london The Isle of Man Maritime Group is hosting an evening reception during London International Shipping Week 2015 at historic Trinity House. LISW is one of the highlights of the maritime calendar with more than 100 industry events taking place in London from September 7-11. It is aimed at the movers and shakers from the international shipping and superyacht community. 

 

As official sponsors of LISW 2015, the Isle of Man Maritime Group’s “Nautical by Nature” event on September 8 will lead guests on a journey through the Island’s rich seafaring heritage to its current position of maritime centre of excellence.  Manx actors and musicians will bring to life the legacy of the Vikings; introduce the ringleaders of the Mutiny on the Bounty; remember the courage of Captain John Quilliam who was First Lieutenant on HMS Victory and set the scene for the inspiration of Sir William Hilary, who founded the RNLI

The music and drama will be showcased in the historic surroundings of Trinity House, the remarkable 18th Century headquarters of the Corporation of Trinity House, which has maintained British lighthouses since the 16th Century. Guests will be met by Isle of Man’s own sea cadets and guided up the grand, sweeping staircase to a reception on the first floor. All the rooms will be open to guests including the Pepys Room, the library and the reading room. 

Isle of Man Maritime Group Chairman, Bruce McGregor said: “LISW is the ideal opportunity for us to promote the wealth of maritime services and experience delivered on the Isle of Man. This event will celebrate our rich seafaring tradition and how we have evolved into a modern, technically astute global centre of excellence.” 

Guests at the reception will be able to meet representatives from the Isle of Man Maritime Group including the IOM Ship Registry; IOM Shipping Association; IOM Superyacht Forum KPMG; Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (Isle of Man); Döhle (IOM) Group of Companies; PDMS Maritime; Simcocks Advocates; MHG Insurance Brokers; Affinity Management Services and InterManager. To register for the event please visit the group’s website at www.iom-maritime.com or contact the group at enquiries@iom-maritime.com If you would like speak to someone from the group in more detail please contact Bruce McGregor on +44 (0) 1624 664000. 

LISW 

LISW will be the ‘must attend’ event of 2015, offering over 100 industry functions and unique networking opportunities for leaders across all sectors of the international shipping industry – regulators, charterers, ship owners, ship managers, bunker suppliers, lawyers, ship brokers, bankers, insurers, insurance brokers, commodity traders and brokers, ship suppliers, port operators, shipping service providers and many more. The UK is the leading centre worldwide for the supply of a broad range of professional and business services to the international maritime community, accounting for 21per cent of premiums in international marine insurance, over $64bn in committed ship finance (or 15per cent of the world loan book) and it has the largest concentration of legal service firms specialising in the sector.  London is also the predominant supplier of shipbroking services worldwide and is the major player when it comes to maritime dispute resolution. London is also home to the second biggest port in the UK. For more information, please visit www.londoninternationalshippingweek.com

The Isle of Man is "Nautical by Nature"

case studyHave you ever heard the saying, “You can learn the easy way, or the hard way!” Many say the best way to learn is through experiencing something that will have an impact on you, whether you personally experienced it, or someone close to you did. The important part is that whatever the impact was, it will motivate you to make the right decision. It could have been something bad that made you never want to go through that again, or something good that made you want to have the same result. The following is a case study of two different scenarios of clients who are experiencing the same issue. Both scenarios are handled in different ways, resulting in different outcomes.  

 

Scenario A

A client who takes a proactive approach to their health went in for their regularly scheduled ENG. During the screening portion of the physical, the doctor discovered a potentially harmful bacteria. Due to this client’s proactive nature of maintaining their health, the bacteria was caught before it had done any damage and they were able to have successful treatment with antibiotics. 

Scenario B

A client who doesn’t like to go to the doctor decided to skip their regularly scheduled ENG because the yacht they were on did not have it as a requirement. Several weeks later, they began experiencing stomach pains, nausea, and vomiting. They didn’t think much of the symptoms they were experiencing, attributing it to a stomach bug. A couple weeks went by and the symptoms continued to get worse. At this point, the client decided it was time to go to the hospital, where doctors discovered a developing stomach ulcer, caused by Helicobacter pylori. 

The Diagnosis 

Both clients had the same issue, an infection of Helicobacter pylori. Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers as well as stomach cancer. Much like Herpes, it is present in many people, 85% of people to be exact, and can go an entire lifetime without causing any issues. Our client from Scenario A was able to notice the infection early enough and have it treated before any symptoms presented themselves. Our client form Scenario B had a different fate that may have been avoided if they had their regular physical exam. 

The Cure 

Going to the doctor can be a hassle, especially for a yacht crew member who may rarely be onshore to do so. However, getting your check-up is important to decide your overall health, as well as to detect any issues early enough so that something can be done proactively. Get a routine physical each year, even if your yacht doesn’t require you to do so. Otherwise it may be too late by the time you find out you are having an issue, even if you don’t have any symptoms. Having good medical insurance is crucial too because if any issues do arise, you may need costly medical treatment. 

For more information on some of the dangers you can experience while docked, read our previous blog, “The Dangers of Being 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.

Yacht Crew Case Study: Regular Screenings and Physicals Can Be Life Saving

leaving shoreCaptain: “Is everyone ready to set sail?” If you are a member of a yacht crew, hopefully you will never have to think twice about whether or not you are ready to leave shore. Don’t find yourself in a situation where you forget something, or aren’t fully prepared to be at sea for an extended period of time. Follow our list to assist you when preparing for the next time you leave shore.


1. Passport

It is important to confirm that your passport is valid before leaving shore. Not only does it have to be valid on the dates for which you are expected to visit another country, but in some cases there are countries that require your passport to be valid long after you are expected to be there. This may be because they want you to be prepared for the unexpected. For example, if you are stranded and must stay longer than originally expected, there will be no worries about whether your passport has expired. 

2. Immunizations & Local Health Hazards 

Make sure all of your immunizations and vaccines are up to date. While you may know where you are headed, it is common for yachts to make unexpected stops. So it is a good idea to be updated with the vaccines of the entire area you are going to. Also, research and prepare for any medical conditions, viruses, etc. that are prevalent in the area. For example, the Chikungunya Virus which is spread by mosquitoes is spreading throughout the Caribbean. If you will be in that area, be sure to heave plenty of mosquito repellent, and wear the necessary protective clothing. 

3. Locations

There is a chance that you will be heading to a place that you have never been to before. Do your research, and try to become familiar with the location. Learn any major roads or landmarks that can help you navigate the area. Know where medical facilities are located. Also, your guests may ask you for some assistance with directions, or advice on any activities and excursions that the location has to offer. 

4. Emergencies 

Familiarizing yourself with the emergency procedures of certain situations is always a good idea before leaving shore. Even more so if this is your first trip, or have recently switched vessels. Different yachts can have different procedures and rules, so prepare yourself for any unexpected issues that may arise. 

5. Insurance 

Even though this is the last thing on our list, it is the most important! Having the right health insurance coverage is critical when abroad. Anything can happen no matter where you are in the world, so having the proper coverage can be the difference between financial peace of mind, and financial disaster. There are many yacht owners who have the entire crew under one plan, however if you are required to find your own insurance, don’t hesitate to give us a call! 

Having proper insurance is important whether you are at sea, or docked at a shipyard. For more information on some of the dangers you can experience while docked, read our previous blog, “The Dangers of Being 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, or would like some advice, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com.  

5 Things for Yacht Crew to Complete Before Leaving Shore

maritime workersNobody wants to think about getting injured on the job, especially if that injury will keep you from being able to work. However, if you work in the maritime industry, there is a good chance that you may not have to worry about what will happen if you do experience an injury. Thanks to the United States Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA also known as USL&H), those who work in the maritime industry and fall into certain categories, will have coverage backed by the federal government, not just the state. Having a peace of mind when it comes to coverage can help rid your life of the question, “What’s going to happen to me if I’m injured at work?” 

 

The Mission 

There is one mission when it comes to the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, to assure the coverage and minimize the impact of injuries and death for employees and their families. This is done by ensuring that workers’ compensation benefits are provided under law. 

The Details 

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act provides workers’ compensation for anyone working in a marina or on the water. It protects you from injury and occupational disease while on the job. Benefits are only available to those maritime employees who meet certain criteria known as a “Status” and “Situs” test. 

Status Test- The Status Test has to do with the work that is performed by the employee. Basically the test decides whether you are performing “maritime” work. This is important because in order to be eligible for benefits under the act, it must be determined that employees are performing “maritime” work for the employer. 

Situs Test- The Situs Test has to do with the location that the employee has performed the work. After determining whether a worker is a maritime employee, they then have to determine if the work was performed on, near, or adjacent to navigable water. 

The Benefits 

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act gives employees to the power to file claims for injuries that happen while at the workplace. Much of workers’ comp is through state legislation, however being that this one is administered federally, you can have the option to use both your state’s system as well as the federal system, just not at the same time. The Federal Process is a lengthy one, but it’s good to know the coverage is there for when the employees need it. The state coverage can provide benefits while the federal reviews the benefits available under the USL&H laws. For those that are content with receiving benefits from the state, you should know that state workers’ comp benefits are 60% of wages, while the Longshore Act is 2/3 of your wages. Workers’ compensation insurance should be a top priority for all businesses. 

If you would like more information on workers’ comp or the LHWCA, or are interested in purchasing a workers’ comp policy, or any other form of business insurance, or group health insurance for your employees, please contact us at 954-828-1819 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to cover your company’s risks appropriately. For more information on marine general liability, read our previous blog, “Why Do I Need Marine General Liability? I Have Commercial General Liability. Isn't That Enough?

Explaining the United States Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

flag stateEver wonder why a yacht or ship had a certain flag on the back of it? Or a certain city and country under the name of the ship? No, it’s not just a flag of their favorite country, or where they are headed next. Believe it or not, those flags and countries have a significant purpose in the maritime industry. A flag state, or flag of convenience, is the state that a yacht or ship is registered or licensed under. Meaning that they have to follow the laws of that state. 

 

Why Do Yachts and Other Vessels Need a Flag State?

If there were no flag states, then who would regulate vessels traveling through the seas? Where would their jurisdiction begin and end? Typically, a vessel needs to be registered under a flag state for international voyages. It’s considered illegal to sail the seas without being registered, much like it is illegal to drive without a license, so think of flag states like the DMV in the United States, or the DVLA in the United Kingdom. 

Why Is Choosing the Right Flag State so Important? 

Choosing the right flag state is very important. There is a reason many commercial vessels register their flags offshore. It can impact how successful you are as a business, by having to follow certain employment and tax laws and other variables that can keep money from reaching your bottom line. It can also have an impact on your liability and privacy. This is why it is typical for many vessels to register offshore with a flag state that may be more “lenient” with certain laws, in order for them to make their business as successful as possible, or for owners to save as much money as possible.

Open Registry vs. Closed Registry

There are different types of registries, open and closed. Open registries allow vessel owners to be registered under their flag of convenience, and can staff a crew of many different nationalities. A closed registry is open only to vessels of that particular nation and must employ crew from that nation. 

The Most Popular Flag States 

The most popular flag state is Panama, with almost a quarter of ocean vessels registering there. Other popular flags include Liberia, Marshall Islands, Malta, Singapore, and Hong Kong. For those that are curious, the most popular flag state for yachts is the Cayman Islands, and the most popular flag state for cruise ships is the Bahamas, with many cruise lines having their ships registered there. Part of the reason yachts and cruise ships are registered in these countries is because the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas have open registries, allowing them to hire large groups of people from around the world, while not having to follow strict employment laws, like the ones that exist in the U.S. or Europe. 

Do you work onboard a yacht or cruise ship and do you have marine crew insurance? Read our blog, “5 Things You Should Know About Crew Insurance.” If you do happen to have the insurance you need, do you know that you may need to precertify to make sure you have the coverage that you thought before heading into a procedure? Read a previous blog, “What Is Precertification?” for help. For specific medical questions or emergencies you should always contact your insurance carrier directly. If you have any general questions about precertification, your current plan, or are interested in purchasing marine crew insurance, contact us at mhginsurance.com or call us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to assist and guide you to the best coverage for your budget.

What Is the Purpose of a Flag State?

adviceAs insurance brokers we are here to help! Part of that assistance is our expert advice that we provide. So we thought it would be a great idea to ask our employees, “What is one piece of advice you would give your clients?” 

 

Mark Bononi- Director, Luxury Yacht Division 

Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Typically, health insurance that has a lower cost will not have the same amount of coverage as one that costs more. If you are looking for health insurance that fits you best but you have a budget, seek advice from someone who knows what they’re talking about, and is experienced on the matter. 

Edward “Mole” Telfer- Director, Cruise Division 

Providing a solid employee benefits package can be the key to attracting and retaining the industry’s best employees. Use a “Rolling Benefits Strategy” to build up your benefits over time. 

Janine Jeffries- Director, Business Insurance Division

Give your agent a complete picture of the business and description of operations. Each business has unique attributes. The more your broker knows, or has a better understanding, the better we can do our job. Also, be sure to ask questions. You would be surprised how many needs are uncovered during a Q&A session with your broker. 

Stephen Beck- Manager, Life & Health Division

I would advise our clients to not WORRY about “What if?” but to ASK about the cost of insuring themselves against each “What if?” that concerns them. Just ask, “How can I protect myself in the event of a ________________?” We have the answer. 

Joanna Drysdale- Manager, Underwriting Services 

In our field, insurance isn’t just about protecting yourself against financial loss or covering your contractual obligations. It’s also about showing your employees that they’re valuable to you. Hanging on to a great bunch of crew season after season is worth so much more than the savings you make by skimping on crew benefits.

JW Haagensen- Account Executive, Inside Sales 

Disclose all current and past medical conditions when applying for insurance. Insurance enrollment forms are a contract and if you fail to reveal a portion of your medical history or provide incomplete information, the insurance company could cancel your policy. No matter how minor it may seem, it’s important to advise your entire medical history and keep a file.

Steve Jackson- Consultant, Yacht Division

Find an insurance broker who really knows their field. Having an understanding of the real life of a captain and his crew as well as the technical knowledge of the insurance industry is invaluable. 

Clayton Swart- Manager, Business Development 

Whether you’re purchasing group insurance for your employees, insurance for your business or an individual plan for you and your family, it’s important to understand your policy. I know that insurance documents can be boring, but it’s really important that you read through them to make sure you understand the benefits and limitations of the plan. If you find anything confusing, it’s better to address those points before you need to use the plan.

MHG is here to help and provide assistance with all of your insurance needs. Whether you are looking for marine crew insurance, health insurance, life insurance, travel insurance, expatriate insurance or insurance for your business, we have the experience and knowledge to help you find the right policy. Please contact us at +1 954-828-1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. Let our insurance specialists find you, your family, or group, the best insurance available for your budget.

If You Could Give One Piece of Advice to Your Clients, What Would It Be?

Miami International Boat ShowThe Miami international Boat Show is here, and the Palm Beach International Boat Show is just around the corner, which means one thing for yacht crew, BUSY! Boat Shows can be a fun way to mingle and network with your peers in the yachting industry, those who are looking to get into the yachting industry, and let’s not forget those that want to go just to see all the boats. However, it can be quite a busy time for yacht crew with all the events, parties, and functions to attend. And that’s after working all day. There are some things you should be aware of when attending a Boat Show, especially if you are visiting from out of town, which can slip your mind in the midst of everything going on. Here is our list of things to be aware of when visiting a boat show.


1. You May Lose Your Health Insurance If Your Boat Sells 

Boat Shows are a great time with, big parties, events, speakers, and networking. It’s easy to forget the purpose of the show, to sell boats! If you are a crew member of a boat that was sold, it is possible you will lose your health insurance. Be sure to know what the aspects of your insurance plan are, and talk to your captain about what happens if your boat does indeed sell. If you do lose your insurance, it’s not the end of the world, we can help you with that!

2. Temporary Floating Docks 

Temporary floating docks could potentially be a hazard for someone who isn’t experienced walking on them.  They do not offer the same support as a permanent, sturdy dock, and can also be very narrow, weaving in and out of boats like a maze. Someone can easily lose their balance and fall in the water. For those who do have experience walking on docks like these, it is important not to be complacent, and always use caution. 

3. Over Indulgence

It can be very easy to over indulge at a boat show, or any gathering for that matter. Especially after working hard all day and wanting to enjoy yourself at night. With people handing you drink after drink, having a good time with those around you, it can be very easy to lose track of how many you may have had. Being a little intoxicated, walking on floating docks, being in an unfamiliar place, can be a sure recipe for an accident. If you are planning to indulge and don’t want to get too intoxicated, try having a drink and following it with water. 

4. Knowing Your Surroundings 

People travel to boat shows from all over the world. Many of those people aren’t familiar with the location, which may cause some problems. For one, if you have an important meeting at the show, you wouldn’t want to get lost and be late or miss your meeting. Another reason it would behoove you to familiarize yourself with where you are, is in the event of an emergency. It’s always a good idea to know where the closest hospital or Urgent Care facility is located. 

5. Stress 

With everything that is going on at a boat show it can be quite easy to get stressed. There are so many events packed into one short weekend, and let’s not forget all the work to be done on the yacht. You can be overwhelmed quickly. So try to remember to enjoy yourself and have a good time, and remember you are at one of the coolest events in the world!

Don’t forget, the Miami International Boat Show starts February 12th and ends February 16th, and the Palm Beach International Boat Show is March 20th- 23rd

For more information on what’s currently happening with Yacht Crew Insurance, read our previous blog, What Does Cuba’s Opened Borders Mean for Your Insurance? If you are interested in purchasing Crew Insurance, or would just like to talk to us for more information or advice, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. MHG has the Insurance Specialists to get you, your family, or group, the best coverage for your budget.

5 Things to Be Aware of When at a Boat Show

Cuba¡Hola Cuba! It might be time to brush up on your Spanish now that border restrictions between the United States and Cuba have been loosened. For those that don’t know, recently there was a shift in policy by the President of the United States easing travel restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba, which may soon open a wealth of opportunity for the travel and tourism industry, especially since it’s only 90 miles south of Key West. Many U.S. based insurance companies will begin to pay for claims and reimbursements that they previously never used to.  Does anyone know how to say insurance in Spanish?! 

 

Cuban Coverage 

As you could assume, many Americans, and possibly yachts, will be looking to include Cuba as a destination to see the beaches and other sites, since that it has been off limits for the past 50+ years. With many expected to travel to Cuba, statistics show that accidents are bound to happen, so it is important to know if your insurance provides coverage. If so, any expenses should be covered under the standard term of the policy that you have. So you will have the same coverage in Cuba that you would anywhere. As long as you are visiting under “legal” methods, your policy should provide you with coverage, depending on the carrier. 

Coming Soon 

It is important that you continue to check with your insurance agent whether or not your policy has changed yet. We know of three carriers that have said they will honor claims made from Cuba, and can only assume that others will soon follow. So if your carrier doesn’t cover now, it may very well in the near future. Insurance carriers will also be working over the next couple months to create a doctor network, which will be very helpful to yacht crew and tourists alike. 

Health Concerns

Keep in mind, many Americans more than likely have never been to Cuba, so it would be smart to be prepared for different scenarios. There could be health concerns such as the chikungunya virus that is prevalent throughout the Caribbean. Also, in the event that you do fall ill or require medical attention, be sure to keep vigilant to prevent any fraud. Don’t fall victim to being overcharged. For example, if you are paying $3000 for a checkup, your insurance is not going to reimburse you for that. This is just a consumer beware, not a need for concern, and definitely not an accusation against the Cuban medical environment. 

Keep in mind that all of the changes that are forthcoming are new, and new information can present itself at any time. Be sure to check in regularly to stay aware of any updates. 

If you have any questions about your yacht crew insurance plan regarding Cuba, or are interested in purchasing travel insurance or expat 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 crew insurance, read our previous blog, "5 Things You Should Know About Crew Insurance." MHG has the insurance specialists to assist and advise you, your loved ones, group, or business, on all of your insurance needs.

What Does Cuba's Opened Borders Mean for Your Insurance?

MHG58At MHG Insurance Brokers, we make sure that our yacht crew clients are insured in the event of a medical issue or an accident, but we also take an interest in the everyday health and safety of our clients. Today we would like to provide a round up of information from our friends and partners that are experts on Yacht Safety Drills. If you have a story or comment about onboard safety drills, including ways to make a drill fun or memorable, please leave us a comment or join the discussion on our Facebook page. 

 

1. Make drills fun. 

A common discussion in yacht captain forums is how to run safety drills. As one commenter in YachtForums.com mentions, anything that breaks up the monotony of daily tasks is usually a welcome break, but making a safety drill fun and competitive will not only help get crew involved, but also makes it easier to recall the procedure under times of stress, when you really need it.

We have an annual contest to see who can get into their survival suit the fastest- you'd be surprised how fast those times are when there is an iPod or $100 (plus bragging rights) on the line for the winner.
To read this discussion in full, click here 

2. Spread the knowledge. 

Our second point is a reminder that all crew need strong safety skills, even those skills that may not usually fall under their responsibilities, and it comes from Dockwalk's article on Safety Drills.

Know your stuff. Throughout your yachting career you will receive varying levels of safety training from sea survival to first aid, but keeping these skills fresh could prove to be invaluable in an emergency. “Recently, I was running a drill during which the crew role play. [In this drill,] a lot of the crew had been seriously injured, including the boats medical officer,” says Capt. Nick. “Our allocated deputy [medical officer] had to step up to the mark. I asked her to talk me through the CPR procedure. It was fairly obvious that she had forgotten much of the basics and I realized that refresher courses should be part of our training schedule.”
To read this article in full on Dockwalk's webpage, click here. 

3. Consider the learning styles of your crew when going through drills. 

There are three types of learners: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. In other words, we all commit things to memory using sight, sound, or touch. In order to help all crew remember procedures, consider testing them in using each of these ways. For example, demonstrations will help visual learners, asking crew to repeat information will help an auditory learners and hands-on practice will aid kinesthetic learners. For more on learning styles, click here.  

4. Consider security drills as well as safety drills.

According to a recent article in The Triton by megayacht stew Alene Keenan, safety is just one important drill that should be considered part of crew responsibilities.

The importance of security training is finally being recognized and is now mandatory for all crew on ISPS-compliant yachts. Many young crew think the STCW code consists simply of the four modules of Basic Safety training required to get our first yacht job. Perhaps we don’t think about the relevance of security awareness training unless security issues touch us individually. For me, the relevance of this came about as a direct result of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. I was the new chief stew on a yacht based at Chelsea Piers on 23rd street. We saw it all happen. We were not able to move the vessel because our engines were disabled and so we ended up volunteering. Security drills are mandatory and best practices have been formulated to mitigate risks of a security breach. Ship security plans detail the procedures to follow in the event of an incident. But on that morning, we did not know what to do or what to expect.
To read Alene's article in full, click here. 

5. Take responsibility for yourself. 

Regulations and drills are one thing, but when it comes down to it, safety is everyone's responsibility. If you are a chef onboard and cannot tie a knot, you may come to regret not taking the time to learn basic seamen skills. No matter what position you are in, ask questions, grasp as much familiarity with the boat and the tasks that each mate manages, and consider the additional learning not only a resume builder, but a potential lifesaver.  

5 Things to Know about Yacht Safety Drills

MHG53When it comes to international yacht crew insurance, being as open and forthcoming as possible, both before and during the time you are insured, can be critical to having a successful insurance experience. When you ask people about their medical status, the most common response is “I’m fine”. Unfortunately many people often... shall we say... “overstate” how healthy they are.  Normally, this will not bode well once a claim against insurance is made. 

 

Let’s review the 5 most common pitfalls: 

1. Non-disclosure of a past medical condition

Not only can this be a dangerous situation for you and your fellow crew, but it also sets up a scenario where in a worst case, your insurance could be cancelled. Insurance enrollment forms are a contract, and misrepresentation or incomplete information can render your insurance policy void. It’s important, no matter how minor it may seem, to disclose your entire medical history (and keep a file).

2. Non-disclosure of an ongoing medical condition 

Accurately representing your health to the insurance company (and even your insurance broker) is really important. Many people don’t realize that taking a regular prescription drug is significant in the eyes of the insurer.  When the claims start coming in for the cost of those medications, the insurer is most certainly going to start asking questions and that’s likely to take you down the path of having your claims denied. With all of the necessary information, we can provide you with personalized support that works for you. 

3. Overstating the recovery of a previous illness or injury 

It’s important to be careful about saying, “I’m fine” after recovery from an illness or injury. This is particularly important with back, shoulder and neck injuries.  With the work that you do, we often see crew returning to work before they really should and that doesn’t always give the body time to fully recover. Not being in pain, may not mean you are fully recovered. 

4. Non-disclosure of all the facts at the time of claim

If you have an injury or illness and you need to make a claim, it is important to fill out the claim form completely with as much detail as possible surrounding the circumstances.  This may include an incident report, or possibly a police report(!) along with your own personal narrative, which can be valuable.  Withholding information usually will simply result in your claim being delayed or otherwise declined.

5. Waiting until you have insurance to see a doctor     

This is the most critical item of all the pitfalls, when it comes to your wellbeing.  Do not delay seeking medical attention until you have health insurance. Not only are you putting your health at risk, but once you do see the doctor, the insurance company will probably not pay your claim because you had the condition prior to purchasing insurance. This is a standard clause in most international insurance plans, the language says something to the effect that treatment should have been sought previously by a prudent person. So please be prudent! The key to a successful insurance experience starts from the very beginning and goes all the way until you are no longer in need of health insurance. 

The MHG team looks forward to seeing you at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and will be on hand to answer all of your questions about yacht crew insurance, US health insurance, sick pay / disability income, life insurance and travel insurance. See you at booth 727B located in the USSA Pavilion located in the Yachting Tent! If you’re not attending the show and are still interested in learning more about the different types of insurance that we offer, please call MHG Insurance Brokers at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com to find the insurance plan that perfectly meets your needs.  

Yacht Crew Insurance: Putting All the Cards on the Table