Monday, May 21, 2012

Why Does Boat Insurance Cost So Much in North America: European Competitiveness

2012 05 21
in Valencia Spain until tomorrow

Valencia Downtown - Not Your Average Toronto
Yesterday I suggested travellers to Europe should buy their cell phone needs once they got here.  In the eleven months since we have arrived in Europe this is a complete turnabout.  Cellphone wifi was horrendously expensive last August.

We bought a brand new but granted older model Blackberry phone for €129 and we get unlimited data use for €5 a week which includes €1.50 taxes.  This is the pay as you go rate.

The Blackberry can be unlocked for $10 so the phone is portable amongst countries and service providers.  We can also tie our Blackberry Playbook to the phone's wifi service and get full blown tablet wifi on the same unlimited plan.

Not that I intended to write about phone services.  Today is reserved for insurance, marina fees and prescription drugs.

Boat insurance in Europe is very well priced.   Our premium for next year placed with Pantaenius Insurance a major marine insurer with a great reputation for customer service is about 35% of the price we were quoted by our North American broker.  No kidding our premium is down from $2,400 to $900 for better coverage and 6 million third party liability instead of the old one million in North America.

If you are coming to Europe from North America plan on re insuring when you get here.  You will save a bundle.

When you get to Europe you will also be pleasantly surprised at the cost of marinas.  Granted we have been docking in low season but in Valencia, where we are now, the rate is €19 per day including dockage, electric and acceptable wifi internet.  The marina, King Juan Carlos Marina (the Americas Cup marina) charges €25 In high season.

We have all heard the horror stories about the Balearic Island marinas chargine €400 a night but there are good anchorages in Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca so we will plan on just staying away.

Prescription Drugs Wishing to ensure my regular medicines would not run out while cruising I took the label from my old Ontario drug boxes into the Farmacia here in Valencia.  Ten minutes later I walked out with all three prescriptions filled.  Price was less than half of that in Canada and far less than half than it would be in the USA, world renowned home of drug thuggery.

Do not worry about refilling your prescriptions once you get here.  It is no big deal.

Europe loses the battle on boat equipment and shipping costs.  A German online chandler ( sorts this out a bit.  Stuff is still dear but you can get it all, in brands you know and trust and with delivery that you can rely on.  All the guys on the dock in Valencia are using this service.  Mostly they can get delivery of stuff before the chandler which is 100 metres away.

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