After the storm in Rapallo, Italy


On 30th October powerful storms hit Italy and tragically 11 people died.

In the popular yachting town of Rapallo hundreds of yachts were damaged or destroyed.

The harbour was home to several superyachts including the Berlusconi family’s superyacht Suegno. Footage of the devastation was shown all around the world, such was the magnitude of the chaos caused.

Thoughts for many superyacht owners turned to their insurance and whether the small print of their policies would not cover them for the damage.

Jens Ploch, from Pantaneius Yacht Insurance said: “Some insurances do not cover this kind of Act of God or natural disaster. However, all our hull contracts cover this kind of event. In addition, some of the superyachts may have special warranties in their policies referring to minimum manning/watch-keeping requirements, which must be complied with for the policy to perform.”

Pantaneius was directly affected by the events in Rapallo and promptly put members of its team on the ground to assist its clients. “They are nervous and anxious about the financial impact this storm may have for them. It shows that the climate is changing and that freak storms like this can also occur in the Mediterranean.”

During the Rapallo storm waves on the Italian coast reached as high as 10 metres and the marina’s defensive seawall was unable to hold back the storm’s force. In November 2000 the marina wall was breached in similar conditions and had been rebuilt higher with the aim of containing any future catastrophes. Now, it appears that the rebuild was not enough.

“The main issue is the marina’s seawall coming down. With the full swell in the marina no mooring lines could hold the yachts,” said Ploch. “We estimate the damage to superyachts at approximately €75 million. Possibly more.”