Yacht Insurance and Boat Brokers

The MultiHull Company and The Catamaran Company.   I was also looking at boats from sailboatlistings.com and catamaransite.com.  I talked with a few brokers, but none were very helpful.

Eventually I ran across an interesting boat on Yacht World, and inquired about it.  Staley ended up being the person I chose on the form – there was no reason, just happened to be an interesting name.  But I picked well – as he was a good guy to work with and knew the Lagoon catamarans inside and out.  We went through several iterations of boat-searching, looking for that elusive “perfect” boat.  Eventually we settled on the Lagoon 380 that I now own in Panama.

I fully expected to fly down to see the boat by myself, but Staley made a point of being down there when we sea-trialed my boat.  And to be clear – he found most of the issues during the sea-trial.  I found the remainder (few).  The surveyor found exactly ZERO.  I paid Staley nothing to fly down there – he covered it.  Well, kinda.  The Catamaran Company has an awesome policy where they split some of the costs for the brokers to fly down to see vessels.  Back to the subject:

How did you choose Staley?  

Randomly – but he’s a top seller, a good guy, and very knowledgeable about all things sailing and catamarans.

Did he fly to Panama on his own dime?  

Yes.  But I did buy him a couple of beers. That’s a perfectly acceptable investment for me.

How much value would you put on using a broker, specifically Staley?

I have no way to quantify this.  I would say that having  a broker to bounce all of my ideas off of was near invaluable.  He also held my hand and tempered what were (in hindsight) some pretty emotional responses (on my part) to an “interesting” boat-buying process.  That said, I also had the benefit of a couple of private parties to help.  Thanks Bob and Travis.

Yacht Insurance

You might call me an easy target.  Generally, I took the recommendations of The Catamaran Company when deciding other businesses to use to close on my boat – like escrow and insurance.  It was simpler, and I had plenty of other things to worry about.  For yacht insurance, I used Coastal Insurance (who scanned the market, and got a quote from Pantaenius).   Coastal was easy to work with, communicative, and shopped the entire market for quotes.  I received 4 quotes, the cheapest being about $3K (2% hull value) annually.  This is pretty pricey insurance, but it was the most bang for my proverbial buck.

The company I chose for my yacht insurance is Pantaenius.  Remember – Coastal Insurance shopped my boat, and Pantaenius actually provided the insurance.  Costs:  Hull Insurance was $2,458, Primary Indemnity was $400, and War/Strike/Confiscation was $144.

Here is some stuff that helped sway me – and they have a good reputation (from what I could gather):

Advantages of the Pantaenius America Yacht Policy:

  • No hidden or implied warranties of seaworthiness. For details see below explanation.
  • Agreed fixed stated value for hull with no depreciation. The amount on the policy is the amount we pay in case of a covered total or constructive loss.
  • Worldwide navigation limits are available, and limits include the southeastern coast of the United States year round including Named Tropical Storm protection.
  • No deductible for losses caused by fire, lightning, total loss and constructive total loss.
  • Coverage for latent defects, including the defective part, insured at no extra expense.
  • Wreck removal costs covered to the extent of the policy liability limits.
  • Automatic renewal of the policy.
  • Longshore Harbors Workers Act is included.
  • Unlimited charter – available.
  • Coverage for paid crew (Jones Act)- available.

A significant benefit with the Pantaenius America Yacht Policy is our ability to service insurance needs throughout the world. Our claims service is provided directly by our experienced and knowledgeable personnel accessible 24 hours daily.

Back to the questions at hand:

Who did you end up going with and why did you choose them?  

Coastal to shop.  Pantaenius provided the policy (more below).

Did they discuss lowering your rate if you take coast guard safety classes or get offshore sailing certificates?  

No.  I’ll ask though. The biggest issue was the deductible for named tropical storms – it’s 10%.

Did you end up getting full coverage?  

Yes.  The policy that I bought covered my vessel, my dinghy, and personal possessions on the boat ($165,000).

Reasons I chose Pantaenius:

  • They covered me, singlehanding
  • They have world-wide coverage (but it’s additional, and precludes certain “unstable” regions)
  • I have, under this specific policy – a range of most of the Atlantic  US and Caribbean
  • They have a 0% deductible for lightning, fire, total, and constructive total loss
  • They were cheaper than the other quotes I got
  • I felt a little better about some of the wording in their contracts – it seemed more “fair”

I realize there is a growing contingent of people that go uninsured (calling it “self-insured”).  That may be a worthwhile risk on a smaller boat, or I may (after this policy is up) decide to go that route after I’ve had some extended time at sea.  But right now, I can’t afford to lose my boat – or have someone get hurt on my boat and decide it was my fault.  In the end, $3K seemed a fair price for the coverage I received – though I have no doubt that seems like a ludicrous price to others.  Quality yacht insurance, for me, right now, seems like a no-brainer.

Again- just shoot me an email nate (at) thenomadtrip.com if you have a question I didn’t address.  I don’t have much knowledge, but I’ll share what I’ve experienced to date – as transparently as possible.

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