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Old 07-06-2005, 04:14 AM   #1
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Default Insurance for long distance cruising

Some while ago, a member recommended a broker for yacht insurance for world cruising. But I cannot find the topic now. Any recommendations ?
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Old 07-06-2005, 05:23 PM   #2
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Save your money on insurance and spend it on a good anchor and chain; for example. Blue water cruising insurance is so dear that it's better to spend the money you would spend on insurance wisely on preventing the need to call on your insurance broker - only to be told that what you suffered was actually an "act of God" and therefore not covered by your policy.

I don't know of more than a couple of cruising folk who have insurance, most rely on good practice and judgement.
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Old 07-06-2005, 06:40 PM   #3
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Steelfan, the broker you may have heard about is either International Marine Insurance Services, located in Maryland, USA - they often get good web coverage because they offer a proprietary policy designed for short-handed crews who sail internationally - or it was Pantanius if you are looking for European coverage.

Unlike the post above, out on the cruising trail I have met almost NO boats in Europe that arenīt insured. In the Caribbean, my impression is that at least a majority of boats were insured. Insurance obviously is something that needs to fit your financial circumstances. If the boat represents the bulk of your assets, one could fairly ask why wouldnīt you want it insured when cruising in foreign waters? If the reason is that, once you experience a loss the carrier might not pay, then you havenīt obtained enough info (examples of how the same carrier covered other losses, e.g.) to comfortably choose the company with whom you want to insure.

Some boats carry liability insurance only (which wonīt protect you from the loss of your boat but will cover you from damage caused to others by your boat - fuel spill, dock damage, collision with another vessel) while others carry a 'full' policy (hull coverage + liability). For more threads on this topic, consider visiting the Discussion board at the SSCA site (www.ssca.org).

Because sweeping generalizations like īsave the money and buy a bigger anchorī can be less than helpful, hereīs a real world story to ponder: experienced crew in well-found yacht, entering an atoll in the Tuamotus, and they clipped the reef (cloud over the sun suddenly; large eddy current in the channel; unexpected wind gust; momentary loss of concentration; there can be a hundred reasons why this would happen). Partial rudder and skeg loss, limited steering, weakened quadrant, they are in the boonies, no infrastructure to fall back on, and they email their broker via SSB asking for advice. Answer: "Your choice: we can total the boat right now and you fly out, leaving the boat behind for us to worry about...OR you can try to sail her to Raiatea (nearest yard that could haul the boat; about 450 NM away) for repairs. Do what you feel is safest." End result: other cruisers pitched in, managed a suitable jury rig, and one buddy boat shadowed this boat on the run to Raiatea after helping injured boatīs crew get a good wx fīcast, where the boat was hauled and repaired, the policy covering all the costs except the deductible. (FYI: Broker was IMIS; carrier was Markel; boat was American with husband/wife crew). Interesting side note: carrier was willing, at brokerīs suggestion, to offer $10K to any other cruising boat if they would escort injured yacht to Raiatea, just to reduce the probability the boat would be totaled.

Not all boat losses are total & due to hurricanes nor all policies unfairly written nor all carriers unethical nor all brokers unhelpful.

Jack
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Old 07-06-2005, 07:50 PM   #4
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To add to Jack's information, I think that Bedouin is influenced by the fact that it is extremely difficult for Australian yachts to obtain blue water coverage. This is not the case elsewhere.

"Acts of God" are covered by yacht insurance. Even named storm coverage, though with an increased deductible. About all that's not covered are acts of war or civil unrest.

Should another yacht do extreme damage to your boat, and that yacht has no insurance coverage, it helps to have your own insurance to help out.

The most expensive our annual insurance premium was (for Watermelon the sailboat, 20 years old) was about 2.5% of insured value. For our new Watermelon, the power cat, the annual premium is about 1.2% of insured value (through IMIS).
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Old 07-06-2005, 08:33 PM   #5
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Another consideration is that many marinas will not accept uninsured vessels. You may think that you can sail around the world only "anchoring out" but you may well need a marina for hauling out or repairs and such repairs may be urgently required in a region where the marinas require that you are insured (a minimum of 'public liability'). These marinas will require proof of current, valid insurance.

Good luck.
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Old 07-06-2005, 09:07 PM   #6
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I agree with Bedouin. The cost of insuring is prohibitive for Aussies....Offshore and shorthanded is millionaire's territory. With an open market in Oz, perhaps there is an opening for a foreign marine insurance presence.
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Old 07-07-2005, 09:31 AM   #7
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I must be lucky!!! atleast with the insurance broker I've found in Australia. The cover currently is limited to 200km offshore but again is about 2.5% of insured value and I am able to confirm that a number of marinas will not allow you in unless you are able to specify your insurance company. For any in Australia interested, the whole of my yacht club go through the same broker to gain additional leverage .....and no I do not get a spotter's commission!

Regards,

Rod
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:50 AM   #8
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Regarding the Aussie posts, I can very much confirm the difficulty in obtaining Bluewater insurance here (except for within 200NM of the Oz coastline which is straight foward to obtain).

I am planning a voyage from Oz to the med and will be arranging for insurance for the initial part of the trip in Australian waters (valuable for the abundance of reefs and islands we have). After that we are relying on good planning, skills and judgement, along with a well-prepared vessel.

For Oz readers (sorry I'm not much help for you steelfan), Trident Insurance group now offer insurance for Oz yachts doing serious bluewater insurance into international waters (I do not benefit in mentioning them here and have nothing to do with them). There are numerous limitations on vessel and crew, etc. It is particularly difficult to insure yachts under 40ft in length, along with those with a wooden hull. An application is more likely to be accepted where a larger crew will be on board (more than 2) and where skipper/crew have previous experience cruising offshore in international waters. I believe that Trident are underwritten by a UK group. We will not be using them because of the above restrictions.
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Old 07-17-2005, 12:29 PM   #9
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I too will back up the Aussie situation. Sure the " within 200nm " coverage is easily obtained.. BUT for extended Blue water.. forget it, no one can afford it

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