HERE’S a heads-up from specialist marine insurer Nautilus for couples who have a boat – consider conferring an ‘authority to act’ on your partner.
This simple procedure can make life far easier in a whole range of circumstances. The authority to act in relation to your boat insurance can enable the other partner to seek amendments to the policy such as increasing or decreasing the sum for which the vessel is insured; changing details in the policy such as the address where the boat is stored; removing the ‘under finance’ notations on the policy once the boat has been paid off; and noting that a new trailer is now under the boat or a new motor or electronics have been added.
Without an ‘authority to act’, only the registered insured can make the changes. And if that person is perhaps not quite as focused as the other on matters such as household finances, insurance and prevailing obligations, then problems can potentially occur. The authority to act simply allows the other partner to advise the marine insurance company of any change to required details.
It can be set up as an either/or, meaning only one of the partners is required to authorise changes. But to ensure protection of both parties, specialists like Nautilus Marine require an authority from both partners to cancel the policy as might happen after a boat is sold. As another protection, specialist marine insurers do not regard registration information or an authority to act as proof of vessel ownership. The authority to act simply enables updates to be made to policy information.
Similarly, insurance companies are aware of instances where people have tried to change the names on a policy from one person to another, during acrimonious separations. As a protection, such a change would require authorisation from both parties and furthermore, the proof of ownership is legally determined outside the boundaries of the insurance policy. But for one partner to be able to telephone the insurer on behalf of the other who is perhaps too engrossed watching the closing stages of a televised cricket match, could be a relationship-saving move.
As well as creating a greater level of convenience through an authority to act, marine insurers can also be of great assistance when other administrative circumstances arise. For example, if the owner of a boat passes away unexpectedly, Nautilus can keep the boat covered against theft and other events by simply registering the policy in the name of ‘the estate of the late…’ followed by the name of the person. Such a change ordinarily would simply require a certified copy of the death certificate and/or a letter from the deceased’s solicitor.
That will ensure proper insurance protection for the boat while family members and executors sort through what should ultimately happen to it. Making a preliminary phone call to ascertain your rights or obligations about a potential situation before it occurs is obviously preferable to trying to deal with it afterwards when there is the added stress and strain after the event.
Pen an email or pick up the phone and ask your insurer what you’d like to know. There’s no charge (other than the phone call). As always, any special conditions and excesses should always be explained clearly in your insurance policy’s product disclosure statement. Always check your PDS and if you have a query, ask for clarification.
If you need further information, you can contact Nautilus Marine Insurance on 1300 780 533 for any boat insurance requirements.