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Superyacht premiums and crew professionalism

Is it possible to reduce superyacht insurance premiums by bolstering the professionalism of crew?

Is it possible to reduce superyacht insurance premiums by bolstering the professionalism of crew? At an exclusive roundtable lunch, held at Coq d’Argent in central London, SuperyachtNews was joined by representatives from Hiscox MGA, Viking Recruitment, Shipowners P&I and MAST, to discuss this very topic – the results of which will be published in issue 178 of The Superyacht Report.

This topic, like so many others, has no simple answer and is subject to the trials and tribulations of the greater yachting industry. In this short preview article, I will touch on one such issue – minimum training standards.

Those that work within the superyacht industry are beginning to reach the consensus that, while many still bemoan the loss of an entirely deregulated industry, minimum training standards, such as the STCW or Powerboat Level 2, are not sufficient.

The superyacht industry does have one saving grace in that, relatively speaking, there are few accidents. But, merely accepting that accidents are rare, does not necessarily justify the standards being as they are.

“It is the owners and captains, and by deferral the managers, responsibility to make sure the vessel in manned properly in order to ensure it is seaworthy,” comments Paul Miller, director of underwriting at Hiscox MGA. “I am the first to be vocal about it, the bar is far too low for the STCW and people need to accept that. It was only begrudgingly accepted in the first place, but people are starting to believe that it is not enough.”

It is simply unfair to claim that a minimum standard culture pervades all of superyachting. There are, without doubt, a number of well run, well trained vessels out there. But, there are also a number of vessels that, although technically meeting standards, fall short of the standards one would expect – and this is reflected in premiums as they stand. If it were possible to create a gold standard for vessels, would we see insurance premiums fall?

To read the conclusions of the discussion, subscribe to The Superyacht Report.

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