure a 12 million dollar tugboat, a call to your local Allstate agent is unlikely to yield much.
    MGA's Which stands for "Managing General Agent." Names like BoatUS, and I think Hagerty, and Hinckley, are MGA's. The policy that you get in the mail has their name on it, but they are really just a sort of super-agent. They get a big line of coverage from an underwriter, and then issue policies to individual boat owners. They have considerable leeway about rates and coverage, and some of them handle claims as well, up to a point.
    Liability-only coverage. At least in the Northeast U.S., liability only coverage isn't common except with big commercial vessels. For smaller vessels underwriters don't seem to like to bother with a policy that pays very small premiums, and carries the risk of large payouts and expensive litigation.
    Small boat. Many companies that write homeowner or renter insurance will include a boat without a lot of expense. They often have rules about how big, how old, how much value. Varies between companies. Generally, if your boat is under 30 feet and 25 years it's worth checking.
    Progressive. A big direct-sale auto underwriter that also writes boat coverage, including wooden sailboats.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    I just switched from Markel to Grundy (AIG underwriters). My detailed discussion of work done and in progress convinced them to write a comprehensive policy including property loss and liability without a survey. We couldn't get property/hull insurance previously, even with a survey, since the boat was in pieces. Now the boat is sailing, and we have comprehensive coverage for about the same cost as liability-only through Markel.

    An aside: James Grundy owns and sails classic wood sailboats on Chesapeake Bay......he speaks wood sailboat language, not just insurance lingo. Good customer service so far....the real test would come if we ever file a claim, of course.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    I am missing something here???

    you say the marina requires liability insurance, so go to your homeowners insurance company and buy an umbrella liability policy. just be sure to read what is and is not covered. a written letter from your agent to verify that the coverage extends to liability caused by your boat. the letter and policy should be sufficiet proof for the marina.

    should be no big deal and you will not have to pay for casualty insurance that you don't otherwise want.

    Now MY big issue with boat insurance is the potential cost of an environmental cleanup or fine in the case of a sinking which could get very expensive fast. I made sure that clean up costs are covered in my boat policy, along with removal of boat for salvage. I can afford to replace any of my boats out of pocket, but a clean up bill that could easily hit 5 figures or more, I'd rather be insured for.

    Good luck
    Jerry

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    Contact Hackworth Insurance Agency in San Francisco. Jim Hackworth know wooden boats and can arrange a policy. He seems to be the agent of choice for many of the old wooden boats on the west coast. Mine is 1929, and I pay about $1K per year.

    S

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    Good point Jerry; As I recall, I am insured for $800K of "environmental" losses (aka cleanup)...

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    The thing about insurance companies is that they can insure you until the cows come home, but how hard is it to actually get a settlement in the event of a claim? The world is rife with horror stories of inexpensive policies being worthless because the insurance company can't/won't uphold their end of the bargain.
    Gerard>
    Everett, WA

    Il colore del cielo, la forza del mare.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    Anyone so inclined is welcome to read the riveting text of the policy I am about to pay for with Grundy Insurance. The declaration page, where the dollar limits of property and liability coverage are specified, is not included here. For discussion purposes, let us say that the coverage limits are $50k for property and $500k for liability......I see where Jake's comment above comes into this.....

    Click HERE to download the pdf file for viewing. Timely thread here. Thanks all. Any 'sea lawyers' out there?

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    We did sign up with Grundy. It is an 'Agreed Value' policy....which means we get the value listed on the policy if the boat is a total loss. No survey necessary, but I did submit an extensive application including 30 photos and a detailed discussion of work completed and work pending.

    The quote from Boat/US stated an agreed value about half of that in our Grundy policy, but the cost of that policy was also about %30 less annually. The Boat/US policy would have provided better environmental clean-up coverage, and better towing/salvage coverage.

    Our navigation limits are 'south of the northern tip of Vancouver Island and east of Cape Flattery'. We can add on coverage for the west side of Vancouver Island for a significant fee, but nobody will insure us for the west side of Vancouver Island without a marine survey. The calculated risk for that stormy Pacific Coast area makes them justifiably hesitant.

    Glad to be clear of Markel. Their customer service sucked. We'll see if Grundy does better.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    Mine was through Lloyds, and they took into consideration my experience, two prior solo circumnavigations and the proposed sailing are that I intended to cross into. I did have a rider to stay out of certain areas for 2 months of the year.I had 2 inexperience crew for a while, and it was thought that they needed a bit more exposure before moving on. We settled things down a bit, the Croat lady moved into my cabin and the two serbs bunked together and all was well. When they had questions they would switch seats and start asking questions. It seemed to be an efficient way to catch game.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amber1 View Post
    I know this isn't a forum topic but I have always appreciated the forum's generous nature.

    Where do people get their old wood boats insured? I have not worried about insurance in the past but need to temporarily keep my boat in a marina that requires liability insurance. I inquired with my auto insurance company, which constantly sends out flyers advertising that they also carry boat insurance, but they rejected my application due to the wood hull and age of the boat.

    Is it customary that the boat be surveyed prior to a liability policy being issued? I would prefer to not have to pull the boat again until Spring.

    Thanks,

    Todd
    If I am not mistaken, they also have the "agreed-value" clause in their policies, (the same as their antique car insurance,) where (I am sure within certain limitatiosn), the owner and Grundy can agree on a value for the baot.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    I did insure the boat with Grundy. As said, they only required a narative describing the boat condition, work done, and maintenance routine. They were very prompt and approved the boat quickly.

    They did not want to insure only for liability so I also have an "agreed value" in case of lost. I am happy with this.

    Sorry for taking so long to follow up.

    Todd

  26. #26
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    Michigan
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    Hey Todd (or others looking for info!) My two cents is to check out http://www.boatinsurance.org - lots of articles and good info on there, as well as some unbiased company reviews. Hope that helps

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    Heritage Marine Insurance are great people to work with. They are based in Connecticut I think.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Where to get old wood boat insurance?

    Hagerty is the one for me. We have are cars through them. They are all car and boat guys too. that make a big differance
    NO WOOD NO GLORY

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