If you’re lucky or smart, then you have a favourite broker or insurance company who looks after your every need. However, over the last few years, there have been many changes in the marine insurance world, and it pays to shop around. One of the problems with yacht insurance for a large number of the cruising fraternity is for those whose boats are worth less than about $2,000,000. Many of the marine insurance companies don’t want to deal with the small end of the market.
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Here are some links that cruisers have had success with, some at competitive prices: Club Marine Yachtsure QBE Insurance Pantaenius
The difficulty of getting insurance at an affordable price, or, indeed at all, becomes a major issue for long distance cruisers – such a problem that there are a great number of cruisers are going ‘insurance free’. This works until they have a major problem or want to enter a marina that insists on insurance before accepting the boat. Some marinas provide third party insurance just to cover these eventualities. This is certainly true right across the Mediterranean
• Shop around, shop around, shop around.
• You can lower your insurance premium by increasing your excess. In doing this you will want to consider how much of a loss you can afford to absorb if you have a claim.
• Keep your coverage current. Check at least once a year to make sure that your policy provides adequate coverage.
• After 12 months you can receive the renewal for a greatly inflated premium AFTER the renewal date. Make sure that you ask for a requote with plenty of time to change insurers if necessary. Sometimes the premium changes for reasons unrelated to your boat, especially if the re-insurer has reassessed the type of insurance they want to be involved in. We have had many yachting friends caught by this problem.
• Make sure you are dealing with licensed agents and companies.
• Pay your premium in full. Also, pay before the due date to avoid the risk of cancellation. Do NOT depend on a grace period. Keep receipts of payment in a safe place.
• Pay your premium EVEN IF YOU DISAGREE WITH YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY, then pursue your disagreement - unless you are prepared to travel uninsured. Non-payment of the premium may render the boat uninsured.
• Read your policy and make sure that it lists all coverage you have requested. Know exactly what your policy does and does not cover.
• If travelling internationally, be careful of the 'War Zones' exclusion. Sometimes it covers half the globe.
• Know the name of the insurance company and the reinsurer insuring your boat as well as the name of the agency and agent if you have one. This information is found on your policy.
If you have an experience that you would like to tell us about to assist fellow cruising sailors, please email firstname.lastname@example.org