Expert Take: Finance and Insurance
Be prepared to pull the trigger.
Heading to the boat show to make a momentous purchase means you’ve got your financial house in order—and you can prove it. Gone are the days of no-income-verification loans.
“It’s everything our parents told us when we went to college,” says Tom Smith, president of Sterling Associates. “Don’t do it at the last minute. Don’t go on a bender all week. Don’t do papers at two in the morning for Monday. Be organized about it and you’ll save yourself some money and anxiety.” In these days of due diligence, it’s best to know where you stand early in the process.
“If we have the information a couple of weeks prior, then the added pressure doesn’t manifest itself in the sale,” Smith says. “Plus you can concentrate on what you should: Getting what you want out of the boat purchase as well as being able to negotiate the price that you want.”
And what about insurance? It’s always part of the deal in large purchases, but there are some things to look out for. “Boaters should ask two questions of every insurance broker: ‘What insurance companies can you get quotes from?’” says Cary Wiener, president of Pantaenius America Ltd. “And ‘Will you provide all quotes or declinations to me?’” Wiener explained that getting the quotes or declinations means you’re seeing all the information the broker gathered on your behalf. That way you’ll know if your broker is using a quote from one underwriter to get a better rate from another. You’ll also know you may need a new broker.
Another factor affecting insurance is navigation—where you can use the boat. “Some companies define their navigation in a very geographically narrow way, and other companies, like Pantaenius, will have very broad navigations,” Wiener says. “So if you have a pretty good, general idea of where you’re going to use the boat for the next 12 to 18 months, you can make sure that the company that writes your insurance is willing to cover you at the right time for these different navigations.” Wiener explained that there is no such thing as standard navigation—every underwriter defines their navigation in a different way.