Lot of people have emailed me, and asked advice about what insurance to buy.
It is very difficult to give straight advice, as there are so many parameters that need to be accounted for, cruising area, language, coverage, price etc.
In order to make a choice, you have to define theparameters that are important for you. Without that knowledge, you will not be able to make an intelligent choice. In worst case you will end up with the insurance that offers the lowest price. That might well be an expensive alternative, if your expectations are not met.
Unfortunately our previous insurance company only covered Europe. This forced us to look for alternatives, as we have plans to sail outside Europe. We want an insurance company that has no geographical limitations, large network with repair yards and most important, terms in my native language (Swedish).
The company that could meet our requirements was Pantaenius.
Pantaenius offers insurance also if you decide to sail around the world. Your premium is based on the local area, in our case Europe. You must report to Pantaenius, if you want to sail outside your insured area.
We learned from our years in the marine business that local presence is so important. We wanted an insurer that had a good network with service yards. We did not find any that had a better network.
I wanted a contact that spoke our own language, in my case Swedish. I also want to read the terms in my own language. Even in your own language it can be challenging to understand all the terms.
In addition to the criteria we had defined we discovered that Pantaenius also included the following.
No write down of the value due to age
No write down on equipment, because of age. That means you get a new radar if the old one is stolen or damaged in a lightning strike. I think this is very generous!
Fixed value on the boat
In case of a total loss you get what you have agreed on in the insurance letter (agreed value), nothing more, nothing less.
Pantaenius also offers insurance for crew and or guests in case of accidents. We opted for that just because of convenience.
Pantaenius was not the cheapest offer we got. But the lowest price alternative did fail on the local language criteria. (We did not buy the cheapest boat either!) The price of your insurance will become very obvious the day you have to make a claim.
Pantaenius is a German company. My expectation is that they will fulfill the terms 100 %, in a German efficient order. I let you know if my expectations are met when I have my first claim. Hopefully it will never happen.
I wrote this article a month before our engine problems in Plymouth. One day the manager for the repair shop called me and said he wanted to come to the boat and discuss cost before any further work was done. Gary had been working 4 days troubleshooting. I understood this will not be inexpensive, and pulled out the insurance terms and started reading. I did find that Pantaenius would cover the engine, if it is not older than 5 years and have been maintained every 12-month by an authorized workshop.
I immediately contacted Pantaenius and asked if my damage would be covered. Our engine is 4 year and has been professional maintained. No problem was the answer. “We have even extended the coverage for Hallberg-Rassy owners to 8 years when it comes to engines”. That was good news for us, and made us feel much better.
I have to admit that the engine was not something I was thinking about when choosing insurance. As a matter of fact it was a pleasant surprise! Engine problems were not on my list for possible breakdowns. But there is always a first time with everything. It also shows how difficult it is to make an intelligent choice.
We met one boat owner that said he always bought the cheapest insurance, as it was not likely that something would happen “never have had a claim in 30 years”.
Well if something does not happen, you do not need insurance!
I had 31 years of boating until my first claim.