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What constitutes 'emergency' dental in a contract between crew and captain?
Posted: Monday, December 13, 2010 9:46 PM
Joined: 05/07/2009
Posts: 1

What constitutes 'emergency' dental in a crew-member's contract. I slipped whilst out one night celebrating the end of a charter and the end of the summer season damaging my two front teeth which both needed replacing. My contract states that I am covered under emergency dental. Does this fall under this type of medical insurance and will I be covered. Does having a root canal operation at a separate occasion whilst still on the boat at the time also apply for emergency dental?
Posted: Friday, December 17, 2010 6:08 PM
Joined: 09/10/2008
Posts: 134

IMHO that clause should not be in the contract and would not stand up to scrutiny. However, now it is there, how far are you able to push without risking your job? In my opinion "emergency" in this case means that it is urgent and cannot be put off. Both the situations you describe would come under this definition in my opinion. UK shipping legislation requires: "If a person, while employed in a United Kingdom ship, receives outside the United Kingdom any surgical or medical treatment or such dental or optical treatment (including the repair or replacement of any appliance) as cannot be postponed without impairing efficiency, the reasonable expenses thereof shall be borne by the persons employing him." I believe it is a common misconception that the boat has the option to cover the crew's health care or not. This is simply not true on a red flag boat. If the Owners chose to insure this liability this is up to them, but the P&I policies that I have seen all require that there is a medical policy in force also. Note this makes no mention of an "excess" that the crew member has to pay...
Posted: Saturday, December 18, 2010 5:48 PM
Most boats cover you only if you get hurt (not sick) while working, falling on your face drunk usually comes out of your own pocket. Every yacht crew should carry their own insurance.
MHG Mark B
Posted: Monday, December 20, 2010 8:44 PM
Joined: 01/05/2008
Posts: 14

Dear Hamo, Normally under a crew medical policy, emergency dental simply refers to acute onset of pain from a sudden tooth ache and normally has a very minimal benefit of around $100. The scenario you describe here actually would fall under regular medical plan coverage typically. Keep in mind every plan is different. It is possible that if your yacht has a dental plan, some of this may be covered by that instead. In either case, your will likely have some sort of deductible to pay, or maybe the yacht owner will pay that for you. If your yacht only has P&I coverage, you may have a difficult time getting reimbursement depending on the circumstances and generousity of the Owner."Celebrating" at the time could also pose some problems if that was seen to be a contributing factor to the injury.
Anita Warwick
Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 10:00 PM
Joined: 15/05/2008
Posts: 44

Yes, this incident should have been covered on your health plan.   Generally emergency dental means the "replacement or repair to sound, natural teeth damaged as a reult of an accident."

A root canal is considered "routine" and covered on dental insurance but as dental insurance policies often cap off at $1,000 or $1,500 annually that would barely cover a root canal in USA!

A better deal is to join a US dental network - anybody can do this, you don't have to be crew.  You pay a join up fee, about $100, and then get heavily discounted work done. There are no caps (no pun intended!) on how much work can be done!

Anyone interested in this, take a look here....  put in a zipcode and see what dentists participate in your area, or look up by the name of a dentist you like.


Anita Warwick, Seven Seas Health