by John Curnow
So just who is Pantaenius? You may even wonder why you or anyone else should even care, for that matter.
Truth is, Pantaenius is one hundred and thirteen years old with a massive marine following around the globe of over 70,000, built up over the last 40 years. That’s pretty impressive, but there are several reasons and a few distinctions about Pantaenius, which have allowed for such a strong following. This is the important bit, especially if you’re one of those who only pays attention to the words that come after the but…
Pantaenius is Europe’s largest yacht insurance provider and they have just arrived in Australia to provide the same unique offering and dedicated service here, that has allowed them to become a global force in protecting your investment.
Local customer service staff handle all quotes and questions and there is a 24-hour claims helpline for added peace of mind, as well. Terrific. What’s even better, is that claims are also completely sorted in-house by specialists and marine surveyors, individually selected to take their passion for and experience in the marine world, then match it with the skills and training to meet your needs and requirements as an owner.
Often, the press come to seek out the expertise inside the group too and Pantaenius will also assist you with information on things like preventing damage, improving safety, salvage, and proper maintenance. Equally, this kind of service extends around their international network of 35,000 partner organisations – good to know if you’re a long-haul cruiser or racer!
OK. So it all sounds pretty sensational and one should always ask the questions and read the fine print before buying anything, especially financial services products.
However, check some of these features against your existing policy and you may well be asking a lot of questions of Pantaenius, especially, ‘When can I get a quote?’
• An agreed, fixed value that does not get watered down over time to current market value
• No deductions removed from the payout to account for inspections, towing or wreck removal
• No limit to the salvage cost, even if it exceeds the sum insured or does not actually succeed
• You have cover for breakdown, sinking, grounding collision and flooding, even for the vessel’s machinery and underwater equipment.
• You have to select it, but there’s new for old replacement available on claims for parts of the vessel, which would be really handy for things like masts, winches, biminis and the like.
• Transport and storage via land or sea within your designated cruising area is all taken care of.
• Again, you need to check the detail, but normal wear and tear is covered, even all your gear you leave on board, like dinghies, safety equipment, etc!
• Now this is the one I really like and until recently, the term was not even that well known – force majeure. And there is no qualifying statement, just the knowledge that you are covered for natural disasters. That rocks if you’ve lived, race or cruised in this country during the last 20 years, especially.
It seems a somewhat sad state of affairs that in these litigious times, one could get inspired by insurance that offers you protection from liabilities, both here in Australia and elsewhere in the world. Alas, a quick glance through this list could well have you nodding your head in agreement.
• Unpaid crew and guests are covered for injury and claims against either an uninsured third party or even yourself! You also get cover to look after the cost of your defence in an unjustified claim.
• Additionally, your cover as Skipper applies to a borrowed or chartered vessel in another country and your own vessel has a specified limit of AU$150,000 to account for being impounded by overseas authorities.
• Statutory Authorities’ costs associated with an unintentional activation of your safety systems and also water pollution are taken care of.
• You get some regatta coverage included as standard and also your tenders and additional sports equipment fall under the umbrella of your policy, too.
• Just as before, the final item is a classic. The scope of your liability cover extends to injury, death, financial loss and property damage to third parties. Excluding your own self, that pretty much covers the lot, as your vessel will be under your Pantaenius hull policy.
Just like Sam Kekovich, let’s now ask, ‘Who’s in charge, here?’
The newly appointed Managing Director of Pantaenius Australia is James MacPhail. He’s been a passionate racing yachtie for what he’d say is forever and has been selling boats for equally long. He understands the needs of the market place.
‘Pantaenius is known in Australia for Bluewater cruising. Pretty much everybody in Australia who goes cruising worldwide, or buys a boat in the States or Europe and then sails them around before bringing them back to Australia, end up with insurance from Pantaenius.’
‘Primarily, this is because we are one of the few companies that can offer a single policy, which allows someone to cross multiple jurisdictions. The reason we can do that, is because instead of working with a single underwriter, we work with pools of underwriters and it is the pools of underwriters that are licensed and able to work in different jurisdictions independently, which then allows us to tie a single policy together.’
‘It is our intention to grow our market here in Australia, by getting our other products out to other types of marine enthusiasts. There are also a large number of Australians that have already got policies with Pantaenius anyway, which are currently being managed by one of the offices overseas, and all those policies will effectively be merged into the Australian entity and then managed and run from here’, James added.
Of the points of differentiation detailed above, James went on to say, ‘Firstly, we are able to insure people who want to take their boats outside territorial waters. We can insure people who want to do things that other insurance companies can’t, won’t or are disinterested in insuring.’
‘Some of our competitors either don’t offer or certainly don’t promote things that Pantaenius can do, such as the agreed fixed value policies, which we offer as standard. In terms of excesses, we provide a no excess clause on a range of different losses, including total loss, so that when someone loses their boat in accidental circumstances, then they wouldn’t be contributing to a payout via forking out their own excess.’
‘Another would be the consequential clause that a lot of insurance companies apply to rig damage for racers and cruisers, where if something fails as a result of wear or tear, or failure of a component or part, a lot of our competitors don’t actually insure that consequential loss.’
‘This is absolutely one of the main reasons why most masts come down and it is a feature of our standard policy. By way of example, if a rigging screw fails because of a fracture or being either poorly installed or maintained, whilst we don’t insure the specific part, which becomes negligible in the final wash up of a major claim, we do insure the consequential loss, which is the cost of the rig and everything else that has been damaged or broken as a result of the failure of that component. This really is pretty unique in the industry.’
By way of further detail, James went on to add, ‘If the boat is new, then we don’t push them to survey the boat aggressively until it gets to five or seven years old or if it is racing yacht that has done miles and miles, then we look for a rig report and surveys. If something is missed and the rig falls down because of a component that failed, whether it is wear and tear or not, we still insure the consequential loss of the rig and that is pretty major.’
‘In terms of the business of actually making a claim, Pantaenius would appear to be quite different. James explains, ‘We don’t need loss assessors because we actually manage our own claims in-house. Sometimes we will use the services of a marine surveyor or loss assessor, but they are appointed just to produce an independent report. In a lot of cases for a fairly standard loss or pretty basic claim, where the customers and ourselves are comfortable that the resolution makes sense and everyone is happy, we actually process the claim in-house.’
‘Out in the Australian market place I know of a number of claims that are well outside of 12 months, with owners desperate to get resolution. Conversely, we have got a record around the globe for settling within 45 to 60 days, normally. We are the one point of contact.’
It is that time of year again, when the focus is on the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race and James had this to say, ‘If you have a production cruiser/dedicated racer that is properly built and maintained, then absolutely we will be there to offer you insurance. There are boats that go to Hobart every year that we would consider, as the owners are sensible and well prepared. Absolutely we will be there to insure them or a well prepared new outfit.’
Having asked all of that, it now seems like a particularly good time to go and do your own study, before we come back for Part II of, ‘So just who is Pantaenius, then?’
Now to reach Pantaenius Australia and ask for your quote, call 02 9936 1670, email email@example.com or go to www.pantaenius.com.au