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Navigating maritime insurance: what you need to know 

In any situation where you are considering maritime insurance, you need to be sure that you are adequately covered, but also, you’ll require a trustworthy insurance company.  

Insuring vessels is a very delicate and comprehensive business so make sure that your insurance broker is reliable and that you are getting the best insurance policy. Not the cheapest, mind you, but the best one that covers you completely.     

But how can you be sure of a company’s honesty and transparency?   

We will answer this question immediately. You can be sure because a trustworthy maritime insurance company which is honest, works in your best interest and has years of experience in the field.   

Sometimes it’s best to research in advance to find an insurance company with a good track record. But usually, a good reputation precedes good company.   

It’s worth noting that everyone will say a good word and recommend someone they consider fair and professional. Good maritime insurance implies providing exemplary service and having licenced brokers with the needed knowledge and experience.  

This is best illustrated by some examples in maritime yacht insurance, which are “outside” the mandatory marine insurance and are rarely considered by yacht owners and charterers. 

maritime safety, yachts in a marina, navigation equipment

Additional yacht equipment maritime insurance  

Maritime insurance is vital for several reasons if you own a yacht for any purpose. But it is also essential to insure the additional equipment, not just the vessel itself.  

Additional equipment can vary greatly depending on the size and purpose of the yacht. Some yachts are used exclusively for charter, others for personal use, and others for transportation or regattas. But whether it is a sailing yacht or a motor yacht, regardless of the purpose – some examples of their equipment are:  

  • Navigation equipment – this includes devices used for navigation, such as GPS, radar, chart plotter and compass  
  • Communications equipment – VHF radios, SSB radios, and satellite phones used to communicate with other boats, marinas, and other shore-based facilities 
  • Safety equipment – life jackets and/or life rafts, flares and fire extinguishers used to ensure the crew’s safety in case of emergency 
  • Entertainment and water sports equipment – includes items such as televisions and sound systems, as well as diving and fishing equipment used for entertainment and recreation  
  • Dinghies – smaller boats used for transferring people and goods to and from the yacht 
  • Deck equipment – anchors, winches, chains, deck lighting and fenders, sunshade, deck furniture, swimming platforms and ladders and others  

For sailing yachts, additional equipment may include sails, jibs, spinnakers and other sail-handling equipment. For motor yachts, it may also include engines, generators, and other mechanical systems that power the vessel and provide electricity and other energy sources on board. 

Each item and piece of equipment on a yacht must be appropriately listed when applying for an insurance quote, mainly because the appraiser has to have this information to inspect the yacht.  

But interestingly, no insurance company covers the personal belongings of people on board the vessel, such as jewellery, technical items like cell phones, tablets or laptops that are usually taken on a trip – they belong to personal belongings and not equipment or similar.  

Insurance of the vessel in a dry dock  

When a yacht is dry-docked for the winter, it’s important to consider the potential risks and ensure that the insurance policy adequately covers them.  

Many standard boat insurance policies don’t cover damage that occurs while the yacht is out of the water and in storage. You may need to purchase additional insurance or a separate policy specifically for storage

Check the terms of the policy. Some policies may have special requirements for storing or securing the yacht. 

Avoid storing your yacht in “wild” dry docks that are not covered by the policy, or storing it in a random location, such as an unattended piece of land, as no insurance will cover a yacht that is not adequately dry docked

The insurance company and your insurance broker will advise you on the best facility in which to properly store and maintain your vessel and protect it from the elements and possible vandalism.  

Your broker will ensure that your policy provides adequate coverage for the specific risks involved

Vehicle assistance: Yacht vs. car 

Both car and yacht assistance involve moving vehicles, but they differ in terms of the types of vehicles and the environments in which they are used. 

Motor vehicle assistance, also known as towing, usually involves using a tow truck to move a disabled or damaged vehicle from one location to another and the vehicles towed are usually cars, trucks, and motorcycles. 

On the other hand, yachts and boats are used for recreational and commercial purposes on the water.  

A commonality between the two is that vehicle assistance and yacht services typically require specialized equipment and trained personnel to safely and effectively perform their transportation

The similarities end there in most cases, as any car or motor vehicle can be transported on the road when it is ready for service. Yachts need to be expertly towed back and forth when not moored at sea. 

A professional insurance broker will advise you to purchase a policy that covers the yacht while it’s being transported from the marina to a storage facility or dry dock. Many policies only cover the vessel when it’s in the water, so it’s essential to make sure that the policy also provides coverage during transportation.

yacht being towed by a trailer

What about the trailer used to transport the vessel?  

Insuring a trailer used to transport a yacht is similar to insuring any other vehicle, but there are some crucial points to consider.   

Make sure the trailer is registered correctly and you have the correct license plate, registration and insurance to legally tow it.  

Confirm that the car towing the trailer has full insurance coverage, as they will protect you in case of an accident, theft or damage.  

Ensure that trailer is registered correctly and also that the yacht is covered while being transported on the trailer. Some policies do not protect the vessel during transport. Therefore, make sure that the policy explicitly includes this coverage.  

The trailer must be properly maintained and in good condition, which will minimize the risk of breakdowns or accidents while transporting the yacht. 

Importance of marine pollution insurance  

Few people think about marine pollution insurance, but it should be an important part of your insurance policy. 

Environmental awareness is fundamental, and it’s essential in Croatia, a country with one of the cleanest seas in the world. The topic of environmental damage caused by vessels is not discussed much, but accidents do happen.  

When pollution from fuel spills occurs during navigation, a policy can ensure that the clean-up is done correctly, and the impact is minimized. The fines and costs for this type of environmental damage are incredibly high; boat liability insurance usually includes such insurance as standard. However, you should still check this item with your insurance broker.   

In addition, such insurance can also help mitigate the financial and reputational risks to the vessel owner or operator. 

There are many other examples where maritime insurance is essential, and having a good policy that covers everything is paramount. It’s best to be protected from all sides when damage or unforeseen situations occur.  

In conclusion, marine insurance is very comprehensive, and with Yacht pool is more than an insurance company – we also offer numerous services to make your life easier.