Boat damage in port in Covid times: here’s who pays

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Together with the expert, we answer a question we have been asked by many boat owners who are stuck at home and therefore unable to check on their boat

During the period of forced stay at home due to the health emergency from Covid-19, so many of you wrote to us, concerned, asking a question, “Since I cannot go to check the boat in the harbor, if it sinks or suffers damage, am I entitled to be compensated?”

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We get the essential answer from Riccardo Klinguely, head of the marine sector at the historic Milan-based broker David Assicurazioni(www.davidassicurazioni.it): “If you have taken out a good body policy, the chances of having your damages recast are much higher.”

But be careful not to lump everything together: “In the event that it is determined by the surveyor that the boat has sunk or sustained damage, for example, due to poor maintenance of the sea intakes or carelessness (a classic case being poorly arranged mooring lines) it will be impossible to be reimbursed.”

Continues Klinguely: “It is different, however, when a technical defect is found in the sea intakes (or in the equipment causing the damage) that was not foreseeable by the shipowner. In this situation, reimbursement will be given, sometimes calibrated to the state of wear and tear of the equipment. It may be that failure to monitor the boat, given the ban on reaching it, increases the possibility of such accidents occurring. And it is at these junctures that a reliable insurance company makes all the difference.”

Obviously a good “all-risks” body policy, such as the one offered by David, the result of agreements with major international companies, Includes damage from vandalism on boats moored in the harbor (marinas at this time are subject to less scrutiny, including by staff) and also the “waiver of recourse” clause, which prevents the company from retaliating against ports or storage yards if damage attributable to the facility occurs.

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