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Home > Legal & Financial > The Obligatory Passenger’s Insurance (SOVI)

The Obligatory Passenger’s Insurance (SOVI)

One of the requirements for applying a charter license and the correspondent authorisation of the maritime authorities (the so called “despacho” at the “Capitanía Marítima”) for a non Spanish flag commercially coded vessel is the presentation of a certificate from an insurance company stating that the vessel is covered for liabilities to passengers (and crew if applicable) as required by Spanish el Real Decreto 1575/1989, de 22 de diciembre, Reglamento del Seguro Obligatorio de viajeros, (also called SOVI), which includes the minimum amounts to be covered in case of accidents.  the obligatory passengers insurance is mandatory legal obligation for any kind of company that renders services of transport of passengers of any art, included normally in the price of the travel ticket. Companies dedicated to the hire of means of transport, charter, are also bound by these obligation.


Some agents and yacht owners believe that said liabilities are already covered by their general third parties liabilities insurance but as a matter of fact is not. The third parties liabilities insurance has to be also certified by the insurance company stating expressly that it fulfils the legal dispositions of, Royal Decree 607/1999 Real Decreto 607/1999 de 16 de Abril, por el que se aprueba el Reglamento del seguro de responsabilidad civil de suscripción obligatorias, but is not sufficient alone in Spain for the charter activity.


The insurance policy, the contract, the general conditions or receipt of payment are not enough you have to provide the certificates. These two certificates or one including both liabilities shall be issued in Spanish or translated into Spanish language and at least in our Capitanía Marítima in Palma must mention specifically both Spanish Royal Decrees. If your insurance company has an office, presentative or a broker here in the Balearics or in Spain normally there is no problem in so as they have such a model of such certificate and can sign and stamp it immediately. However, if the insurance company has absolutely no contact with Spanish offices, subsidiaries or brokers it is quite frequent to have problems as the foreign insurance companies involve their Lawyers who are always reluctant to issue such a certificate and refuse to mention Spanish Law they unknow..


The Maritime Authorities and the Balearic Government are very strict in this point and in the wording and require to express specifically both Royal Decree, so that is quite common that the ship owners need to contract a second insurance policy -the passengers insurance policy – in Spain.