The yacht insurance sector is one that has, for many years, been somewhat sidestepped by the crew sector, with a view that owners and management companies will deal with this financial branch of the industry. However, as the industry becomes more professional and the roles of captains and senior crew become more cemented within the business arena, the insurance sector is one that crew must acknowledge and understand, for their necessary role within it. After all, how many crewmembers can honestly say they really know their role in the claims process?


The bridge is one of the places on board where captains' records must be kept to an extremely high standard. Credit: Brooke Shaw

This was confirmed by Ince & Co Partner Kevin Cooper at the international law firm’s biannual yachting seminar, where Cooper gave an overview of the yacht insurance sector. In his presentation, one of the most important areas of yachting insurance to understand was the claims process, and this, he said, is where a crewmember’s role is crucial.

Following the seminar, speaking exclusively with The Crew Report, Cooper acknowledged: “It is important to ensure that all records maintained on board are up to date, if only because in the event of having to make a claim it will be far easier to provide the necessary evidence that you have complied with the terms of your insurance policy,” Cooper explained, adding that of course fundamentally it would depend on the nature of the assured’s obligations as set out in the specific policy. “In the majority of cases, the crew will be responsible for keeping the on-board records up-to-date.” Crewmembers may have a much more important role in their yacht’s insurance structure and claims process than they had first thought.

“In general terms, I think that most people involved in yachting appreciate the need for up-to-date records, but some are better at ensuring compliance than others. I don’t think it would hurt to reinforce the message and offer further guidance,” added Cooper.


“In general terms, I think that most people involved in yachting appreciate the need for up-to-date records, but some are better at ensuring compliance than others. I don’t think it would hurt to reinforce the message and offer further guidance."



Examples of the relevant provisions from a typical policy, and those with which compliance is required via documentary evidence in the event of a claim, may include the following: compliance with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) or other applicable regulatory authorities; number of passengers as restricted by regulations or licensing conditions; the suitable qualification of the vessel’s captain who must also be on board and in charge when the vessel is underway; and, in addition, reasonable maintenance, where applicable, should be able to be proved.

One point to bear in mind here is the importance of the vessel’s captain being both on board and in charge when the vessel is underway, of course depending on the insurance policy. So, once again, another facet is revealed that perhaps not all crewmembers were aware of.

Consequently, it is imperative that crewmembers have a thorough understanding of their yacht’s insurance policy, both so they can successfully fulfill their role in maintaining the yacht’s records and to ensure his or her on-board actions are not voiding the any insurance policy.

Superyacht Management Meeting: Insurance is taking place on 10 December in London. To register your attendance at the event, or for more information, please contact Suzie at suzie@thesuperyachtgroup.com or on +44 (0)207 924 4004.