Marine General LiabilityFirst, let's define Commercial General Liability and Marine General Liability. 


Commercial General Liability Commercial General Liability policies protect business owners against claims of liability for bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury (slander and false advertising). 


Marine General Liability Marine General Liability policies are the same as General Liability policies except they are designed specifically for those who work at sea. These policies include coverage for Marine Contractors and others who work on or near water. 

Commercial General Liability does NOT cover Marine  Liability 

As you may have read in one of our previous blog posts, Marine General Liability vs. General Liability, we explained that General Liability excludes marine work. A General Liability policy doesn’t include watercraft or water sport coverage; including the ownership, maintenance, and use of watercraft owned by you, the insured. The client or shipyard/vessel may never know about these exclusions by just looking at a certificate. It’s in the policy wording- which brings up the fact that an experienced insurance broker could help you when it comes to the specifics of policy exclusions and/or benefits. 

Many Marine Contractors don’t offer their employees full coverage on liability insurance, partly because many of them do not know that Commercial General Liability doesn’t cover anything that happens on or near the water. Since their workers are not covered, this can create a substantial problem. If something were to happen to one of their workers, the contractor could be liable and not have any coverage to protect them from a lawsuit. 

Why didn’t I Know about This? 

Marine Contractors purchasing the policies want to save as much money as possible, so they often choose the cheapest policy; however, they are taking a huge risk working without the proper coverage. Without proper coverage the policy may not be worthwhile at all, so what you may be saving could end up costing your livelihood! Also, since shipyards, vessels, and ports don’t look into the coverages provided by workers on a certificate, they let them work with improper coverages, not knowing the exclusions that the contractors have in their policies. This is where the problem arises, since the shipyard is also liable and won’t be covered in the event of a loss or accident. 

Why aren’t Marine Contractors Covered?

General Liability policies generally have a cheaper cost than Marine General Liability policies because they have so many exclusions. Your underwriter (who will develop the policies you need and assesses what premium you should have to pay), should take into account your risks - more risks, such as working around water, means more coverage needed - which determines whether your premium is high or low. So having more coverage is what makes a Marine General Liability policy more expensive than just a General Liability policy. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. 

If you have any more questions, would like further explanation, or want to change your General Liability policy to a Marine General Liability policy, please contact us here at MHG Insurance Brokers by calling 954-828-1819 or visiting mhginsurance.com. We would be happy to assist you with all of your insurance needs.  


Why do I need Marine General Liability? I have Commercial General Liability. Isn't that enough?

resume imageThe yachting industry is entering a busy season of boat shows and symposiums. Our yacht crew insurance clients, especially captains, have been chatting with us about the best ways for crew to find their perfect job. With their help we have put together the following tips on creating the perfect multi-national resume for the marine industry. Building a Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) can be a difficult and daunting task. A resume directly represents yourself to an employer, and many times it is a first impression. Add to that, the multi-cultural  environment of our industry and the task becomes more difficult. You should demand it be unparalleled, filled with professional experience, qualifications, strengths, and key skills catered toward the job you want. You wouldn’t go to a job interview poorly dressed and unprepared, so why treat your resume that way? Get your resume looking like it’s dressed to the nines by following these helpful tips. 

 

Absolute Musts 

There are a few things you must include when it comes to building a yacht crew resume that you may not think about. 

1. Include a photo.  

If you have ever worked in an office, you know that this is not a norm in the corporate world, but in the yachting industry, appearance is important. Your photo should signify that you are friendly and professional. If you have a uniform from your current or previous job, that would be the best option to wear. No sunglasses! Take a look at this photo of our own employee, Johanna as a good example

2. State your nationality and any visas/ work permits you carry.  

3. Note all languages you speak (don't forget your mother tongue!) 

4. State whether you are a smoker or not (and quit if you are!)  

It doesn't really pay to lie here. You will have to live and work side by side with the other crew, so eventually habits will surface.

5. Clearly define your objective.  

Make sure your objective matches the job that you are applying for. You don't want to state your objective is to become a Captain if you are applying for the job of 1st Mate. 

6. List your yachting qualifications.

If possible, include the number of nautical miles traveled. It's not necessary, but as captains scan resumes, if your number is high, it could give you a leg up on the competition. As you consider your yachting qualifications, be sure to include the size and type of boat, the time you spent at the position, the position(s) held, and the locations you covered during your time onboard. If you have any unique experiences to share, consider adding them. One good friend served as Chief Stew on a 162m. yacht in the Mediterranean. When the boat hit issues during a storm, she followed evacuation protocol ensuring the safety of all crew and guests onboard. Engineers will need to include technical information for each boat, Chefs could include any specific events or unusual situations, and so on. 

7. List your experience. 

Should you have any experience outside of the yachting community, here is where you would include it. If your experience is extensive, this is a good area to cut.

8. List your education. 

Obviously if you have maritime education, that should go first. If you have university experience, be sure to state it. If not, it can be helpful to include high school (or equivalent) experience. Be sure to clarify the type of school; we work in an international and multicultural industry and names and titles of schools or accreditations are not always clear. 

Absolute Don't

For one, it’s especially important that you don’t lie about any of your experience. The industry is small - captains communicate - and eventually they will find out. 

Structure and Layout 

When it comes to building and structuring your resume’s layout, it is important to ensure your resume is easy to read - the most important things should stand out - and easy to scan. Most captains collecting resumes at the Fort Lauderdale Yacht Symposium & Job Fair will collect a stack of resumes. To stand out and create a great first impression, make sure your resume gives an organized, clean impression. Keep the length to one page, unless you are a very experienced professional who is applying for a very experienced position, then you can use more than one page,  but no more than two! Don't overcrowd the page, make sure you list the most important elements first, and provide contact information for you that is up to date (we recommend including an email address and Skype address, but leaving a mailing address off as your resume could be kept in the boat files for a while and you may have moved on by the time they reach out to you). Don't use more than two fonts or overuse the bold or italic fonts and more than anything CHECK YOUR SPELLING. 

What else should I include? 

Include interests and hobbies. When interviewing for most jobs or careers this wouldn’t be a factor, but again, considering you spend all your time on the boat, captains or yacht owners may want to grasp what you do in your spare time. This can be especially helpful when it comes to your interview. Having something in common with your interviewers can help you to build a good rapport and let them see the ways you would be a good fit for the boat. 

No one likes a Big Ego 

The culture in the U.S. expects job prospects to act confident when building their resumes and attending interviews, whereas in Europe and other places throughout the world, the culture expects job prospects to be more humble and modest. As a result, being in an international career, try to find a middle ground between the two. A good tip to help in this aspect is to write as if you are writing your resume for someone else. For example, if you were writing a resume for a peer, you wouldn’t boast about them, you would be very direct and to the point. This also goes for any interviews or face-to-face meetings.

The Yacht Symposium & Job Fair (October 9-10, 2014) 

All of these tips and information will be incredibly valuable in preparation for the Yacht Symposium & Job Fair on October 9-10, 2014. The event will be held in the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center, where you can see me speaking from 3:30-4:00 pm on October 10th about Crew Health Insurance and the Maritime Labour Convention. 

The final word... 

Having a great resume on hand can make or break a career, no matter what the industry. When you save your resume, use a cloud document service like Google Drive or Dropbox so that you can easily share it from your cell phone no matter where in the world you are. And before you go in for any interview, always do your research, which leads to our question for you: 

Question: What was your best or worst job interview?  

The worst interview I ever conducted was one in which I asked, "Why are you a good fit for this position?" and the response was, "What is the position?"


Call MHG Insurance Brokers today at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com for help finding individual or group yacht crew health insurance plans that perfectly meet your needs!

Yacht Crew Resume Guide and Helpful Tips

Yacht Health Insurance Advise for Onboard Safety Hazards Falls don't "just happen," and people don't fall only because they get older. Many falls are linked to a person's physical condition or a medical problem. Other causes could be safety hazards onboard or in your environment. 

 

Some Risk Factors and pointers 

Scientists have linked a number of personal risk factors to falling. Here’s just a few:

  • Muscle weakness, especially in the legs. People with weak muscles are more likely to fall than are those who maintain their muscle strength, as well as their flexibility and endurance.
Are you on your feet all day? Sure you are.  Be aware of muscle weakness in your legs.  Stretch often and stay fit.

  • Blood pressure that drops when you get up from lying down or sitting. This condition -- called postural hypotension -- might result from dehydration, or certain medications.
Drink plenty of water and stay away from too much caffeine or alcohol to help prevent a fall.

  • Wearing unsafe footwear. Backless shoes and slippers, high-heeled shoes, and shoes with smooth leather soles are examples of unsafe footwear.
Sound similar to the shoes you wear? Your feet have to last your entire life. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you.

  • Sensory problems. If your senses don't work well, you will be less aware of your environment.
Do I need to say more about this? Don’t do things that impair your senses.

  • Not seeing well.  It takes a while for your eyes to adjust to see clearly when you move between darkness and light.
Certainly something you experience frequently onboard, and sunglasses are a requirement.  MHG Insurance Brokers has them if you need a pair, just give us a shout on our MHG Facebook page! Although falls can happen anywhere, well over half of all falls happen at home (onboard). Falls often happen while a person is doing normal daily activities. Some of these falls are caused by factors in the person's living environment. For instance, a slick floor or a poorly lit narrow stairway may lead to a fall.  But I’m sure you never have those conditions onboard, do you? 

Call MHG Insurance Brokers today at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com for more safety information or help finding a yacht health insurance plan that perfectly meets your needs!

Yacht Health Insurance Advice for Onboard Safety Hazards

Group Yacht Crew Insurance Plan OptionsAs a yacht captain, you have the weighty responsibility of choosing a group yacht crew insurance plan for your crew. You have taken your duty seriously, carefully comparing policies and benefits to ensure your crew has comprehensive coverage in all the countries you will be visiting; but have you thought about the subject of routine medical coverage? There is a common perception that routine medical coverage is an unnecessary additional cost; however it’s our experience that including routine medical coverage on your group plan helps to attract and retain crew as well as keep crew members healthy and happy. If you are unfamiliar with the provisions of routine medical coverage, you may be wondering whether your crewmembers truly need this benefit; perusing these 4 reasons to add routine medical coverage to your group yacht crew insurance plan options will help you make the best decision for your crew. 

  1. Regular Medical Checkups Mean Healthier Crewmembers

    Demonstrating an interest in the well-being of your crew is an important step in having a healthy & happy crew whose performance you can rely on. Annual “wellness” visits to a primary care physician or internist, which are covered under routine medical coverage, are generally recommended for all adults after the age of 18 to 20. During these regular check-ups, medical professionals can detect any number of serious medical conditions that affect seemingly healthy young adults, such as hypertension, diabetes, and more.

  2. Annual Checkups Ensure Busy Crewmembers Get the Care They Need

    Crewmembers can end up working so hard that they forget to take the time to take care of themselves. Initially minor physical concerns that are neglected by busy crewmembers who are unwilling or unable to request time off can turn into major problems if left unchecked. During the annual wellness visits that are included as part of routine medical coverage, physicians can identify crewmembers’ health problems while they are still minor, and develop treatment plans to eliminate these health issues before they can turn into serious or even life-threatening problems.

  3. ENG1 Exams Cannot Replace Routine Medical Care

    Many crewmembers think because they undergo bi-yearly ENG1 exams that there is no need to have additional examinations or screenings by a primary physician. Doctors perform a number of essential screenings during annual wellness visits that ENG1 exams do not address. These screenings, which are designed to detect serious medical conditions that can affect otherwise healthy individuals, include mole examinations, gynecological /pelvic exams, with pap smears and mammograms, and blood tests that scan for a variety of conditions, including cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, and thyroid issues.

  4. Routine Medical Coverage is a High Value, Low Expense Addition

    Routine medical coverage is relatively inexpensive to add to a group marine crew insurance plan, especially compared to the perceived value of the benefit. Crewmembers feel appreciated and valued when you add routine medical coverage to their benefits, because the extra coverage makes them feel like their health and well-being is important to their employer.
MHG Insurance Brokers offers a wide range of yacht crew insurance plans, including international health insurance, marine crew disability coverage, and more. Our yacht crew marine insurance brokers have the experience and resources to help you select the best solution for your crews’ particular circumstances, coverage requirements, and budget. Questions about your current yacht crew insurance plan? Our team of Insurance Specialists will be out and about at the Monaco Yacht Show September 24th-27th.

Call MHG Insurance Brokers today at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com  for help finding the group yacht crew health insurance plan that perfectly meets your needs!

Group Yacht Crew Insurance Plan Options

Worst Advice About Yacht Crew InsuranceWhen you have insurance questions, it is tempting to ask friends and coworkers for their advice. You turn to these people for guidance in your personal life, so it is natural to seek their input when considering other important issues. Basing your insurance decisions solely on advice from non-professionals may not be a good idea, however, as this advice is usually based on an individual’s own experiences and anecdotes. In honor of these well-intentioned but ill-informed sources, we have decided to share with you the worst advice we’ve ever heard about yacht crew insurance – along with the real facts you can use to make informed decisions about your health insurance coverage.  


We Don’t Need Insurance Because We Are Covered By the Owner 

Not true. The yacht owner’s insurance is not your insurance. Also keep in mind that the owner’s insurance and liability does not necessarily extend coverage to you when you are off the vessel or on vacation. There may be other restrictions and limitations as well, which can create large gaps in your coverage. When you incur medical expenses, doctors and hospitals will hold you responsible for payment, not the vessel owner. Rule of thumb is, unless the owner has a separate group crew health insurance plan, it’s best to have your own individual health insurance plan. The Insurance Specialists at MHG work with several leading international and US carriers and are happy to help find the right plan that meets your coverage requirements and budget.   

Your Stateside Insurance Plan Will Cover You as We Travel 

Some crew members think that as long as they have medical insurance at home, they are fully covered wherever they roam. Actually, typical medical insurance only provides coverage while you are in your home country, leaving you unprotected for any injuries or illnesses that could occur while you’re away. MHG Insurance Brokers offer international health insurance plans designed specifically for yacht Captains and Crew. These plans typically offer worldwide coverage on and off the vessel, emergency evacuation/repatriation, winter and water sports coverage, amateur sailboat racing, maternity and dependent options, to ensure you are fully covered no matter where you go. 

You Can Wait To File A Claim 

It’s important to keep in mind that some policies have a time limit on submitting claims. While there are reasons for the limitation, the most important thing to know is that if you have a claim where you need to be reimbursed, you need to get it submitted in a timely manner. The limit can be as short as 90 days from when you received the treatment. That seems like a very easy deadline to meet, but we have seen claims coming in from two or three years ago and in some cases the insurance carriers will not allow the claim. Of course at MHG, we're here to help get a claim paid in your favor when we can. In fact, that's when it's often our time to shine! 

Don’t Claim Because You Might Lose Your Job 

Filing a health insurance claim should not endanger your job; in fact, filing a claim should have absolutely no effect on your job status, because it is your right to have proper health care and insurance while you are employed. 

Find The Cheapest Plan Because They Are All The Same

Yacht crew insurance plans vary greatly, and price should never be your only consideration. If two policies seem similar but the costs are different, look closely at the deductible, coverage, and copay amounts. A company’s service record should also be a consideration. Whether you have a question about your coverage, policy or claim, you’re looking for a company that provides prompt, friendly, personalized attention. Right now there are some new plans out there that look like Gold, for the price of Pyrite. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Speak with an insurance broker who can help explain what you are really getting (or not) before something happens and you find yourself or your crew thinking something was covered that isn't.

As independent brokers who are constantly scanning the marketplace, we at MHG are your advocates and are here to help guide you and help keep you safe. Selecting the right insurance plan is important and should not be taken lightly. The experienced marine insurance brokers at MHG will help you sort through the terminology and key features to determine the best plan for your unique circumstances, coverage requirements, and budget. 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. 

The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Yacht Crew Insurance

Yacht Crew Insurance What Captains Need To knowWhen you decided to become a yacht captain, you dreamed of an adventurous life spent cruising the  ocean at the helm of a mighty vessel. While that is certainly part of a captain’s life, there are also a host of other tasks you must accomplish when accepting the responsibility of a yacht captain. 

 

One of the most important of these tasks may include choosing a yacht crew insurance plan for you and your crew. When searching for a comprehensive marine crew insurance plan that will ensure your crew are protected, consider the following: 

Evaluate the Full Value of the Plan 

The plan you select will play a role in determining the financial security of your owner and crew, so you need to carefully choose the coverage based on features and services provided. Do not focus solely on the cost. MHG has been providing yacht crew insurance for over 15 years and during that time, we have seen insurance plans come and go. Right now there are some new plans out there that look like Gold, for the price of Pyrite! Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Please, do not buy insurance (or most anything else) based solely on lowest cost. Talk to someone who can help explain what you are really getting (or not) before something happens and you find yourself or your crew thinking something was covered that isn't. 

Crew Leisure Activities May Require Extra Coverage 

Yacht crews tend to be adventurous souls focused on enjoying an active lifestyle, and working on the water presents the opportunity to indulge in some very exciting activities. Some of your crew’s favorite leisure pursuits carry an increased risk, however, and some yacht crew insurance policies do not cover injuries obtained while engaging in certain activities. There are insurance plans that include additional coverage for sporting activities, such as scuba and other water and winter sports, so be sure to look for those features. A comprehensive marine crew insurance plan that includes coverage for crew leisure activities will decrease liability exposure and protect both owner and crew.

Comprehensive Emergency Services Must Be Included 

When a member of your crew suffers a serious injury or illness there are a number of issues that must be resolved quickly. If your crew member is unable to travel with your vessel or continue working onboard, you may be required to provide a flight home for that crewmember. You may want this feature included in the marine crew insurance plan you choose, along with adequate provisions for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.

Tailor Your Coverage to Your Crew 

When choosing a marine crew insurance policy, the best way to balance costs and benefits is to consider the specific composition of your crew and the coverage desired. For example, if you don’t have any North American crew and do not plan to sail in North America, you can save premium by purchasing a policy that does not include coverage there. Does your crew consist of several members who have been long term crew for this particular yacht owner? Perhaps you should consider tailoring a plan to provide additional benefits for your crew above and beyond the standard policy. 

The experienced Insurance Specialists at MHG Insurance Brokers are ready to help you with all the details of yacht crew insurance: what every captain needs to know, what coverage every crew member should have, and which carrier is best for your particular situation. MHG Insurance Brokers offers a wide range of yacht crew insurance plans and international medical insurance for expatriates, with customizable coverage for all nationalities and itineraries. 

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 meets your requirements. 

Yacht Crew Insurance: What Every Captain Needs To Know

Tips for Yacht Captains When Selecting a Group Yacht Crew Insurance PlanAs a yacht captain, you are responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of your crew and your vessel. Part of this responsibility is making sure your crew is adequately protected in the case of sickness or injury with a comprehensive and appropriate yacht crew group insurance plan. Choosing a group insurance plan to cover your crew can be a daunting task.  

 

The plan you choose needs to ensure your crew is covered while working on the yacht, as well as on their leisure time. To help you in your endeavors, we offer the following tips for yacht captains when selecting a group yacht crew insurance plan:

  1. Balance the Needs of Your Crew and Your Vessel’s Owner

    When choosing a crew insurance plan, you must strike a balance, considering the features the crew want as well as what is needed to protect the vessel’s owner. Marine crews tend to enjoy adventurous activities so they are looking for coverage that will encompass scuba, winter sports, and other leisure activities. An insurance plan that provides a structured and appropriate response to medical emergencies with cover for your crew’s favorite leisure activities, will decrease liability exposure and protect both owner and crew.

  2. Take into Account Your Itinerary

    Before deciding on a policy, take into account your itinerary and consider which carrier may be best suited for that particular region or regions. Does the insurer have resources in those areas? Do they have doctor and hospital relationships? Are differing time zones an issue?

  1. Ask For Recommendations

    You want to find the best insurance plan for your crew, but it is difficult to interpret how effective a plan’s benefits are from reading a brochure. Tap the invaluable resource that is all around you – your fellow Captains and crews! Asking other marine professionals what their experience was with a particular insurance plan will provide real world information that will help you make an informed decision among your insurance choices.

  2. Seek a Proven, Long-Standing Plan

    Your crew will be counting on this insurance policy to provide for their needs, especially in the case of an emergency. Make sure you select a long-standing marine crew insurance plan with a proven track record of providing service before, during and after claims are made.

  3. Evaluate the Full Value of the Plan

    The plan you select will play a role in determining the financial security of your owner and crew, so you need to carefully choose the coverage based on features and services provided. Do not focus solely on the cost.

  4. Consult an Experienced Broker

    The best source of information on yacht crew insurance plans is an experienced insurance broker. The expert staff at MHG Insurance Brokers can assist you in selecting a group plan that provides the best balance of benefits for you, your crew, and your vessel owner.

We know that dealing with yacht crew insurance can be complicated. Insurance has its own language and attempting to evaluate all of the information on your own can be overwhelming. As a yacht crew marine insurance broker we have the experience and resources to help you select the best solution for your particular circumstances, coverage requirements and budget.

Once you purchase a policy we will continue to assist you and your crew with questions about the policy, details about the coverage it provides and throughout the claims process. Whether you are purchasing a plan for the first time, already have a plan in place and are looking for a more affordable alternative or, simply looking for better coverage, let us know, we would be happy to help.

To learn more about yacht crew health insurance for groups, individuals or fleets call MHG Insurance Brokers at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com  

Tips for Yacht Captains When Selecting a Group Yacht Crew Insurance Plan

Mark Bononi Insurance Q&A MHG Insurance Brokers, headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, provides yacht crew health insurance plans designed specifically to meet the needs of today’s global yachting industry. In this week’s blog MHG Insurance Brokers Mark Bononi, director of the company’s Yacht Division, answers questions related to yacht crew insurance. 

 

Q: In addition to yacht crew health insurance, what other types of insurance should I be considering? 

A: It’s also important to consider having life insurance and a disability income plan. Life insurance is designed with your loved ones in mind and plays an important role in your overall financial plan. In the event of your death, beneficiaries can be comforted knowing that they have time to re-adjust their standard of living, can pay off debts or other expenses or provide for their children's education. Having a disability income plan is equally important. A disability income plan can offer you peace of mind knowing a significant portion of your income can be replaced in the event of an unfortunate accident or sickness. Unfortunately, we have all heard or read about the tragic stories of a crewmember who suffered a debilitating injury or illness which forced them to leave the yacht and were unable to return to work for an extended period of time. It is also important to be prepared for the less serious injuries that could also keep you off work such as a broken ankle or severe knee injury. If you’re in between yachts or do not need to purchase a full-time health insurance plan, there are short term health insurance solutions that we can help you with as well. 

Q: Do yacht crew health insurance plans cover typical water sports activities like scuba diving?

A: Yes, but as with all insurance policies, there are exclusions and limitations so it is important to check policies carefully if you intend to participate in these activities. Normally, water skiing, jet skiing and winter sports are covered under most yacht crew health insurance plans, but there are still some policies where winter sports are excluded, so you need to review the coverage and ask questions.

Q: Is emergency medical evacuation standard in most plans? 

A: Yes.  However, the circumstances where an evacuation can be performed will vary from plan to plan. Normally, a medical evacuation requires you to be either at risk for loss of life or limb in the opinion of the attending physician, and that there are inadequate medical facilities to treat you. Evacuation is to the nearest facility able to provide the necessary treatment. 

Q: What are the eligibility requirements to sign up for a yacht crew insurance plan? 

A: Generally, you must be a full-time yacht crew member or reasonably expect to be working on a yacht as your primary means of income. Also, medical history can determine what type of insurance you may need, or what plans you may be eligible for. 

Q: What happens to my plan after I leave yachting?

A: In most cases, you will need to find an alternative solution when you return home. It’s important to discuss your current needs and future plans with your insurance specialist when selecting a health insurance plan. A yacht crew health insurance plan may not always be the right solution for you if you’re looking to keep the plan for the long-term. 

Q: As a U.S. citizen I am now required to have health insurance. Do yacht crew insurance plans satisfy this requirement?

A: Currently, there are no individual yacht crew policies which satisfy this requirement. However, MHG is an approved Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) insurance agency and our team can answer all of your questions and help you find the right US health insurance plan based on your needs and budget. Open enrollment for coverage effective Jan. 1, 2015, begins Nov. 15, 2014.  However, if you’re looking for coverage now, a short-term health insurance plan may be a good interim solution. 

Q: What factors should I consider when selecting a yacht crew health insurance plan?

A: When selecting a yacht crew health insurance plan you should consider your itinerary, medical history, budget and your future plans. If you’re looking for specific coverage such as dependent or maternity coverage or coverage for a specific winter or water sports activity, that should be a consideration as well. 

Q: Am I covered by the yacht owner?

A: Yes, indirectly. However, the yacht owner’s insurance is not your insurance. Also keep in mind that the owner’s insurance and liability does not necessarily extend coverage to you when you are off the vessel or on vacation.  There may be other restrictions and limitations as well, which can create large gaps in your coverage. When you incur medical expenses, doctors and hospitals will hold you responsible for payment, not the vessel owner. 

Q: What other services are included with insurance policies?

A: In addition to your coverage, many insurance plans offer additional assistance such as help with lost luggage, lost passports, health alerts, and safety and security notices. Our Insurance Specialists will be able to tell you more once you start discussing individual plans that are suited to your needs.

Q: Do I always have to pay at time of service and apply for reimbursement?

A: Not always. Most insurance carriers are happy to work directly with doctors and hospitals. However, in many cases, especially for smaller claim amounts, the doctor or hospital will require payment upfront. The key to successful direct billing is to establish communication between the doctor and the insurance carrier as early as possible before treatment. We’re of course happy to help with this. 

We know that dealing with insurance can be complicated. Insurance has its own language and attempting to evaluate all of the information on your own can be overwhelming. At MHG, we have the experience and resources to help you select the best solution for your particular circumstances, coverage requirements and budget. Once you purchase a policy we will continue to assist you with questions about your policy, details about the coverage it provides and throughout the claims process. Whether you are purchasing a plan for the first time, already have a plan in place and are looking for a more affordable alternative or, simply looking for better coverage, let us know, we would be happy to help.   

To learn more about yacht crew health insurance for groups, individuals or fleets call us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com  

Insurance Q&A With Mark Bononi

Whether you are a boat dealer, marina operator or own a yacht detailing company, you have unique needs and requirements when it comes to liability protection.  These requirements help protect your business against any lawsuits stemming from business operations. This is where the decision to obtain a Marine General Liability policy vs. a General Liability policy comes into play. People tend to lean towards a General Liability policy because it has a cheaper cost; unfortunately, because of numerous exclusions involved in a General Liability policy, the insured usually isn’t covered in the areas needed. Here are some additional helpful facts and tips about these two policy types:

    • Learn the truth about General Liability – Did you know that a generic General Liability policy does not include watercraft coverage, including “the ownership, maintenance, and use of” watercraft owned or operated by you, the insured? Perhaps you would naturally assume this is covered – which brings up the fact that an experienced insurance broker could help you when it comes to the specifics of policy exclusions and/or benefits.
 
    • Who the exclusions affect – Exclusions can affect a wide variety of people, but for the purpose of this post let’s specifically talk about boat dealers, marina operators, etc. If you fall into any of those categories, then you are aware of the frequent operation of watercraft that takes place in your business. Operations, such as employees operating boats, or doing any type of test or demo drives for a customer are also excluded under a General Liability policy. If anything happens during these types of “operations”, you are left vulnerable and uninsured.
 
    • Another Interesting Exclusion – If you are considering purchasing an unendorsed General Liability policy, consider this: the “care, custody or control” of personal property of others is also excluded, meaning additional operations like boat repair, storing, hauling, fueling, launching and slip rentals are also uncovered.
 
  • Part Installers Beware – Perhaps you are a boat dealer who also installs aftermarket equipment or parts on boats. Unendorsed General Liability policies contain a “your work and product” exclusion, meaning any claim related to the installation of your aftermarket part is also not included.
The bottom line is most General Liability policies exclude any work done on the water or vessels, while specifically obtaining a Marine Liability policy will cover you for any damages or liability to a third person engaged in marine operations. Remember, cruise lines and marinas require proof of appropriate insurance coverage before any job can begin, so make sure you have the right policy in hand. To learn more about the advantages of Marine General Liability coverage, contact an MHG broker today by visiting MHG Insurance Brokers or calling 954-828-1819.

Regulatory Changes Affect Captains And CrewIt is often said that, “The only constant in life is change.” This statement could not be more appropriate with the changes that are happening regarding health insurance and the superyacht industry. Between Health Care Reform and the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC) coming into effect soon, now is the time for yacht captains and crew to learn about regulatory changes taking place and how they can best protect themselves. 

 

Mark Bononi, MHG Insurance Brokers’ Yacht Division Director, is featured in this month’s issue of Dockwalk, the premier magazine for superyacht captains and crew. He speaks candidly about this specific issue and offers pertinent advice for those in the industry. For starters, let us begin with the MLC, which will be going into effect on August 20, 2013. If you have assumed the MLC will make the vessel owner responsible to take care of all your health and medical insurance needs, this is simply not the case. 

The MLC is basically designed as a minimum standard for the commercial shipping world and does not mean individual yacht crewmembers will be adequately protected. Bononi shares that the MLC going into effect really does not change much regarding coverage. He explains that the “MLC states that each vessel owner is liable for crew medical costs.” However, the MLC does not spell this out clearly, stating the yacht owner must provide “financial security” to cover death, repatriation or long-term disability costs. Bononi then asks, how will this “financial security” be proven? It will most likely be subject to interpretation by each individual port state inspector. Proof might come in the form of providing health insurance, or having money in an escrow account, or in another manner…either way, it is not clearly stated. 

In addition, many insurance policies offered by a yacht owner do not include all-encompassing health care for yacht crewmembers. Bononi stresses the point that this is where the responsibility ultimately falls on the crewmember to make sure their medical and health insurance needs are met, and how a separate medical policy can offer added protection and peace of mind. When it comes to Health Care Reform, Americans who work as yacht crewmembers are currently playing the waiting game. Do not assume that not residing in the U.S. the majority of the year removes your requirement to pay for health insurance or be subject to a tax. Currently, the rules around residency and time periods for residing outside of the U.S. are vague at best. This makes it difficult for yacht crewmembers to plan for their health insurance needs. 

Staying in contact with an experienced yacht insurance broker, such as MHG, is imperative, as they will keep abreast of all regulatory changes that are happening regarding the MLC and Health Care Reform. Bononi states that it really boils down to each individual crew member getting adequate coverage for themselves that meets their specific needs, even if this comes in the form of an additional policy over what the yacht owner provides. 

His other important piece of advice is not to wait: “Health insurance only gets more expensive the older you get, so getting on board early with a comprehensive health policy can help with future costs.” Bononi’s full interview is available in the August issue of Dockwalk magazine. 

If you are a yacht crewmember seeking to learn more about health insurance options available to you, call MHG today and let a skilled representative explain more regarding the MLC and Health Care Reform. MHG Insurance Brokers can also provide you with numerous quotes from top-rated insurance companies who offer policies that meet your budget and individual needs. Call MHG today at 954-828-1819 or learn more by visiting www.MHGInsurance.com

How Upcoming Regulatory Changes Might Affect Captains and Crew