If you subscribe to the ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure philosophy, knowing what the most common yacht insurance claims we assist with can help you take steps to mitigate your risk.
Here are the most common types of yacht insurance claims:
Striking submerged objects: What lurks beneath the water can cause quite a bit of damage to a yacht. Yacht insurance claims due to collisions with submerged objects are not unusual. Rocks, coral, submerged trees, stumps, floating logs, and other debris can become serious hazards. It pays to be cautious while in unfamiliar territory and vigilant in looking for possible threats. Download the latest marine navigation charts to ensure you know what to expect regarding safety depth contours and tides – and talk with other owners and captains who are more familiar with your planned route. If there’s been a recent storm, be especially careful to look for wreckage and debris in the water.
Adverse weather events: Mother Nature is responsible for many yacht insurance claims, unleashing high winds, big storms, hurricanes, lightning, and deep freezes. If you’re on the water or your yacht is moored when a storm hits, being tossed around can result in extensive damage. Lightning claims seem to be on the rise in the last few years. We’re seeing lightning deductibles on policies now as the cost and sophistication of electronics affected by power surges drive up claims.
It is essential to check the weather in advance and monitor it while you’re on the water. When docked, take steps to secure your yacht safely, perhaps investing in quality bumpers, a boat lift, or a suspension system to protect your marine investment during stormy weather.
Create a storm plan. Docking in a protected cove, stipping excess gear from the deck, and doubling up on dock and mooring lines is helpful. If there is a hurricane or tropical storm, hauling your vessel from the water is likely the safest plan. Ask your yacht insurance specialist about hurricane haul-out coverage. It reimburses all or some of the expense of having your yacht hauled out due to an impending tropical storm, tropical depression, or hurricane.
Collisions with other boaters: Many times, one of the vessels involved in a collision was moving too fast, or the captain was distracted. Sometimes a yacht will collide with a motorboat or someone riding a jet ski. In addition to property damage, liability is frequently part of the yacht insurance claims process when there’s been an accident of this nature. It’s wise to ensure whoever is operating the yacht is attentive, doesn’t speed, and understands boating safety. Taking a course that covers boat safety for larger vessels is very helpful.
Vandalism or theft: Luxury vessels are unfortunately a common target for vandals and petty thieves, generally when a yacht is moored. Thieves are typically after quick-sale items like electronics, jewelry, and sports equipment. Keep these items securely stored and away from easy view through windows. Covering your yacht when you’re not using it can deter would-be vandals and thieves, who generally look for easy access. Similarly, a sound security system and docking where there is full-time security can also mitigate your risk of vandalism or theft.
Fires on board range from faulty wiring or ignited fuel to mishaps in the kitchen or decorative candles left unattended. Fire can quickly spread on a yacht, causing significant damage from the fire and smoke. Be vigilant with fire safety and ensure that you follow guidelines for fire extinguishers on board. Inspect your vessel routinely for any problems or deterioration of wiring or the engine.
Do you have adequate yacht insurance coverage if any of these things happen to you? Contact the yacht insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance today for a complimentary review of your marine insurance needs.