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  • #17919

    I have been doing some research on the best travel insurance policy for sailors, and the results for me (46 years old, annual travel insurance required, cover worldwide including the USA which meant I wanted £10m medical insurance) were surprising. I was promoted to look as my current travel insurance (provided by HSBC) had sailing restrictions in it and as I do more sailing further from the coast I found I was not covered. I was also not covered when I was on my own boat.

    I looked at Bishop Skinner, Pantaenius, Insure to Go, Navigators (not Navigators and General) and TopSail (which offers members of the Cruising Association a 10% discount) ie the traditional sailing insurance providers in the UK and found them all to be problematic against my criteria.

    The best by far was American Express and their Select travel insurance product. It was the cheapest, had the highest limits, low excesses, covered sailors offshore on our own or any other boat. I was surprised by this, not least because all the sailing insurers claimed they had the best cover, endorsed by the RYA etc.

    Obviously other peoples requirements will be different, but you really do have to read the small print on these policies to ensure you are covered for what you need.

    I have attached a spreadsheet showing my findings.



    David Babsky

    When we took over NAUTILIA from Dr Vic, we continued with his insurers of Leigh-on-Sea, whom he’d selected after careful comparisons.

    I carefully checked whether they covered solo sailing, and for a small excess they cover me for single-handed sailing, and they also extended the standard, typical motor-sailing range from Brest to the Elbe.

    They’ve been very helpful, cover the machinery and dinghy as well as the hull and sails, offer legal cover, and have various paragraphs about inexperienced sailors as long as they’re under the supervision of an experienced sailor. I get a handy No Claims Bonus from them, and I’ve been very satisfied with their attention to detail. However, I’ve never made any claim, so I can’t say how well, or not, they deal with claims.

    David Babsky

    Dr Vic has just replied to me ( a separate thread..):

    I’m so pleased to see your message. Happy Christmas to you and Silke. I’ve had to claim 2 times, and they were extremely helpful, quietly efficient and didn’t put my premium up. I would still recommend them as good marine insurers.
    Kindest Regards,
    Vic and Ann



    Thanks for the recommendation, but I was talking about

      travel insurance

    not hull insurance (and normally liability insurance if you are at fault).

    Typically hull insurance on the boat does not cover yourself eg if you are overseas and need medical attention, or worse repatriation (which would not be covered by an European Health Card which only gives reciprocal health cover). It may be it is obvious, but I found my standard travel insurance policy would not cover me while sailing eg if I was flying to Spain to go sailing and I lost my bags, or had to cancel the trip then I would not be reimbursed.

    Simple advice is to dig your travel policy out and check it.



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