Some of the largest claims and items discussed at the meeting surrounded crew accident and negligence, increased requirements for larger new builds, especially when masts were involved, and it appears they still remain key today. As one broker told me, "sometimes these new carbon fibre masts can cost more than the actual yacht itself! We need to ensure we give sufficient coverage as a result".
Being toured around by Simon Ballard of CRS Yachts, I was able to play 'fly on the wall' while visiting with underwriters and taking in the history of Lloyd's, which features some of the remnants of years gone by, still firmly rooted in the traditions built upon over 325 years ago.
However, while new build additions are increasing in insurance policies, crew issues remain key. Is it simply lack of coverage? Negligence? Or a combination of both? Martin Baum, managing director at Pantaenius, thinks it can be avoided simply by planning ahead.
"Most will simply add accident cover on to the hull insurance as a small accident cover - free of charge - with hardly any cover, and the medical they try to put into the P&I insurance. Both is not enough."
Michelle Van der Merwe, team leader with Pantaenius in Monaco commented, "whether you are a temporary crewmember, deckhand, engineer or captain, ensure that your medical coverage is sufficient for your needs. Although it is the owner's responsibility to protect his/her employees, making sure your cover is adequate provides invaluable peace of mind".
As with so many things, taking the time to ensure you have adequate protection, before it's too late, is key. As executive director marine and superyachts at Willis, Mark Feltham said to me, "it would be true to say that crew accident and medical claims are the biggest amount we get in terms of volume, but not in cost. Very few are a result of laziness, negligence or lack of training in my experience – more a case of young active people doing what young, active people do, both on board & ashore! As long as they have the right policy, they’ll be covered".
With professionalism among crew increasing and a greater focus on accountability for all, ensuring your insurance policy covers each and every aspect of your time on board will mean fewer headaches in the future.
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