Changes to yacht insurance policies over the last couple of years have left many buyers asking, “How old’s the rigging?”. But what’s the real value in rigging insurance?

Initially driven by marine insurers, this policy has gained support from riggers and now seems set in stone. Yacht owners are left with a clear choice when it comes to the age of their rigging. Replace it every 10 years or you’re not insured.

What’s not widely understood however is that when claiming on a rigging failure, your insurance policy will only cover a proportion of the replacement value based on the rigs age (to a maximum of 10 years). That is, a claim to replace an 8 year old rig will only receive 20% of the replacement cost.

Hang on, that means to obtain value from rigging insurance under current policy, you need to replace your yachts rigging at least every 5 years. Crazy huh?

Historically yacht owners had a feel for the reliability of their rigging and responsible owners arranged regular rigging inspections as a part of the yachts maintenance program. Riggers in turn identified weaknesses in a yachts rigging over time with replacements installed as required.

In mandating a fixed life of rigging, insurers fail to consider variations in rig design, quality of rigging materials, use of the yacht and other general maintenance. In turn, owners insuring their yachts rigging do not receive value from their cover and can suffer a loss in market value when trying to sell.