Another big question - should I take out blue water insurance against my vessel and insurance against my health?
Again the answer to the question we feel is not only personal but from vessel to vessel - crew to crew there can be so many variables to consider - not to mention the cost, its a very, very expensive outlay no matter who you are. Its as simple as some people believe in it and some don't. We hear horror stories and we hear amazing stories of assistance from insurance companies.
For us Matilda is our home, she is our only asset - so we insure her. We use QBE for Australian waters and Topsail for international or blue water coverage. One thing we do use is an insurance broker for Matilda. We believe the benefits are high and worth the small fee they change annually. Our broker is Oceanic Marine Risks and they have always been prompt and extremely helpful towards us.
A couple of things to understand and consider. Blue Water insurance is anywhere outside the 250 nautical mile range off the Australian Coast line. Read your fine print. What latitudes are you covered in and where are you not covered in. Be upfront and honest with your contact when doing inquiries - the more information you give them the better the coverage. Consider the options re your excess you pay if you have a claim. Keep in mind a lot of marina's in Asia don't want to see you insurance policy. Unlike in Australia, you cant get a berth until you produce your insurance certificate.
Health / Travel Insurance,,,,
Again very personal. We have heard stories of insurance companies being wonderful on how crew where treated in an emergency situation and we have heard from people who have not had health/travel insurance, had an accident and also receive wonderful care while in Indonesia.
Its a toss up really, sometimes the final decision comes down to if you can afford it. Like boat insurance its not cheap.
We have heard first hand that Travel Insurance Direct is one of the best to go with.