The crew is ready, all the essential things are packed, and the weather looks heavenly. Everybody is excited about the adventure on the sea, and no one wants to think about possible accidents. How to shush that tiny voice in your head and cover every angle? Read more on how does yacht insurance work and how to choose the best option.
Boat insurance is essential. After all, you will be operating a mobile vehicle on sea waves. Imagine driving a car without insurance – nonsense! When renting a boat, you will put down a security deposit. In most cases, a charter company will relieve you of the obligation to lodge the entire deposit or reduce it to a more negligible amount. Check ahead with the charter for the final sum of the deposit so that you can have the necessary cash or card allowance.
Deposit insurance 101
Here’s an example: Standard refundable security deposit for a recreational sailing yacht is 2000 EUR. However, the charter company can offer deposit insurance of 300 EUR that you will pay ahead of your trip. If an accident happens, the charter company will not return the deposit insurance to you. (Silver lining being – it is only 300 EUR instead of 2000 EUR.) Depending on the severity of the accident and on terms and conditions of insurance, the charter company will resolve the issue independently, and you don’t have to do anything else.
Watch out: Some charter companies require payment of deposit insurance in advance, at least one day before the boat pick-up.
If you sail more than once a year, it is reasonable to purchase yearly deposit insurance. Insurance for 12 months tends to equal the one-time deposit insurance at the charter company. The insurance applies to multiple sailing holidays throughout the year. You still have to pay the refundable security deposit at the boat pick-up, but you solve the claim directly with the insurance company in case of an accident.
Word to the wise: It’s best to ask about the coinsurance policy when you pay insurance. Standard is about 5-10%.
Accidents that deposit insurance may not cover
Most insurance policies have exceptions – for example, toilet clogging and loss of either fender or dinghy. In rare cases, generator or sails are excluded. If these items are not included in your insurance, you need to check them thoroughly at the boat pick-up.
Gross negligence and steering of the vessel without a necessary authorization or under the influence of alcohol do not fall under the insurance benefit, meaning that the insurance company will not refund such events. It’s also good to know that an accident that happened during good weather will be investigated. Some insurance companies look at the details of the claim, and in case of suspicion of negligence, they won’t refund you for the insured event.
You can insure for gross negligence damages with year-long skipper insurance. A yearly subscription of 100 EUR should be enough for recreational sailing yachts. Skipper insurance applies to the captain and all people officially on board and registered in the crew list. But beware! If you have a license that isn’t valid for your boat or the trip’s location, the insurance claim won’t go through.
Who provides the insurance?
In some cases, the charter company offers third-party insurance. You still have to pay the refundable security deposit for renting a boat. Still, you are also obliged to resolve the claim directly with the insurance company in the event of a claim.
Are you charging the refundable security deposit to your card? We recommend checking your charge and withdrawal limits with the bank before the trip.
If you book a boat through an agency, they should have access to this information and provide you with it. Boataround verifies all insurance options with partners and assists clients with their choice.