Greek Yacht Owners Turn to Insurance Fraud to Get through Austerity


April 18, 2012

It’s been a rough couple of years for Greece and the recent austerity brought on by the economic crisis and the possible collapse of their economy has left many Greek citizens scratching their heads and wondering how best to cut expenses.

It seems that also the more prosperous Greeks are now beginning to become affected by this and they are doing what they can to cut down on expenses. The famous British insurers across the Lloyd’s of London market are complaining that currently there is a spike in the fraudulent claims linked with yachts over 2million Euro from the Greece region.

According to them, more than a few yacht owners have file insurance claims that are being described as “suspicious circumstances” over the past 6 months. It’s a known fact that insurance fraud is common during troubled times and that seems to be applying right now in Greece where troubled yacht owners can no longer afford the marine mortgages and try to get rid of them by filing an insurance claim.

According to yacht insurance policies, boats usually receive a fixed price value when first insured, which is often higher than what the owner would get on the open market so many owners decided to total the yacht in certain ways in order to get the money. Up to this point, the most prolific place in yacht charter Greece for insurance claims has been the port of Piraeus.

The most practiced method of insurance fraud is arson as most of the time it leaves few traces and seems to be the most plausible way for a luxury yacht to have an “accident” while moored. This was a common occurrence in Italy where boat taxes can get as high as 256,000 Euro per year and those that fail to pay are liable to pay huge penalties.

In Greece, the situation is now beginning to take similar turns as authorities are trying to match people’s assets with their declared income and finding the differences more than disturbing. The fact that people who consider themselves or by others around them as rich resort to such measures is only a testament to the fact that they are only human and some of them are not as wealthy as they originally thought.

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