If you own a boat, there's a better-than-even chance that you've found yourself in a position in which you've needed some form of assistance. Reasons may run from the mundane, such as a flat tyre on your trailer, to running out of fuel out on the water. There are all manner of unforeseen circumstances that can crop up without warning to turn that day out on the water into a story of woe and disappointment.

In many instances, you can at least rely on your Club Marine insurance policy to provide cover after the event. But what to do in the meantime? If you're stranded on the side of the road, or your boat won't start at the ramp, who do you call?

It has now been almost a year-and-a-half since Club Marine launched our innovative Club Marine Assist program and we are pleased to say that it has played a major part in enhancing the boating experiences of many of our policy holders. Our specially-trained Club Marine staff have been instrumental in helping out many of our members who have found themselves in all manner of difficulties – on the water and off. And, as boaties ourselves, we're proud to know that we have contributed to a good outcome for other boaties in trouble.

Club Marine Assist came about as we looked at ways that we might be able to add real value to our Club Marine member's package. While we believe our insurance coverage to be the best in the business in terms of both quality and delivery, we thought there might be more we could offer by examining the resources of our parent company, Allianz. As it turned out, we were put in touch with another Allianz company, Mondial Assistance, and so began the process that resulted in the biggest development in our membership benefits program ever.

Mondial Assistance is a specialist in providing premium assistance packages to various organisations around the world, and we spent a lot of time in discussion with them working through a range of scenarios, from flat tyres to flat batteries, lost keys to busted trailer wheel bearings, and pretty much everything in between. As boaties, we asked ourselves what sort of help we would want in these circumstances. The result was Club Marine Assist.

For those not familiar with our innovative assistance program, Club Marine Assist is an entirely free benefit offered to all Club Marine members, in addition to our normal insurance coverage. In essence, Club Marine Assist is a 'pre-insurance' package that offers assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in times of difficulty. Whether you're towing your boat or cruising your favourite waterway, all you have to do is call 1300 00 CLUB (2582), and our Club Marine Assist call centre staff will do their very best to be of … well, assistance.

Scenarios reported to us so far include members wanting to know where the nearest marina is so they could obtain a berth overnight, to helping in the event of lost keys, tow vehicle breakdowns, dealing with flat batteries, arranging replacement rental vehicles or towing, locations of nearby marine service centres, legal and medical advice, tide and weather information and assistance to contact local marine rescue organisations.

As the service has developed, our call centre staff have become more familiar with the special needs of our members and, consequently, the system has evolved and changed to offer the best possible service.

No other marine insurance provider offers anything like Club Marine Assist and we are certainly proud to have played a part in improving the boating experience of so many of our members since we launched the program at the beginning of last year.

While we hope that you never have need to use Club Marine Assist for a serious boating incident, we certainly urge all our members to include the phone number in your personal phone list should you have need of help to make the most of your time on the water.

In the meantime, stay safe but always keep your phone handy.

Greg Fisher,
CEO and Publisher,
Club Marine.

E-mail: ceo@clubmarine.com.au