Yachts destroyed by Hurricane Ivan. The owners, who had good boat insurance, were lucky in misfortune
Pantaenius, the leading European broker of insurance for boats and yachts, has cleaned up the fine print thoroughly. The core of the modernization is a completely redesigned set of conditions, which includes all water sports policies offered, i.e. boat liability and comprehensive insurance, occupant accident and legal protection insurance.
The most important innovation concerns the changeover to the concept of all-risk coverage. Up to now, individual risk cover was anchored in the yacht comprehensive insurance offered by Pantaenius.
In the case of individual risk coverage, it is listed exactly which risks are insured. Conversely, this means that all risks that are not explicitly mentioned are also not insured. In case of doubt, the customer must prove to the insurer that damage to the boat is covered by the policy. However, this is sometimes made more difficult for him by vague formulations in the contract.
With all-risk cover, however, all risks are generally considered to be insured. Since this is of course absolutely impossible, so-called exclusions are used in the condition works. This means that it is specifically listed which individual risks are not insured, such as damage as a result of design, manufacturing, processing or material defects. Any consequential damage resulting therefrom, however, is still expressly covered by the policy.
Reversal of the burden of proof in favor of the customer
This variant is good for the customer mainly because the burden of proof now rests with the insurer. This means that the latter must demonstrate that damage is not insured because, in his opinion, the cause for it was excluded in the terms and conditions.
Such all-risk coverage has long been standard with most boat insurers in this country. According to its own admission, Pantaenius does not simply want to adapt to market conditions with the changeover. Rather, one would also like to offer the best all-risk coverage, i.e. one with as few as possible and clearly defined exclusions. In this context, Pantaenius himself speaks of "resilient" all-risk coverage.
As an example of this, a statement from the traditional Hamburg company states: "While a large part of the comprehensive insurance policies available on the market completely excludes damage caused by poor maintenance, normal wear and tear, age or any violation of official regulations, this is the case with the new Pantaenius yacht -Conditions (PYB) not the case."
Martin Baum, Managing Director at Pantaenius Yachtversicherungen, says: "When developing our PYB, we did everything we can to create a set of conditions with no ifs or buts. We wanted extensive coverage and the avoidance of gray areas that the customer might have could be interpreted negatively in practice."
The revision of the insurance conditions has also brought about further innovations that are advantageous for Pantaenius customers. For example, the objection of gross negligence in the event of damage up to a total of 10,000 euros will be dispensed with in the future. And accommodation and return travel costs incurred in connection with a comprehensive damage claim are now reimbursed by the insurance company up to an amount of 5,000 euros. Alternatively, the customer has the option of chartering a replacement ship instead of starting the return journey as a result of damage. For example, to continue the vacation that has already started.
The "fixed rate" remains fixed
In contrast, the "fixed rate", which was once established by Pantaenius on the German boat insurance market and, in contrast to some other providers, was irrevocably formulated by Hamburgers, remained unaffected. This insurance value stipulated in the contract will be replaced in the event of a total loss of a boat without deduction of the current value, so that the customers are able to buy another boat of the same value.
Other standards, such as the rule that no "new for old" deductions are made in the event of partial damage, will also be retained in the new set of conditions.
Overall, the revised "small print", which is summarized in a 36-page booklet, should now ensure more transparency for the benefit of customers. Regulations that apply equally to all types of insurance can be found in a general section. In order to make it even easier for customers to study the new conditions, all insurance-related terms are also explained in an extensive glossary that is understandable for laypeople.
Gunnar Brock, head of the Pantaenius legal department: "With the PYB, we have been able to achieve our goals of improving the quality of the scope of insurance for the benefit of our customers and also increasing the transparency of the terms and conditions, excellently." Brock is certain that the overall concept of the PYB will set a new standard.
AnnBaum, Marketing Director, and her brother Martin Baum, Managing Director at Pantaenius Yacht Insurance
Martin Baum agrees: "I am convinced that we can be proud of the result." And his father Harald Baum, owner of Pantaenius Holding GmbH, says: "When we launched the Pantaenius yacht hull insurance in the early 1970s, it was a revolution in the yacht insurance business and a huge step for yachting in Germany. I am proud that Pantaenius is consistently following this path over four decades later and declaring the needs of yacht owners to be the indisputable benchmark in product development."
More details on the new Pantaenius yacht conditions in the next edition of YACHT. General information about the topic of boat insurance in the large YACHT online insurance dossier.