Coronavirus Update

Rob Stevens
October 19, 2023

Many boat owners may be finding that as a direct result of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdowns imposed, setting sail is not presently possible.

Topsail have been approached by many clients querying the impact this is having on their policies, with the majority asking similar questions; -

- If I was required to be having a new survey prior to renewal but have been unable to get this carried out, where do I stand?

- Do I need to amend my policy to out of commission, or do I even need to bother insuring the boat at all this year?

Let us start with the survey requirement. It can be potentially difficult for you to undertake a survey at this time, either because you are not able to get to your boat or that there are no surveyors working or available. The financial regulators have set out clear guidelines of what is expected from insurers during these uncertain times and there is emphasis on the need for insurers to be flexible where possible. We are able to work with you as the owner to find a satisfactory solution so please do keep in touch and we can discuss your individual needs.

If the vessel is laid-up ashore or afloat out of commission, there may well be a reduction in premium and we are happy to discuss flexibility to amend or extend cover mid-way through the policy period. As such, if you find yourself in the situation of not knowing if you will be able to get out on your boat this year, discuss with us the possibility of opting for an out of commission policy for the duration of the policy period. You can then contact us when you can use the boat and we can make the necessary changes.

Obviously, the decision not to insure the boat is not something we would recommend. Even if not using the boat, there remains plenty of hazards that could lead to a claim, so do you wish to take the chance of being uninsured? Of course, this is a decision which needs to be made by yourself, but we would recommend that you consider the boat value and whether you can afford to self-insure your vessel.

Most moorings, marina and yards, will ordinarily require you to have at minimum third party liability insurance for your boat and this will most likely be a condition of your mooring contract. Be sure to check your contract to ensure you are adhering to the terms.

Topsail understand these are hugely uncertain times and many are being impacted as a result of this virus and we remain on hand to discuss any queries or concerns you may have and welcome any questions.

Stay safe.

Rob Stevens
Rob Stevens is CEO of Topsail Insurance Yacht and Motor Boat insurance specialists.

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