Life insurance. It’s one of the dullest topics on Earth UNTIL it becomes urgently necessary. That’s when you wish you had paid a lot more attention to it. Taking the time to get it properly organised, especially in a profession entailing a certain amount of risk on the high seas, is not only wise, it’s essential.
Not having life insurance at sea is as unthinkable as, well, not having a lifeboat.
We asked our insurance partner, an expert in the field, the most frequent questions raised when customers sign up for life insurance.
These are his answers - a five-minute read that could protect you or your loved ones and help you to understand the importance of ensuring you have adequate protection.
Q: What is life insurance?
A: Life insurance is a contract between an insurer and a policyholder in which the insurer guarantees payment of a death benefit to named beneficiaries upon the death of the insured.
The main purpose of life insurance is to provide financial protection to surviving dependents after the death of an insured. So, it is essential for applicants to analyse their financial situation and determine the standard of living needed for their surviving dependents before purchasing a life insurance policy.
Q: I’m young, fit and healthy, so why do I need life insurance?
A: It's precisely when you're young, fit and healthy that it's a good time to take out life insurance, and to keep it going. Not only is it cheaper to take out insurance when you're young, should anything happen to you later along life's journey, you may find you can no longer obtain life insurance.
Q: Why do I need life insurance? I have it through my employer.
A: You may think you have life insurance, but it would be unusual for a yacht to have you covered.
It’s more likely you are covered for accident, sickness, accidental death or permanent injury - but not if you die from natural causes. Death by natural causes is often a disease-related process that has progressed and caused organ failure. Such diseases are usually pre-existing such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer.
Q: I’ve heard superyacht crew can’t get life insurance. Is that true?
A: No. You may have heard this as you travel the world and it does apply in some situations. You need to get specialist advice from a broker who deals with and understands yacht crew.
Q: Do I need to take a medical?
A: Life insurance medicals tend to be dependent upon the level of cover required and are nearly always required if there is a pre-existing condition.
Q: Can I just get my doctor to write a letter or have him take the tests?
A: No, a letter from your doctor will not be sufficient. Your doctor will need to carry out medical tests, which will be dependent on the level of cover required.
Q: Can my employer pay the premiums if they are willing to do so?
A: Yes, your employer can pay your premium on your behalf.
Q: What happens if I relocate to another country, is the insurance still valid?
A: Your insurance should be valid if you have advised your insurance company/broker of this relocation.
Q: I am always very busy, how long is this going to take to arrange?
A: It's important to allow sufficient time for medical tests to be undertaken and the type of tests will be determined by the level of cover required.
So, make sure you decide in good time when you know you will be ashore.
If you’re interested in life insurance, then please contact us via our website or call or email:
Melanie Langley - Senior Crew Benefits Adviser
[email protected] - +44 (0)7476 592592
About the Author:
Simon Dixon is an Insurance Risk Specialist with Moore Stephens Brokers Limited (MSBL) a registered insurance broker intermediating in hull insurance, P&I insurance and all related marine and yacht insurances including crew medical, accident, sickness and life insurance. MSBL is associated with Moore Stephens Crew Benefits (MSCB) which signposts to banking services, foreign exchange and international mortgages, specifically designed for superyachts and the unique lifestyles of yacht crew.
MSIOM is an independent member firm of Moore Stephens International Limited, regarded as one of the world’s leading accounting and consulting networks located in 112 countries. Both MSCB Limited and MSBL Limited are incorporated in the Isle of Man, the latter being registered with the IOM Financial Services Authority in respect of General Business. Both companies have their registered office and place of business at 26-28 Athol Street, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 1JB.
Photo credits: Thumbnail, Pexels, CCO Creative Commons; other photos, Pixabay, CCO Creative Commons.