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Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the insurers and how do I know they will pay my claim?

Pantaenius carefully selects the insurers to underwrite the Pantaenius Scheme. The risk is usually spread between a number of insurers, with each taking its share of premiums and claims. Each “pool” or group of insurers has a “lead underwriter”, who takes responsibility for the pool. Pantaenius has delegated authority to act on behalf of the insurers in underwriting decisions, administering your policy, and handling your claim. In the unlikely event that we need to refer to the underwriters, we only ever need to consult with the lead. All the insurers backing the Pantaenius Scheme are reputable, financially sound insurers, and in each case the lead underwriter for the pool is a major international company with whom Pantaenius has worked closely for many years.

The name of the lead underwriter is always stated on any quotation Pantaenius provides, and also on every policy schedule which is issued.

I have quite a lot of sailing experience, but no formal qualifications. Is this a problem?

Almost certainly not. Our underwriters are more concerned with your experience of similar sized yachts, itineraries and sailing conditions, than in formal yachting qualifications.

In the unlikely event that someone does not have sufficient experience for the yacht, itinerary or conditions they wish to insure, we try to work with them to resolve this, sometimes asking for a more experienced hand on board until you have built up the necessary expertise – but this is a rare occurrence and usually only applied to new owners with unsufficient previous experience.

Do you have specific crew requirements?

Pantaenius does not set out any criteria for crew requirements, and will always consider individual proposals. Depending on the type and size of the yacht, single-handing is not out of the question, if our underwriters are confident you have the ability to handle the yacht on your own.

If you are planning any ocean passages our underwriters will need to approve your crewing arrangements before you set out, but they are always looking at the experience of those on board, rather than just numbers, and will always try to accommodate your plans, as long as they are realistic.

Do you have an annual lay-up period?

No. Pantaenius tries to give the owner the flexibility to take advantage of good conditions whatever the season, and the policy offers in-commission use throughout the year. So if the weather is good and you want to celebrate Christmas or New Year on board your yacht – go ahead.

Is it a condition that I keep my boat in a specific marina?

No. It is a requirement with some insurers that you keep your yacht in a named marina, but this is a restriction we don’t like to place on our policyholders. If your yacht is laid up, we generally like to know where it is, and what arrangements have been made for its safekeeping in your absence, but when in commission there is flexibility within your cruising area.

Do you have a Marina Benefits clause?

Not as such. A marina benefit’s clause usually removed the policy excess on claims for damage that happens in the marina named on your policy. As we don’t like to restrict our clients as to where they berth at any time, we have found a more flexible and fairer way to give this benefit to our clients. There is a wide variety of claims which don’t attract an excess, whether they occur in a marina or not.

What is your policy on wear and tear?

Many policies exclude any claim which is caused by wear and tear. Pantaenius tries to be more fair minded, and will only exclude the cost of the actual part which has failed due to wear and tear. A claim for all resulting insured damage will be accepted, provided that there has not been an unreasonable neglect of maintenance. We apply the same fair-mindedness when dealing with claims caused by latent defect, corrosion or rot.

Is it true Pantaenius is only interested in expensive yachts?

Not at all! We do have a dedicated Superyacht Team, because this is a very specialist area of insurance, but the majority of our business consists of privately owned sailing yachts and motor cruisers of all values. For Blue Water cruising, our underwriters are generally looking for a minimum insured value of £50,000 and a minimum of 10m, because they are reluctant to cover smaller craft on ocean passages.

You’ve asked me for a condition survey – why? Is this going to be a regular thing?

Obviously the underwriters need to be able to assess the risk they are taking on, so that they can calculate an appropriate premium. Part of that assessment relates to the condition of the yacht and the potential for any claims. So one way of ensuring we keep premiums to a minimum is to ask to see a survey before taking on new risks, particularly if they are older boats. Quite often an owner has had a survey conducted as part of the process of buying the yacht, and so does not need to go to any additional expense.

We also ask for a survey if a boat has not been professionally built, or is a custom design.

Once we’ve accepted the risk, we don’t usually need to ask for a survey again, unless we become aware that the condition of the yacht may have changed and may need to be re-assessed.

Do you insure multi-hulls?

Our insurers will cover most cruising catamarans, but at the moment are reluctant to cover trimarans.

Do you cover racing?

Yes. Club racing and regattas is usually covered for cruising yachts without additional premium or excess. For some designs, and if a yacht is being heavily raced, we may need to increase the excess when racing. Some racing designs can be covered, but this will usually be at a higher premium and excess.

Do you cover watersports?

The Pantaenius Third Party Liability policy is very comprehensive, and yes, it includes cover for watersports. It covers the liabilities of the owner, but also the liabilities of anyone else using the yacht with his permission, or engaged in watersports activities from the yacht. For example, if you are out with some friends and towing one of them on waterskies, your liability to them is insured, but so also is their liability to anyone they may hit in the water.

And the good news is, watersports cover is automatically included without additional premium, and includes SCUBA activities, as long as properly supervised and equipped.

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