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Re: [SabreSailboat] Re: Boat Insurance

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  • Jim Starkey
    Agreed value is agreed value, but there are catches. One is that an insurer who agrees to a value substantially above market value is exposed to potential
    Message 1 of 58 , Jan 6, 2013
      Agreed value is agreed value, but there are catches.  One is that an insurer who agrees to a value substantially above market value is exposed to potential wrong-doing.  Another, more subtle, is that an insurer agreeing to a value substantially lower than market value can argue that they are on the hook for no more than a pro-rata proportion of repairs on a vessel insured for less than full market value.

      Bottom line:  Gamesmanship in either direction is bad for both parties.

      The real problem is the gap between "market value" and replacement value.  For production boats, like Sabres, the gap should be insignificant.  For "classic" sailboats, Concordias, for example, the gap can be large.

      A "good" insurance broker should explain this and negotiate with the carriers for a decent rate.  A lazy broker will take the first offer from the carrier, pocket the commission, and stick you for the premium.

      I've dealt with both lazy and excellent brokers for both marine and airplane insurance.  The difference is easily 50%.  Relatively recently I suggested to my marine broker that I was going to look around.  Without batting an eyelash, he "cut" my premium 20%.  I should have asked him to make it retroactive (not a chance).

      The big difference in insurance costs are with the broker, not the carrier.  Pushing back is the first resort.  Finding a different broker comes next.

      On 1/6/2013 10:14 PM, Martin wrote:

      We have a 1987 S34II insured with Boat US and note that several others with similar boats carry much higher declared value. Is there any point in having a higher value that the amount you'd receive on sale of the boat? We originally carried 70K based on what we bought her for. It has been ten years and I recently reduced the value to 60K to reflect an optimistic sale price based on similar sales reported by a local broker. Did I screw up?


      --- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com, Richard Coerse wrote:
      > Sometimes it appears that they use a dart board rather than actuarial
      > tables when setting premiums.
      > Brooks Wright wrote:
      > >
      > > That's about half what they quoted me a year ago. I don't get it.
      > >
      > > Brooks Wright
      > >
      > > *From:* Charles Sidwa
      > > *To:* "Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com"
      > > *Sent:* Saturday, January 5, 2013 7:31 PM
      > > *Subject:* Re: [SabreSailboat] Boat Insurance
      > >
      > > I'm on Lake Ontario, have a 1989 34 MKII with an agreed value of 88k
      > > and pay about $540.00 for a full year which is about 3 months of
      > > sailing for me. Oh, BoatUS and that is the new premium I just got in
      > > the mail a few days ago. Charlie
      > > Sent from my iPad
      > > On Jan 5, 2013, at 6:30 PM, "Dave Lochner"
      > > wrote:
      > >>
      > >> Alan,
      > >>
      > >> I insure my car and home through USAA, but when I talked to them
      > >> about boat insurance, the policy wasn't very good. Basically they
      > >> treated a boat like a care and would depreciate the value of the
      > >> boat. I think it was Harry who pointed out the other deficiencies of
      > >> the USAA policy.
      > >>
      > >> BoatUS has been my insurer since 1984 and I've been happy with them.
      > >> The two claims I filed were handled well.
      > >>
      > >> A few years ago 2 boats in Oswego broke free of their moorings, one
      > >> insured by BoatUS and one by another carrier. BoatUS arranged for
      > >> salvage of both boats, had them stored and paid the claim promptly.
      > >> It took a long time for the other boat owner to resolve his claim
      > >> with his company and he was not satisfied. Basically, he got very
      > >> little for his boat.
      > >>
      > >> Dave
      > >>
      > >> On Jan 5, 2013, at 11:11 AM, Alan Pressman wrote:
      > >>>
      > >>> One thing I have seen recently is that some policies are being
      > >>> offered (and written) with an "exclusion for a named storm". Sounds
      > >>> to me like no coverage when it is most needed. Other policies
      > >>> double the deductible during a named storm.
      > >>>
      > >>> It is really hard to compare insurance rates on an "apples to
      > >>> apples" basis, given the variations in what is actually covered.
      > >>>
      > >>> My premium is through USAA and is written at Progressive. I
      > >>> converted from a low declared value this year and to a market value
      > >>> (which I think is a little higher value) for coverage, and actually
      > >>> got a slight reduction. But here in FL on a mooring 12 mos of the
      > >>> year it costs me about $1100. I got them to add on Bahamas coverage
      > >>> up to 125 miles from the USA. There was no surcharge for this added
      > >>> coverage. I hope to use it again this year.
      > >>>
      > >>> Alan
      > >>> Windswept S 34 #430
      > >>> Sarasota, FL
      > >>>
      > >>> On Sat, Jan 5, 2013 at 10:20 AM, Dan Trainor
      >>> > wrote:
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>> Yeah, you can't actually compare premiums without considering
      > >>> the specific terms of insurance agreement. Saying you pay $500.
      > >>> with ABC co and I got a quote for $1000. from XYZ co. seems to
      > >>> suggest that ABC is the better deal. But, how would you
      > >>> actually know unless you study the terms of the policy wrt to
      > >>> coverage terms / claims. Will/Can it be a better deal when you
      > >>> need to make a claim? Maybe, Maybe Not.
      > >>> On Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 10:27 PM, john kalinowski
      > >>> > wrote:
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>> Make sure you are comparing coverage.
      > >>>
      > >>> the major things is to look for are:
      > >>>
      > >>> AGREED TO VALUE
      > >>> and
      > >>> ALL PERILS
      > >>>
      > >>> without those 2 terms, finding marine insurance at half
      > >>> price is easy.
      > >>>
      > >>> Policies with those terms cost twice as much because it is
      > >>> worth it.
      > >>> There are explainations in the thread if you wish to check.
      > >>>
      > >>> Regards
      > >>>
      > >>> john--- On *Fri, 1/4/13, DAVID LOCHNER /
      >>> >/* wrote:
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>> From: DAVID LOCHNER
      >>> >
      > >>> Subject: Re: [SabreSailboat] Re: Boat Insurance
      > >>> To: "Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com
      > >>> "
      > >>>
      >>> >
      > >>> Date: Friday, January 4, 2013, 7:08 PM
      > >>>
      > >>> One other thought, insurance rates are also based on
      > >>> credit ratings and driving records. Bad or weak credit
      > >>> means higher premiums. Bad driving records do the same.
      > >>> A DWI will drive your premium through the roof.
      > >>> DaveSent from my iPad
      > >>> On Jan 4, 2013, at 6:57 PM, sailaway0608
      > >>>
      >>> >
      > >>> wrote:
      > >>>>
      > >>>> Received an email with the quote from Boat US.
      > >>>> $1150.00. It took a few minutes for me to get up off
      > >>>> the floor, but when I did, I deleted all correspondence
      > >>>> from them. Guess I shouldn't be complaining about the
      > >>>> ACE premium.Well, now I know I have a fair deal and
      > >>>> will continue with ACE.Thanks all for your input. It's
      > >>>> always nice to hear what others in the same boat (no
      > >>>> pun intended) have to say.Rich1986 Sabre 36lake
      > >>>> Champlain, VT--- In Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com
      > >>>> ,
      > >>>> Mike1 <195162@> wrote:>> You guys are doing well. I
      > >>>> had a 1978 28' MKII with hull value of $19,200 and was
      > >>>> paying $550 with BoatUS in NJ. Now they are paying in
      > >>>> full because Sandy totaled the boat.> > Mike> > > -----
      > >>>> Original Message ----- > From: Dave Lochner > To:
      > >>>> Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com
      > >>>>
      > >>>> > Sent: Friday, January 04, 2013 10:29 AM> Subject: Re:
      > >>>> [SabreSailboat] Boat Insurance> > > > > > > > > I don't
      > >>>> have the exact amount, but my insurance runs about $300
      > >>>> a year with Boat/US for a 81 S30 Agreed Hull Value at
      > >>>> $27K. Located in Oswego, NY on Lake Ontario. The cost
      > >>>> has remained pretty stable over the years, except for
      > >>>> the one year after I filed a large claim. One year I
      > >>>> accidentally let the policy lapse for about a week past
      > >>>> the renewal date. They had to reissue the policy and it
      > >>>> was cheaper than the initial renewal rate. Service has
      > >>>> been good.> > > Picking up on another thread, BoatUS
      > >>>> insurance publishes Seaworthy a magazine that deals
      > >>>> with boating safety. The magazine provides good insight
      > >>>> in the causes of some boating accidents and claims.
      > >>>> Comes free with the insurance. I think you can
      > >>>> subscribe at BoatUS website if you insure with someone
      > >>>> else.> > > Dave> > > > > > On Jan 4, 2013, at 10:22 AM,
      > >>>> sailaway0608 wrote:> > > > I currently have a 1986
      > >>>> Sabre 36 and have noticed that my Insurance premiums
      > >>>> have been going up each year. I just received my new
      > >>>> new renewal and its up about 15% to $743. It takes into
      > >>>> account a "Lay-Up Period" from Nov 1 - Apr 19. It's
      > >>>> with Ace Recreational Marine Insurance and never had a
      > >>>> claim.> > My question is, is this expensive?? What do
      > >>>> others pay and maybe some suggestions for other
      > >>>> carriers??> > Any help would be appreciated.> > Rich
      > >>>> Gottlieb> Lake Champlain, VT>
      > >>>
      > >>> -- Dan
      > >>>
      > >>> -- Alan Pressman**941-350-1559alanpressman@...
      > >>>
      > >>> skype: alan.pressman
      > >

      Ouch! ... Ouch! On Nov 21, 2016, at 5:38 PM, Leonard Bertaux lbertaux@comcast.net [Sabresailboat] wrote: Bricked the keel and
      Message 58 of 58 , Nov 22, 2016

        On Nov 21, 2016, at 5:38 PM, Leonard Bertaux lbertaux@... [Sabresailboat] <Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

        Bricked the keel and cracked the hull/keel at the back of the keel. Almost fully recovered. Some finish woodwork remains which I will have done this winter. 

        Leonard Bertaux

        Sent from my iPhone,

        On Nov 21, 2016, at 5:17 PM, DAVID LOCHNER davelochner@... [Sabresailboat] <Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com> wrote:



        Thanks for the link, didn’t see that article in the NYT. My homeowners and auto insurance is with USAA. I’ve been with them for many years and the service has always been great. Every December I receive a modest rebate on my auto insurance because they are a mutual insurance company. The rebate isn’t much, about enough for a couple of burgers and beers at a pub, buy hey….  Last time I checked with them, their yacht policy was not better than BoatUS, time to check again.


        Sorry to hear about your insurance claim, been down that road myself. What happened? Have the wounds healed enough to talk about it yet?


        On Nov 21, 2016, at 5:00 PM, 'Nauset Beach' nausetbeach@... [Sabresailboat] <Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

        While not a direct corollary, in Sunday’s New York Times there was an article about a survey of 312 auto insurance companies [98.5% of the industry] comparing the amount paid out in claims to the total premiums collected, the “paid loss ratio.”  The survey determined publicly traded insurance companies [including GEICO] paid the lowest ratio at 62.8% and mutual insurance companies which also paid dividends to policy holders paid the highest at 72.6%.  


        One might surmise the marine underwriting division of these companies [where they exist] operate in the same manor. Possibly another metric to use when screening insurance companies.  






        From: Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com] 
        Sent: Monday, November 21, 2016 1:33 PM
        To: Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [SabreSailboat] Boat Insurance



        Over the winter I will be reviewing my insurance options. Second Star is now sitting under a foot or two of snow and is not likely to sink as she sits in her cradle. (It was only last Friday that we were walking around the marina in 65* weather, such is life in upstate NY.)


        In what was no doubt an attempt to reassure me that any claim would be covered, the agent said that since I was calling about this exclusion and was knowledgeable I was likely the kind of boater who takes care of his boat and would not have his claim denied because of maintenance issues.


        Still, we’ll do some research over the winter.







        On Nov 21, 2016, at 1:20 PM, James Starkey jim@... [Sabresailboat] <Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com> wrote:



        Nothing an agent tells you on the phone is binding on the insurance carrier. Your policy is what your policy says. They've left themselves a loop hole like enough to drive a supertanker through. I'm sure your agent means well, and there are many people who hold BoatUS in high regard, but the decision rests with the insurance company, period.

        I admit that I've done a 180 degree back flip on this subject, but I've never had or even heard of such exclusions.

        There are plenty of companies who write clean straightforward policies that will cover your investment. Rather than trying to protect yourself from your insurance company, why not find an independent agent to find a policy that meets your needs, not Geico's.


        On Mon, Nov 21, 2016 at 12:59 PM DAVID LOCHNER davelochner@... [Sabresailboat] <Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


        Just got off the phone with BoatUS insurance. Inquired about the maintenance exclusion. 


        According to this agent, the exclusion is primarily directed at derelict boats and claims as a result. Leave  your boat unattended for years and something fails, too bad. If there is evidence that you have been maintaining your boat, the claim would likely be paid.


        There is also a consequential damage clause that would be invoked if a claim was filed as a result of a maintenance item not being maintained properly. The example he used was a turnbuckle or shroud failing and the mast coming down. They would likely cover the damage to the boat except for the cost to replace the failed shroud. 


        While this information is slightly reassuring, I would still rather have a little more clarity on the standards. It would be nice if they would provide some standards or suggested maintenance schedules to follow. Although there are enough variables there, that it might be opening another can of worms.


        I suppose the best course of action is to keep records of the maintenance that has been performed each year and to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and ABYC standards as much as possible.




        Second Star

        S362 #113

        Fair Haven, NY





        On Nov 20, 2016, at 12:52 PM, DAVID LOCHNER davelochner@... [Sabresailboat] <Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com> wrote:





        This guy seems to be having a difficult time with BoatUS.


        Boat US Insurance question.... | SailboatOwners.com Forums


        The more boat owners who call and ask about the maintenance exclusion, the more likely they will be to do something about it. And if we change insurers, we should inform the prior insurers the reason for our change.







        On Nov 20, 2016, at 12:25 PM, Dan Trainor dptrainor@... [Sabresailboat] <Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com> wrote:



        Always had good experience with BoatUS insurance and the one claim I had was handled well and all was covered with great knowledge and skill by the person at BoatUS handling my case. Others have also had good experiences with them as well.  BUT, if things have changed recently and they are no longer good, I would like to know that and look for another company?  Anyone have any real data?  Thanks-dan

        Sent from my iPhone

        On Nov 20, 2016, at 11:25 AM, 'Nauset Beach' nausetbeach@... [Sabresailboat] <Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com> wrote:





        If / when you do receive a response from BoatUS / GEICO, please post the information.  Would guess many on the list have BoatUS and could benefit from knowing how the policy has changed with GEICO now underwriting the policies.  


        In the past in my experience the claims process with BoatUS has been exemplary.  My renewal is coming up in a few weeks, though it is beginning to sound like finding an alternative may be a wise course.  





        From: Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Saturday, November 19, 2016 4:31 PM
        To: Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [SabreSailboat] Boat Insurance



        Jim’s comment about a PSS failure is quite correct. While I was reinstalling my transmission this summer there was a short period of time in which the shaft was not properly aligned and water was seeking its level in the bilge. In short order, say 10 minutes the water was at the floor boards. Unfortunately, in this instance, the automatic bilge was not working, water came in, but didn’t go out. The quick solution was to rewire the bilge pump directly to a breaker on the main panel and manually turn on the pump. The Rule switches on Second Star will find their way to the dumpster next spring. 


        After launching the boat earlier in the spring, a small fuel leak developed that went undetected for several hours. Fortunately, the maligned Rule float switch failed to turn the pump on and the bilge filled with about 6 or 7 gallons of diesel which did not get pumped overboard. The moral here is to make sure that the bilge pump can be quickly turned off. 


        Back to the insurance issues, which fortunately I did not have to avail myself of this season, I intend to contact BoatUS/Geico about this clause to determine what standard they would use to determine if maintenance had been improper. Do they want everything to be done to ABYC standards? Or do they want the boat owner to use a reasonable standard of care in attending to critical systems? A boat winter stored next to me installed a new below the waterline through hull and used a plastic fitting, would the insurance company call that an improper repair? I would. 


        I would be interested in knowing which insurance companies do not have the “improper maintenance clause” so that over the winter I could obtain quotes. Jim already mentioned Ace Insurance which now goes by the Chubb brand since acquiring Chubb earlier this year. Chubb provides a useful, if brief, summary of yacht insurance issues here:  Tips from the Marine Insurance Experts






        On Nov 19, 2016, at 3:22 PM, James Starkey jim@... [Sabresailboat] <Sabresailboat@yahoogroups.com> wrote:



        Thinking about it, the most likely worst case with the "improper repair or maintenance" exclusion clause is a stuffing box that develops a significant leak. The electric bilge pump takes care of it until the battery dies, then something bad happens. "Improper maintenance" is a slam dunk for the insurance company.

        If you're sure your stuffing box is always well adjusted or the two tiny set screws securing your PSS seal disk to the shaft are perfectly new and tight, sleep well. Otherwise, it's time to have a double espresso, pull out your policy, and start reading. Maybe the bargain you got on insurance isn't quite the bargain you thought it was. Mr. Lochner's BoatUS policy would scare the hell out of me.

        Personal note: the torrent that ensues if the PSS disk slips is impressive. The combination of an electric and large size gusher below the sole operated by a motivated crew member could keep up, but just barely, but help was only four miles away. The disk is now backed with a heavy zinc. But if that isn't expensive enough, I understand McMaster can sell you a stainless collar. Zincs, however, are available on St. Barts.


        Jim Starkey










        Jim Starkey



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