Yacht insurance is an essential tool for protecting yourself financially. Accidents and damage, not to mention complete loss of the yacht, can all impact your financial situation in ways you wish you had never encountered. With insurance, most of these issues can be covered, at least partially. One thing that yacht insurance typically doesn't cover is the usual wear and tear, but it can be difficult to draw a line between wear and tear and actual damage. While some wear and tear is obvious, other types are not.
Length of Time That You've Had the Yacht
If you've had the yacht a long time, some wear and tear is expected. For example, if you routinely take the yacht out on excursions and have friends come with you, any carpeting in the yacht will show wear after years of people walking on it. This is normal, and replacing the carpet wouldn't be covered by insurance. Compare that to a new yacht you bought last month, which you've barely used, and in which the carpet is suddenly shredding fluff and looking worn. If there's a warranty on the carpet, you'd use that for replacement, but you might also look at your yacht insurance to cover cleanup costs and making sure the carpet did not damage the floor underneath.
Function vs. Cosmetic Issues
Of course, wear and tear can affect both cosmetic and functional parts, just as damage can be both cosmetic and functional. You have to look at how the damage happened to determine whether it's wear and tear or something that your insurance would cover. If someone scrapes a panel and leaves it looking dull, that's damage that your insurance could cover. If the panel looks dull because it's been exposed to intense afternoon sunlight for the past several months, that's wear and tear. If a door lock jams because your young nephews were playing around with the knob for the lock, that's damage. If the lock jams because you never protected it from the salty air and it's rusted internally, that's wear and tear.
Lack of Maintenance vs. Sudden Damage
If you have a yacht, you have to maintain the yacht. If you don't maintain the yacht, it can look terrible and even break down. None of that will be covered by your yacht insurance if the insurance company determines that you didn't maintain whatever you're trying to claim. If you never cleaned up a spill in the carpet and mold grows, the insurance is not going to pay you for mold remediation or replacing the carpet.
Care for the yacht properly and report all damage as soon as it happens. Keep good records, including pictures, of what the yacht looked like when you bought it as well as how it looks over the years. If you can prove something malfunctioned or looked bad due to circumstances beyond your control that weren't wear and tear, you increase your chances of having insurance cover it.
Contact a company like Blue Water Yacht Insurance, Inc. to learn more.