There Are Only 3 Things That Matter When Choosing Your Classic Yacht Insurance – Value, Value & Value!
Welcome to the final part of this short series about Classic Yacht Insurance. In Part 1 we looked at issues surrounding the insurable value of your classic yacht and the following piece (Part 2) looked at the overall value of your insurance programme.
We mentioned in Part 1 that classic yacht owners tend not to opt for the cheapest insurance quote but tend to look for value. In Part 3 we take a subjective look about the value you put on your Classic Yacht Insurance itself.
When I talk to my commercial clients about their Marine Trades Insurance I often describe insurance as a building-block system. A new venture with cash constraints will typically put the very basic, essential protection in place and then build on it as their business develops, their exposures become greater and their cash-flow improves. Yet while we, as insurance brokers, can offer great service, great advice and a great comparative price, insurance can still be regarded in many cases as a grudge buy. The same comparisons can be made for personal insurances including yacht insurance.
You can start off with a policy that costs under £100 when you buy your first boat for around £5,000. But as your passion in sailing develops and you scale-up your yacht then your investment and liabilities also scale up. At this point, it’s really time to stop thinking of insurance as a necessary evil and view it as you would an essential piece of your classic yacht’s equipment.
You might have acquired a 1930s Ketch and lavished the thick end of £200,000 on a 2-year refit and plan a season’s sailing in the Caribbean. You’ve had the best craftsmen lovingly restore her hull, perhaps invested in some custom-built fittings – the very best money can buy; you’ve even invested in some additional training courses. But, all of a sudden, the thought of parting with £1,200 on your insurance suddenly becomes all too much.
Now, I know you’re going to think “Well he would say that wouldn’t he” but my advice to owners of classic yachts is to view your Classic Yacht Insurance in the same way as you would any piece of vital equipment for your vessel and you invest in the best you can afford.
This does not mean abandoning the principles of value we examined in the previous part. It simply represents a move from one paradigm to another. Better design or restoration, better training and better kit can help you sail faster, safer and in greater comfort and your Classic Yacht Insurance can be and should be viewed in a similar fashion.
A flexible cruising range enables you to sail further and enhance your yachting experience, an excess waiver in respect of damage to your classic craft whilst in a marina could mean getting some or even all of the cost of your premium back in the event of a claim and working with an insurer or broker with an extensive network of classic boatbuilders might mean you can get back to indulging your passion on the water thanks to a prompt repair carried out by professional craftsmen.
Working with a broker who might be more expensive than dealing with an insurer on a direct basis but who has a hands-on approach to your claim could make all the difference from getting your claim settled to your satisfaction or not getting it paid at all. When you open that locker in the event of an emergency do you want to reach for a distress flare that might work or one that will work? Do you want a liferaft that might deploy or one that will deploy? Do you want your GPS signal to pinpoint your position or give a rough approximation?
By moving to a paradigm where you view your insurance as a another valued part of your classic yacht’s systems and equipment you can get more out of your sailing and from your investment in your classic yacht.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this three-part mini-series about value and Classic Yacht Insurance. If you have any feedback on this piece or you missed Parts 1 and/or 2, please contact Mark Elcocks at IRCM at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Elcocks is the Specialist Risks Executive of Independent Marine & Yacht Insurance brokers Insurance Risk & Claims Management Ltd.