What Kind of Insurance Do Yacht Crew Need?

Posted May 17 2021


A luxury yacht docked in the marina.Special jobs require special insurance, and that couldn’t be more true when it comes to choosing the insurance for your crew. Having your yacht crew covered with proper insurance goes deeper than selecting a good policy for everyone or trying to save money here and there. As you may know, there is often a lot of turnover among crews, which also bring added costs and expenses. According to Superyacht News “Each time a lower-rank crew member leaves, it costs the yacht owner up to €5,000, even €10,000. With officers, it can easily get up to €20,000 in flights, paperwork, specific boat training, safety drills, uniforms, ‘lost’ inventories, mistakes and breakage.”

Offering a competitive benefits package could be a way to keep crew members happy and engaged. There are several different policies that you should consider if you are the decision maker. Whether you are a Yacht Owner, Yacht Captain, or the person who has been delegated the responsibility of selecting the insurance for everyone on board, we are here to help!

Medical/Health Insurance

Health or medical insurance can speak for itself. While most people are familiar with having health insurance or what comes with it, there are many different aspects of a plan to consider. What’s the deductible? Is there a co-pay? What about co-insurance? Does it include dental and vision? If you feel overwhelmed, please feel free to contact us for assistance and guidance on what plan would fit your yacht crew best.

Life insurance

While many consider life insurance as a personal option, there are a growing number of yachts that are including life insurance coverage as part of their benefits package. Offering coverage for your crew may give them some assurance that if anything happens to them while they are at sea, their loved ones will be more able to cope financially back home. Typically, the coverage amount is fixed in increments of $10,000, up to $100,000.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment

Accidental death and dismemberment, also known as AD&D, is very similar to life insurance. The difference is that there is only a benefit from an accidental death, or dismembering injury. This type of insurance typically provides coverage 24/7, not just while at work.

Personal Accident

Personal accident is similar to dismemberment coverage and is an important insurance policy for your crew members. Often referred to as PA cover, personal accident insurance will pay out a sum of money for permanent injury (and sometimes permanent illness). It is often confused with medical insurance; however, it doesn’t provide coverage for any medical bills or doctors’ appointments, it simply provides a one-time payment after experiencing a permanent injury or illness.

Disability Insurance

Disability insurance is a great way to offer coverage for your crew in the event they get hurt and cannot work for a short period of time. Having this policy will cover a percentage of the person’s wages if they are unable to perform their occupation and can last for up to two years due to an injury or illness. If the disabling event becomes permanent, the personal accident (if purchased as above) may kick-in and pay a lump sum.

Hospital Indemnity

Hospital indemnity insurance at first glance would make you think that it covers hospital visits, however that is not the case. Think of this type of insurance as a poor man’s disability insurance. Depending on the policy, it provides a benefit each day your crew member is in the hospital. For example, if someone were hurt on the job and had to go to the hospital, the insurance would pay that person $100 per day that they are admitted in the hospital. This does not cover their hospital bills; it just provides the person with an added benefit.

Features That Are Not Features

While the above list is not exhaustive of every option and feature, one thing to note is that some insurance providers tout features that do not hold true. For example, there is no such thing as a Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) compliant yacht crew insurance. It sounds good, but it means nothing. Another thing to be wary of is a plan that says, ‘unlimited coverage’. Almost always with international policies, there are restrictions and limitations on the benefits such that the ‘unlimited’ part is quite ‘limited’.

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”.