If you’re venturing out on a trip on the high seas, travel insurance should definitely be on your checklist. Sailing is not without its risks, and you’ll sleep better at night knowing you’re covered in the case of accident, personal liability and medical treatment.
Even if you just taking a short trip, you may still need to be careful. Although you might not have considered it “travel” as such, if you venture outside UK waters, you’re technically abroad – and effectively, anything that happens to you there happens in a foreign country. If you need to be rescued or taken to hospital and treated, then you won’t end up on British soil – and that will probably translate into hefty medical fees.
We all know the last thing you want after an emergency situation is to be dealing with payment worries or large treatment costs, so it makes sense to get your travel insurance sorted before you push off.
We often assume that our usual travel insurance covers our sailing trips. It seems like a given – if you go abroad, then it counts a travel, and you’d naturally expect to be covered by your policy.
But If you’re sailing under a typical free travel insurance policy such as the ones provided as perks to credit cards, home insurance, and bank accounts, then you should check your policy carefully.
Many of these free policies do not cover sailing over twelve nautical miles offshore, and a large number of them actually exclude waterborne activities entirely.
The best way to ensure that you’re covered on the high seas is with dedicated sailing travel insurance. There aren’t many solid policies out there, and it takes a bit of digging to find the better ones – however, our firm favourite is Topsail Insurance.
Topsail offer a Yachtsman’s Travel Insurance Policy, specifically designed to cover keen sailors such as yourself. The policy covers you whether you own your own boat, intend to charter one, or are planning a circumnavigation of the globe.
It’s available as a single trip or annual policy, and worldwide trip coverage is available.
There are a couple of other points that are important in all travel insurance policies, but especially relevant to sailors. If you want peace of mind on the water, make sure your policy includes the following:
As Brits, we often underestimate the cost of medical treatment abroad. Costs in the EU range from reasonable to expensive, and treatment in the USA can be extremely pricy – for example, a simple appendix operation could cost over $40,000. Make sure your police has ample coverage for medical costs – £2 million should be the minimum really, and of course, the more the better.
Despite our best laid plans, things sometimes do go wrong when sailing. No matter how much training we’ve had, conditions can conspire to throw our journey into chaos – sometimes with embarrassing or costly consequences. If you find yourself in a situation where there is damage to another boat, a property, or even a situation where injury has occured, then personal liability cover is invaluable for taking care of the costs.
Get your travel insurance sorted, and you’ll be free to focus on the important stuff – cruising on the open water, meeting the ocean’s challenges with competent sailing, and enjoying every minute of your trip.