Victim of the flames: a yacht that burned down in winter storage
It happens almost every winter: fire in the boat shed or on the outdoor storage area! In the past few months, numerous yachts have burned down in Neustadt, Travemünde and Roermond, among others.
Often arson is involved in such cases, but every now and then a technical defect triggers a flame inferno. The bad thing about it: The damage is seldom limited to one or two ships because the fire spreads rapidly from boat to boat.
In the end, numerous ships are regularly affected. Even the boats that are far away from the source of the fire are usually at least heavily sooty and require extensive cleaning. Yachts that were directly exposed to the flames, on the other hand, are all too often total losses afterwards.
For owners affected in this way, the loss of their ship is often a shock. After all, those who have insurance for their ship are lucky in an accident. Nevertheless, they too are worried about whether there will be enough money from the insurance company to be able to subsequently buy a ship of at least the same value. Especially when your own boat was a bit old.
And so it is hardly surprising that the Hamburg yacht insurance Schomacker, a broker for boat liability and boat comprehensive policies, recently reported masses of unsettled customers. Looking back on the last boot trade fair in Düsseldorf, the company writes: "Seldom has a trade fair been so characterized by one question that is always the same: that of the fixed price." Hardly anyone thinks it is possible for yacht insurers to guarantee a fixed rate, i.e. the sum insured that was set many years ago in case of doubt, over the entire term of the contract.
The small print is crucial
Indeed, such concerns are not entirely unjustified. Because by no means all providers sell their customers a fixed rate that cannot be challenged by the insurance company in the event of damage. In the small print of the insurance conditions, the wheat is separated from the chaff. Only if the fixed rate is formulated as a real replacement value insurance will it keep what it promises in the event of damage.
Check the fine print before signing. How is the fixed rate defined therein?
At the largest boat policy broker, the Hamburg-based Pantaenius GmbH & Co. KG, the inventor of the fixed rate in the yachting sector, the conditions say: "Insurance value is the new value (replacement value for similar new items). The amount of this value is as Estimate fixed on the total amount of the sum insured shown in the policy."
The passage from the company Firmenich is very similar: "The sum insured shown in the policy is considered a fixed rate agreed between the policyholder and the insurer. The amount may only be changed in agreement with the policyholder. new things)."
And boat insurance broker Yacht-Pool from Ottobrunn expressly advises when choosing an insurer to ask whether the offered fixed rate is unlimited in time, that is, whether it is valid until you want a different insured value yourself.
Otherwise the insurer does not have to feel bound by the fixed rate. Even the term is neither protected nor generally defined anywhere.
And so it happens that some insurers have softened their fixed rates over the years and only replace the current value of the yacht in the event of a total loss - regardless of the fixed rate. Mostly they then refer to the Insurance Contract Act, which contains a prohibition on overinsurance. According to the Hamburg yacht insurance company Schomacker, caution should therefore always be exercised when simply using the term "taxe" or "fixed taxe" in the insurance conditions.
The sum insured must be realistic
Regardless of this, setting a realistic sum insured has top priority when taking out comprehensive insurance, emphasizes Schomacker managing director Andreas Medicus. "This is usually the purchase price plus the equipment and any personal effects. In the case of older yachts, the sum insured should be chosen so that a replacement of an equivalent yacht is possible."
And further: "Ships that have been insured for a long time often have a sum insured that cannot currently be obtained on the market. Here it is important to consider whether it makes sense to reduce the sum insured In any case, we paid the agreed amount, "said Medicus.
In fact, a customer of the broker who had lost his ship in the fire in the Ancora-Marinin Neustadt in December received the full sum insured within a short time, even though the amount was well above the current market value of the already older ship. "However, one hears of many insurance cases where there were considerable discussions with the insurer in the event of a total loss," said Medicus.
In addition to the aforementioned providers Hamburger Yachtversicherung, Pantaenius, Firmenich and Yacht-Pool, other renowned policy brokers and agents also offer an incontestable fixed rate. With the free YACHT online insurance comparison, you can obtain offers from several insurers and compare them with one another with one click of the mouse.