Implications of the COVID-19 Crisis: What does it mean for me?
With the emergence of COVID-19, the sailing world has unfortunately experienced significant disruption as a result of new restrictions imposed around the world.
In response to this crisis, we at Pantaenius are adjusting our way of work so that we can continue to look after our customers and be available to answer any questions you may have. To help with this, we have produced some frequently asked questions concerning the coronavirus and its potential implications on yacht insurance.
These are unprecedented times for us all and we appreciate your co-operation as we find the best ways to protect and assist customers.
If I am unable to use my yacht as a result of restrictions related to COVID-19, do I still need hull insurance?
Even when your yacht is not in use, hull insurance should still be kept active. As demonstrated by previous claims, serious damage can occur regardless of whether or not the yacht is in use. Fire, force majeure, burglary and vandalism are some of the most common causes of damage on land. With this in mind, it is important to maintain your full cover so that you can ensure that any risk is left to us.
If I am unable to use my yacht as a result of restrictions related to COVID-19, can I get a reduction in premium?
If your yacht is to remain ashore for a minimum of twelve months then we may be able to secure a slight reduction in the premium (subject to minimum premiums). Any offer will be on the basis that the yacht will not be launched within twelve months of the date of the change. If this is not the case, then we are unable to change the policy.
I am unable to access my port due to an official order of closure. Am I still covered and what happens if damage occurs?
There are no changes to the insurances that you currently have in place in light of the Coronavirus outbreak or the measures that various countries are taking to protect their residents and/or to mitigate the spread of the virus. The yacht remains covered as per the terms and conditions of the insurance as do your legal liabilities to third parties. Provided the yacht is left in a secure location, such as a marina, and has been secured against theft, then your yacht will remain covered even where the normal gardiennage service has been suspended.
If you are made aware of any damage to your yacht please contact us a soon as possible.
I have entered a foreign port, but I’m now required to leave the country due to COVID-19 restrictions. How should I secure my yacht and am I covered for any additional costs this may incur?
Upon leaving your yacht, you must take all possible measures to minimise the risk of damage in your absence. A safe berth, suitable moorings, locking both the cabin and back boxes as well as ensuring sufficient ventilation are examples of how you can do this. If possible, it is advisable to assign a third party to regularly inspect your yacht. If this is not possible, provided the yacht is left in a secure location, such as a marina, and has been secured against theft, then your yacht will remain covered even where the normal gardiennage service has been suspended
There is no cover under the insurance for any costs, such as additional marina fees, incurred as a result of measures taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We appreciate that you may find yourselves in a position that may be difficult however at this stage; the insurance cannot be altered or extended to cover more than is already included under the policy. Due to its unprecedented nature, insurers did not envisage the current situation any more than our clients could have. Insurers have maintained that our clients will continue to be covered wherever they find themselves in this crisis, but only in as far as the normal terms and conditions of the policy apply. They cannot offer wider cover than is already provided or accommodate additional risks that arise because of the current coronavirus outbreak.
Due to circumstances relating to the COVID-19 crisis, I am currently unable to pay my premium. What can I do?
We at Pantaenius are aware of the financial hardship that this crisis may cause. If you are unable to meet your current payments, please contact us and we will work with you to find a solution.
My boat remains ashore as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions. Isn’t the risk to insurers reduced?
We are currently being told by many clients that where a yacht is laid up ashore, the risk is very low, even non-existent. Unfortunately, the number of claims that we receive for partial damage and even total loss, where the yacht is not being used, does not support this statement. Over half of the claims that we receive are for yachts that are laid up, out of commission. The risk is different, but not necessarily or significantly reduced. We have been made aware that some insurers are, in fact, increasing the premium where a yacht is laid up ashore for an extended period, as the risk is already being reassessed in the light of increased claims for fire, burglaries and vandalism, for example.