Kids getting ready to jump off the back of a yachtWhether it’s the Deckhand that sustained serious head trauma from a motorcycle accident while ashore on boat’s business or the Captain that experienced a severe heart attack while on vacation, MHG has seen a wide array of yacht crew insurance claims over the past 20 plus years. While these examples are tragic and catastrophic, it is also important to be prepared for the more common yacht crew insurance claims that can be less serious but have the potential to keep you off work.

Knee Injuries

Knee injuries are responsible for a large percentage of the insurance claims filed by yachties. Yacht crew perform their duties while balancing on moving decks, which exposes them to an increased risk of incurring a serious knee injury while performing seemingly safe activities. Some of the more adventurous crew leisure activities, such as scuba and other water and winter sports, can result in knee injuries that may not be covered by standard crew insurance policies; make sure your comprehensive yacht crew insurance policy specifically includes coverage for your favorite leisure activities.

Hernia, Back, and Shoulder Injuries

Repetitive strain injuries are often seen in crews on yachts, as they are constantly performing similar tasks in the same small spaces. Hernia, back, and shoulder injuries abound; yacht crewmembers may need to undergo surgery as well as a considerable number of physical therapy sessions in order to make a full recovery from these injuries. Injured crew members may be unable to work for extended periods of time as they undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation. This can leave yacht crew in a financially precarious position unless they have marine disability income insurance in place to provide a significant portion of their salary while they are recuperating.

Gastrointestinal Issues and Other Illnesses

Gastrointestinal issues and regional illnesses are some of the most common medical hazards faced by yacht crews. Food poisoning, unclean water, local parasites, and diet changes can result in serious gastrointestinal issues that can necessitate on-shore doctor visits and even hospital stays. Make certain you have an international health insurance policy from a carrier that has resources to provide information in the particular regions to which you will be traveling and has, or can, establish doctor and hospital relationships, to ensure you have access to qualified care wherever you are in the world. Selecting the right yacht crew insurance plan can be difficult.

The experienced Insurance Specialists at MHG Insurance Brokers will help you sort through the terminology and key features to determine the best plan for your unique circumstances, coverage requirements, and budget. Once you have chosen a policy, we will continue to assist you with questions about the coverage it provides and guide you throughout the claims process.

MHG Insurance Brokers offers a wide range of yacht crew insurance plans including international health insurance, US health insurance, sick pay/disability insurance, life insurance, and travel insurance. Solutions for individuals, groups, and fleets are available. Call MHG Insurance Brokers today at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com to find the yacht crew health insurance plan that perfectly meets your needs.

Be prepared for the more common yacht crew insurance claims that can be less serious but have the potential to keep you off work.

Family budget plan including different types of insuranceEveryone tends to focus on the need for health insurance, we certainly do here at MHG. However, the fact is, there are several other types of insurance that you should have before you are sufficiently covered. While each person has different needs and different circumstances, almost everyone can benefit by having additional coverage for other things besides medical expenses. Here are some other types of insurance to consider, each of which have a specific role in protecting you and/or your family.

Disability/Loss of Income Insurance

Disability coverage can often be financially more important than health insurance. For example, consider someone who had an accident and could not return to work for a few months or longer. Not only are there medical bills, but there is no income to help pay normal daily living expenses. If that person was working on a ship/yacht/boat, maybe in addition there are other land-based costs that were not there while onboard (Rent!). This is a recipe for financial disaster, but having disability insurance can help by providing you with income when you cannot work.

Life Insurance

Life insurance is simple. It is a policy that helps protect your loved ones from the present and future financial losses they would face in the event of your death. There are many different types of life insurance, but they all have the same primary purpose. The best way to determine whether or not you need life insurance is simple, EVERYONE should have it! Even if you do not have family members depending on your income, wouldn’t it be great to leave a legacy by designating your favorite charity as the beneficiary upon your death?

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is an inexpensive and easy way to make sure you have coverage for accidents or illnesses when you travel outside the range of your existing insurance at home. It is also a great way to fill in gaps when you are between jobs (as long as you aren’t living in your home country). Travel insurance, like the other insurances above, comes in many variations from the most basic emergency cover, to coverage that includes the cost of your trip should you be unable to take it or complete it. It can have provisions for loss of luggage, repatriation benefits, and of course it can meet Visa requirements for certain countries that may require insurance as part of being granted entry.

Whether you have questions about your current yacht crew health insurance plan, or are looking for additional coverage such as sick pay / disability income or life insurance, the Insurance Specialists at MHG are glad to be of service. Call us today at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com.

While each person has different needs and different circumstances, almost everyone can benefit by having additional coverage for other things besides medical expenses.

Yacht Crew: Urgency or Emergency?

Medical Rescue arriving on the scene for an emergency onboard a yachtWhen you get sick or injured, taking prompt and appropriate steps often determines how quickly (or slowly) you recover from the condition. However, this does not mean that the best course of action is to always head to the nearest hospital Emergency Room (if you are ashore) or to declare SOS, simply because you need a tissue. With regard to your health insurance and also in an effort to get prompt care, Urgent Care facilities are often the best place to go, if you aren’t going in an ambulance. In contrast, sickness or injury onboard, no matter how minor it may seem, should be treated with the utmost care and as an emergency. Some of the most common mistakes that are made regardless of where they happen include:

· Getting injured and then getting up and moving right away

· Not notifying anyone of something that happened or that you don’t feel well

· Continuing to ‘work through the pain’

· Not asking for help

· Spreading whatever you might have among the crew or guests

· Making the assumption that you will be fine

While any or all of these may be in play at the same time, the key is to realize when your behavior matches any one of these and to take corrective action before it gets worse. You should have your own onboard medical protocols and procedures readily available, and you also should be familiar with them in the event they are not accessible at the time of the incident.

With injuries, it can be difficult to know if something is a bad strain or sprain, or whether it’s broken. Don’t test it to find out! Instead, don’t move unless you absolutely must and ask for help. Once the situation has stabilized, have it evaluated by a medical professional onboard or at the nearest port.

On the other hand, you have some sort of illness that is making you feel uncomfortable, the key is to determine what it might be as quickly as possible, and take appropriate actions to treat the condition. In the event of a suspected contagion, isolate yourself as soon as you can.

Certainly there are any number of different medical situations that can arise while at sea or ashore. Some are of Urgency, while clearly others are an Emergency. The secret to a successful outcome in any case is knowing what steps to take, whether it is you, or a fellow crewmember that needs assistance. It’s also important to know what requirements you may have under your health insurance and/or P&I insurance for notifying the appropriate people about any accidents or injuries that might occur. That way the proper coordination may be made to facilitate costs of treatment and coordination with the hospital/doctors/facility that provide you with care.

Whether you have questions about your current yacht crew health insurance plan, or are looking for additional coverage such as sick pay / disability income or life insurance, the Insurance Specialists at MHG are glad to be of service. Call us today at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com.

Sickness or injury onboard, no matter how minor it may seem, should be treated with the utmost care and as an emergency.

insurance brokers on the phone explaing benefits that aren't in the insurance contractWhen looking at what insurance plan is best for you and your crew, there are the typical thoughts that come to mind. How much is the premium? What is the deductible? Will my primary physician be in network? Yacht crew have a specific set of needs when it comes to their medical insurance plan, even more than just international coverage. What about many of the benefits that may help yacht crew, that aren’t in the insurance contract? Which is why it is so important to get to know the service and support side of yacht crew insurance. The following are several of the different points that you should be thinking about when selecting your yacht crew insurance plan.

Help When You Have a Need

The first point is pretty self-explanatory. Some companies have better customer service than others, whether it is the insurance carrier or the broker. If you don’t work in the insurance industry, it is quite easy to get confused by terminology and policy wording. Even just understanding how your policy works can be a challenge. You want to make sure you are partnering with companies that will be there for you in your time of need, whether guiding you through a medical emergency, or answering a basic question.

Stuck Paying the Entire Medical Bill

One of the more common issues seen across yacht crew insurance is crew members stuck paying for the entire medical bill and then claiming back. The main reason is because yacht crew travel all around the world, making it easy to go to a doctor, or an office, or a hospital that isn’t in your network. This is why it is so important to always ask for assistance before seeking care (especially a potentially higher cost treatment), and having a service minded insurance company can greatly assist.

Top Rated Doctors in Network

A complaint that many have regarding the medical industry is how someone can trust a doctor they know nothing about. This is especially true if you are in a foreign country with a different healthcare system (and possibly a different language!) than your home country. Do they use different practices? Different medicine? One way to combat this issue is by using a carrier that has global knowledge and experience. They may be able to help guide you to doctors who have a higher rate of successful outcomes for the type of care you need, in the area you are located.

24/7 Assistance

Medical emergencies don’t wait, and they don’t only happen during normal office hours. If a crew member is having an emergency at 3 a.m., the last thing you want to hear is a voicemail telling you that someone will contact you during business hours. It is important to make sure your insurance carrier is available and responsive 24/7.

Having proper insurance is important whether you are at sea, or docked at a shipyard. MHG is your specialized broker when it comes to crew insurance. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to find the policy that works best for you. If you are interested in purchasing, or have any questions about yacht crew insurance or travel insurance, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. For more information on the importance of having a proper insurance plan, read our previous blog, “Why Yacht Crew Should have a U.S. Friendly Insurance Plan”.

The following are several of the different points that you should be thinking about when selecting your yacht crew insurance plan.

Yachts docked in Fort Lauderdale, FL in the U.S.Yacht Crew, and other professions that require world travel, need special medical insurance plans. Plans should include international coverage, a support system that can guide them when in need in a foreign country, and repatriation. While many different areas of the world offer these types of insurance policies, yacht crew should be considering certain aspects of the plan other than just international coverage. For example, if a crew is working on a vessel that is spending a great amount of time in the United States or the surrounding waters, they may want to consider having a U.S. friendly insurance plan. Here’s why:

1. May not be recognized

If you happen to get sick while in the U.S. and need medical attention, you will want the process to go as smoothly as possible. However, with non-friendly U.S. plans, the doctors or hospitals may not recognize the plan. This may result in an initial denial of insurance, leaving you responsible to pay for your treatment, which can be particularly expensive in an emergency situation.

2. May need preapproval

Many times, with an international medical insurance policy, you will have to get preapproval of your treatments before you receive them. Which is a bit different compared to how things work in the U.S. Typically, doctors and hospitals are well versed in the different types of insurance, and with a U.S. friendly plan, you will be able to go and get the treatment you need without having to stress about the insurance part. After all, if you are needing to use your insurance, it is because you are in pain or are ill, and the last thing you will want to do is have to stress about getting your insurance approved before you can get treatment.

3. There may be a delay

Typically, if you have insurance that is not U.S. friendly, it is because the country where the insurance is offered is not in the Americas. Whether it is Europe, Asia, etc. the insurance company will be in a different time zone, making communication difficult, potentially resulting in delays. In the event of an emergency situation, the last thing you will want to hear is “we cannot get ahold of your insurance carrier”, or “we left a message and are waiting for hear back from them”. Also, it should be noted that in other parts of the world, insurance is not handled with the same urgency as it is in the U.S.

4. Different benefit structure

While the above issues can cause a headache for you when trying to use your international medical insurance plan in the U.S, this particular issue can cause a headache for the doctor’s office or hospitals. Depending on where you can your insurance, there will be a different benefit structure than what medical personnel in the U.S. are used to seeing. Since they will be unfamiliar with the benefit structure, it will only add to the stress and issues you are dealing with when trying to use your insurance.

Having proper insurance is important whether you are at sea, or docked at a shipyard. MHG is your specialized broker when it comes to crew insurance. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to find the policy that works best for you. If you are interested in purchasing, or have any questions about yacht crew insurance or travel insurance, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. For more information on preparing to work on a yacht, read our previous blog, “Yacht Crew Case Study: Customer Service Can Be Life Saving”.

Yacht Crew, and other professions that require world travel, need special medical insurance plans. Here's why:

Your Life Insurance May Not Have International CoverageDo you have Life Insurance? It’s a question that many don’t want to think about for obvious reasons. Some believe that Life Insurance isn’t a priority because they procrastinate, or are waiting until a life changing event that will motivate them purchase a policy. It’s a fact, the benefits that a good life insurance policy can supply your family and loved ones are too good to pass up. Many people have life insurance and believe that they have coverage until the day they die. However, in some circumstances that is not the case, and it’s not because your term life policy expired. So maybe a better question would be, do you have International Life Insurance?

Do I have international coverage?

Many people do not know that their life insurance policy will not continue to offer them coverage if they happen to move to a new country. Typically, if you are in a foreign country for 3 or more months, your life insurance will not offer the coverage that you have been paying for. This is part of the “small print” that many may not know about. So if you are a world traveler, or hope to move to a foreign country one day, or are an expat who looks to settle down back home when you are done with your career abroad, it may be smart to look at your policy and see if you are covered.

Does international coverage exist?

There are several life insurance options that offer international coverage, and will pay the death benefit for expats or others who unthinkably pass while not in their home country. I know you’re wondering if having international coverage makes your premiums more expensive, but in many cases the premiums are in the same ball park as life insurance policies that don’t have international coverage, sometimes even less! Usually the only thing that will affect your premium is the policy amount, your age, and any health problems you may have.

Do I need international coverage?

As I stated earlier, having Life Insurance should be a priority for everyone. If being away from your home country or the country where your life insurance policy was purchased for an extended period of time applies to you, then international life insurance should be a priority. Deciding if you need the extra coverage is the easy part, now comes what type of policy is right for you!

There are many things to take into consideration when making the decision of which type of policy is best for you, your family, or loved ones. Are you interested in purchasing Life Insurance or International Life Insurance? Would you like some more information regarding Life Insurance options that are available to you? Would you like to ask some questions to a Life Insurance expert? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, please contact us 954-828-1819 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com and talk to one of our insurance specialists for help in selecting Life Insurance and other coverage to ensure that you and your loved ones have the protection you need at every stage of life.

Do you have Life Insurance? Maybe a better question would be, do you have International Life Insurance?

group of hands of a yacht crew team Good work is as hard to find as good workers are to keep. Anyone that works in a Human Resources role can attest to the difficulty of attracting workers, keeping workers happy, and making sure employees are motivated. This can be even more true when talking about yacht crew members. Crew members are constantly moving from one ship to another for many different reasons. The following tips can help you formulate a plan to help keep your crew on your vessel. They can also help to motivate crew in general, as workers may work harder knowing that they are being ‘taken care of’ or feeling grateful for the position they are in on board.

Salary

The most obvious thing that can motivate someone to work for you, or to work harder, is money. Are your wages competitive in within the industry? Depending on what someone’s title is, they can make anywhere from $30,000 to almost $500,000. By offering competitive salaries, crew members may be more inclined to come work for you and may think twice before deciding to leave.

People They Work With

One aspect of employment that can be considered priceless is the people that work with you. While this applies to many jobs, it carries even more weight with yacht crew members. One reason is because crew are essentially family. Would you want to live and work closely with someone you didn’t like?

Itinerary

Many crew members decide what yacht they may want to work on by looking at the itinerary. One of the benefits of being part of a crew is getting paid to sail around the world, and visit places you may have otherwise never even considered going. Also, some crew members may only want to stick to certain areas they are familiar with, or places they consider safe.

Vessel Size

The size of the yacht can be a deciding factor in where someone decides to work. After all, the larger the yacht, the better it looks on the resume. Not to mention there are more positions to fill, giving you the opportunity to work with more people. Let’s not forget also, that a larger yacht can also mean a higher salary. Some crew prefer the environment of a smaller yacht, where there are often less personalities to work with and sometimes a less strenuous work environment.

Insurance Benefits

The last tip, and probably most important one, is offering a complete insurance benefit package for you crew. While money is important to sustain your life, without your health you won’t have a life to live. Sailing around to world, going from country to country, leaves those who work on board at risk if something ever happened to them. Where would they go? Who would they talk to if they didn’t speak the language? Not having to worry about paying what could be thousands of dollars for an emergency medical situation can be the ultimate benefit for a yacht crew member. Having other coverage such as benefits for lost wages, routine care, dental and vision are also key components to providing a complete package.

Having proper insurance is important whether you are at sea, or docked at a shipyard. MHG is your specialized broker when it comes to crew insurance. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to find the policy that works best for you. If you are interested in purchasing, or have any questions about yacht crew insurance or travel insurance, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. For more information on preparing to work on a yacht, read our previous blog, “Yacht Crew Insurance Terms 101”.

The following tips can help you formulate a plan to help motivate your yacht crew and keep them on your vessel.

Young couple meeting with a insurance brokerMany people in the insurance industry work hard to avoid the bad reputation that insurance typically carries. However, people often jump to negative conclusions about anything involving insurance. Time and time again, we come across people who have the wrong idea of what an insurance broker is and why they are actually advantageous to the consumer. We have heard they are a waste of time, waste of money, and only care about making their commission. Being a dedicated group of insurance brokers, we can tell you that those descriptions are often false! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but when we hear information that is incorrect, it encourages us to step in. Do you know what an insurance broker does?

If you know the answer to, then you are already aware of all the benefits of using an insurance broker. If not, learn why you should be using one. Take the time to find a quality, reputable broker to work with you in fulfilling your insurance needs. Not only will it be time well spent in the beginning, but it will also serve you well for the entire time that you have insurance needs, whether you are working on a yacht or wherever your travels may take you.

Brokers Can Offer More of a Selection

One benefit of an insurance broker is the selection of policies and plans. Typically, brokers can help you select insurance from a variety of different companies. Different insurance companies offer different plans, so having access to plans from multiple companies can afford you the opportunity to find the coverage that fits you best.

Also, depending on the insurance brokerage they may sell different types of insurance, allowing you to have a one stop solution for all your insurance needs.

Brokers Do Much More Than Sell Insurance

While brokers may act as the middle man between you and the insurance company, they can be so much more than that. An insurance broker will conduct research for you, file and assist you with the claims process, and work to get you the best coverage option for your situation. Often times a broker has direct connections with decision makers at the insurance companies so you may not have to sit on a 1-800 line for a long time, only to learn someone doesn’t have the authority to help you. Brokers also know which carriers provide consistent service, allowing you to avoid companies that may not deliver the level of care that you deserve at time of claim.

We Work for You

As brokers, we do not work for any insurance company, we work for you! Our goals are to please you, and make sure all you questions and concerns are handled. If you think about it, with all the benefits of using an insurance broker, it is certainly better than just going out and buying a policy from an insurance agent. Will an agent fight for you and your best interests?

Having proper insurance is important in every aspect of life. Whether you are at sea needing international coverage, looking for proper life insurance coverage, going on a vacation, etc. MHG is your specialized broker. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to find the policy that works best for you. If you are interested in purchasing, or have any questions about marine crew insurance, travel insurance, U.S. life and health, expatriate insurance, or property and casualty, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. For more information on debunking insurance broker myths, read our previous blog, “Debunking 5 Myths About Insurance Brokers”.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but when we hear information that is incorrect, it encourages us to step in. Do you know what an insurance broker does?

caution sign in reference to MLC compliant insuranceAs insurance brokers, our number one priority is to look after you, the client. Our focus is making sure you have the coverage you need, that you are taken care of, and we are ready to fight for you regarding any claims or issues you are experiencing. Since we have your best interests in mind, it is troubling when we come across other insurance brokers and agents claiming to offer MLC compliant health insurance policies, because actually there is no such thing. It is prudent to have health insurance, but there is no rule in MLC requiring you to do so. Let me explain.

What is MLC?

MLC stands for Maritime Labour Convention, and is a code that was started in 2006 that helps protect crew members who work onboard ships and other vessels. Basically it is a book of different items that ship Owners are liable for in the operation of their vessel. It was implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO), and should be followed by all commercial vessels or else face potential fines, detention or even vessel arrest. For more details on MLC, visit ILO.org for more information.

Don’t Believe the Hype

MLC does require ship owners to have some insurance in place (called Financial Security). Insurance like permanent disability, accidental death, and some other non-medical items like repatriation. But, it DOES NOT require ship owners to provide medical insurance! Where things tend to get confusing is that MLC requires ship owners to be liable for medical bills. While we highly recommend you to insure your crew so that you are not liable for the full amount of medical bills, MLC only requires you to cover the bills.

Work with Someone You Can Trust

It’s hard to count on someone that you can’t trust, so why would you leave your medical insurance to someone who does not provide you with accurate information? If a company is advertising MLC compliant insurance, do you think they have the knowledge, experience, and research capabilities to help you? Work with someone you can trust, after all there is a good chance you will be reaching out to this person or company in a time of need or desperation, make sure you can count on them.

What About Private Vessels?

As stated before, MLC is only applicable for commercially operated boats. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be offering insurance to your crew if you’re a private vessel owner. Any owner would like to attract the best crew possible, and having benefits that protect them could help to secure the best workers.

Having proper insurance is important whether you are at sea, or docked at a shipyard. MHG is your specialized broker when it comes to crew insurance. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to find the policy that works best for you. If you are interested in purchasing, or have any questions about yacht crew insurance or travel insurance, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. For more information on preparing to work on a yacht, read our previous blog, “Yacht Crew Insurance Terms 101”.

There is no such thing as "MLC compliant" medical insurance, and here's why.

brown paper ripped showing the text uncover the factsIt seems as if every day we hear myths regarding insurance brokers. We often find ourselves debunking false statements and explaining to clients that they received inaccurate information. Sometimes, people or products get a bad reputation that is unwarranted, for whatever reason. So here are five common myths that may have given the term insurance brokers a bad name.

1. “Insurance brokers are more expensive”

Have you ever heard the saying, “brokers make you broker”? That saying could not be further from the truth. In contrast, working with a broker can actually save clients both time and money, in addition to frustration. Insurance brokers receive their compensation from insurers, but that does not (or should not) cloud the judgment of a good broker to recommend whatever policy is most appropriate to the situation as presented by you, the client.

2. “Insurance brokers work for the insurance company”

There are a lot of people who think that insurance brokers work for the insurance company, however again that is not correct. A broker advocates and works on your behalf. Basically, they work for you! Yes, they work with the insurance company in order to deliver proper coverage to people, however their concern should always be their clients.

3. “Insurance brokers are just a middle man”

While brokers may act as the middle man between you and the insurance company, they are so much more than just a middle man. In many cases, an insurance broker will conduct research for you, file and assist you with claims through the entire process, and work to get you the best coverage option for your situation. Often times a broker has direct connections with decision makers at insurance companies so you don’t have to sit on a 1-800 line for 20 minutes to talk to someone that doesn’t have the authority to help you.

4. “Insurance brokers can’t offer the best plans”

Insurance brokers can offer the same plans that an insurance company does, for the same premium as going straight to the insurance company. In fact, going through an insurance broker shouldy give you more value for your dollar simply because of all the added benefits that an insurance broker will perform for you.

5. “Insurance brokers aren’t as knowledgeable”

Insurance brokers are very knowledgeable. They spend all day, every day dealing with insurance. They know the industry, they live and breathe insurance, and they understand all the confusing terminology and phrases, which hopefully they can explain to you in a straightforward, no nonsense way. They also know the insurers, and the people who work there, which is a significant advantage over you calling a toll-free number and hoping for the best.

Having proper insurance is important whether you are at sea, or docked at a shipyard. MHG is your specialized broker when it comes to crew insurance. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to find the policy that works best for you. If you are interested in purchasing, or have any questions about yacht crew insurance or travel insurance, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. For more information on preparing to work on a yacht, read our previous blog, “Yacht Crew Insurance Terms 101”.

Sometimes, people or products get a bad reputation that is unwarranted, for whatever reason. Insurance brokers are one of them, read more.