SailChecker Policy on Coronavirus

An Update on Yacht Operators Policy On Coronavirus

Coronavirus & Sailing – What You Need to Know

As the world battles the COVID-19 outbreak, we want to take a moment to inform you about the work we are doing at SailChecker to ensure that we can continue to support you and your charter plans as the pandemic escalates and impacts our global health and economic wellbeing.

We are continuously following health advice of the World Health Organisation and Global Governments regarding the evolution of the Coronavirus. In the first instance you should follow the advice given by your own government.

Our foremost priority is to ensure we keep delivering the best possible service we can and equip you with the latest and most relevant information, resources and representation that you need at this unprecedented time.

How are we supporting you?

  • Decision Making. With the situation and guidance changing daily, keeping you fully informed is our primary focus. All our clients will have to make different decisions, at different times. Thus it is difficult time we are treating each booking individually.
  • Support. Our role here at SailChecker has always been to help you find the right charter operator and the right boat, for the right price, then provide market, award winning customer service. One of the leading global agents is simply referring clients to their operator – simply unacceptable. Here at SailChecker, you will get our full support throughout this crisis and beyond.
  • Web-based Meetings/Calls. We appreciate that email is typically the most convenient, it can be difficult to discuss all the options. On request we will always arrange a call or video call to run through the courses of action open to you.
  • Refunds. With regret, no charter operators are offering refunds at this time. As they fight to ensure their businesses survive they are not making any exception to their standard terms and conditions which don’t allow refunds in any circumstances. Terms typically say:

<The charter operator> is not liable for damages in the event of reservation changes or cancellation due to situations such as war, riot, strikes, terrorist activity, exceptional sanitary conditions, natural disasters, interventions of local authorities, etc.

In almost all cases you will be asked to reschedule your trip.

  • Final Payments. When a Final Payment is due, and the region is in accessible, you will always be offered the opportunity to reschedule. Yet to get this invitation, you will have to pay your second instalment.
  • Cancellation. You can, without further penalty, cancel and avoid the final payment under the Fleet Operator’s Standard Cancellation Policy. Most insurance taken out before the crisis will pay out if you cannot travel to the region or it’s on your governments list of countries not to travel to.

1. Cancellation Policies

Initial Payment. If you are planning to book, or have recently booked, most operators are offering new terms that allow you to pay a 10% deposit on booking and allowing you to cancel your trip much closer to the charter date without penalty.

Interim Payments. Few charters are split into any more than 2 payments. Yet there are some exceptions. The general rule is that you will need to pay these instalments when they fall due to be entitled to reschedule your charter.

Reschedule. Typically fleet operators are offering to reschedule any charter  in 2020, or sometimes 2021, depending on the availability. If the rescheduled charter price is greater, you will need to cover only the difference. No refunds are given even if the price of the rearranged dates are lower.

Contact Us.  As we have mentnmioed, almost no two charter are alike in terms of the options available. If you have any questions about the Coronavirus or your charter, do contact us immediately.

2. Travel Insurance

Charter Insurance. Yacht charter is considered a component of independent travel, compared to package tours that have different regularity structures and oversight in most nations. As a result, they come with a different risk profile that we explain in our client care letters before booking.

In that advice we urge clients to consider insurance to cover and to consider the impact of not doing so. We are discovering that clients who arranged cover before the crisis, are covered if they are unable to reach their charter destination or the destination is deemed high-risk by the jurisdiction of issue.

Whilst we are not regulated or trained to give insurance we can signpost and make clients aware of policies that exist and clauses to look out for; all so long as you understand that we cannot recommend or advise on the suitability of that cover for your circumstances.

3. Governmental Advice

Government Advisories. You should, in all cases, seek the advice in you nation or area of jurisdiction.

for example, the Foreign Office in the UK and United States Department of State (DOS), commonly referred to as the State Department, are the respective departments responsible for issuing travel advice for their citizens, in those nations.

Before booking or embarking on a trip check your destination on the site relevant to you national body. Insurance and Charter Companies will reference these advisories in policy wording.

Check With Your Airline. If you are worried with the status of your flight you can check with your airline.

4. Travel Advice

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