Another year, another insurance review. It doesn’t sound too exciting does it, but there is no doubt, as a busy yacht crew professional it’s vital to get your insurance needs in order before another hectic year of sailing gets under way.
MSCB recommends the first quarter of the year as being the best time to spend an hour or two sitting down and reviewing your insurance needs for the year ahead. Use this guide as a reference – it could save you many hours of anguish and unexpected costs.
To get started, here are some thorny issues you should seriously consider. Read them through and feel free to talk to us if you would like more information and we can point you in the right direction.
Am I covered on shore as well as onboard?
This is a question that surprises even the most seasoned yacht crew members. It’s important to be covered when you are onshore just as much as when you are on board a yacht. Accidents and illnesses happen wherever you may be. Never assume you’re fully covered so ask the question and make sure you get the cover you need.
Can I arrange medical cover for only a short period of time?
Everyone’s needs are different and sometimes you may only need medical cover for a short period of time, even for as little as a week or ten days. For example, you may decide to take a holiday or a short break during the year for which you will need adequate medical cover. There are specialist insurers for this cover.
Will I be covered on a new scheme if I have a pre-existing condition?
With your own medical insurance policy, you can list all your pre-existing conditions and enjoy the peace of mind that you are fully covered throughout the duration of the policy. If you rely solely on the medical cover offered by the yacht you are working on, you run the risk of pre-existing conditions not being covered, which could have a huge impact on your finances if you needed assistance in an expensive place such as the USA. You can avoid all of this concern by having your own medical insurance which will give you the all-important continuity of cover you need and ensure you get the treatment you need while far from home.
What happens if I can’t work due to sickness or accident?
Accidents and sickness are one of those worst-case scenario situations none of us like to dwell upon, but it’s essential that you do think about it and look at the best way to protect yourself. If you are badly injured or sick and you find you can’t work, you need the security of money still coming in month by month until such time as you recover. This kind of policy is particularly useful if you are worried about whether or not you could manage to get by financially if you are unfortunate enough to lose your job through accident or ill health
Be aware that some of these policies are time limited, so they will only pay out for an agreed period of time. This type of insurance may cost a little extra, but it will continue to pay you a monthly amount until you either recover, or until the end of the policy term. Alternatively, some policies pay out a lump sum.
What happens if I die?
Sorry to spoil the mood, but this is something a far-sighted ocean going professional always needs to consider. If you are unfortunate enough to meet with a fatal accident those left with taking care of your remains will need to know what they should do about repatriating your body, and then there is the issue of funeral costs to be paid once your body has been shipped home. Without insurance in place there is a big uncomfortable question mark hovering over everything at a time when it is difficult for all concerned. To protect your loved ones against this eventuality you should seriously consider life insurance. Life insurance pays out a lump sum to your dependents should you die during the term of the contract. The cost of a policy is determined by a number of factors including your age, health and lifestyle. If you have a family, life insurance takes care of much more than just your repatriation costs. It can help to make sure your loved ones can keep up with mortgage repayments and bills that were taken care of by you. The lump sum payout your family could receive can cover food bills and schooling.
I want travel insurance but can I get it for a holiday in my home country?
Good question and the answer is you generally can’t get travel insurance for travel in your home country, but there are policies which will cover you for this. Furthermore, you can take out your own policy and take it with you onto each yacht. It can act as your protection throughout each and every assignment. Happily, some employers will be happy to reimburse should you be able to show you have cover of your own.
Get the information you need for the cover you want
Never assume anything when it comes to your protection and security. Contact us to discuss how you can best ensure you have the right levels of insurance cover to meet all your needs, whether standard or customised, because no two individual cases are the same.
At Moore Stephens Brokers Limited we’ve developed a truly comprehensive approach to superyacht insurance, from cargo to crew, hull insurance to health, P&I to personal injury – and there’s so much more… really!