Charter Insurance

As Sunsail’s Peter Cook says, “You never know what will happen on a boat.” Enter charter insurance, which is designed to cover you in case of a serious event—major loss or damage.In the well-established charter world of the Caribbean, the pattern is industry wide, though the actual amounts differ by company; the variables are the size and age of the boat and the location of the charter.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
SM0707CHARTEREDIT

As Sunsail’s Peter Cook says, “You never know what will happen on a boat.” Enter charter insurance, which is designed to cover you in case of a serious event—major loss or damage.

In the well-established charter world of the Caribbean, the pattern is industry wide, though the actual amounts differ by company; the variables are the size and age of the boat and the location of the charter. You will be required to leave a security deposit (the range among the 17 Caribbean/Bahamas companies listed in the October 2006 issue of SAIL is $300 to $5,000), usually a credit-card imprint, against minor damage or loss, and you may be required to purchase nonrefundable insurance—“yacht damage waiver” or “yacht security insurance”—at a daily rate (among these companies, the range is $20 to $50/day). Insurance for a racing charter has a higher deductible—probably around $3,000 for Sunsail, according to Peter Cook—and the security deposit is also higher.

The damage waiver allows you to buy down the deductible, limiting your exposure to, on average, $400 or $500 instead of $5,000, says Van Perry of The Moorings. If you buy it, the whole boat, including the dinghy and motor (worth a couple of thousand dollars), is covered against accidental damage. If you decline it, your security deposit goes up commensurately.

“It’s foolish to turn down this insurance,” says John Jacobs of CYOA Yacht Charters. “Most customers don’t lose or break things, but it’s common enough to hit a dock too hard and put a hole or major scratch in the hull, or even to lose the dinghy.”

In addition, charter companies carry liability insurance against damage to the boat and/or persons. The amount varies among companies, but is likely to be at least $1 million.

It’s worthwhile to note, and it’s spelled out in your contract, that you’re not covered if you’re sailing drunk, outside the defined charter area, or deemed to be grossly negligent—if, as Peter Cook puts it, you saw a boat sailing toward you, maintained your course to make sure you hit it, and then hit it.

If you still have questions after reading your contract, do ask a charter company representative. Domestic U.S. and Canadian charter companies may have different insurance arrangements, and it always pays to ask.

Related

IMG_7556

The Great Divide: Foiling vs Floating

I well remember the first time I ever saw a flying sailboat. I was on Narragansett Bay several years ago, test-sailing one of those old-fashioned boats—the ones with hulls that float in the water 100 percent of the time—when we spotted a foiling Moth speeding out of Newport like ...read more

04-Tamure,-pictured-during-a-Bermuda-One-Two-Race-some-years-ago.-300-dpi

Experience: Storms and Pirates

Most people have no idea what it’s like to be out on the ocean away from their comfortable lifestyle here in the United States. Back in the early 1970s, though, my wife, Kitty, and I spent four years circumnavigating the globe on our 30ft Allied Seawind ketch, Bebinka. Before ...read more

80_for OCC - 3

Racing: Ocean Cruising Club and Figure 8

The Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) has awarded its Barton Cup, the club’s highest award, to U.S. sailor Randall Reeves. The award comes in recognition of Reeves’ Figure 8 Voyage, in which he circumnavigated not just Antarctica but also North and South America, all in a single year. ...read more

IMG_6855

Charter: Florida's Gulf Coast

Last summer, I was delighted to be invited to join two of my girlfriends on a sailing trip—my third, no less! This trip would surely herald my promotion from nautical novice to savvy seafaring expert. I was to join them on a charter in Southwest Florida and sail along the ...read more

SF3300-Jean-Marie_LIOT

Boat Review: Jeanneau Sun Fast 3300

Though best known for its cruising boats, Jeanneau has long kept a hand in competitive racing with its Sun Fast line. The newest of these French-built speedsters is the Sun Fast 3300, which takes the place of the long-lived 3200. Design & Construction A collaboration between ...read more

03-200123_PM_MIAMI_31326_3065

U.S. Team Strikes Miami Gold

If there was ever a time for the U.S. Sailing Team, which has been experiencing a serious medal drought of late, to start peaking it would be now, with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics set to begin in July. Luckily, it appears the team, which has won only three Olympic medals since 2004, ...read more

shutterstock_1466239997

Charter: the Greek Isles

If there’s one charter destination that’s impossible to tire of, it’s Greece. This Mediterranean jewel is simply so large, so varied and so special it’s impossible to relegate it to just a single checkbox on a list. This past year a group of friends and I chartered from Navigare ...read more

IDECsport_180919_106-2048

IDEC Tri Breaks Tea Route Record

Francis Joyon and his crew aboard the maxi-tri IDEC Sport have set a new record for the “tea route” from Hong Kong to London of just 31 days, 23 hours, 36 minutes. In doing so they bested the previous record set by Italian skipper, Giovanni Soldini aboard the trimaran Maserati ...read more