Are you covered for hitting a container?

Insurers Navigators and General have issued advice to boaters following the grounding of MV Napoli.

After initial fears that the ship’s containers might float free and become serious navigational hazards along the south coast, N&G spoke out about the risk of hitting submerged objects at speed.

A spokesman for the insurer said: “The risk of hitting semi-submerged objects, (containers included) is present in most oceans, and particularly hard to avoid when the object floats just below the surface and you are travelling at speed in poor visibility.

“The good news is that your policy should cover this type of incident (including reasonably incurred expenses in preventing further loss), but the bad news is that the damage could be significant and put you in a dangerous position, particularly if you are disabled and taking water a long way from shore.”

He stressed that owners should check if their policy includes underwater gear cover, and what the limits of the cover are, along with the excess.

Terms can vary with individual insurers.

He adds: “We hope that the worst doesn’t happen, and if it is any reassurance, we see more claims for boats hitting submerged cars or trolleys in canals and rivers than containers at sea.”

A safety checklist and risk management advice can be downloaded free from www.navandgen.co.uk