The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) is warning all vessel operators to check they comply with the necessary Maritime New Zealand safety system requirements before heading out to watch the America’s Cup races this summer.

“There are some steps you need to take to ensure your insurance will still provide you cover should the unforeseen happen,” says John Lucas, Insurance Manager ICNZ.

“If you’re a recreational boatie, think twice about taking fare paying passengers out. Most private pleasure craft policies will exclude coverage for commercial operations – such as fare paying passengers – so check your cover.”

ICNZ also urges all commercial vessel operators to ensure they comply with the Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) – and hold either a valid MOSS Compliance Certification or have an exemption to operate outside MOSS.

“Without these you may invalidate your insurance as both recreational and commercial policies normally exclude coverage if the operations are deemed to be operating illegally.

“If you have any questions about your cover, or plan to take people out to watch the Prada America’s Cup World Series and Prada Christmas races, talk to your insurer to check you will be covered,” said Mr Lucas.

Maritime NZ has made a distinctive yellow and pink flag available to commercial operators taking passengers to show that the operator is in a Maritime NZ recognised safety system or has an exemption.  Maritime Officers will be engaging with boaties at boat ramps, marinas and other pick up/drop off places close to where the races will be throughout the America’s Cup.

“We’re making sure people know the difference between being a recreational boatie and a commercial operator,” Neil Rowarth, Maritime NZ’s Compliance Manager – North, said. “Taking your friends out for a great day on the water is okay, charging them for the privilege is not.”

For more information about operating commercially during the America’s Cup visit: https://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/americascup/operating-commercially-AC36.asp

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