What should I advise my client about their insurance options when deciding not to put their boat on the water until the uncertainty has passed?

There is a lot of anxiety surrounding when the navigation season will actually commence this year due to COVID-19. Because of the delays, owners of boats will be inclined to perhaps not renew their boat policies in order to save money.

 

We suggest that clients do not panic by cancelling their boat insurance. Their vessels still remain at risk of certain perils whilst out of the water. Theft, fire and vandalism are some of the biggest perils that watercraft are exposed to whilst on land.

Who should clients contact in order to find solutions to keep their insurance in force until the crisis passes?

We suggest that before cancelling one’s watercraft policy, brokers should have discussions with their clients regarding maintaining the vessels laid up for a short period of time, until COVID-19 passes and the boats can be placed back into the water, which could result in a premium reduction and thus some savings for the client. This is to be discussed with our underwriters.

How will the current crisis affect the flow of my client’s goods?

One of the biggest impacts that COVID-19 could have on Commercial Marine clients is spoilage of perishable goods that are in transit, whether by sea, air, rail, and truck.

 

– As goods reach their final destination, there becomes an increasing chance that the shipments by sea are turned away at port, or even face delays getting into port due to more stringent screening measures of approaching vessels.

 

– Aircraft can face similar challenges as they can be held on the runway for longer periods of time than they are usually accustomed to.

 

– For trains and trucks, there is a possibility that they become physically denied at their respective border crossings.

 

As a result of these potential slow downs, perishable goods are at a higher risk of spoilage. For example, fresh produce may exceed the maximum amount of time that it can remain in a container and can spoil easily.

 

Same thing goes for refrigerated and frozen goods. The longer these goods remain in transit, the more they risk being victims of refrigeration breakdown, which can occur on any conveyance (sea, air, rail, truck)

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