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Superyacht tender insurance 101: How to make sure your policy is right

Written by
Laura Nicholls

Superyacht tenders have been getting bigger, faster and more expensive for years. Regardless of whether a tender is a pure means of transport or a luxury toy, tenders should always be handled with the utmost care, both when at the helm and when being insured. On average, Pantaenius insures 5,000 superyacht tenders and receives around 50 claims per year. The causes of the claims are as diverse as the tenders with which they are caused, as Olivier de Roffignac and Michelle van der Merwe of Pantaenius know all too well. Therefore, they have shared their knowledge and expertise with SuperYacht Times on what makes the perfect tender insurance policy.Bold yacht with her tender  at anchor of Juan-Les-PinsPhoto: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesWhat are the most common requests you receive regarding tender insurance? 

The requests are usually regarding day-to-day operations, such as using the tender separately from the mothership, which depends on the distance, the reason for the trip and may require a separate policy for the tender if these journeys are ongoing. If the tender is registered separately from mothership it is advisable to insure the tender on a separate insurance policy. I have also been asked about storing tenders ashore for the winter and usually, the hull insurance would cover this subject to the tender being stored in a locked and secure area, but again, it is advisable to check with your insurance provider.Tender yacht in Saint-Tropez Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesHow do you classify a tender in insurance?

From the insurance point of view, a tender always belongs to the mothership. In other words, only activities related to the mothership are covered which applies to both hull and liability insurance. Therefore, if tenders are not used as a means of transport to or from the mothership or because the mothership is not suitable for entry into certain bays, it should be checked whether the planned use of the tender could still be regarded as relevant. If a tender is not used in connection to its mothership or is separately registered, a separate hull and liability policy should be in place to ensure full insurance coverage. When tenders are replaced or new ones bought, it is also important to take a close look at the insurance policy. As prices for ever-more-luxurious tenders rise, so does the likelihood that the value of a tender will affect the policy’s total sum insured.Attila yacht in Saint-Tropez Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesDo you have any further tips on how to tow and handle a tender safely?

Some policies will exclude liability to persons who use the yacht’s tenders and who do not possess necessary licenses required by the Flag state. Therefore it is essential that the owner, manager and captain read their policy exclusions to understand what, and who is covered. Captains should ensure that the crew members who serve the tenders have the appropriate licenses and practical experience. Unfortunately, with tender claims, we register a disproportionately high percentage of personal injuries. 

If tenders are regularly towed by the mothership, it is important to consider this in the policy, as underwriters will assume a higher risk in this case. Some policies require a 24/7 watch when a tender is towed. If the crew does not meet these warranties, the insurance cover is at risk. At Pantaenius, we have specific wording which we provide our clients with regarding towing, and this must be adhered to for a claim to be considered. First, we assess the risk and check if we need to increase the deductible or increase the premium. Then we apply the towing conditions, which include: 

  • No towing in forecasted wind speeds exceeding Beaufort Force 4 
  • Stable weather conditions for 48 hours and maximum distance to the next safe harbour is 60nm 
  • Professional towing bridle to be installed and used at all times during towing operations 
  • Tracking device and rear camera to be installed remain operational at all times whilst being towed
  • No towing between hours of sunset and sunrise

Ulysses yacht in Saint-Tropez Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesAre there any special insurance protocols to protect a heavily customised tender?

We recommend sending an in-depth appraisal of the tender to your insurance broker or agent. The insurer will then advise on any additional premium, conditions of usage and storage and if the deductible will increase in the event of a claim.Le Grand Bleu yacht with her tender at anchor off AntibesPhoto: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesWhat agenda items should owners be looking out for in contracts to best protect their tender?

It is always important to check the quotation, contract and policy wording carefully and that there is sufficient liability insurance in place for the tender. 

When it comes to coverage for a tender, particular areas to review in detail are:

  • The actual extent of the insurance coverage within the ‘All Risks’ clause under the hull insurance
  • The insured values
  • Any warranties or subjectivities related to tenders 
  • The list of exclusions
  • The deductible to be applied for insured damages to the tender
  • Whether there are any restrictions on usage of the tender away from the mothership
  • Whether there are any licensing or qualification requirements in the contract for the crew using the tender
  • What crew insurance is in place for the tender, as all those who operate the tender should be insured
  • Whether there are any towing restrictions 
  • Onshore storage requirements if the tender is in winter storage
  • If shipping cover is included/excluded if the tender is being shipped by cargo across the Atlantic or Pacific

Pantaenius Insurance marketingTo find out more about Pantaenius and their broad portfolio of products which include insurance benefits for major refit and construction projects, hull insurance, P&I insurance, as well as crew accident and health insurance, or their 14 branches across three continents, please get in touch directly using the details below.

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