Admiral Marine & World Cruising Club – Online Seminar Series Part 2 – The Marine Insurance Claims Process

Introduction…

During the Coronavirus of 2020, both Admiral Marine and long term partner the World Cruising Club, have teamed up to provide an Online Seminar Series to help answer key questions about Marine Insurance and the Marine Insurance Claims Process for Bluewater Cruising Yacht Owners.

The Online Seminar Series includes Jeremy Wyatt the Communications Director for the World Cruising Club, who’ll be asking key questions about the Marine Insurance Claims Process to Richard Chitty, the Claims Manager from Admiral Marine – Yacht & Boat Insurance.

Online Seminar Series Video Part 2 – The Marine Insurance Claims Process…

Complete Text Script Below Of The Marine Insurance Claims Process Video…

For those who’d prefer to read the complete text script of the Marine Insurance Claims Process Video, we’ve outlined this below for you, which includes; factual key questions and answers. If you’re interested in Part 1, please visit – Online Seminar Series Part 1 – Marine Insurance Explained.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

Welcome to our conversation about Yacht Insurance. With me, I’ve got Richard Chitty, who’s the Claims Manager for Admiral Marine – Yacht & Boat Insurance and we’re going to have a chat about ensuring a smooth Boat Insurance Claims experience. Now, Richard obviously this is the part of Yacht Insurance that people hope they’ll never get to, but if the worst does happen they’re going to be contacting someone like yourself; What, advice would you initially give a client who’s on the phone to you saying an accidents happened, for example?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

Yes, the sort of advice I would give will depend on whether he’s phoning up on the water, with a yacht broadside into his side or whether it’s the fact he’s back in port and is therefore reporting in fact that he had an accident on the water. What we would generally expect is for the client to let us know as soon as possible, that not only so that it’s fresh in the mind of the insured, but also that if there’s any mitigating action we need to take, that we can take it quickly to make sure that the damage doesn’t get worse to the boat.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

So, that might be for example arranging a boatyard to get an emergency lift out, where it’s taking on water for example. Is that the kind of thing you’re thinking about?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

Yes definitely, we wouldn’t want the boat to sink and therefore we would expect any person we insure, to do their best to minimize the damage to the boat. So, if it is taking on water, we would expect that they would get the boat lifted or put in emergency pumps to make sure that it doesn’t sink.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

What about, me as the client, what about if I have to take a tow or get pulled off a reef. We’re then into the issues of salvage and towage aren’t we, do I need to speak to my Yacht Insurance Company first? What’s the sort of situation from an Admiral Marine – Yacht & Boat Insurance perspective?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

It depends on the sort of urgency of the situation and the danger that you’re in, but if you are about to be blown ashore and you’ve lost engine power and your sails aren’t working and someone is coming past, it’s the express duty of other yachtsmen to come to your aid and the vast majority of the time fellow yachtsmen will very happily give you a tow to get you out of danger. Obviously, when someone does that, they’re obviously being put out of their way slightly and we would normally expect hopefully a bottle of whiskey or something, would be suitable to thank the person who’s helped you. But, in some circumstances we’ve had an abandoned Boat which was towed four or five hundred miles for us, in which case we were therefore very grateful for that and we were able to offer some salvage costs associated with that.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

And a Salvage Boat Insurance Claim would be covered under a Yacht Insurance Policy?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

Salvage Boat Insurance Claims will come about when you’ve got a professional company who are coming to your aid, in which case you really should agree at the time that there will be salvage. There is the Lloyd’s open forum which the salvage company might throw at you to ask you to sign, but it basically just lists the details of who you are, the circumstances you’re in, the date and that you agreed to be taken undertow. Then we would expect later on that you would get a claim from the salvage company, which you would put straight to your Yacht Insurance Company to handle for you, as any Third-party Boat Insurance Claim against you.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

So, let’s talk about the general Boat Insurance Claims process, can you just talk us through what the process is.  We’ll assume the incident has happened and has been reported, what happens next?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

What we’re very keen to do is to get photographic evidence, now everybody’s got mobile phones or iPads. Do record as many photographs as possible of the damage, we might not need them all, but it’s good to get an understanding. Particularly, if you’re in the Caribbean and it’s hard to get a surveyor to you to actually record the damage, so that we know the extent of it. We can then make some adjustments back here in the UK, as to what the next course of action should be. We’ve got access to a lot of surveyors, who are more than willing to look at the photograph for some damage to say that’s fine to carry on or no, you mustn’t use that.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

If, I’m in the Caribbean, would you expect me to complete a Boat Insurance Claim form or does it all transact via email these days?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

What we would expect you to do is to complete a Boat Insurance Claim form. The purpose of that is it does record all the details which we as your Yacht Insurance Company would require, so that we’ve got all the details of the incident, when it happened, date, time, who the third party was, if there’s a third party involved with it and what damage you believe has been done to it. Most Yacht Insurance Companies have those forms on their website, so you can Download A Form there or once you’ve notified us of a claim, we would send you a Boat Insurance Claim form to fill out.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

Let’s look at the perspective of a cruiser who’s in the Caribbean, had some damage to their Boat, that has to be worked on in a boatyard. Who handles the process of getting the Boat repaired, is it the client that has to do that or do you as the Yacht Insurance Company, do that?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

The client is normally responsible for getting the repairs done, partly because they’re actually local on the ground. We as insurers, depending on the extent of the damage which is why photographs are so important, would either turn around and say let the local yard provide an estimate for the repairs, or if it’s complex damage, it’s more than one thing and we’re concerned about it. We would find a surveyor, who we would then send around to you, to inspect and to write a damage report for us. Now, that report is very useful, because it’s normally specifies what work needs to be done to do the repairs and can be used by the repair yards to provide estimates for the repairs.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

So would you say it’s important not to sanction a repair until the Yacht Insurance Company has approved the work?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

We would wish nine times out of ten to authorize the repairs ourselves, in some circumstances a client has phoned up and said by the way I damaged my propellers coming across from Cowes last week. She’s out of the water, I’ve got some new propellers ordered and here’s the bill, which is not how we like to hear it. Because, what we normally would expect and most insurers would want, is that we would get a competitive quote from a second respectable yard, to make sure that the yard that the owners got his Boat in at the time, is not charging extortionate rates.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

And what about the actual process of payment, is it typical that the client would pay out and then claim back or would the Yacht Insurance Company pay direct, to who are doing the work?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

A lot depends on the finances involved, if it’s fairly minor repair work, we would normally expect the client to pay. Where you might need to order parts from Europe or from America, we would be quite willing to pay those costs to the supplier direct for it, but would expect the client to pay the local repair yard and then submit the receipts to us for paid invoices and we would settle up.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

Any other advice you want to give prospective clients for the planning process or what to do in an emergency?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

I think the most important thing from our point of view, is that we need to investigate, to make sure of the circumstances of the Boat Insurance Claim. To make sure that actually it is covered under the Yacht Insurance Policy, but also so that when an estimate comes through, we know whether it is justifiable and it is related to the incident itself.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

Are there some common things that are not covered, I’m thinking for example wear and tear or replacing old equipment with new, do you want to just talk through that sort of process?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

There is the wear and tear clause and if you’ve been using sails and they’re 15 years old and they get damaged, some Yacht Insurance Companies will turn around say actually you’re not covered for that, that’s wear and tear. Normally, mechanical failure if you’ve got problems with your engine, your gearbox, your clutch, unless it is related to an actual incident. For example, you piled something as a result it damaged the gearbox; that would be down as wear and tear.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

So, for example if the Boat gets a rope on the propeller that causes the gearbox to be damaged that is a Boat Insurance Claim, but if the gearbox fails because the client forgot to fill up with oil that’s not a Boat Insurance Claim?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

Yes, that is correct. So, where there has been an insurable event has occurred, a peril, you have fouled an underwater obstacle. Then, that is insured, but if it’s the fact that you had failed to do your maintenance. Then, it’s not, but each Yacht Insurance Company has there; own exclusions, which you need to read through on the Yacht Insurance Policy.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

And, if you’re not sure at the time of taking out your Yacht Insurance Policy, you should talk through with your Yacht Insurance Broker, what those exclusions actually mean?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

Yes, you should. It’s quite important to do that and here at Admiral Marine – Yacht & Boat Insurance, Dave and Cristelle, would explain the Yacht Insurance Policy to you.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

Are there any areas of a Boat Insurance Claim, maybe trip hazards or pitfalls that people commonly misunderstand, that you’d like to warn people about in advance?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

Yes, one of the most common pitfalls is where the insured thinks that they are insured and will carry on sailing or motoring, knowing that there is damage to the Boat. And, as a consequence of doing that, they cause more damage to the Boat itself and it’s an implied duty on the insured; that you are to act as if you are uninsured.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

Can you just explain that a little bit more, what it actually means, to act as though you’re uninsured?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

What it means, is that if you got a heavy vibration on your propeller because you’ve hit something, is that you should assume that you want to minimize the cost of damage, minimize the damage therefore minimize the cost of repair. Therefore, put yourself into the nearest port or stop motoring, put yourselves up and sail into nearest port to get the Boat lifted. So, we can get the repairs done, rather than carrying on motoring and as a result of that cause further damage to the engine mounts, or the engine, or the gearbox, or the shaft.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

The rule is you should always act to reduce the damage, therefore the loss?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

Yes, you should. In some circumstances, if an emergency situation arises and you can’t, then put those details in the Boat Insurance Claim form and if there is consequential damage because you’ve had to take some action to actually save the Yacht and further damage to the Yacht, then that would be covered. But if there’s an alternative and you’ve decided you didn’t want to pull into this island, but you want to carry on another 200 miles motoring with a damaged engine or something, we would find that very difficult to justify a Boat Insurance Claim for any consequential damage beyond the initial damage.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

Is there a typical length of time a Boat Insurance Claim would take to process or does it very much depend on where the boat is. If I’m a cruiser and let’s say I’m in the Caribbean and I’ve hit something, you’ve got to get the Boat lifted, checked out, how many weeks, months, am I looking at to get this process sorted?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

What we tend to do, is to discuss with the client exactly what their plans are and if the damage is such that they’ve got a Bent Pulpit or something like that. It doesn’t actually affect their crew, but they do need to get it repaired at some stage. They might prefer to actually carry on sailing with that damage there, but get it booked into a yard, where they’re going to be leaving the Boat over the winter. To, get the repairs done over the winter months or in the Caribbean, over the summer months. So, we do find with some Boat Insurance Claims we’re notified of the claim, we’ve got some estimates and what the costs are. But, actually the actual repairs have been delayed by six months or even longer and Covid 19 hasn’t helped. We had some claims, where it was decided to put the repairs back until the winter, and then we can’t get the repairs done and the boats are now only just getting repaired a whole year later.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

I think that’s an important point to make about Yacht Insurance, is it doesn’t cover you for the disruption to your cruising plan, if you have to fly home because the Boat’s in a boatyard. You’re not necessarily going to get covered for those sorts of costs are you?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

Generally speaking no, there are certain circumstances where we would cover you for a flight back out to go and pick up the boat to bring it back, if that was the case. So, if you were on a passage somewhere and the boat got damaged, I think our Yacht Insurance Policy allows travel to fly back out to pick the boat up to complete your journey.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

Because, there is this sort of grey area between, where my Boat Insurance Policy ends and where my Personal Medical or Travel Insurance kicks in. Any, advice on where that line might fall for people, who aren’t familiar with it?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

I think one of the general rules is that you can’t claim on your Travel Insurance, as well as on your Yacht Insurance, for the same expense. We would normally expect, if it’s a sort of travel related issue; that the Travel Insurance would pay out. Technically the travel agents, the travel insurers could get hold of us and say but you also cover it, we’ll split the cost 50/50. But, I haven’t personally come across that yet.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

So, basically we’re looking at the costs related to the incident that happened to the boat or the consequences of you being the owner of that boat, is effectively what we’re looking at isn’t it?

Richard Chitty From Admiral Marine Speaking…

Yes, it is yeah.

Jeremy Wyatt From World Cruising Club Speaking…

Well, Dave Andrew from Admiral Marine – Yacht & Boat Insurance and Richard Chitty, thank you very much for your contributions. It’s been really good to have you with us today and really appreciate the advice you’ve been able to share with people, so thank you very much and hopefully people will benefit and come and have a chat with you. Maybe, at one of our seminars, I know you regularly attend our seminar. So, the advice we’ve been talking about today you can give in person to people, if they come and see you.

Summary…

We hope you enjoyed the Online Seminar Series Video Part 2 – The Marine Insurance Claims Process and if you would like to see the first video in the series please visit – Online Seminar Series Part 1 – Marine Insurance Explained.

If you’re interested in Bluewater Yacht Insurance and would like to get a Yacht Insurance Quote for your Bluewater Cruising plans then please, complete our Get A Quote Form and our friendly, and experienced team will get back to you.

We’d like to thank the World Cruising Club for helping to put together this video series and we very much hope it has helped answer specific questions in more detail for Bluewater Cruising Yacht Owners in the UK, Europe and around the world.

If you have any further questions about Bluewater Yacht Insurance, ARC Rally Insurance, World ARC Rally Insurance or just general Yacht Insurance for the UK or Europe, then please don’t hesitate to Contact Admiral Marine and our team will be happy to help you.

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