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Insuring old Blue water boats

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Insuring old Blue water boats

by rcassano » Sat Oct 17, 2015 12:18 pm

I have a well kept Tashiba 40 that is 28 years old. My underwriter is ACE. It seems that post hurricane Sandy, my renewal policy has been written so that “agreed upon value” only applies to a total, catastrophic lose of the vessel. All other equipment is depreciated from the time of manufacturer. In the case of the Yanmar diesel engine, I think I might have to pay ACE if I had a lose involving the engine as it has a manufacture date of 1986. Applying the reduction in value and subtracting the deductible means it’s worth nothing at this time. Same goes for most all the equipment onboard, winches, mast, sails, etc… The “new for old” verbiage is gone from my policy.

My questions:

What is the best way to insure an old, but well kept and upgraded bluewater vessel? Are there policies written for old boats?

My annual premium, for the Chesapeake only, is $1529.00. (I have to add a rider for each voyage outside the Chesapeake). Am I paying too much for a policy that depreciates all machinery by 28 years in the case of a partial lose?

Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks.
Richard Cassano
S/V Gray Eagle, Tashiba 40
Annapolis, MD USA
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:33 pm
Location: Annapolis, MD USA
Vessel Name: Gray Eagle
Vessel Make and Model: Tashiba 40

Re: Insuring old Blue water boats

by brilliantstar » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:08 am

Call AL Golden at IMIS.
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 5:41 pm
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Vessel Name: Brilliant Star
Vessel Make and Model: Caliber 40LRC

Re: Insuring old Blue water boats

by Soggy Paws USA » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:46 am

Here is most of an email I sent to recent prospect who is interested in buying Soggy Paws, a 1980 CSY 44. This guy is planning a delivery after purchase from the Philippines to Australia, so the comments are slanted that way.

Insurance is always an issue when you are going open ocean. Here are the most-recommended cruising insurers for world cruisers:

1. The Marina Shop in NZ
2. IMIS in the U.S.
3. Topsail in the UK
4. Pantaneaus

Also, here is a very useful article that will educate you a little about buying yacht insurance. ... u-to-know/

Our CSY is currently insured with IMIS using their Jacklines Policy. The Jacklines policy is specifically set up for cruising couples—it is one of the few policies in the U.S. that we could find that would insure us offshore with just two of us. Other policies we found (in the U.S.) required at least 3 crew on any passage. However, when we requested quotes for our new boat (a 2004 catamaran), we found that IMIS’s price was pretty high compared to the other two we got quotes from. So if we have to renew our insurance on our CSY before we sell, we will definitely get quotes from the above list, and might switch from IMIS if we can find a comparable policy for significantly less money, with as good a payment-on-loss track record as IMIS. They are also very good at handling policy renewals--we have renewed a couple of times while at sea or remote cruising just using Sailmail.

We ended up with Topsail for the new boat, for coverage in SE Asia, including the Philippines. This was based on price, quoted coverage, and favorable recommendations from other cruisers. But a friend who tried to get coverage with them a few months later reported to us that they would not insure an older boat. So that friend ended up going with The Marina Shop in New Zealand. He reported a substantial savings over the insurance coverage he had before. (However, note, if you are in the U.S., some non-US insurers will not insure you due to the litigiousness of US society, or their cost will be higher than a U.S. insurer).

When you request quotes, you should be specific about the area you need coverage for. You should also provide a “cruising plan” for the next year. You should also provide a "crew resume" that touts whatever experience or classes you have taken. Offshore passage experience, ASA sailing classes, Power Squadron Classes, Captain's Licenses, and SSCA's Commodore Status all may reduce the perceived risk.

I don’t think that Western Australia is much of a tropical cyclone area, but if you will be completely through the tropical cyclone area (usually considered 8 or 10 degrees north to 8 or 10 degrees south) during “safe” season (for you that would be May through November), your coverage is likely to be less than if you will be in a tropical storm zone during a season.

The two areas that there may be some discussion about, or extra cost, are the Philippines, and the tropical storm coverage. Some companies exclude coverage in a tropical cyclone (typhoon, hurricane, cyclone, etc) zone during the tropical season. Some increase the deductible. Some will cover you but at extra cost and/or with extra requirements.

IMIS had an exclusion for the Philippines, which we took care of by paying about ~$300 additional for coverage in the Philippines. Topsail has a specific exclusion zone that covers only the Zamboanga Peninsula and Jolo Archipelago (extreme SW Mindanao). I can’t remember if The Marina Shop had any issues with the Philippines at all. There are similar exclusions (and differences in exclusions) in other areas closer to the U.S. (Cuba, Colombia, etc).

So bottom line, get at least 3 quotes, be and specific about your plans and cruising area for the next year.

Make sure when you are getting quotes that you are comparing apples to apples (difficult to do because the insurance companies don't always quote what you ask them to), and that you thoroughly understand the differences between "agreed value" and "actual cash value" policies. Make sure that you thoroughly investigate whether the company you deal with has a good history of paying for claims fairly and promptly. There are some notorious examples of companies with great policy prices but whom never pay out when there is a claim.

Good luck!
Sherry & Dave - s/v Soggy Paws - Circumnavigating
In the Philippines for most of 2018
Soggy Paws USA
Posts: 274
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:01 pm
Location: Philippines for 2018
Vessel Name: Soggy Paws
Vessel Make and Model: St. Francis 44 Mk II Catamaran

Re: Insuring old Blue water boats

by stormalong » Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:51 pm

Soggy Paws II wrote:Here are the most-recommended cruising insurers for world cruisers:

1. The Marina Shop in NZ

Stay away from the Marina Shop in NZ. IMO Unless ownership has changed in the last few years the guy is a bastard that has no business being in business. He uses intimidation techniques if you choose not to renew with him.
Posts: 475
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:14 pm
Location: Langley. WA
Vessel Name: Storm Along
Vessel Make and Model: Nordic 44SE

Re: Insuring old Blue water boats

by Scott Berg » Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:42 pm

Brokers like IMIS can quote policies from a range of companies as opposed to companies that only sell their own products. As already noted, be sure to ask about claim procedures
Scott Berg WA0LSS
Support SSCA!
Scott Berg
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Re: Insuring old Blue water boats

by jonathancaldwell » Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:12 am

Thanks for the detailed post, Paws, and for the other replies also!
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