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We're having real trouble getting new insurance coverage, wondering what others with performance multihulls are seeing/using?  We've been with lots of carriers over the years, most recently Pantaenius who has exited the US market.  So far with 2 agents checking dozens of carriers only two would even offer a quote - GEICO and Concept Special Risks.  Neither quote is attractive to say the least.  

Anyone having better success?

 

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We went through this about a year ago and had the same experience.

We were told by our broker that due to a variety of global events (e.g. weather) insurance underwriters are not in the best of financial situations, so they are being much more particular when it comes down to insuring items perceived as higher risk, and this includes multihulls.

Our broker works with five different underwriters, and only one of them was even willing to offer a quote, so we took what we could get given the requirement to have insurance to enter races.

Even the same underwriter who covered the boat for the previous owner wouldn't touch it, despite our solid credentials and zero claims ever.

Multihulls are simply persona non grata at the moment.

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Sounds right.  Mind sharing who you were able to get coverage thru?  Assuming it wasn't GEICO or Concept Special Risks, I'd love to see if they'll quote us.  

We've been insured long enough over the course of several boats that we've seen these market oscillations more than once, but this one seems particularly rough.  The agent we've used for years is even pretty exasperated.  

For reference, the GEICO quote is for solid coverage but is about 3% of hull value (1).  We've been getting coverage for years at 1% or less, Pantaenius was at about 0.5% (no one wonders why they didn't make it...).  The Concept Special Risks quote was about 1.5% but for basically catastrophic coverage only (very high deductible).

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Our policy is with NautiMax/Aviva, underwritten by Elite Insurance Company, and brokered by Megson Fitzpatrick.

We're in Canada so not sure if any of these plans are available to you.

Another company initially expressed interest but declined when they found out the boat (F-82R) was a custom build.

Our annual premium is about 1.6% of hull value, which is quite a bit higher than my cruiser/racer monohull which is about 1% of hull value. The coverage is pretty comprehensive with a reasonable deductible. 

The Megson Fitzpatrick broker was amazing and really went the extra mile for us. She was surprised at how hard it was.

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14 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

I think Boats US offers insurance that's entirely Geico Marine, but applies somewhat different (more lax?) criteria. For small multihulls, anyway.

We have it for the L7.  Haven’t had to use it, but it’s enough so the marina is happy.

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We have BoatUS/Geico. Just got a quote from Jackline and it was about 50% higher, required a haulout, survey, and rigging survey. Also, with Geico we get all of México, and they don’t care where we spend hurricane season. 

We’ll probably switch after our next haulout in a year or 2, because Geico won’t do any further afield than Mexico (we’re on the Pacific side). We’re tempted to get a chainsaw and see if we can cut The roots we’ve grown here in México, maybe in ‘22-‘23. If the Covid stops. If the South Pacific opens up. If...........

You know, we love México!

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In ten years of ownership the only insurance I was able to get for Spirit that was ocean going was from these guys and Christophe's service was fantastic.  Never had a claim with them so can't comment on that.

puma-128.png
Christophe GEORGE
Senior insurance consultant - marine & aviation branch
Tel : +66(0)92 542 0505 (GMT + 7)
christophe.g@poe-ma.com
Poe-ma insurances group
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Haven't tried GEICO thru BoatUS, though I do know as @eric1207 mentioned that policy line does depreciate pretty aggressively.  They underwrite multiple lines, the quote we got was a policy they write specifically for Novamar.

@gspot - thanks for that.  Won't work for us but hopefully helps someone here.

@mpenman - We were with Pantaenius also, most recently at least.  Your profile thumbnail looks like a Chris White, but can't be sure.  Would be pretty similar to us if so, wondering what your premium quote is as a % of insured hull value if you don't mind sharing?  Ours was right at 3%, which almost 3 times what we've ever paid before (and that was for Caribbean nav limits vs just east coast now - even excluding Florida).  Our previous quote from GEICO (2 years ago) was 1.5%....

@jdazey - I didn't realize that Jackline was underwritten by Markel.  We had Jackline on a monohull years ago.  We were with Markel thru Novamar on our current boat when Markel (I thought) dropped us because they exited the catamaran market.  Wondering if Jackline is an exception or if maybe they just dropped that policy with Novamar.  Regardless, thanks - will give IMIS a call again.

@trispirit - will give them a look.  Looks like they are in Thailand?  Are you in the US?

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@occams_razor We have been with Jack Martin & Associates, insurance brokerage out of Annapolis, for 3 years - very pleased.


We have our 2018 Lagoon 380 insured through Safewaters - premiums have remained very stable and we have total east coast coverage including the Bahamas.


Here is my point of contact:

Alicia Pulanco
Yacht Client Services Representative
Your partner in a changing world
Jack Martin & Associates | 135 Old Solomons Island Road Annapolis MD 21401
Office: 443-433-5760 | Internal: x2154 | Fax: 410-626-9966
Alicia.Pulanco@jackmartin.com |jackmartin.com

logo

 

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Progressive insures my tri for pretty cheap, and its super simple since you can use all the Progressive apps and tools and such.  No claims yet, and I have required liability only, but might we worth a look.  They were not fussy about requiring an inspection or anything like that.

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@BlueMind  Thanks for that.  Safewaters (and most others) declined to quote based on "carbon construction".  We've stressed that the boat is not fully carbon, that it is carbon reinforcements and carbon rig, but didn't make a difference.  To be fair, the rotating wingmast is fully carbon, and replacement cost is damn near the insured hull value.  

 

@kruiter have not tried Progressive or been submitted as far as I know, will take a look.  We definitely want loss coverage though, and it looks like Progressive caps at 50 feet and $350k value.

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So last year while salvaging the boat and rebuilding in the shed my insurance company, Nautilus, refused to insure me after a payout. I ended up with  Edward William (Northernreef),  as it was the only insurance I could get at the time.   Into the rebuild they sent me an email saying Northernreef will cease trading and it was basically bad luck.... So no refund and off I went and ended up with New Wave. Money down the drain ....not happy but that's life.

A not so funny thing happened today. I just received an email from Edward William Insurance inviting me to re insure with them (Northern Reef). I emailed back, confused, saying "You cancelled with no refund".   They just sent back an email saying Northernreef ended up trading again and I was insured the whole time unbeknown to me .  I replied something along the lines of.. " oh golly gosh what a bugger but thanks for emailing me this."

like I can afford to pay two policies after losing my boat........ Absolute fuckers

 

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Concept Special Risks is the only underwriter we've been able to get a quote from - running about 1.5%. Plus they charge extra for each offshore passage, roughly another 0.15%. Jackline wouldn't quote us - carbon rig and carbon in the layup were their reasons. Geico used a lot of my time before suddenly saying they wouldn't cover us because the boat is owned through a BVI company and BVI flagged, claim they do US boats only. We've been checking alternatives regularly, no dice - hope CSR maintains their risk appetite.

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On 9/28/2020 at 10:03 AM, occams_razor said:

Haven't tried GEICO thru BoatUS, though I do know as @eric1207 mentioned that policy line does depreciate pretty aggressively.  They underwrite multiple lines, the quote we got was a policy they write specifically for Novamar.

@gspot - thanks for that.  Won't work for us but hopefully helps someone here.

@mpenman - We were with Pantaenius also, most recently at least.  Your profile thumbnail looks like a Chris White, but can't be sure.  Would be pretty similar to us if so, wondering what your premium quote is as a % of insured hull value if you don't mind sharing?  Ours was right at 3%, which almost 3 times what we've ever paid before (and that was for Caribbean nav limits vs just east coast now - even excluding Florida).  Our previous quote from GEICO (2 years ago) was 1.5%....

@jdazey - I didn't realize that Jackline was underwritten by Markel.  We had Jackline on a monohull years ago.  We were with Markel thru Novamar on our current boat when Markel (I thought) dropped us because they exited the catamaran market.  Wondering if Jackline is an exception or if maybe they just dropped that policy with Novamar.  Regardless, thanks - will give IMIS a call again.

@trispirit - will give them a look.  Looks like they are in Thailand?  Are you in the US?

 

Hi Occam,

    Welcome to the fray here. Is you boat the Ron Givens cat? 

 

 

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On 10/25/2020 at 4:18 PM, CapDave said:

Concept Special Risks is the only underwriter we've been able to get a quote from - running about 1.5%. Plus they charge extra for each offshore passage, roughly another 0.15%. Jackline wouldn't quote us - carbon rig and carbon in the layup were their reasons. Geico used a lot of my time before suddenly saying they wouldn't cover us because the boat is owned through a BVI company and BVI flagged, claim they do US boats only. We've been checking alternatives regularly, no dice - hope CSR maintains their risk appetite.

@CapDave good to know re: both GEICO and Jackline.  I tried to get Jackline to quote us but they wouldn't since we aren't currently living aboard, but we're same with carbon rig and in layup so that sounds like would be a no anyway.  FWIW we did get a quote from American Modern, guessing they would quote you as well.  Only question would be nav limits - we're not cruising at the moment so our quote was just US coastal. 

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  • 5 months later...

I’m shopping again and the best I’ve found is 3% of insured value via Concept Special Risk. That includes being in Florida during hurricane season, which may explain the high cost. 
 

Do most bribers quote with Geico? Last time I shopped around all of the brokers called the same 3 or 4 underwriters, so brokers and underwriters were getting sick of me. I don’t want to duplicate efforts, but I DO want to shop around. 

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Ouch. 3% is very high. We were around 1.5-1.75 crossing oceans!

My wife is a writer and has recently done an article on marine insurance. She did one several years ago so this was a nice followup and a change to talk to some of the same brokers she spoke to previously. A few things she learned:

- marine pleasure vessels is a small (specialized) market in the insurance world
- over the past few years lots of underwriters got into the market, lost their shirts (hurricanes), and had years of negative returns
- so lots of underwriters have exited the market in recent years
-  the US market is a pain (high liability judgements)
- the Canadian market is a small pain (odd Canadian insurance laws) so underwriters tend to ignore it because compliance isn't worth it.
- insurance tends to be cyclical with this sort of getting in/make money/lose money/get out of the market for underwriters
- because the market is small all the marine pleasure risks are lumped together by the market. That means if you insure your boat in N.England, you're paying for hurricane lost boats in Florida, even though your premiums are lower then the Florida guy

- if you have a decent underwriter, DON'T leave them until you have another one lined up.

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Concept Special Risk renewed us in December for 2% with a 5% deductible. We had a backup quote, after much palaver, from Jackline at 3.15% and 20% deductible. No, that's not a typo. 20%. 

My agent told me that CSR would be out of the market after Dec. 31 due to losing their underwriter, but apparently they must have found a new one as they are quoting again....My agent also mentioned that she was working on an American Modern relationship.

We're up again in December, so we'll see.....

Edit PS - The CSR quote is within 250 miles of land, Caribbean and East Coast, North of FL for July 1 to November 1. We could summer in Grenada in the water if we wanted to, but once was enough. They charge us an additional fee, historically about 0.15%, for offshore trips.

Edit - the agents do all knock on the same doors. Best thing is to find an agent you like working with, and let them shop the coverage.

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We had Concept Special Risk the last two years and switched to Kemah Marine this year. Kemah has a better depreciation schedule and didn't require a haul out survey. We've always paid 3% but we also keep the boat in FL during hurricane season. If we were in or north of the Chesapeake it would be 2%.

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18 hours ago, soma said:

I’m shopping again and the best I’ve found is 3% of insured value via Concept Special Risk. That includes being in Florida during hurricane season, which may explain the high cost. 
 

Do most bribers quote with Geico? Last time I shopped around all of the brokers called the same 3 or 4 underwriters, so brokers and underwriters were getting sick of me. I don’t want to duplicate efforts, but I DO want to shop around. 

Ugh, I don’t like this. Sounds like the market is continuing to get worse. +1 on everything @Zonker said. I’d add a couple things:

Many brokers do call the same insurers but not all. When we were having so much trouble last fall I needed 3 different brokers to get quotes from all the insurers on my list. Know who you want quotes from and check with the broker to make sure they quote. If there are duplicates I try to let the broker know, but it doesn’t seem to be a big deal if not - the insurer will already know they’ve quoted and usually just decline that broker. 
 

Really, really read the policy. Insurance is words, you’re buying what’s on the paper. Policies vary, a LOT. A good broker is worth their weight in gold here. 
 

Suggested insurers based on our searching in the fall:

- GEICO (obviously). Currently with them at around 2%, sounds like that won’t hold at renewal. Best policy though (excluding the BoatUS line).  Note that GEICO writes multiple policies for different brokers.  
- American Modern.  Quote was around 1.5% if I recall but deductible was high. 
- Concept Special Risks.  Was a non-starter for us based on the policy details. 
- Safewaters. If you have no carbon fiber. 
- Jackline. If you live aboard. This is only multihull policy Markel still writes, you have to go thru IMIS to get a quote. 
- Progressive.  If under 50ft/$350k value. Not sure about nav limits. 
- Kemah.  Don’t know anything about them but @longhorn mentioned, curious to know. 
 

That might be it. Have Imissed anyone?
 

 

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3 minutes ago, occams_razor said:

- Kemah.  Don’t know anything about them but @longhorn mentioned, curious to know.

Hugo Hanham-Gross is my broker and this is the first year that he quoted Kemah. We were originally going to cruise the NE US coast this hurricane season so our Kemah policy was quoted at slightly less than 2% hull value. Switched back to FL and now it's 3%.

The depreciation schedule for Concept was horrible. Anything other than a total loss would have them paying out peanuts.

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57 minutes ago, longhorn said:

The depreciation schedule for Concept was horrible. Anything other than a total loss would have them paying out peanuts.

Concept Special Risks has a variety of wordings. We have the PYP/5/PPO wording which is new for old without depreciation, except for sails and canvas covers.

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Reads more like finance rates than insurance!

Last time I bought full hull value comprehensive with substantial liability for a double Atlantic crossing (not  racing) it was under 3/4 % hull value but that was quite a while ago.

Now I buy liability only from Progressive and fix my own dings. Never made a claim in over forty years and saved enough money to pay for the boat several times over.

There is an alternative.

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Has anyone used Topsail? They do a group rate for the Ocean Cruising Club. The OCC is a bluewater cruiser group. Im not normally one to join clubs (“I don’t want to be part of any club that would have me as a member”) but a group insurance plan for Bluewater cruising sounds good to me. 
 

I was with Yachtinsure previously. They were more reasonable at 1.5% of insured value. I’m getting my recent quotes from Hugo, who came highly recommended. I’ll ask him who he quoted with. 
 

The whole insurance industry seems pretty opaque to me, though. Ultimately does every quote go to the same 3 or 4 guys in London, ultimately?

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2 hours ago, soma said:

Has anyone used Topsail? They do a group rate for the Ocean Cruising Club. The OCC is a bluewater cruiser group. Im not normally one to join clubs (“I don’t want to be part of any club that would have me as a member”) but a group insurance plan for Bluewater cruising sounds good to me. 
 

I was with Yachtinsure previously. They were more reasonable at 1.5% of insured value. I’m getting my recent quotes from Hugo, who came highly recommended. I’ll ask him who he quoted with. 
 

The whole insurance industry seems pretty opaque to me, though. Ultimately does every quote go to the same 3 or 4 guys in London, ultimately?

I asked Topsail to quote me, they declined: The underwriter has advised that the enquiry was declined partly due to the vessel being a large catamaran cruising in an area with a higher than usual potential for lightning strikes. The underwriter also advised that they limit the number of risks written in the Caribbean, which could be to try to avoid large numbers of claims following a catastrophic event, if one were to occur.

I am actually an OCC member, but didn't think to try through that route, though I expect the result would be the same.

And yes, right now the industry risk appetite has shrunk so drastically that all inquiries for boats like mine are winding up on the same 3 or 4 desks....

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3 hours ago, boardhead said:

Now I buy liability only from Progressive and fix my own dings. Never made a claim in over forty years and saved enough money to pay for the boat several times over.

Self insurance is always an option, but math is math. Even at 2% of hull value, forty years doesn't pay for the boat several times over.....unless you invested the savings (less the cost of your liability insurance) and did pretty well.

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The numbers are very different for owner built vessels and my math is correct - “several” is more than two and at 2% of hull value the funds saved limiting coverage to liability do indeed cover my monetary cost several times over and it does not take forty years or investing the money.

In common with many owner builders I would be uncomfortable having anybody else fix my boat anyway.

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Yes we were insured through Topsail. But eventually they cancelled coverage. No claims but I don't think they were insuring US and Canadian boats any more. A bunch of us crossing Indian Ocean all got "we are going to cancel" emails in a short time frame.

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3 hours ago, PIL66 - XL2 said:

I pay 2.6% in Sydney but I think it's high..... Maybe due to me being high risk and I've had a recent claim

I also pay 2.6% in Tasmania, only “coastal”, with no racing and I have never claimed. And that is with bulk discount, because everything else is with the same insurer.......Who are you with?

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23 hours ago, Sidecar said:

I also pay 2.6% in Tasmania, only “coastal”, with no racing and I have never claimed. And that is with bulk discount, because everything else is with the same insurer.......Who are you with?

NewWave insurance

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On 5/1/2021 at 10:58 PM, boardhead said:

The numbers are very different for owner built vessels and my math is correct - “several” is more than two and at 2% of hull value the funds saved limiting coverage to liability do indeed cover my monetary cost several times over and it does not take forty years or investing the money.

In common with many owner builders I would be uncomfortable having anybody else fix my boat anyway.

To be fair that’s only true if your time has no value to you. The declared Hull Value should be what you value the boat at. If you have to repair or rebuild your cost is more than materials. 

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15 hours ago, occams_razor said:

To be fair that’s only true if your time has no value to you. The declared Hull Value should be what you value the boat at. If you have to repair or rebuild your cost is more than materials. 

The monetary COST for an owner builder will not include labor costs or their associated overhead (or sales, advertising, clerical, profit etc, from a professional boat builder) greatly reducing the overall expense. 

To say your time has no value is absurd - of course it does and it reflects in the hull VALUE -  somebody had to built it but the owner/builder did not get paid, or my importantly pay somebody else or FINANCE it - which demands insurance.

Those "unpaid" hours are typically every minute you can snag while holding down a job to pay for materials  - better figure on 3,500 plus, annually - BUT - at the end of the day if you own your boat you can call the shots on your personal comfort level regarding insurance.

Some of the numbers mentioned above for insurance are significant, 3% annually and as much as the first 20% of a claim reflects a very significant risk for the underwriters - suggesting sailing is a lot more hazardous than I thought - or is there another reason?

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