ASK THE EXPERT: CREW INSURANCE
What should you consider when purchasing a yacht crew insurance plan?
There are many crew insurance plans in the marketplace, and it’s important to find the right plan for you. Before you select a plan purely on price, consider what’s important to you in a plan. Do you need coverage for a specific medical condition? Perhaps you would like a plan which includes winter and water sports coverage, or maybe you’re looking to start a family and need maternity and dependent options? The itinerary of the yacht can also play a factor in the plan you select.
Not sure which plan is for you? Speak with a crew insurance specialist to help you choose the right plan to fit your current, or future needs, even after you leave the sea.
The boat you're on offers insurance, but how do you know if the yacht’s group plan is right for you?
Read the policy! It may not be anyone’s idea of riveting bedtime reading, but we do recommend that you obtain a copy of the insurance policy, or a good summary of its contents. Try to get a feel for what is covered and what isn’t. It’s better to understand the benefits and limitations of the plan before you need to use it!
What are your crew insurance options while between jobs?
Even though you’re in between jobs, it’s important to maintain health insurance coverage if you can. If your home country has universal healthcare, we would always recommend you maintain your social contributions, so you always have cover when home. If you were on a US based plan, ask about COBRA. Some US based insurance plans will allow crew members to continue their insurance for up to 18 months after loss of coverage. While the coverage will probably be better than a private plan, it’s also going to be quite expensive.
If you’re looking for an alternative to a major medical insurance plan, a travel insurance plan might be the right option for you. Travel insurance offers worldwide coverage and is priced considerably less than a full-time major medical plan; however, travel insurance does not cover you in your home country and it only offers coverage for accidents and illness, not routine checkups.
Are there tips to submitting a claim?
Be thorough. Make sure you have provided everything the insurer needs to evaluate the claim, such as a fully completed claim form with complete and legible bank details, itemized invoices, and proofs of payment. If anything is missing, the reimbursement will be unnecessarily delayed. It takes between 14 and 30 days for insurers to process a reimbursement claim, assuming they have everything they need to process it.
Mark BononiDirector, Yacht Division +1 954 828 1819
ABOUT THE EXPERT
MHG Insurance Brokers introduced crew benefits to the marine industry in 1991, and has been providing insurance advice and solutions ever since. The company's expertise sits within this specialised area which is regularly utilised as a resource by clients, helping them to interpret and stay up-to-date on regulations and legislation affecting the marine industry, especially in crew employment matters. While the company is very proud of this, it believes that what sets it apart is the customer service provided to each client from enquiry stage, through the claims process, and beyond. Its close relationship with the world’s leading insurance markets, combined with an outstanding service team, has positioned MHG Insurance Brokers as the marine industry’s authority on crew insurance.