As our friends and readers get set to sail south to the Caribbean and Bahamas this fall, we have heard repeatedly that they are getting some sobering news from their insurance brokers and companies. Just over a month ago, hurricane Dorian destroyed the Northern Bahamas with untold loss of life and property. Part of the loss was also millions of dollars worth of boats in Marsh Harbour and elsewhere. This loss follows on the massive losses insurance companies endured after the hurricanes of 2017 destroyed private yachts and entire charter fleets in the BVI, USVI and St. Martin. One insurance broker noted that the losses from 2017 alone exceed the expected loss rate by 230%. Following the 2017 hurricanes several insurance companies went out of business and others have been cautious when writing new policies since their underwriters’ appetite for risk is much diminished. But Dorian may have been the storm that broke the camel’s back. Many companies this fall are not writing any new policies for the Caribbean and Bahamas and the few that will are charging much higher rates with much higher deductibles. So, if you are heading south to the Caribbean and Bahamas this fall, check with your broker or insurance company to make sure you and your boat are covered.
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