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Insuring your home built boat

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I called the insurance company about insuring my recently completed Spindrift 12.  She informed me that I need to get a Marine Survey before I can get the insurance.  What does a marine survey usually cost? 

What value would I insure it for.  With the cost of all the wood, paint, glue, lumber, sails, etc.  I was thinking $3k would be plenty.

Thanks in advance for any advice,

Craig

S12 #723

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Have her check again. Most homeowners policies cover small craft like canoes and Spindrifts as personal property. Needs to be above a certain length and have motors before they require a policy of their own.

If she says no, call someone like State Farm to see what they say.

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So how much ae you willing to spend per year to insure a 3 K boat??

And what sort of deductible??

I never insure any of my homebuilt or shop built boats as the cost of the insurance doesn't seem justified in my mind compared to what risk is out there.

Now if I built a Outerbanls 20, or a Princess 22 or larger I would definitely be looking at insuring that...

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Craig,  

Good questions. I'd like to hear from others on the forum about their experiences re. insuring the homebuilt boat.

BoatUS rep told me on the phone that I do need a marine survey as a prerequisite to insuring our CS20  --which we launched March 1, 2008.  Getting a survey is still on my to-do list.  

My long-time State Farm home-&-car agent said they don't do homebuilt boats.

Marine survey: insurance companies want to know that the boat is sea worthy  --as if their primary concern is that you expensive sailing vessel might sink.  I tend to focus my concern on risks while trailering it in traffic.  And the marine surveyor must be one that is acceptable to the insurance company.

Good point, Ray.  "Where do you draw the line?" is, to me, an open question.

--Paul

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I am pretty sure Graham does surveys Paul, or used to. Go for a sail and have her surveyed same place. That may be the deal.

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Lots of home owner insurance will put a rider on for any of your expensive personal belongings.  You just need to document your belongings and give a reasonable estimate of the cost to replace. 

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Peter,

Yes Graham does the very best surveys and I would rather have his survey than any other.  However, my understanding was that the insurance company (e.g., USBoat) would want the opinion of a fully independent surveyor so that the survey not only assesses the quality of construction but also validates  the seaworthiness of the design itself.   If it's not a factory built plastic one-design listed on their application form,  the insurance company has no clue about designs.  They don't know the difference between a CS20 and a PDRacer.

--Paul  

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That's good to know, Dale, since I also have USAA. and I had given up when I heard about the surveys.  But I wonder how they would value our boats?

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Boats under 26' are generally covered under homeowners insurance as personal property.  I carry a rider on my 24' powerboat to bring liability up to the full value of our homeowners policy.  I costs only about $25 per year.  Insurance while trailering is covered by the auto insurance.  I don't carry any other insurance because I figure that I will wind up fixing anything that happens to my boats anyhow.

Liz knocked a hole in a Thistle with our Sunfish once and our homeowners took care of that.  Our Windmill was struck in traffic by a car from behind and his insurance took care of that one after getting a cop to lean on him a bit when he tried to wiggle out of responsibility.  Never trust an insurance adjuster - never.  In three instants, each one was a crook.

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Boats under 26' are generally covered under homeowners insurance as personal property.  

This is the case with my homeowners policy with AMICA.  My Renegade is 27'  :sad:

AMICA did however let me insure the boat for a quite reasonable amount without a survey.  I would need one to insure it for more, but I would also pay more for the coverage on top of the survey cost and I choose to self insure for the difference.  More importantly they gave me liability coverage.  This is one area I felt responsibility dictated I be insured.  Like Tom, I will be fixing anything that I damage.  My 2 concerns were covering damage or injury to others and losing my boat completely.  If I lose my boat I will never recoup the insane amount of time I put into it.  At least I will get enough to start again. 

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Hirilonde and Tom are right, the real thing to insure against is liability.  I can lose my boat, but I'd hate to lose my car, my house, and all of my savings if someone fell off my boat and drowned, or I got in the way of a boat and caused someone's injury on that boat.

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I agree with Frank (and Tom, etc.) that liability is the important thing. And to echo a comment above, BoatUS has very affordable rates with decent coverage and no required survey (you just submit a form about boat length, estimated value, etc.). Very easy. We had our insurance person work us up a quote from a few insurance companies and BoatUS was far cheaper (and better coverage) than any of them, with less paperwork. We've never had an actual claim, though, so I don't know how good they are at backing their coverage, but they seem to have a good reputation with boaters.

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In this month's issue of Small Craft Advisor, an author (Bud Kerner) while cruising a Potter 19 in Southern California had to produce both registration documents and proof of insurance to get a slip for a night at a marina.  Before long, they'll probably want fingerprints and DNA samples!

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I deal with Farm Bureau exclusively for insurance.

All I've ever been required to do is supply a value. Add materials with the value of a good portion of my time.

As long as it's a reasonable figure they don't question it. Obviously I can't build a Marissa and insure it for 40k without an argument.

Generally I want to cover the cost of materials and my time in building the hull. Of course the engine, rigging, and trailer. I don't add in my real picky fairing hours. I give them a fair asessment.

Other then that my agent either comes out or I pull the boat to the office for a photo op.

Never been required to supply a survey or have the hull inspected by the Coastguard.

BUT what I do is put together a sort of portfolio for the vessel. Build photos, material lists, and an overall spec sheet on the vessel. Something we all should do as builders anyway as a sense of pride and as something to go with the vessel as you part ways.

They don't ask for it but I figure it saves the 1000 questions routine.

When they see the build photos they aren't going to argue.

Farm Bureau operates on different levels. You have county and state. It may be different state by state and even by county. I've never questioned that aspect of it.

I just know that insuring a home built or refurb with my agent is a breeze.

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