Do you have the boat in port? Here’s who gets paid by insurance in the event of a disaster

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motor boats insurance

In the case of damage to boats moored in the harbor or at anchor following a more or less exceptional event(such as the late October storm surge), let’s try to figure out who pays, who is entitled to be compensated, and who is left with a fistful.

Does the mooring contract always require the port facility to take custody of the boat?

According to the Supreme Court, yes. The owner certainly pays not to grab a few square meters of water, but to protect his boat. This “reading” applies even if there is no mooring contract in place. The custodial obligation is defined by various criteria, such as the existence of personnel always ready to intervene if there is a risk of damage to the boats, a surveillance service, the presence of a protected area for boat storage, etc.

What types of insurance can I draft for a boat?

The classic liability is compulsory for all watercraft and boats (and ranges from about 70 to 200 euros), the Bodies Policy (a kind of “superkasko” that has many clauses) is optional. Prices, depending on the clauses, range from 400 to 3,000 euros annually.

In case of disaster and loss of the boat, am I safe with the Bodies Policy?

The Bodies Policy is a contract between individuals, you will have to read the clauses of the contract well: those with more serious agencies include natural disasters among the risks so they cover damages. If you have signed the clause to waive the insurance company’s right of recourse against the facility in which the unit is located, for damages attributable to the facility itself, you are in a safe harbor (if you have not signed the clause, the insurance company can recourse against the marina, lengthening the time for compensation and with the real risk of never seeing the money again).

Are there any “buts?”

Please note, however, that damage caused by inadequate mooring and in-water protection systems is usually excluded in the Bodies Policy. The “smarter” companies, should a state of natural disaster be granted, could appeal to the exceptional nature of the event not to issue refunds. So we repeat: rely on serious companies. There is another very important clause: the so-called “total loss,” which is divided into two types. The first is actual total loss, in case of sinking, theft, disappearance; the second is constructive, that is, if the repair costs are higher than the insured boat’s commercial value. Included in the clause are the costs of wreck recovery and salvage. Beware that the Minimum Bodies policy does not include theft as a cause of total loss!

What if I only have RC?

Liability (Third Party Liability) covers damage caused to third parties in the event of a claim. If my boat was sunk or damaged by a boat that broke its moorings and came against mine, in theory the liability should cover the damage. But it is not automatic. A judge must step in to determine whether there was malice/negligence on the part of the vessel causing the damage (perhaps the boat was not properly moored) or whether the accident was due to force majeure. In case of a natural disaster, it will lean toward the latter. So the RC backs out and the boat owner who caused the damage does not have to answer for it (precisely because he had the RC). And you will not see a euro. If your boat sinks, however, you have to recover it with your own money, otherwise you risk criminal charges for environmental pollution. And then, mockery of mocks, incur the disposal costs, which are high (fiberglass).

So, in conclusion, the advice is always the same: don’t limit yourself to liability, take out a good Bodies policy, underwriting the right clauses. It will never be money thrown away.

Small excursus on Rapallo’s Carlo Riva Harbor where hundreds of boats sank during the late October hurricane. For now, one can only wait for the outcome of the prosecutor’s investigation, but should the marina be proven to be objectively at fault and the latter not be found to be insured, the possibility of recourse against it by the its owners would almost certainly result in its bankruptcy: and then, again, who will compensate the damage to the boats that were moored there?

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