AIG states most common superyacht insurance claim as contact not fire

Positive Energy

The most common insurance claim for superyachts comes from contact damage with either other vessels or stationary objects, according to AIG accounting for nearly 12% of all claims, according to new figures released by the AIG private client group.

Despite a series of high-profile yacht claims involving fire, including a blaze aboard the $2.5million yacht Positive Energy in March and the blazes onboard the £15m Barbie and the £22 million vessel The One in the port of Marmaris in January AIG said that fire was “a rare cause for insurance claims”.

However, in terms of the most expensive claims, fire tops the list by some margin accounting for nearly 20% of total claims paid. Groundings together with lightning damage accounted for a further 20% of amounts paid out on yacht claims.

Ben Lind, senior yacht underwriter at AIG, said: “Despite the fact that there has a been a spate of high profile fires on yachts in a number of marinas around the world, fire is, in fact, a rare cause for insurance claims but when it is, it is very expensive.

“As a result, fire safety training is extremely important which is why AIG provides firefighter training for both coastal firefighters and yacht crews most of whom rarely get the opportunity to drill in a simulated fire situation as a team although they will have had some individual training.”

Lind added: “Despite the levels of technology on board these high spec vessels, human error still plays a significant part in the equation. In addition, crew members are responsible for a range of activities from sailing to cooking to engineering and accidents can and do happen.

“For example, a crew member received a severe crush injury when loading a jet ski on to a yacht. Medical and rehabilitation cost together with loss of earnings were all part of the claim. So health and safety issues are important for owners and managers to recognise.”

AIG stated that it places a “great deal of emphasis” on helping owners and their service providers reduce risk and improve safety on vessels and that it advocates the use of thermal imaging cameras on board. It said that such a device would have “helped immeasurably” in a recent well publicised event when the location of an onboard fire remained undetected until the severity increased to the point where the heat started buckling plates on the superstructure.

“With a thermographic camera enabling crews to quickly find the seat of the fire, an estimated 90% of the damage could have been avoided with the added benefit of significantly less time in dock for repairs,” Lind concluded.


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