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BOAT/US-GEICO INSURANCE

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Andy

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Here's some information on BOAT/US-GEICO insurance. I'm hoping this might help ClassicParker members compare what you're paying for boat insurance. Feedback on your insurance $$ and insurance company is welcomed.
I'll start by saying this is not a dig against Boat/US; I've been a member for over 35 years, and will remain so. Our boats have been insured by Boat/US for most of these years. (one present, and 4 previous boats). Some quick history. Founder Richard Swartz sold Boat/US in 2007, to National Indemnity Company (owned by Berkshire-Hathaway). In 2015 Boat/US dropped their long-term insurance carrier, and switched to GEICO (also, owned by Berkshire-Hathaway). Boat/US and GEICO are in essence, the same company.
We bought our 2013/2014 Parker 2520 XLD in Dec 2016; brought it home by water via Chesapeake Bay/ICW in Feb. 2017 to eastern NC. (The boat is a 2013/2014, commissioned in Oct 2014).
We paid, and insured the boat for $75,000. (Boat only. No trailer).

Our Boat/US-GEICO insurance for the first year was $284.00 (was this a 'tease', to reel us in?)
2018 Boat/US-GEICO jumped it to $358.00
2019 Boat/Us-GEICO jumped it to $459.00
2020 Boat/US-GEICO jumped it to $532.00
2021 Boat/US- GEICO jumped it to $665.00.

I contacted Boat/US GEICO each time we received the increased bill. They were polite, but no help with explaining the reasons for the increases. We have never had a claim. (Not boats, homes, nor vehicles).
I don't know why, but I still kept their insurance these past years. I suppose out of loyalty to Boat/US.

This year, when I got the new Boat/US-GEICO policy for 2021/ $665.00, I decided to contact a couple other insurers.
I had read on The Hull Truth, and other boating sites that many others were having the same 'issue' with Boat/US-GEICO, and many recommended trying Travelers Insurance.
I did just that. I canceled our Boat/US-GEICO boat/marine insurance, and we now have Travelers, and with nearly identical coverage (on two items, Travelers had better/higher coverage, in fact double the coverage on one of the items) and the cost is over 25% less. I'd be interested in hearing others experience with Boat/US-GEICO and/or your experience with your insurance carriers. Have they all jumped the price over 100% in the past few years?
 

Lucky John

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Progressive as been the lowest cost for my area. It was cheaper than getting just towing insur which is included and gives a greater tow distance.
Yes Progressive might be cheaper BUT if you make a claim you might not be happy. I had Progressive the first year I bought my 2015 2520XLD and must have hit something on the way out fishing and 2 weeks later when I hauled to do my lower gear oil I noticed a piece missing off my cavitation plate where lower unit bolts to engine. I filed a claim since boat was 3 month old. The adjuster came and told me no problem we'll put you in for a new lower unit. 3 days later they called and denied the new lower and proceeded to dick me around. The wanted me to have it welded, new case etc. I knew right away they were going to be A-holes and bought a brand new lower on my dime so I wouldn't lose the season. Finally settled for 18 or 19 hundred when a new lower was 3600.
i sold the old lower on ebay after settlement and the deal cost me 7-8 hundred out of pocket but didn't lose anytime. My mechanic said they were the worst and any other insurance company it would not have been a problem. I switched the next year to Boat US. If you switch companies you better make sure of your assigned hull value. As of now if something happens I am covered for the price of a new Parker not 60 or 70k
 

Andy

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Yes Progressive might be cheaper BUT if you make a claim you might not be happy. I had Progressive the first year I bought my 2015 2520XLD and must have hit something on the way out fishing and 2 weeks later when I hauled to do my lower gear oil I noticed a piece missing off my cavitation plate where lower unit bolts to engine. I filed a claim since boat was 3 month old. The adjuster came and told me no problem we'll put you in for a new lower unit. 3 days later they called and denied the new lower and proceeded to dick me around. The wanted me to have it welded, new case etc. I knew right away they were going to be A-holes and bought a brand new lower on my dime so I wouldn't lose the season. Finally settled for 18 or 19 hundred when a new lower was 3600.
i sold the old lower on ebay after settlement and the deal cost me 7-8 hundred out of pocket but didn't lose anytime. My mechanic said they were the worst and any other insurance company it would not have been a problem. I switched the next year to Boat US. If you switch companies you better make sure of your assigned hull value. As of now if something happens I am covered for the price of a new Parker not 60 or 70k
I've heard others say they had similar experiences like you had with Progressive; and I've heard similar accounts of others having similar issues with GEICO. It's one reason I left Boat/US-GEICO after all those years.. I have had no previous, personal experience with Travelers. So far I've heard/read good things about them; I hope that continues.... It truly is not so much a 'money' thing with us. I just want to be treated fairly and honestly. Our previous boat was 35' LOD/40' LOA and we owned it for 28 years starting in 1986. Our insurance bounced between $1100.00 and $1400.00 per year back then. That would be $2500.00- $3100.00 in todays dollars. Our present insurance costs are not an issue; just trying to find an honest equitable company who will communicate openly when they have yearly, large-percentage increases. Boat/US-GEICO did not.
 

Andy

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Progressive as been the lowest cost for my area. It was cheaper than getting just towing insur which is included and gives a greater tow distance.
Hi TomC, The Travelers also included towing; that surprised me. Our home, and three vehicles are insured through Farm Bureau. They have been good to deal with, but they know nothing about boats, nor how to insure them.
 

pelagic2530

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Just insured the 1700 through Progressive; I think it was around $350/year. The main reason I chose Progressive over BoatUS/Geico was they gave me an "agreed value" policy rather than basing it on Blue Book. Blue Book on my boat is $4500, which is WAYYY less than I have in it. BoatUS said the max they could do without a survey was $6k, and the survey needed to be on my dime to ascertain boat value. Progressive through USAA agreed to insure it for the $25k approximate replacement cost, obviously for a higher price which I'm fine with. I have heard the horror stories about Progressive claims, but I'm less interested in using them to deal with damage as I'm concerned about total loss (fire, highway wreck while trailering, hurricane, etc.). I plan to have the boat surveyed once the project is fully complete anyway, and may switch at that time. But until then I wanted to be covered.

For towing, trailer assist, and all the rest I have a normal BoatUS membership that covers those.
 

Andy

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Just insured the 1700 through Progressive; I think it was around $350/year. The main reason I chose Progressive over BoatUS/Geico was they gave me an "agreed value" policy rather than basing it on Blue Book. Blue Book on my boat is $4500, which is WAYYY less than I have in it. BoatUS said the max they could do without a survey was $6k, and the survey needed to be on my dime to ascertain boat value. Progressive through USAA agreed to insure it for the $25k approximate replacement cost, obviously for a higher price which I'm fine with. I have heard the horror stories about Progressive claims, but I'm less interested in using them to deal with damage as I'm concerned about total loss (fire, highway wreck while trailering, hurricane, etc.). I plan to have the boat surveyed once the project is fully complete anyway, and may switch at that time. But until then I wanted to be covered.

For towing, trailer assist, and all the rest I have a normal BoatUS membership that covers those.
Hi Pelagic, I too have normal/basic Boat/US membership. (for 35+ years)... I am relatively certain the normal/basic membership does not cover towing, trailer assist and the rest except for maybe a 'teaser' amount up to $50.00. I'm not even sure if that basic $50.00 is still an offered 'benefit'... I'll do some research.
 

bfloyd4445

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Mine hasn't changed since 2011. $258.00. with Boat US. I did have an issue with my two Ca. cars with nationwide. All of a sudden with no claims tickets etc. they doubled my insurance over $3500 per year so i started shopping and state farm insured my two ca. cars for less than $1400. So now i have state farm in ca., and nationwide in Oregon. Insurance companies do crazy things from time to time.
 

grouperjim

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Travelers does not cover boats in FL

2016 Parker 2801 and 2016 Owens trailer
Replacement cost Progressive $1200 annually (no significant increases since)

Geico quote same policy $1700
 
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tomc585

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2004 1801 Boat only, Progressive, $287 for $15,000 replacement and 75 mile tow plus the standard personal injury stuff 100/25 i think.
When i had my old 85 wellcraft 18' it was $100 for tow only.
Best rates for Motorcycles too!
 

big_tuna

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I jsut got BoatUS, I pay about 800 a year in San Diego for a 2310 w/ 500k liability, 50k stated value, with MX insurance and towing included. Seems high to me.
 

Andy

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Travelers does not cover boats in FL

2016 Parker 2801 and 2016 Owens trailer
Replacement cost Progressive $1200 annually (no significant increases since)

Geico quote same policy $1700
Can I say holy-crap!... I am amazed at all the variables I've been seeing here...When I was paying $1100 in the 1980-1990's I was insuring a $125,000 boat (todays dollars, a $350,000 boat.... thank you all; this is good information.
 

pelagic2530

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Hi Pelagic, I too have normal/basic Boat/US membership. (for 35+ years)... I am relatively certain the normal/basic membership does not cover towing, trailer assist and the rest except for maybe a 'teaser' amount up to $50.00. I'm not even sure if that basic $50.00 is still an offered 'benefit'... I'll do some research.
I have the upgraded membership (can't remember exactly which level) that provides unlimited on water towing and on-road trailer recovery. That way, the membership follows me whether I'm using the 17 or the 25, rather than being tied to the individual insurance policy on each boat.
 

1801Steve

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When someone posts this kind of thing on Hull Truth I reply with a standard copy and paste....

I’m a marine surveyor and our company only does damage survey work (i.e. claims). We did about 600 claims last year. I’ve been at it for 32 years so I’ve seen it all. A couple of things to think about when buying a policy.

DO NOT SHOP BASED ON PRICE ALONE! There are differences in coverage. Do I need to say it again?

Look at “Exclusions.” For example, all policies exclude losses from normal wear and tear. But some policies cover subsequent damage and some don’t. So if a piece of sailboat rigging fails from fatigue (NW&T) some policies will not pay for that piece of rigging but will pay for the broken mast etc. Some policies don’t pay anything. Big difference. Some policies exclude freeze damage, some don’t. Etc.

Agreed Value vs. Actual Cash Value. If your boat is a total loss the Agreed Value policy pays you whatever the policy limit is. If you have an ACV policy you get the Fair Market Value of the boat immediately prior to the loss (like an auto policy). If your policy is five years old and the policy limit is $100k, the Fair Market Value of your five year old boat may only be $50k. If you have a relatively new boat and a big loan your payoff may be less than your loan balance. Yikes!

What is the salvage limit? If your boat sinks in the channel you have to get it out. Some policies will pay as much as the liability limit for salvage cost (usually several hundred thousand dollars). Some policies have a limit of 1% or 5% of the hull value. That won’t go far. Say you have a $100k policy limit. Any salvage over $1,000 (1%) comes out of your pocket. Again, yikes!



These are just a few examples. If you don’t know the difference, find a good agent who can explain the above.



Lastly what kind of service does the underwriter (not the agent or broker) give when you have a claim? We deal with them all, and I can tell you there is a difference as to the claims service provided.
 

Andy

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When someone posts this kind of thing on Hull Truth I reply with a standard copy and paste....

I’m a marine surveyor and our company only does damage survey work (i.e. claims). We did about 600 claims last year. I’ve been at it for 32 years so I’ve seen it all. A couple of things to think about when buying a policy.

DO NOT SHOP BASED ON PRICE ALONE! There are differences in coverage. Do I need to say it again?

Look at “Exclusions.” For example, all policies exclude losses from normal wear and tear. But some policies cover subsequent damage and some don’t. So if a piece of sailboat rigging fails from fatigue (NW&T) some policies will not pay for that piece of rigging but will pay for the broken mast etc. Some policies don’t pay anything. Big difference. Some policies exclude freeze damage, some don’t. Etc.

Agreed Value vs. Actual Cash Value. If your boat is a total loss the Agreed Value policy pays you whatever the policy limit is. If you have an ACV policy you get the Fair Market Value of the boat immediately prior to the loss (like an auto policy). If your policy is five years old and the policy limit is $100k, the Fair Market Value of your five year old boat may only be $50k. If you have a relatively new boat and a big loan your payoff may be less than your loan balance. Yikes!

What is the salvage limit? If your boat sinks in the channel you have to get it out. Some policies will pay as much as the liability limit for salvage cost (usually several hundred thousand dollars). Some policies have a limit of 1% or 5% of the hull value. That won’t go far. Say you have a $100k policy limit. Any salvage over $1,000 (1%) comes out of your pocket. Again, yikes!



These are just a few examples. If you don’t know the difference, find a good agent who can explain the above.



Lastly what kind of service does the underwriter (not the agent or broker) give when you have a claim? We deal with them all, and I can tell you there is a difference as to the claims service provided.
Hi Steve, I understand what you've said, but I guess I got too 'wordy' and wasn't being clear about the main point I was trying to make; the main point being the 'percentage increase' from BoatUS-GEICO over the 4 years I've owned this Parker, (nearly doubled!) and there being no change in insurance -related circumstances. I don't shop on price, and I am aware of exclusions, agreed value and the other variables, but nor do I stay with a company that won't communicate with a 35+ year customer as to why they raise their premiums for four straight years (and, once more, there being no change in insurability-related circumstances). I've been boating since the 1960's, have owned over 20 boats, and have primarily-insured seven boats since the 1970's with a variety of insurance companies; although primarily with BoatUS. The reason for the post was to get feedback and/or opinions about the unprecedented (for me, and many others) annual percentage increases in insurance costs from BoatUs-GEICO for the past four years. If you read all I've shared here, I was used to paying $1200-$1400 a year for boat insurance back in the 1980's and 1990's; a significant amount for those years. Not meaning for this to be taken wrong, but to make a point about me shopping for low-cost-insurance, I am in a financial position where any amount I pay for a boat, or the insurance or anything else for that matter, doesn't effect me. But, I didn't get in this position by blindly paying bills without questioning them when I see such increases as I've gotten from BoatUS-GEICO. The rate they charged nearly doubled in four years. Thank to all of you who have added this conversation where I can see I've made a good decision to change to another company.
 
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