A New Sponsor – Grundy Classic Boat Insurance

About 6 months ago, there was a ton of chatter in the Classic Boat Community regarding letters from Hagerty Marine Insurance canceling people. Me included. If you read the letter carefully, it was clear that this was some sort of shift in underwriting. Okay? But the letter with no warning did cause a ton of confusion and people shifted insurance providers. I begged Hagerty to do some sort of story, but no. I was in a way, not able to speak my mind about all this, and it caused a rethinking of how we do sponsorships and have relationships with our sponsors.

Carla up on Torch Lake

Hagerty was a fixture in the classic boat hobby, personified by Carla, who took care of the entire community and the community took care of her. We all insured with Carla, not necessarily Hagerty. She always had our back and would fight for us. So? What happened? Well Carla left Hagerty, and even though Hagerty still sponsored many events. It was become clear that they were in the Classic Car business and Media Business. Which is great. We all can agree that the size of the Classic Boat universe would not sustain any business model. Except small restoration shops.

About a month ago I reached out to Grundy to see if they would be interested in being here on Woody Boater and they said YES!  Actually Grundy are the inventors of agreed value insurance. Started in 1947 from passion. I spoke with them and to my great joy, found them to be very personal, and also extremely passionate about all things vintage, cool, Definitely boating, like insane passionate about boating. and well.. They get it, got it, and have seen some growth for sure this past year in the classic boat universe. So, Grundy is now here, and we are proud to support them. We ask you do the same. Tell them Woody boater sent you. 


20 replies
  1. rjtipple
    rjtipple says:

    I just switched from Hagerty to Grundy and their service is top notch. Greater coverage at a reasonable price.

  2. Art
    Art says:

    Matt, I got the letter also and was also concerned so I put a call into Hagerty for clarification. I was told that it was just a formality that they went to a new carrier, Markel, so I stayed with them.
    As you know we had a off the water experience last summer and Merkle was VERY nice to work with.
    With that said I may consider going to Grundy if the price is right.

  3. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    Like Art I received the letter from Hagerty and called them. They told me they were switching underwriters. A slight increase but I renewed with Markel for this year and will look into Grundy at renewal time next year.

  4. Mark
    Mark says:

    I also received the letter from Hagerty and the reached out to Markel for a quote and was considerably higher than what I had been paying.

    I ended up getting the insured through my home and auto company for what I was paying Hagerty.

    I would consider Grundy going forward if the discount for ACBS membership came back.

  5. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    The changes at Hagerty are likely part of their merger with Aldel Financial & going public, in 2021. Carla’s retirement probably played a part as well.


    My Aristocraft is with Hagerty & the premium went up substantially with the new underwriter. My husband pays the bill for the 3 cars we have with Hagerty & hasn’t mentioned a significant rise in that, so maybe they just don’t want the boat business anymore.

  6. WesV
    WesV says:

    I also reached out to Markel, and discovered they were applying liability any unneeded coverage for boats in storage. After deleting these items the price was affordable. I will check Grundy again, but they didn’t seem interested in out of water boats.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      Wes: if you have your own storage facility I completely understand why liability insurance in not necessary, but others should keep in mind that if you are storing other than your own property liability is a very real issue. Should a fire break out and it is determined that it was caused by your boat or something that you did (DIY maintenance) liability is the only thing that will CYA.

      I too miss Carla!!!!!!
      I miss Fender too, wish he would come back to Dora.

      • Matt
        Matt says:

        Carla used to tell me that more claims happen in storage on a trailer than in the water. So I am sure there is more to that comment.

  7. Tim Robinson
    Tim Robinson says:

    Like many I have been insured with Hagerty for years because of Carla. Now that she is no longer with them I decided to shop around for insurance on my 1938 Gar Wood. The quote that I received from Grundy was considerably higher. Funny, I have my classic car insured with Grundy because they were cheaper than Hagerty, go figure. I miss seeing and talking with Carla at the boat shows, she is the best.

  8. Matt
    Matt says:

    This shift in sponsorship is based on commitment to our small community. We have to keep that going. Our community is very small, so anyone that is committed to us, we need to pay it forward. If you go to the Markel site, the boats they show are all Clorox Bottles. Just say’n. I have been with State Farm for over 40 years. Everything in insured through them. Except my boats. The agreed value concept and policies that Grundy invented is a huge deal for our community since many of our boats have much more time and money in them, then what a book claims they are worth.

  9. Carla
    Carla says:

    Oh my gosh, where do I start! First off, I want to thank each and every one of you for your incredibly kind and sweet comments toward me. Not to sound sappy BUT I was smiling, laughing and even sobbing remembering the best 30 years of my life because I had the pleasure of spending time with the BEST OF THE BEST…classy people who own classic boats! Loved my job and the fact I was able to take care of your insurance needs personally, the boat shows and mostly love all of you. Would love to be back in the hobby…just saying ‍♀️ ‍♀️ Until next time..

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      Carla: It was a real pleasure to work with and getting to know you while handling my personal boat policy and while working with The Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club.

      It is people like you who make being a part of this hobby such a treat!!!!!

  10. Don Ayers
    Don Ayers says:

    Miss you Carla.

    I did contact Grundy with my coverage need and they wouldn’t touch it. Unfortunate, so I went to Hagerty and they did a policy no problem. Without Carla there I have no loyalty to Hagerty. I’d be happy to talk with Grundy again if they would come to the table and at least match my other policy.

    People buy from People they love and respect. All the best Carla

  11. Mark in Ohio ( today in Florida)
    Mark in Ohio ( today in Florida) says:

    Carla, I never had any dealings with you, But I miss your sweet smile. Good luck on everything you do. It was good to hear from you.

  12. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    My thought is the “agreed upon value” should be thought of as the “agreed on coverage” and I view that on the down side not the up.
    Matt rightly states that many of your boats are worth, to you, and at times even to the marketplace, more that blue book. MY personal desire for “agreed upon” was always for much less than Market or blue book. I just wanted inexpensive “walking away money”…not full value… I never had any really valuable boats…so if I wanted coverage other than and above my liability I just wanted some money to get started in boating again…not to be made whole. So: I tried that with Hagerty and between demanding a costly survey and etc etc…was never worth it to me.
    Any of you fall into my category? John in Va. best to Carla always!

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