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Key Considerations for Tender Insurance - Top Tips from Pantaenius

With superyacht tenders and toys that can cost the same as a small yacht themselves, ensuring your insurance policy is up to the task is crucial. Often overlooked, this aspect of superyacht insurance is becoming all the more important. Read our advice for avoiding incidents and perfecting your policy.

Q&A: Olivier de Roffignac and Michelle van der Merwe

How many tenders does Pantaenius insure?

We insure approximately 5000 superyacht tenders – from limousines to RIBs, open tenders, owner’s launches and everything in-between.

What agenda items should owners be looking out for in contracts to best protect their tender?

It is always important to check the quotation, contract and policy wording carefully. When it comes to coverage for a tender, particular areas to review in detail are:

  • The actual extent of the insurance cover within the All Risks clause under the Hull insurance
  • The insured values
  • Any warranties or subjectivities related to tenders
  • The list of exclusions
  • The deductible to be applied for insured damages to the tender
  • Whether there are any restrictions on usage of the tender away from the mothership
  • Whether there are any licensing or qualification requirements in the contract wording for the crew using the tender
  • Whether there are any towing restrictions
  • Onshore storage requirements if the tender is in winter storage
  • If shipping cover is included/excluded if the tender is being shipped by cargo across the Atlantic or Pacific.

Also important to check is what crew insurance is in place for the tender –i.e. if you have 1 or 2 of the main yacht’s crew using the tender all the time, they should be insured for their time on the tender for medical/accidents? And, also vital to check, is that there is sufficient liability insurance in place for the tender as this is where accidents can happen.

What are the most common requests you receive regarding tender insurance?

The most common queries are with regard to day-to-day operations.
Can we tow our tender? – This would be subject to insurer’s agreement in advance and adherence to the towing conditions that are  on the contract.

Can we use the tender separately from mothership?

This would be subject to insurer’s agreement in advance and depends on the distance apart, the reason for the trip and, if an on-going arrangement, it may be necessary to organise a separate policy for the tender.  It also depends on whether the tender is registered separately from mothership, in which case it is advisable to insure the tender on a separate insurance policy.

Can a guest/owner drive the tender/use the toys? 

This would depend on flag state regulations, any requirements/restrictions in the local waters where the tender is cruising and whether the insurer would agree to this.

Can we store the tender ashore for the winter?

Usually the hull insurance would cover this, subject to the tender being stored in a locked and secure area, but it is advisable to check with your insurance provider.

Are there any special protocols to protect a heavily customised tender?

We recommend sending an in-depth appraisal of the tender to your insurance broker/agent. The insurer will then advise on any additional premium, conditions of usage and storage, and also if the deductible will increase in the event of a claim. This will help you understand what is insured and this transparency of information will benefit the client in the event of a claim.

Do you have any further tips on how to tow a tender safely?

We have specific wording we provide our clients with, when they ask if they can tow a tender, and this must be adhered to for a claim to be considered.  First we assess the risk, i.e. the type of tender being towed, the towing circumstances and we check if we need to increase the deductible/increase the premium.

Then we apply the towing conditions, which include:

  • No towing in forecasted wind speeds exceeding Beaufort Force 4.
  • Stable weather conditions for 48 hours and max distance to next safe harbour 60nm.
  • Professional towing bridle to be installed and in use at all times during towing operations.
  • Tracking device and rear camera to be installed and operational at all times whilst being towed.
  • No towing between hours of sunset and sunrise.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

An important point to highlight is that tenders have a heavy usage, whether day or night, and are sometimes operated at too high a speed in crowded areas. Therefore it is essential that the tender is piloted by an experienced crewmember.

After the very worrying and limiting period we have experienced during the pandemic, I hope everyone can start to enjoy the sea and the pleasures of yachting again this summer, while remaining safe.

PANTAENIUS - a reliable partner
How important is certainty and peace of mind…

of experience guarantee an exclusive service approach and the most efficient claims management when you need it most. Today over 100,000 yacht owners put their trust in our family-owned Company.


worldwide enable us to provide 24 hour support in ten languages and comprehensive service through personal on shore insurance managers who guide our clients through the entire process of insurance.


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