Michelle van der Merwe dives into the small print with advice on how you can make an informed decision about superyacht insurance
Insurance offers for superyachts can often be 50 pages or more; quite a task to review, even for experienced captains! Here is our guide to reviewing a quote and making a decision on whether it’s the right one for you.
First things first: the bottom line. Identifying it will not be a problem, but finding out what the insurance actually covers, can be. The range of available products will usually include at least a hull and liability policy. In addition, war, P&I liability cover and crew medical and accident insurance.
When comparing premium quotes, make sure you are judging like with like: If quotes differ significantly in price, the difference is usually a reflection of the different levels of cover or service being offered.
DEEP DIVE INTO THE QUOTE CONTENT
The next step is to check the actual content of the quotation. At this point, always consult an insurance expert and here is why:
- Lithium batteries – this is a hot topic at the moment and one which some insurers are looking at more closely, in terms of the risk factors on board for lithium battery fires. You may be asked to disclose the type of batteries on board as well as specific details on the tenders and toys charging facilities. Non-disclosure or inaccurate details provided could result in a problem at the time of claim
- Machinery cover – does the insurance cover machinery failure and is there an exclusion for older engines? Or is there a higher deductible for the engines? This is one of the most common claims
- Warranties/exclusions – check for warranties or exclusions on crew qualifications, unmanned yachts, minimum safe manning, berthing or when the yacht is anchored offshore
- Medical cover – check if this complies with the yacht’s requirements in terms of: MLC if commercially registered, including USA cover if travelling to Caribbean/US territories, whether ENIM and French social security system is applicable if crew are resident in France. Look for the limits on medical costs, pay outs for accidents and sick wages payments
- Who handles the claims? – time is money! An in-house claims department is always preferable, because this directly impacts how quickly you can get back on the water if worse comes to worst. Information on this may not be found directly in the policy – it is worth asking
- Insurer securities – as well as knowing who your insurance partner is and who will handle the claims, it is critical to know who the insurers are and that they have top financial security in order to pay a claim
- Deductibles – deductibles have a strong influence on the amount of the insurance premium, but within a contract, they can differ significantly between different loss events, different components, tenders and toys, or even during certain passages like an Atlantic crossing
Of course, there are countless other points that have a significant influence on the insurance cover and should be considered when comparing different policies. However, what is already clear to the non-professional at this point is that without a trustworthy advisor, an accurate evaluation can be extremely difficult.
Pantaenius has proven many times in the past that not all insurance is the same and how owners, captains and crew can benefit from working with experienced yacht specialists on their insurance questions. So do not hesitate and make the comparison – we will be happy to advise you on your existing policy and convince you why Pantaenius is the first choice for more than 100,000 yacht and boat owners worldwide.