Boat Insurance – Passage Planning

Statistics show a year-on-year increase in the number of small craft casualties since 2011. The overwhelming contributory factor in these claims is operator error. In the second of our bite-sized risk management tips for small craft operators we look at passage planning:

  •  It is vital to plan your voyage before sailing; you should take into consideration the type of yacht, deepest draft, engine capabilities, expected weather and tides.
  • Operator error is the main contributory factors in small craft accidents so special consideration should be given to any limitations of the crew.
  • Navigational hazards along the planned route should be identified and contingency plans should be at hand in case of engine failure.
  • Charts should be of largest scale possible and up to date. If electronic charts are used ensure you have the latest updates installed.
  • If chartering the vessels to the general public ensure adequate instructions are given to the hirer on handover and they understand the basics and importance of passage planning. Limitations of the vessel in terms of no-go areas and weather restrictions should be clearly explained.

 IRCM provides Insurance & Risk Management to operators of commercial and privately owned vessels. Telephone your marine specialist on 01902 796 793 or email

Fast Marine Trades Insurance Quotations Available Offline

UK Marine Trades Insurance specialists Insurance Risk & Claims Management (IRCM) are providing Marine Traders with a fast offline quotation service that means Marine businesses can obtain a quote and cover for Public & Yachtyard Liability in just a few minutes.  Mark Elcocks, Specialist Risks Manager with IRCM, said “This is aimed primarily at assisting sole traders who have comparatively straightforward insurance requirements – liability and perhaps some tools and equipment cover”.

Whereas Liability and Contents Insurance is generally available in an online format for many sectors, because the Marine Industry often requires specialist cover, online quotation options are not widely available.  Policy coverage varies significantly in the Marine Trades Insurance segment and most policies will restrict size and value of vessels worked on.  It makes sense, therefore, for Marine Traders to talk to a specialist who can find out about their business and recommend the appropriate insurance policy to accurately meet the trader’s specific requirements.

Mark went on to say “There seem to be more marine engineers working on a sub-contractual basis rather than employed basis who require their own Public and/or Yachtyard Liability Insurance.  We are frequently asked to provide almost instant insurance for some traders and have effective systems in place which mean we can respond to requests for immediate cover”.

As well as being a specialist Marine Trades Insurance broker, IRCM also has delegated in-house underwriting privileges, which means they are able to offer quotations without necessarily having to market cases to insurers.  The advantage to Marine Traders seeking a prompt quote and cover service is that they can provide the necessary details in a short telephone call, be offered a premium indication and have the necessary terms and conditions relayed to them in the same call.  Payment or finance can be simultaneously arranged as appropriate and a certificate of cover emailed immediately.  “We are often asked to email the certificate of cover to a particular marina office where the contractor is ready to begin work” said Mark, “A fast, accurate service with good cover can make all the difference to marine traders who need to get on and fulfil their contracts”.

For your fast Marine Trades Insurance quote and cover telephone Mark Elcocks on 01902 797 793

Boat Insurance – Small Craft Fire Safety

Statistics reveal a year-on-year increase in the number of small craft casualties in the last 4 years with a significant proportion arising from fire.  Some basic steps can be taken by operators of small craft to prevent onboard fires and minimise danger to crew and passengers.

1.  First-aid fire-fighting appliances should be serviceable.  The number of appliances and their location should be detailed on your vessel’s Fire Safety Plan which should also record the equipment’s date of expiry

2.  Maintenance of fire fighting appliances should be conducted annually by a suitably qualified person.

3.  The Galley is very often the seat of onboard fires.  The danger of fire can be minimised by simple measures such as storing gas bottles in a well-ventilated area with valves turned off when they are not being used.  Pipes, clips etc should be regularly checked for serviceability and replaced when necessary.

IRCM provides Insurance & Risk Management to operators of commercial and privately owned vessels. Telephone your marine specialist on 01902 796 793 or email

9 Reasons Why You Should Talk to IRCM About Your Marine Trades Insurance This July

1.  Unlike some insurance providers who won’t visit you if you aren’t paying them over £5,000 a year we offer face-to-face consultancy to our smaller marine traders. That way, we get to fully understand exactly how we can help you.

2.  Because we have sourced a suite of exclusive resources for you and your business you can benefit from a low-cost bundle of covers that gives you protection not generally available from other brokers

3.  Lower cost combined with better cover means you and your business are guaranteed maximum value

4.  You won’t be messed about over pricing – you can trust us to give you our best premium up front.

5.  There are no grey areas of cover in our policy wording – if we say your Yachtyard Liability limit is £5m then we will pay out up to that figure in the event of a claim.

6.  In the event of something going wrong you benefit from the support of our team of in-house claims handlers

7.  Rather than impose a 30-day limit we will guarantee any quote we give you this Summer for up to ten months (subject to their being no material changes in the interim) which means you won’t be under pressure to make a last-minute informed decision if your renewal date falls during your busiest time of the year.

8.  You have nothing to lose and, potentially, a lot to gain by spending 30 minutes of your time in an initial, free, no-obligation consultation with us.

9.  We won’t “Cold Call” you, so all you need to do to talk to us is telephone Mark Elcocks on 01902 796 793 or email


5 Reasons Why Your Sailing Club Insurance May Be Leaving You Personally Exposed

Many sailing clubs are registered charities or not-for-profit organisations.  Despite this, the club, its officers, trustees and members can still be held legally liable when things go wrong.  A standard sailing club insurance programme is unlikely to protect the club and its officers against some of the very real 21st Century hazards that they can often encounter. Here are just 5 examples of typically unprotected exposures facing clubs, their memberships and, in particular, their officers and trustees

1.  Club trustees’ and officers’ personal assets are at risk:  

If accused of breaching their duties then officers and trustees are personally liable to defend any claim against them.

2.  Employment Practices Liability claims are a significant risk – even for sailing clubs: 

In an increasingly litigious environment even if your employees are only engaged on a volunteer basis club officers and trustees can be held personally liable for breaches of employment legislation such as sexual harassment or discrimination.

3.  Investigations by bodies such as the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) are commonplace: 

A serious incident could lead to an investigation by the HSE and the award of fines as well as incurring significant defence costs. Both club and officers can be separately charged as exclusive legal entities.

4.  Your members can sue you: 

If your club membership isn’t happy with the way its committee have managed your club – for example, its financial affairs – they can take legal action against club officers and trustees. Costs of defending allegations can often run into tens of thousands of pounds.

5.  Your Public Liability Insurance won’t help you: 

Neither a club’s Public Liability Insurance, nor its Professional Indemnity cover will provide any protection for club officers or trustees in the event of them having to defend allegations of misconduct. Costs, as well as any awards against them, would have to be borne personally by the defendants.

These very real exposures can be neutralised with IRCM’s exclusive Directors & Officers Liability policies for sailing clubs.  This low-cost solution provides a sensible level of indemnity that protects the club itself as well as its officers and trustees.  It takes full cognisance that as a sailing club you are likely to be providing training and tuition as well as working with children or vulnerable adults so it fully meets your demands and needs.

For a no-obligation premium indication for your Sailing Club ‘phone Mark Elcocks on 01902 796 793 or email

Broker Moves Quickly to Assist UK Sailing Clubs

Specialist Marine Insurance Broker Insurance Risk & Claims Management (IRCM) have moved quickly to assist UK Sailing clubs in the wake of an announcement by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) that has seen them increase the scope of cover required by their Recognised Training Centres (RTCs).

The Association is the UK’s national body for boating (sail and powered) and has stated that the review is prompted by  changes in insurance over the last few years and the need for greater clarity on the form of insurance required as well as the levels of cover.  The announcement stresses that it is important for clubs to ensure their marine activities are fully disclosed to insurers and that “tuition” is included in the business description when undertaken by clubs.

Going forward RTC’s will be required to hold a minimum limit of indemnity of £3m in respect of their Public Liability Insurance – an increase of £1m.  Of greater significance is the requirement for RTC’s to hold a minimum of £500K Professional Indemnity cover in respect of their training activities, both ashore and afloat.  Professional Indemnity insurance is only available from a small panel of insurers and the combination of waterborne training which also often involves children and vulnerable adults is likely to rule some of the panel out as potential providers.  The scope of the Professional Indemnity cover also requires cover to include personal injury which will also serve to make the proposition even less attractive to insurers.

Mark Elcocks, Specialist Risks Executive with IRCM said “We thought it wise to move quickly to offer a solution for sailing clubs that are RTCs.  Many will have renewals in the next few months and although the Professional Indemnity requirement is not yet in force, clubs will have the benefit of knowing that they won’t be struggling to source a solution as the deadline approaches”.

Mark went on to say “Many RTC’s are not-for-profit sailing clubs that are essential to promoting sailing and we believe it’s vital to assist them whenever possible.  Many small clubs have modest revenue and we are not only committed to providing the right cover for them, we are also determined to provide them with a low-cost solution.  For this reason we are delighted to be able to offer such clubs a competitively priced Professional Indemnity and Public Liability package that they can either bolt onto their existing insurance programme or bundle with our own comprehensive low-cost sailing club cover”

For further information on obtaining low-cost comprehensive RYA-compliant insurance for your sailing club telephone Mark Elcocks at IRCM on 01902 796 793 or email


New Sailing Club Insurance Requirements

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) recently announced it’s recognised training centres (RTC’s) would require enhanced insurance cover – an increase in Public Liability (PL) insurance to a minimum indemnity limit of £3m and the addition of at least £500,000 Professional Indemnity (PI) cover in respect of it’s training activities.

The uplift in Public Liability Insurance is likely to result in a small increase in premiums for clubs, though clubs are advised to check that Yachtyard Liability is included as part of their cover.

The PI addition may cost clubs more than they would hope for as it is not cover that is as widely available – PI is only provided by a small number of insurers and waterborne activities are not in the appetite of the majority of those that do.

Independent Marine Insurance specialists IRCM are known for their innovation in the Marine Trades & Marine Club Segments and have moved quickly to ensure Sailing Clubs can access the cover they need at affordable premiums.

A low-cost product bundle that includes the following cover and meets RYA requirements is available to not-for-profit Sailing Clubs and Recognised Training Centres:

  •  Public, Products & Yachtyard Liability
  •  Employers Liability
  •  Professional Indemnity
  •  Directors & Officers Liability

For further information telephone Mark Elcocks on 01902 796 793 or email

Marine Trades Insurance Confusion Costing Superyacht Contractors

Superyacht contractors, ship repairers, as well as sub-contractors in both sub-sectors, are losing earning opportunities as well as being forced to pay unnecessary costs due to some recruitment businesses appearing to be adopting a “one size fits all” approach to insurance.

IRCM are regularly approached by traders who have been offered Bona Fide Sub-Contractor placements to undertake superyacht and ship engineering work.  In many cases they have been informed by the recruiting business that they need Employers Liability and professional Indemnity Insurances in addition to Public Liability cover.  Unless they can present evidence of cover they are unable to take-up the placement.

This creates problems in a number of areas.  First and foremost a sub-contractor without employees does not normally require Employers Liability Insurance.  Obtaining cover would obviously be at a cost to the sub-contractor which is not likely to be cheap (given the type and location of work to be carried out).

Secondly, Professional Indemnity Insurance is a product that indemnifies professionals in respect of any advice or design work they provide in return for a separate fee,  In every case that has come to IRCM’s attention, the sub-contractor concerned was simply carrying out work and was providing no advice or design work at all.  Marine-based Professional Indemnity Insurance is often costly, even for relatively low fee income – this is another potentially unnecessary and expensive cost for a sub-contractor.

The third issue relates to insurance providers themselves who must be fully Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).  Central to FCA expectations of insurance providers’ conduct is Treating Customers Fairly (TCF).  One of the principle TCF requirements is to give due regard to the interests of their customers and treat them fairly.  This does mean that the selling of products that are not relevant to a customer’s need is not permitted.  So, no matter how much an individual is being told that they need to have a certain cover in place just to get work, the insurance provider is unable to provide them with the cover if it doesn’t match their activities.

Finally, contractors themselves will potentially be losing out on having the best sub-contractors working for them:  if the best sub-contractors can’t get insurance, they can’t get the work.

Ship Repairers, Superyacht Contractors and their respective Sub-Contractors who would like to discuss this issue further can email or ‘phone Mark on 01902 796793

Sailing Club Insurance Premium Boost

IRCM has announced it ‘s starting premium for Sailing Club Insurance on it’s exclusive Bowline Marine Trades policy will be only £358 for an indemnity limit of £3m.

The announcement will be particularly welcomed by smaller clubs providing tuition who will need a £3m limit as an RYA Recognised Training Centre following the RYA’s recent move to increase the minimum level of cover held by its RTC’s from £2m.

The Public Liability Insurance offered by IRCM to sailing clubs provides full Yachtyard Liability as well as covering tuition activities.  Clubs interested in obtaining a competitive quotation for their liability insurance should email or telephone Mark Elcocks on 01902 796 793

£499 Marine Trades Liability & Tools Cover for Superyacht & Commercial Vessel Contractors

Marine Trades Insurance specialists IRCM have announced a new product bundle for businesses working in the UK’s buoyant Superyacht Sector.  The comprehensive package includes Property and Business Interruption options as well as providing a full range of Liability covers.  Standard programmes offer:

  • Buildings & Contents Insurance
  • Machinery & Plant
  • Lifting Equipment
  • Computers and Peripherals
  • Business Interruption (Lost profit & additional cost of working)
  • Money
  • Public, Products & Yachtyard Liability
  • Employers Liability

Business owners will also automatically be offered an additional bundle that includes Management Liability protection and Excess protection.  “The goal is to provide a truly comprehensive marine trades insurance programme to businesses operating in this sector” said Mark Elcocks IRCM’s Specialist Risks Executive

“We recognise that even in a growing market business owners will still want to minimise costs but also want the best possible solution.  In offering a comprehensive insurance bundle that not only offers traditional covers but offers additional protection to the bottom line as well as reducing exposure of a business owners personal assets we have economies of scale that means we can slim down the overall premium of the programme.  This means the business owner benefits from outstanding value”.

In addition to providing comprehensive marine trade insurance programmes, IRCM are also offering a low-cost entry-level solution for self-employed contractors.  “The issue these businesses face is that the usual Marine Leisure Insurance Market will not cover them to work on large yachts or commercial vessels and liability insurance for working on these larger, higher-valued vessels is significantly more expensive than that where work is restricted to smaller, lower valued craft”.

IRCM’s tools and liability insurance package for superyacht, large yacht and commercial vessel contractors starts at only £499 including tax and fee and provides £5m of Public, Products & Yachtyard Liability as well as £5,000 cover for tools and equipment anywhere in the UK.

For further details contact Mark Elcocks at IRCM on 01902 796 793 or email markelcocks@marine