Insurance at RBYC: Are you fully covered?

The following information aims to provide a detailed analysis of what RBYC requires for insurance, as well as important information about what insurance companies may not be telling you.

RBYC requires all boats to have as a minimum third-party property and third party liability to $10M.  Yachts that race must have a policy that covers them whilst racing.  Sportsboats, Dragons, Etchells, dinghies and powerboats may need to ensure they are covered when being moved on trailers.

Australian Sailing provides a useful checklist – click here

There are many scenarios where you need cover – amongst them;

  • Your boat blows over and damages another boat
  • Dismasting injures a crew member,
  • Your boat catches fire and burns others in the marina.
  • You are at fault in a racing incident
  • An accident occurs using a hardstand crane

Your insurance may not cover you for all scenarios – you need to read the Product Disclosure Statement for your policy.

RBYC rules require insurance for any boat stored at the club, on club grounds or involved in club events.

Racing Cover

With nearly every insurance company, racing cover is either an extra expense option or not available.  Further, some insurance companies only offer a limited form of “Social” racing cover not full racing cover.

Often, (though you need to check your particular Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)) social racing is defined with limits on race length and does not allow the use of extras or spinnakers.  With “Social” racing cover, you might be covered for Wednesday Twilight non spinnakers but not for other races.  You must check your specific PDS.

Other racing covers are more general but may limit duration, distance from shore or night racing etc.  Again, you need to check your PDS for details and restrictions.

If your insurer refuses to honour the policy, you may be pursued by injured parties.

Product Disclosure Document (PDS)

The PDS relating to your policy provides details of coverage, exclusions and conditions.  As an example, a PDS may exclude cover if:

  • your yacht is operated by an unauthorised, unlicensed, alcohol or drug affected person
  • your yacht is not maintained, has corrosion or standing rigging older than a defined age
  • personal property is lost
  • there are latent defects (hidden defects from manufacture or design)
  • your yacht is outside of defined geographic boundaries or after clearing customs to leave the country
  • damage occurs from malicious actions, war or terrorism, gross negligence, reckless or incompetent actions

Further, significant limits and definitions of bodily harm (eg only total loss of limb, not damage to limb; total loss of thumb or forefinger, not other finger) may apply and possibly ONLY the person holding the insurance cover is insured – not crew or other parties..

Australian Sailing “Silver” card

RBYC senior and crew members (including day pass) are covered by the Australian Sailing’s Personal Accident Insurance Policy which provides insurance to all current registered Club Members.  The reference is

Broadly, the scheme provides a form of limited gap insurance for personal injury or death.  It does not cover pre existing conditions.  The injured persons general medical insurance covers general injury.  Often this means that extras (such as physiotherapy) may have limits that could result in substantial out of pocket expenses.