Preface: I am not in the insurance business; I'm just a consumer... Therefore I have had several marine insurance brokers [in the USA] contribute to, and vet this page because I am dependent upon those professionals for the integrity and accuracy of what is stated here...
Of course, our preferences outlined below are of our own choosing..._________________
For our marine insurance needs, we prefer working with an insurance broker.
Brokers represent us; insurance agents represent their company...
Al Golden at IMIS has earned a great reputation [and is an ex-cruiser...] Al gets our business, and is always competitive... IMIS puts together a policy to meet our specific needs, and has an ongoing reputation for no fuss claims handling and quick payouts. [Though, thankfully, we have no first-hand experience in this regard...]
Key points for us when shopping insurance include:
We specify All Risk [vs. Named Peril] coverage.
All Risk covers everything not on the excluded list; Named Peril tells you specifically what is covered, but not necessarily what isn't. We prefer to not have to read between the lines...
For Total Loss [of the vessel] we prefer an Agreed Value [negotiated replacement price] vs. Actual Cash Value [which is the insurance company's adjuster's estimate of what it is worth after the loss...] policy.
No surprises that way; you know what you will be paid before the policy is written, and are not at the mercy of their adjuster's estimate.
For Partial Loss [e.g., stolen items, lightning destroyed electronics, etc.] we prefer Replacement Cost [new for old] vs. Actual Cash Value [depreciated value of item(s) to be replaced... often pennies on dollars...]
When comparing policies, be sure to only compare the ones that have matching criteria as outlined above, otherwise you aren't comparing similar products. [e.g., comparing All Risk to Named Peril policies is a common mistake...]
Important things to know about the Marine Insurance industry:
- Marine Insurance is NOT regulated by State or Federal Gov't.
- The product that you buy has not been approved by anyone.
- The price that you pay has not been approved by anyone.
- You need to either understand what you’re buying, or commission an agent in whom you can place your trust.
- How to get the best Insurance Quote [An informative and detailed article by a fellow cruising sailor...]