April 30 2015

Better safe than sorry: Care about insurance before your yacht charter holiday starts

Have you already booked your next yacht charter holiday? Congratulations! But let´s talk about insurance before you leave on a jetplane. Sure, there are nicer things to think about than crashes, a discussion about the deposit or the lost winch handle. But choosing an insurance that fits your needs may prevent you from severe financial loss.

yacht charter insurances

Most important: Skipper`s Liability Insurance

The Skipper`s Liability Insurance covers the statutory liability of the policy holder in his capacity as a charterer and operator of a yacht. In detail, it covers damage to third party, also when gross negligence is proven, and claims of the crew members among one another. Most oft he insurance agencies specialised in watersports offer an insurance policy for the exact period of your holiday. If you charter twice or more times a year, ask for an insurance that covers for one year and an unlimited number of days at sea.

Saves your deposit: Charter deposit insurance

Before you leave the charter base, you place a deposit of about 1.500 to 4.000 Euros. In case that you damage the charter yacht, for instance by scratching the hull or touching an underwater obstacle, parts of the deposit or – worst case – the whole deposit will be retained by the charter company. A special insurance called Charter deposit insurance protects you from this financial hazard. When checking the quotes of different insurance agencies, make sure that also theft and loss of dinghy and outboard engine are covered.

With these two insurance contracts, the main financial risks of a charter holiday are covered. Further on, you may think about these insurances:

If you fall ill: Travel health insurance

Within the EuropeanUnion, all EU citizens should be fine with their health insurance card. Doctor´s offices and hospitals will accept it without any difficulty. If you are planning to go to more remote regions, e.g. the Caribbean, things look different: You have to pay in advance for your therapy. Some of the expends will be refunded by your health insurance company, but not necessarily the whole amount. A travel health insurance covers this gap. It also covers the costs of a transport back home if you have fallen seriously ill.

If you can´t go on holiday: Travel cancellation insurance

You think it will never happen to you? Well, a friend of mine also shared this opinion and was proven wrong painfully. She booked a trip the Caribbean just some weeks in advance and didn´t consider a travel cancellation insurance as necessary. Two days before her flight, an old knee injury came back to force, and she couldn´t move but on crutches. That was really bad luck! An insurance at least would have recompensated her financial loss.
So think about travel cancellation insurance! Some companies even cover the bankruptcy of the charter company. The insurance also covers if you have to interrupt your holiday for any reason. The deterrent fee, though, is quite high – about 20 percent.

What if the charter company is bankrupt?

The euro currency crisis also caused some trouble in the charter market and, as a consequence, some charter companies went bankrupt – a heavy loss for their clients who never saw their partial payment.
Your payment can be considered safe if you choose a trustworthy charter agency that works together with long-established charter fleets. There are several associations of charter companies whose members obligate themselves to fair prices and a reliable transfer of clients` payments.
Some agencies hand out an insurance certificate as a financial guarantee. This certificate saves your payment if the agency or the charter company goes bankrupt.
Felix Wolf

Felix Wolf is co-founder and owner of YachtBooker. He is a charter skipper himself and enjoys discovering new sailing areas.

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