At the start of the season, not only the boat should be made fit. A critical look at the existing insurance coverage can also be worthwhile. Are the scope of coverage, the terms and conditions and, above all, the premiums for boat liability and comprehensive insurance still in keeping with the times? Or are there better offers now? The market is on the move. The most important news at a glance:
In YACHT 5/2008 we reported that the traditional Dutch brokerage office Eerdmans (www.eerdmans.nl) had changed hands again. Reinier van der Post is now in charge there. Before him, Ronald P. Triemstr ran the business after the former company founder Reinder Eerdmans retired and sold his office to Europeesche Verzekeringen.
When Triemstr could not reach an agreement with the insurance company about a complete takeover of all shares in the business, he has drawn the conclusions and has now set up his own brokerage office together with his wife Anneke. The name: Nauticfun Yacht Insurance (www.nauticfun.de).
Nauticfun works as an independent policy broker with various insurance companies in Holland, above all with Unigarant from Hoogeveen. This is a 100 percent subsidiary of the ANWB (the Dutch equivalent of the ADAC with over three million members) and is now the second largest water sports insurer in Holland.
The insurance conditions are very good, the premiums are cheap, and there are hardly any problems with claims processing, says Triemstrüber from Unigarant. Together they want to gain a firm place among the boat insurance providers in Germany.
"We want to achieve this not only through the good terms and conditions, but especially through top service for our customers," says Triemstra. Among other things, you are available around the clock, seven days a week, to record damage reports and process them as quickly as possible. "We are water sports enthusiasts ourselves and we know how important it is to be able to enjoy the time on the ship without worrying about being safe."
Nauticfun does not only get competition from its own country from long-established brokers such as Eerdmans, Kuiper or Schepen Onderlinge. DNYacht Finance & Insurance is now also coming into play as a new player (www.dnayachtinsurance.de). Behind it, as a 100 percent shareholder, is DNAdviesgroep BV, a consultancy company from the Frisian town of Woudsend. The company wants to bring DeltLloyd water sports policies to sailors not only in the Netherlands, but also increasingly in Germany, and is currently looking for sales partners in this country.
The head of DNA, Siep Amsterdam, points out the extensive advantages of his insurance products: “Liability coverage is generally five million euros. German customers also conclude their contracts according to German law. In addition to current value insurance, we also offer cover via a fixed rate with a ship's value guarantee for three years. We grant an excess coverage of ten percent in the event of a total write-off. We offer comprehensive coverage for hidden defects. These are also insured for the engine and drive for ten years. We do not make any “new for old” deductions, with the exception of sails and sprayhood. The deductible decreases from year to year if there is no damage. Rescue and auxiliary wages are insured indefinitely. We provide protection for large, tailor-made sailing areas, and on request the boat can also berth in southern Europe. The inventory and the dinghy are also insured, and we provide free assistance in the enforcement of recourse claims."
And that's not all, of course, the DN also counts on extensive service. These range from a pan-European emergency service, which can be reached around the clock, to free accident coverage.
In view of the increasing competition from abroad, but also as a result of the increasing competitive pressure in Germany, the local providers have to constantly consider new strategies in order to retain existing customers or to expand their business.
Recently, for example, Yachting24 (www.yachting24.de), the online offshoot of the industry leader Pantaenius, announced that it would spice up the conditions it had just introduced to the market. The offer, which offers a kind of basic protection, is intended to attract customers who primarily pay attention to the price and for whom comprehensive advice is not so important (see YACHT 2/2008). But it doesn't seem to work without the usual market conditions. Due to high demand, according to an authorized representative of the company, the decision was made to increase the maximum coverage for yacht liability insurance to five million euros.
Esa-EuroShip (www.esa-marine.de), a subsidiary of Allianz-Versicherung AG, is even more radical. The company only recently caused a stir in the industry with a low-priced tariff for Lake Constance sailors. From May onwards, the entire sailing clientele will no longer be offered a single comprehensive tariff, but three. Depending on their needs, customers can then choose between the Basic, Comfort and Premium variants. For the better-off clientele with ships that are worth at least 2.5 million euros, there is also a platinum tariff.
“The basic tariff is partially comprehensive. It only covers very specific dangers, such as theft of the boat or damage as a result of fire or explosion. The premium will be correspondingly low,”explains MartinHellhoff from Esa. Comfort protection includes basic coverage in the form of a fully comprehensive policy with all-risk coverage. The premium tariff offers significantly expanded coverage. "We will recommend this tariff above all to new boat owners who want to be completely covered and who also pay for this additional protection."
MartinHellhoff: “Especially nowadays, in which a lot is done over the Internet and comprehensive advice sometimes falls by the wayside, we would like to give interested parties a choice between different conditions without having to forego service and support due to lower premiums Must.”And further:“Our sales network is made up of Allianz representatives, who are available nationwide with advice and practical help on site at the customer’s site.”In the future, they will be specially trained in matters of boat liability and comprehensive insurance policies. Hellhoff aims to have at least one Allianz specialist who specializes in water sports in every sailing area in Germany in the foreseeable future.
And with Es, too, service is very popular as an additional benefit. Since the beginning of 2008, their services have been expanded considerably in cooperation with Mondial Assistance. The previous 24-hour helpline, 365 days a year, is still available to Esa customers in the event of a claim. The employees take over the organization of the necessary immediate measures and provide assistance in the event of damage. "For this we have a network of partners who are available in all insured areas in the event of problems," says Hellhoff
In cooperation with Mondial Assistance, Esnun also provides all customers with a worldwide advisory service that can also be used independently of the yacht. This emergency and organizational helper for all situations includes travel and health assistance services that can be called up by phone around the clock worldwide.
The travel service can be used, for example, to call up information about entry and vaccination regulations in the country of travel, to get advice on putting together a first-aid kit or to find out where to reserve flights and hotels. The health service helps find suitable doctors and hospitals abroad, monitors outpatient or inpatient treatment based on German medical standards and, if necessary, organizes repatriation home.
The highlight: All consulting and organizational services are free of charge for Esa customers. However, the service does not cover third-party services such as flight tickets, hotel rooms or the doctor's bill. Incidentally, insured persons who do not take out their policy directly with Esa, but rather from an independent broker who works with Esals insurer, also benefit from Mondial Assistance.
A look at the fine print or a call to the insurance agent helps to find out which company is actually behind your contract.
And if you want to be on the safe side and obtain current conditions from various providers, simply fill out the ready-made YACHT application form. This is sent to over 20 insurers, who then send the interested party an individual offer.