The Shipowners’ Club, one of the few P&I Clubs to offer specialist yacht insurance, has taken a new approach to yacht liability, offering an All-Risk policy that seeks to de-mystify aspects of the traditional wording contained in typical P&I insurance Rules and making the conditions understandable to non-specialist yachtsmen and brokers.
Conventional yacht insurance policies offered by both general commercial insurers and P&I clubs have traditionally featured complex wording using legal and maritime jargon which can be difficult to understand for anyone who is not a specialist in marine insurance. Ian Ferns, Shipowners’ Research and Development Manager, explains how the Club has tackled this problem, “Our new policy document – running to just 2,000 words instead of the original 40,000 – takes a common-sense approach to losses and liabilities and has very few excluded risks; the assumption being that everything is covered unless the policy states specifically that it is not. The policy aims to be all-embracing, making it much easier for brokers to recommend it to a client as a single package, rather than having to put together a variety of separate types of cover”.
A number of new features which will make the policy attractive to yacht owners; all-risk water sports cover, including perceived ‘risky’ pursuits such as water-skiing, jet-skiing and diving; greatly relaxed voyage restrictions in many regions of the world and cover for sailing yachts participating in organised races. The policy can also be extended to include personal accident cover for crew members, whatever their employment status or nationality.
The Shipowners’ Club hope that the new wording will appeal to areas of the yacht market that have previously found the P&I world a bit of a mystery such as the brokers who are not marine specialists but have yacht owners, fleet managers or agents as clients and wish to offer them uncomplicated, all-risk liability cover.
Ferns explains the Club’s strategy, “We knew that we had to adjust and simplify our traditional Rules if we were to be successful in attracting more business from the wider market. We spent a lot of time with our existing clients and brokers, discussing what they would like to see in a truly comprehensive liability policy. As a result I think we have come up with an extensive cover that is based on common sense, has far fewer restrictions, is easy to understand, and will appeal to the majority of yacht owners and their brokers.”