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DON'S LOG: stories, experience and advice


It is much better to send too much information than too little. If the broker or underwriter needs information not in the original request it delays everything a couple of days while e mails fly back and forth.


  • Name
  • nationality
  • age
  • occupation resume of sailing experience including description of boats owned.
  • Marine insurance claims record.
  • Description of boat.

If a standard production model:

  • date of build
  • designer
  • engine make,hp and age.
  • years of ownership of boat to be insured

If a one off:

  • designer
  • builder
  • date launched
  • dimensions
  • rig
  • engine, make, hp, age

All boats If the boat is more than three years old Copy of latest survey with all surveyors' ESSENTIAL recommendations complied with or stating the essential recommendations will be complied with before insurance attaches. If no survey is available will they be willing to quote subject to sight of satisfactory survey with all essential recommendations complied with before insurance attaches.

This is important as you do not want to go thru the expense of hauling and paying for a survey only to discover they are unwilling to quote because of valuation, age, or some other factor. Value of boat, basically what you paid for the boat, plus money spent on capital improvements. The insured value must be close to the approximate re sale value of the boat.

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Prior to the early 90s there was little difficulty organizing insurance with companies in the states, UK or Europe to cover boats in the eastern Caribbean. However, starting in the 90 s yachting in the Caribbean expanded on a steep curve. Since about 2010 yachting has expanded exponentially causing huge financial losses whenever a hurricane hit a yachting center.


Starting in 84 with the late season early November wrong way traveling hurricane Klaus which caught the St Thomas Chart Boat show, 17 hurricanes have hit the islands of the eastern Caribbean. This works out to one hurricane every other year. In most cases, the hurricane hit a major yachting center causing catastrophic damage.


As a result, Panteneas and virtually all Lloyds yacht underwriting syndicates have decided that theie reserves will earn a better return if they cease insuring yachts in the eastern Caribbean

With the two major players pulling out, it has become difficult to insure boats based in or cruising in the eastern Caribbean.


In the states when trying to obtain coverage you may find yourself dealing with both brokers and agents for large insurance companies. Brokers obtain quote from insurance companies. Some agents for some of the big companies ,to use the insurance term, to hold a pen, ie they can set a rate and insure a boat without going to head office. As long as they have a good win loss record, head office leaves them alone. Thus, head office may tell agents not to insure yachts in the eastern Caribbean while an individual agent may continue to do so.


In the Caribbean you are usually dealing with either a broker who tries to find a company to insure your yacht, or a local insurance company who will insure your yacht. Often sailors will say they are insured with LLoyds, thinking they are insured with a Lloyds yacht underwriting syndicate .but they are not. The local insurance company insures the yacht paying claims out of their reserve fund they have built up over the years. The local underwriting company's reserve fund is backed by an excessive loss policy usually in Lloyds, so they tell the customer they are insured with Lloyds

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Many sailors go uninsured saying they would rather spend the money installing good equipement, checking it replacing when necessary thus avoiding breakdowns and replacement

Some sailors have done this and spent a life time sailing and never had any problems requirng a large outlay of cash to solve damage or gear failure. The Pardeys are a prime example, twice around the world in two different boats, both engineless yet no problems.They were skillful but also lucky, read the below five stories.

November 8 1984 Charlotte Amalie harbor was crowded with yachts assembling for the VI Charter Boat Show.

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