Explanation of Navigation Limits and Crew Warranties

When a marine or aviation policy is issued, it includes navigation limits. This simple concept allows Underwriters to control their risk and Assureds to know where they can and cannot take their insured property.

Port Risk Usually marine navigation is defined as Port Risk AFLOAT or Port Risk ASHORE. Afloat means the vessel may remain in the water but cannot navigate. Navigation means any movement of the vessel.

If you are going to leave your boat on a mooring and have her moved to a yard for maintenance we suggest you contact us before moving her to avoid violating your navigation warranty (restriction or strict policy condition). An exception would be if the vessel was in imminent peril and you moved her to avoid sinking, fire, collision, etc. Common sense applies.

Port RiskAshore means the vessel may not be launched.

Inland and Coastal waters No offshore navigation allowed. We usually encourage clients with this coverage to stay within 5 miles of land.

Not to exceed 250* miles offshore Usually phrased to include certain land masses or cruising areas. Caribbean Sea not to exceed 250 miles offshore would allow you to sail up to 250 miles offshore between the Caribbean Islands, and would include an trip of 500 miles between two islands or land masses. If you wanted to sail from Aruba to Tortola, as long as you were not more than 250 miles to the West of the Antilles island chain you would comply with the navigational limitations. (*250 miles is used as an example. A 15 foot runabout with one engine would have a lower offshore limit than a Gulfstar 63.)

Trip navigation Usually defines a passage where the 250* mile limitation will be exceeded and in conjunction with a general navigation limit. Waters of the UK, France, Portugal and Spain, thereafter TransAtlantic to Caribbean Sea not to exceed 250 miles offshore. Sometimes the words except whilst on trip are included, but even if those words do not appear and a trip endorsement is included in the navigation, the 250 mile limitation is automatically waived whilst on the TransAtlantic leg as the passage would take you more than 250* miles offshore. Most trip endorsements are an additional charge for which there is no refund once issued, even if you don’t go.

Canal Transit Transiting the Panama Canal is not automatically included. Underwriters must approve this and will charge an extra premium, fully earned when added to your policy, even if you don’t go.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not assume if you are making a passage of 1000 miles but have not paid the trip premium that you would be covered at each end (within 250miles of land). Underwriters would in all likelihood argue you “selected against them adversely” and violated the principle of Utmost Good Faith to avoid complying with their underwriting guidelines and paying an extra charge for the increased exposure.

Crew Warranties

Crew warranties are usually imposed by Underwriters for longer passages (in excess of 250* miles offshore). This ensures the crew is well rested, watches are shorter, off-watch periods are longer and make for a better, safer passage. Shipboard emergencies, injuries or sickness and bad weather are better handled with more crew than less.

Sometimes Underwriters will want a captain aboard if the Assured is inexperienced, either in years, size or waters or all of the above. Once the Assured has demonstrated proficiency or the subject trip is completed this warranty can be removed.

If your policy has crew (or skipper) warranty and you violate it, any claim you submit will be denied. If you believe you will have partial coverage for either end of a long passage (the part with 250 miles of shore) whilst violating those restrictions, Underwriters will undoubtedly deny it citing amongst other things, adverse selection, bad faith and fatigue. Don’t take a chance!

Also note, Underwriters will request a Crewmember Resume of Experience to have an idea of who is aboard and their boating and claims history. Send it along with your request to add the crew.

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