Yachting 101 | Buying Insurance For Your Yacht

Selling everything to buy a yacht and sail the world may seem like an impossible dream, but it's not as crazy as it sounds. In fact, more and more people are doing just that. Why? Because there's nothing quite like the freedom of sailing wherever you want, whenever you want. With the right planning and preparation, it's an achievable dream.

Unfortunately, yachting is not all fun and games. There is a serious side to it as well. One of the first things you need to do when you buy a yacht is to get insurance. Yachting is an expensive hobby, and you want to make sure your investment is protected in case of an accident or theft.

Are there different types of Caribbean yacht insurance?

There are a few different types of insurance you can get for your yacht.

  • Hull insurance covers the physical boat itself. This is important in case of an accident or damage from a natural disaster. While you will obviously want to protect your investment, if you have a lien on the yacht, the lienholder may have specific requirements for your Caribbean yacht insurance.
  • Cargo insurance protects any belongings you have on board your yacht. This is important in case of theft or damage to your belongings. Boat theft is a real issue and the results can be devasting.
  • Liability insurance covers you in case you accidentally injure someone or damage their property while sailing.

Make sure to talk to your Caribbean yacht insurance agent about what coverage is right for you, your yacht, and your needs.

Does Caribbean yacht insurance have restrictions?

Most yacht insurance policies have a territorial limit, which means they only cover you while sailing in specific waters. If you plan to sail outside of the policy's territorial limits, you will need to purchase an endorsement or rider to extend your coverage.

It's also important to note that many yacht insurance policies have age and usage restrictions. For example, many policies will not cover older yachts or yachts that are used for commercial purposes. Be sure to discuss any age or usage restrictions with your insurance agent.

What about hurricane season?

You cannot talk about Caribbean yacht insurance without mentioning hurricane season. While every insurance company is different, most want you out of the area come hurricane season. In other words, they may not cover you if you're sailing in the Caribbean from June 1 through November 30.

Some companies require you to move your yacht to a safe location, such as north of the hurricane belt along the eastern seaboard of the United States or south of the belt near the 'ABC' islands — Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Some Caribbean yacht insurance companies will also allow you to ride out the storm battened down in a safe harbor. Either way, it's important to have a plan in place and to know what your insurance company requires.

Bottom line

The bottom line is that buying yacht insurance is a necessary part of owning a yacht. Without it, you are putting your investment at risk. There are a variety of policies to choose from, so be sure to utilize Caribbean yacht insurance services and an experienced insurance agent to find the right policy for you.