Earlier this week, heavy rain and strong winds battered parts of the Mediterranean over several days, causing serious damage to yachts and infrastructure in yachting hotspots across France, Italy and Spain. Amongst the hubs worst hit by the storm were Genoa, La Spezia, Antibes, Monaco, and Barcelona.
One of the areas most visibly hit by the storm was the port town of Rapallo. Located on Italy’s Ligurian coast, the relentless weather caused the marina’s breakwater to collapse. The wind and waves then entered the unprotected port – catering for yachts between six and 42 metres – destroying moorings and washing dozens of boats ashore. The Custom Line 124 Suegno is believed to be one of the sunken superyachts in the incident.
Other reports to emerge from the storm affecting the yachting community include a near miss in La Spezia, where local media reported that a ship under construction at the San Marco Shipyard broke its moorings and ended up dangerously close to three superyachts under construction at the nearby Sanlorenzo shipyard.
The insurance implications of the storm damage to yachts across the Mediterranean will be significant. Paul Miller, director of underwriting at Hiscox, expects that initially there will be a major salvage and recovery operation to remove the vessels that either sank or broke away from their moorings and beached.
In the case of Rapallo, Miller believes it is too early to say whether there will be any sort of recovery action against the marina, but that it would be unlikely unless it can be proved that the marina was not built properly. “It is likely to be treated as an ‘act of God’, in which case you cannot generally be held liable,” explains Miller. “Yacht policies will pay first and then the recovery options will be reviewed.”
With a host of high-profile losses occurring in recent months, the superyacht insurance market has been under continued pressure to correct and levy sustainable premiums. Read more about how these events could impact superyacht insurance premiums in a recent SuperyachtNews.com article here.
Image taken in Rapallo, sourced by Reuters
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