The Catamaran Adventures of Noel and Ceu
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Boat Insurance – To Get, or Not? That is the question.

Or at least it was the question at the start.

You see, many cruisers sail without any insurance. The main reason is that it is darned expensive. Typically 2-3% of the value of your boat. So on a $240,000 boat that works out at $5000. A year. Then you have to consider there is a high deductible, say $5,000, and the fact that, in reality, you probably wouldn’t actually make a claim unless the claim is substantial – or else next year’s premium will be even higher.

Putting that all together you then start to think about what you would actually claim for, and how likely that is to happen.The fact is, that huge claims, like losing your entire boat, are very rare. Whereas most of that premium is to cover damage or partial loses. But that $5000 could perhaps be better spent on upgrading equipment, or buying a radar or other safety equipment – a different kind of insurance, if you like.

After much thought I decided we would see if we could get just liability-only insurance. I can handle losing the boat. Sure, it would suck, but life would go on. But I figured it would definitely cast a pall over things if we ran over some kid in a canoe and had a million dollar judgment against us – though outside of the US that seems pretty rare. So we approached an insurer for that, and they quoted $912 for liability and collision coverage. That seemed more reasonable to me.

But, of course, there is always a catch.

Despite having years of dinghy experience, I haven’t sailed big boats very much. And Ceu has had only 3 weeks sailing in her life. So from the insurer’s perspective, we are a poor risk. But from the experience I have had in big boats, I feel very confident in handling them. And we will deliberately be sailing very conservatively so as to build up our seagoing experience before we do any long passages.

Nevertheless, the insurers don’t know that. So, after first saying they would insure us, They then said they wouldn’t, because Ceu didn’t have enough experience. Then they said they might, if they could get references from our instructors. But it seems that sailing schools won’t give out references for liability reason. So that won’t work.

So, at this point, it looks like we won’t have insurance after all.

Which was kind of what I was thinking in the first place! Oh well. Just have to keep a close lookout for little kids in canoes.

And stay away from the USA.

Well, just 11 days to go…

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