Health Insurance for superyacht crew
By Peter Brooke
This article is published on: 7th October 2014
In a previous article I spoke about the list of 10 rules by which we believe you should live your yachting careers. To expand on these rules I have written a series of articles to show the details behind each rule.
RULE #5 – Check the medical cover available to you from the yacht.
If the yacht offers (and pays for) your health insurance as part of your employment package be sure that you’re fully covered at work and off the boat. A crew friend of mine got knocked off his scooter and was taken to hospital near Antibes. Because he was not covered by the French state system (he worked on a foreign-flagged boat), the boat’s health insurance provider was liable for the entire amount…or so he thought. As it turned out, he was not covered by the “group scheme” when he was not on board and had to raid his savings for the money. It’s vital to check if the cover provided is as comprehensive as you think it is.
This is also something to check when you are having an interview for the job; make sure you are getting either membership of a group scheme or additional income to fund your own policy.
Depending upon your nationality and the vessel’s flag, you may be eligible to receive social security cover from the flag state; check with your captain or purser when joining the boat.
Job security in the yachting industry is not one of the great benefits; investigate whether it’s better to opt out of your employer’s cover and have them fund a personal policy that can be taken with you should you move job/yacht. You could build up significant no-claims bonuses.
When researching a policy and the policyholder, consider the following:
Normally divided into Europe, Worldwide, excluding North America (N.A.), or Worldwide including N.A. Think about where you’re likely to be most of the time. Some policies allow trips to N.A. for up to 90 days.
The most important issue – do you want to be fully reimbursed for every eventuality or just “the big stuff”? All insurance companies will produce benefit tables for their different levels of cover, though it’s difficult to fairly compare all plans. It’s about finding the best compromise for your situation.
If you have an existing chronic condition, it may not be covered although different underwriting forms exist to decide this with different insurers. This is important to raise when choosing a scheme.
You can reduce your premium by taking a larger excess. This is the amount you pay first before the coverage from the insurance company kicks in.
NO CLAIMS BONUS
If you don’t make a claim in a given year, then you’ll receive a reduction on the premiums the following year (just like car insurance). Some insurers don’t offer this.
If you’re planning a family and want to ensure the costs of the treatment and delivery, you’ll probably need to take out maternity coverage from the beginning. Most insurers will demand that you’re a member (with added maternity cover) for at least 12 months BEFORE getting pregnant.
This article is for information only and should not be considered as advice.