Whether at sea or in port, marine crew insurance is extremely important for all crew members and marine captains of ships and yachts.
Some vessels may provide medical insurance to their crew (called Protection and Indemnity Insurance, or P&I), but the coverage is limited to illnesses or accidents that occur while on board and are work related. Marine crew members face unique challenges both at sea and in port, and like any person, they have healthcare needs that P&I insurance won't cover. It is important to have health coverage year round because if there are gaps in coverage, you could incur major medical expenses that would be devastating to you and your family.
Marine crew members are equipped and trained to handle many emergencies that could occur while at sea in international waters. Before you can take care of other people, it is equally important that you be prepared to take care of your health as well.
A mariner lifestyle and profession has unique demands that are usually not met by non-marine benefit plans or domestic health insurance plans because those plans were not designed with marine crewmembers in mind. If a US corporation enrolls their crewmembers into their domestic health insurance, it may provide a very limited coverage outside the US or no coverage at all. With these type of plans, you may not even be able to get the inclusive international health care plan that you may need and deserve due to different demands of your profession.
Marine crew insurance plans are designed to provide you with a long term, annually renewable comprehensive and flexible medical coverage that covers you at sea and on land, and can be used throughout many countries in the world.
In order to be eligible to enroll in such plan,
- You must be an employee aboard a sea going vessel
- Expect to be outside the United States for majority of the year
While some plans, such as GeoBlue, provide coverage only to the crew members, other plans, such as Global Crew, provide coverage to private boat owners as well.
Marine crew insurance is available on individual as well as group basis. You can continue to extend it on an annual basis as long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.
Marine and yacht crew insurance can provide many benefits, such as:
- Emergency medical expenses including physician visits, urgent care, emergency room visits, surgery, hospitalization, ICU, labs, x-rays, CT scan, MRI, prescription drugs, ambulance and more.
- Preventive care and wellness benefits are usually provided.
- Some plans may also provide benefits for mental or nervous conditions, dental, vision, term life insurance, AD&D coverage, terrorism rider, and/or a sports rider.
- Maternity coverage is usually provided only in the high end plans but normally excluded in most plans.
- Marine crew medical insurance specific benefits such as recreational scuba are provided.
- Travel related benefits such as:
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Emergency reunion
- Return of mortal remains
- Remote transportation
- Political evacuation and repatriation
- Return of minor child
Policy maximums can vary from $1,000,000 to $8,000,000 and even unlimited in some marine crew insurance plans. You have a wide variety of deductibles ranging from $0 to $25,000 from which to choose. Flexible payment options allow you to pay annually, semi-annually, quarterly or monthly.
Depending upon your specific needs, marine crew insurance allows you to choose from the following geographic coverage areas:
- Worldwide Excluding US
- Worldwide Excluding US/Canada
- Worldwide Excluding US/Canada and far east countries China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Singapore and Taiwan
(All marine insurance plans may not allow all the coverage areas listed above.)
This allows you to have medical coverage that is valid in various countries within your coverage area, making it flexible for the constantly mobile person in mariner lifestyle. If you are located in a part of the world where a specific treatment is not available, you can travel to another country (within your coverage area) to seek treatment. For that reason, some people just choose 'Worldwide' coverage and travel to the US for treatment, where the best treatment in the world is available.
Once you purchase marine crew insurance, you can sail or travel anywhere with the confidence that you are covered by a single major medical insurance plan that will cover you wherever you go (within your coverage area).