View Full Version : Travel Insurance that covers sailing and the Channel Islands

03-06-09, 21:26
Our European multi trip travel insurance requires renewal and I have hit a snag with our current insurer, Direct Travel Insurance, who have informed me that they will only cover medical costs etc in the Channel Islands if you have two nights of pre-booked accomodation. In the past I was told that if we went to France first the Channel Islands would be covered, today they tell me that this is incorrect and we would not be covered for any medical costs in the Channel Islands. This could pose a problem now as the recipricocal agreement between the C.I.s and the UK has been cancelled. I have tried several other insurers and they will not cover trips on your own boat or, if they do, they apply the "2 days booked accomodation rule" in the Channel Islands.
Bishop Skinner do a policy that addresses our needs but the premium is just over 100.00, but they only offer worldwide cover which is not totally necessary for us at the moment, European only would suffice.
Does anybody have any recommendations and are others fully aware of the limitations of the standard travel policies?

04-06-09, 08:46
Living in Guernsey I have the opposite problem Ie Cover in England Scotland wales etc .

I have a towergate sailing policy which also covers me for medical cover without Booked accomodation or public carriers ( ferries or airlines).

04-06-09, 09:39
In another Forum thread (see "Sailing is a Safe Sport") I moaned that my annual Winter Sports travel insurance policy did not cover sailing without an extra premium being payable. However, having paid that extra premium and reading through the fine print of the policy document, I can see no mention of a requirement for pre-booked accommodation in order for cover to be effective.

The reason why I have decided to take out travel insurance this year to cover sailing, whereas in previous years I have not, is precisely because of the UK's withdrawal from the reciprocal healthcare arrangements with the Channel Islands.

If I sail somewhere and sleep on the boat, I wouldn't expect to be covered under the "Cancellation and Curtailment" or "Delayed/Missed Departure" sections of a travel policy. But then, since I hadn't coughed up any money that would then be lost (except possibly for marina fees), I would not suffer any loss.

I would, however, expect to be covered for medical expenses and the rest (personal possessions, money, etc). I'm pretty sure that, under the policy I have taken out, I am.

I found my policy through MoneySupermarket.com. It is with OUL Direct. Sailing "out of site of land" counts as a level 2 hazardous Sport. When you first get a quote for hazardous sports cover it only quotes you for level 1. On a later screen you get the opportunity to upgrade cover to level 2. Have just looked up the cost of a fortnight's cover for one adult and it quotes 42. Interested to see whether anyone else has travel insurance that definitely covers both sailing and what you would normally expect from a travel policy for less than this.

Unfortunately for Bandit this policy only covers UK residents. So, as a Guernseyman he cannot apply.

04-06-09, 12:59
I asked this question a few months ago on here - see http://www.ybw.com/forums/showflat.php?C...&PHPSESSID= (http://www.ybw.com/forums/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=ym&Number=2190791&fpart=1 &PHPSESSID=)

I was advised to try topsailinsurance. I looked at them and thought they would provide good for cover for sailing to Guernsey.

We haven't decided to make the trip yet, so I haven't applied for cover.

04-06-09, 15:32

Thanks for that. The 25 cost per adult for 2 weeks' cover (including Europe on the basis that a stop off in France is usually on the cards) compares favourably with the 42 from OUL. From a quick look the level of cover seems OK.

04-06-09, 18:10
Another vote for Topsail (part of GH Insurance) not only will they get you a good quote for medical insurance (inc worldwide) but also every year they get us bet quotes for boat insurance and are very willing to phone underwriters if you do not fit the "bog standard" yachtsman.

04-06-09, 18:49
Thanks for the responses so far. I have looked at the Topsail web site and their Key Facts document indicates that the "2 nights prebooked accommodation in the Channel Islands" applies. I have e mailed them for clarification. I will follow up some of the other recommendations.
Thanks for your input so far.

05-06-09, 06:51
The policy i have is Towegate underwriting Mariners Multi Worldwide 152 for three of us including Skiing, business and pleasure.

05-06-09, 08:53
I have looked at the Topsail web site and their Key Facts document indicates that the "2 nights prebooked accommodation in the Channel Islands" applies. I have e mailed them for clarification.

[/ QUOTE ]
Well, what's the point of that then? I can understand why "normal" travel insurance (i.e. not specifically for sailors) might require this, but to put that condition in something intended for boaties seems totally nuts.

Looks like insurers cannot resist using standardised policy wording even on specialised policies. RJANDHL, please post the response to your email when you get it.

05-06-09, 10:08
I was advised to try topsailinsurance. I looked at them and thought they would provide good for cover for sailing to Guernsey.

[/ QUOTE ]
Actually, just looked at the detailed policy wording and there appears to be a problem (above and beyond the 2 pre-booked nights point).

Cover for medical expenses is described as "expenses incurred outside the United Kingdom". Even though the Channel Islands are outside the UK, for the purposes of the policy they are included. See definition:

14. United Kingdom
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

So, totally useless for cover to the C.I. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

05-06-09, 15:33
Just to let you know that I have had the response back from OUL, see copy e mail text below. The criteria they refer to is Portsmouth to Cherbourg, St Peter Port and onto Brittany, they were also asked about unplanned stops in the CI's due to weather etc.

"We are sorry to advise that we are only able to provide cover on pre-booked accommodation only.

Therefore we will be unable to provide you with cover in the circumstances that have been provided to us.

We hope this helps with your query.

Kind Regards

OUL Direct"

I am currently awaiting response from Top Sail and Bishop Skinner. Will post the replies or further information as soon as recieved.

I wonder how many of us have been and are under the misconception that we are covered for the CI's, quite a few I suspect.

Once again thanks for the continuing feedback and suggestions.

05-06-09, 15:55
Quick note to say that I spoken to Towergate, they are not sure about the CI's and will contact their underwriters. I will post the response as soon as I have it.

05-06-09, 17:10

"We are sorry to advise that we are only able to provide cover on pre-booked accommodation only.

[/ QUOTE ]
Unclear whether they are referring to no cover whatsoever or to certain cover (e.g. cancellation and curtailment). Don't really care about the latter if I am on a sailing holiday - I just take it as it comes - but it is the medical cover I am really after.

There is absolutely nothing in OUL's detailed policy terms to suggest that medical cover is restricted to circumstances where accommodation has been prebooked. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

05-06-09, 17:34
From the coversations and e mails etc that I have received so far it is whole of the policy that is affected by the two night rule. No prebooked accommodation then no cover.
The problem seems to be the definition of the UK, which usually includes the CI's, so they treat any trip to the CI's in the same manner as they would one to England, Scotland, Wales etc. Some even include the Republic of Ireland within the UK.
My initial question to OUL was quite specific and referred to sailing on our boat and making both planned and unplanned stops in the CI's. Their response is a definite no cover.
Bishop Skinner's definition of the UK does not mention and insted of stating "prebooked accomodation for two nights" they refer to trips within the UK intended for more than two nights. I am still awaiting e mail confirmation from them but at the moment they are looking to be the best option but they only provide Worldwide cover on an annual basis, no separate European policy.

05-06-09, 22:36
Hmm, RJANDHL, I think you could be right. Just had yet another look at OUL's detailed policy terms and spotted the 2-night issue. It is under the heading of "Cancellation", so I initially assumed it just related to cancellation cover, but you could read it more widely to refer to the whole policy. The reference here is to British Isles which, unlike the correct definition of United Kingdom, does include the CI.

But, what is "booked accommodation"? Does it cover staying with friends/family? And, could SWMBO run a reservation system for the forepeak or master cabin?

Hmm! I may need to look somewhere else for cover.

09-06-09, 13:51
I have had an annual policy from "Insure and Go" for a couple of years and it covers as standard coastal sailing in European waters and, for a small fee, offshore sailing ('cos they reckon it's a dangerous sport). I only had to pay for two days extension - one day there and one day back across the North Sea. (They've recently changed insurer from AIG to Europ Assistance, so it's worth checking the current rules.)

09-06-09, 14:12
Been through all this before in many years of posting.

When you go through the small print there are only very few comnpanies that cover sailing.

One is Bishops Skinner 0207 566 5800 that offer an RYA approved policy. We have used it for last 8 years including winter skiing cover & for outlaw mother of 73 with history of cancer (now in remission). We have had to claim on one occasssion when French Air Traffic went on strike.

Got refund of 3 yrs policy fees from previous company due to mis-selling as got alternate answers from each level of management as to whether we were covered if not a "booked" trip/holiday and only got absolute clarification (and refusal) when I asked for it to be stated in writting.

09-06-09, 14:42
Having waded through many policy wording documents have finally settled on Bishop Skinner's annual worldwide travel policy which includes sailing and the Channel Islands, cost of 125.00 for a couple under 65yrs, we are both early 50's. Towergate have a similar policy at 180.00 and Click4Quote Ltd have a sailing policy that covers CI at 157.50. So now that we have to buy a worldwide policy for our sailing we may have to consider another holiday to far flung places, like NZ, to make sure that we get our money's worth!
It has been useful project and I thank you all for your input and suggestions.
Happy sailing!