There are two words no one ever wants to hear, you’re fired! Those words usually carry a little more sting hearing them from your boss. Being part of a yacht crew and losing your job can make for one mess that most people don’t look forward to cleaning up. Whether you were fired, laid off, quit, or are transitioning to a new job, having health insurance coverage through the process may not be the first thing on your mind. Typically, with loss of employment comes loss of health insurance. Maybe you didn’t realize that you lost your coverage in this process. If that is the case, don’t worry, there are four options you can chose from if you find yourself in this situation. Let’s break them down.
For those that are wondering, “Go Naked” doesn’t mean what you may be thinking. It means to go without insurance coverage, leaving you vulnerable and unprotected, or better yet, naked. We don’t recommend going through any stage of your life without coverage, but there are times when it may make sense. For example, if you lost your job as a part of a yacht crew, and you are going back to your home country, in some scenarios you can go back home to socialized coverage. In countries with socialized care, assuming you have been properly contributing, you’ll have coverage there. Other than that scenario, this option is probably not the one for you.
Elect COBRA (if available)
Some insurance plans, particularly the US based ones, will allow a crewmember to continue their insurance for up to 18 months after loss of employment. However, this is not widespread in yachting so you will need to ask about this option, should you wish to explore it. While the coverage will probably be better than a private plan that can get anywhere else, it unfortunately be probably also quite expensive. This may make it an unattractive option, particularly if you’re unemployed. However, if you have ongoing medical issues, this is an excellent option.
Purchase Travel Insurance
The next insurance option for yachties without a job is to purchase travel insurance. Travel Insurance will typically offer insurance coverage all over the world, which is great for yachties who rarely know where they will be traveling in advance. There are limitations, however. Yes, you may have worldwide coverage, but it doesn’t usually include your home country. That is because travel insurance is designed to offer you coverage outside of your home country, under the assumption that you already have local insurance. It should also be said that is less costly than purchasing a full time insurance plan, partly because it only offers coverage for accidents and illness, not routine check-ups, appointments, etc.
Purchase a Full Time Plan
Your last insurance option is to purchase a full-time insurance plan. This is typically the same type of plan that you had when you were working, however there may be different amounts of coverage depending on what your budget is and what you feel you need coverage for. Also, depending on your previous job, you may not have had to pay for your insurance or only had to pay for a percentage. In this instance, you will be responsible for 100% of payment, but you get to choose the coverage you want. It is also important to mention that the plan will be yours no matter what yacht you’re on.
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. For more information on yacht crew insurance read our previous blog, “Yacht Crew Insurance Terms 101”. 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. Don’t forget, the Palm Beach International Boat Show is this week, see you there!