You probably found that searching for a boat insurance solution for your boat or a yacht on your own takes a lot of time and effort, especially if you don’t have experience and knowledge. So, you probably concluded that an insurance broker is your best choice. As one should.
The maritime insurance broker is an expert in the field and is knowledgeable about any insurance product, especially when it comes to yacht insurance. Therefore, the best solution is undoubtedly to leave the work to the professionals.
There are many types of brokers in boat insurance. Each and one of them specializes primarily in a particular branch of insurance or has a sufficiently broad knowledge and experience. Simply put, insurance professionals are called experts for a reason. No one knows the job better.
There are even fewer insurance experts in the nautical field because it’s a very particular niche. However, they know how to use their knowledge and experience to find the best product for their clients.
Maritime insurance has a specific division – professional risk takers, maritime law experts, and appraisers, i.e. underwriters and surveyors.
If you are looking for an expert maritime insurance broker, there are some things you should know before you meet with one. First and foremost, there is a detailed process for finding insurance solutions, which doesn’t stop there. The process goes all the way to the damage claim and beyond.
The work process of a maritime insurance broker
First of all, it’s essential to know that the ratio of price and quality of the offer has nothing to do with one another. It would be wrong to accept an insurance offer just because the price seems low or to ask a broker for a cheap offer to get by with as little expense as possible. He can go along with your wishes, but that would be a mistake in the long run.
You need to know how to buy quality boat insurance, the value of which is justified by the price. In the event of damage to the vessel, you will be glad that you haven’t taken out a “cheap policy” but have covered and protected your boat completely.
The work process and the process of getting a quote for your vessel with a maritime insurance broker looks something like this:
- Developing a strategic plan by your maritime insurance broker
- Searching for the best insurance solution on the market
- Selecting the ideal insurance solution for the client
- Implementing vessel insurance solutions
- Support and assistance from your insurance broker
- Reporting and processing vessel damage
1. Developing a strategic maritime insurance plan
Before a broker even starts looking for an insurance solution for your boat or yacht, you should know a few things.
Of course, it’s necessary to describe exactly what type of boat or yacht you are dealing with. In the Republic of Croatia, vessels are classified into several groups. To us most interesting are yachts, which in turn are divided into motor yachts and sailboats.
The insurance broker also needs information such as:
- whether the boat or a yacht is going to be rented for tourist purposes
- whether the boat or a yacht will be used only for recreation (fishing, etc.)
- whether it’s a vessel that is chartered exclusively
- the value of the vessel
- the year of construction of the vessel
The value and the year of construction are essential because all available parameters are included in the calculation. This is also the same as with real estate and vehicle insurance. There are many details, and it’s also important in what marina, port or dry dock the vessel will be moored.
You should know that each vessel is specific and that considering all these details is called risk assessment. This risk assessment is crucial for the insurance broker to create a strategic plan and ultimately find the best solution.
Of course, it’s important to note that the broker will always consider your needs and possibilities.
2. Searching for the best insurance solution in the market
After defining the risk and carefully examining your vessel’s parameters, the broker will start searching for the best solution for your insurance.
How long it takes to find a solution depends on lots of details. But an experienced broker often has a preliminary resolution ready immediately, and that kind of knowledge comes with experience.
For example, for insuring a large yacht of high value or a vessel that doesn’t sail under the Croatian flag, finding the best option will take a little longer.
Becoming familiar with the rules and laws of foreign markets can be a slightly more challenging process, and the broker may need a bit more time to prepare the final insurance solution for the client.
3. Selecting the ideal insurance solution for the client
Through the process of elimination, the broker selects the best solution for you from all the offers on the market. Insurance policies often have fine print that people rarely read or research. This fine print is the most important thing because it may contain some unclear or unfavourable terms for you as a client.
And this is where a broker specializing in maritime insurance is crucial; he can expertly avoid potential problems and situations that can negatively impact the outcome of the risk assessment or payment of claims.
There are many points to consider regarding boat insurance, plenty of details that a broker knows well and can explain fully. He will explain to you why a comprehensive vessel insurance policy is necessary. He will ensure you understand why covering details such as accidents at sea and damages caused by natural disasters and potential injuries is essential.
Every insurance, including maritime insurance for boats and yachts, has its purpose. And that is to cover any damage that may occur. In short, your broker will give you a detailed breakdown of boat insurance and what it covers.
For some boat owners, saving on the insurance premium is often more important than having an insurance policy that fully covers their vessel. However, it’s essential to know that such “savings” usually become quite apparent after the damage occurs, when the boat owner realizes this saving was not the best choice.
4. Implementing vessel insurance solutions
Somewhere around this point in the process of insuring a vessel, it becomes evident why a broker is necessary. A broker is a person who takes care of the evaluation of your vessel by an appraiser.
But why is a marine appraiser needed, and why is the appraisal necessary? The appraiser evaluates the vessel to ensure and prove that it’s in the condition as is “on paper”. Of course, this is done to prevent fraud, and it’s also good to get another professional opinion.
When damage occurs, the vessel’s condition, as determined by the expert opinion, is the document that proves the extent of the damage.
The official part of the insurance conclusion includes signing the contract and you paying the insurance premium. Everything else is left to the care of the broker.
So, an insurance broker is a person who not only takes care of insuring your vessel but also makes sure that all other procedures run smoothly.
5. Support and assistance from your insurance broker
From developing the insurance plan, searching and finding the best insurance policy to signing the contract – the insurance broker is there for the client at every step.
It’s also vital that the broker is present and remains available to the client if needed. Once the contract is signed, the relationship between broker and client doesn’t end.
A broker for maritime insurance is there for the client whenever needed. An honest, professional broker will answer any client’s question and always provide helpful advice. Suppose it’s necessary to find any technical assistance or other, such as maintenance services. In that case, the insurance broker will have all the information ready for you.
6. Reporting and processing vessel damage
Ultimately, damage to the vessel may or may not occur. However, boat insurance is mandatory, so it’s crucial to have the best insurance option.
You should also remember that the risk assessment is different for a boat in port most of the year and goes out fishing for a few weeks than for a chartered yacht that is out at sea as much as possible.
In case of damage to the vessel, damage caused to another vessel, or a personal injury while in navigation, the insurance broker is undoubtedly your best support. The broker will guide you through the entire process of inspecting the damage that has occurred and report the loss. After the inspection and reporting of the damage, the damage must be repaired.
This part, of course, happens after the payment of the claim. The broker will take care of the payment of funds for the damage as soon as possible and will provide the best offers for the repair of the vessel.
The broker is an insurance expert who will guide you through the entire process so that everything goes smoothly and the whole situation with your vessel is resolved as soon as possible.
So, we can conclude that when insuring a boat of any kind or a yacht of any size, the most important thing is to have a good insurance broker who will help you every step of the way and during every process.
An insurance broker is not only a person who will find a solution for you, but he will also find the ideal solution and be of assistance at any time.
Are you looking for experts who will know how to assess the risk in the best possible way, find the best solution and be available when needed?
Contact us if you need maritime insurance or have questions; our brokers are at your service.