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Tue, 30/04/2019
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Be Wiser’s Guide to Boat Insurance

Will you be messing about on the river this year?  Or taking to the high seas in search of new adventures?  After investing in a luxury investment like a boat, it is important to have the right insurance cover in place to protect your hobby, new lifestyle and any others you may come into contact with on the water.

So before you ‘up anchor’ and head off into the sunset, take a look at our short guide to Boat Insurance providing you with hints and tips to get you started.   

Protecting your investment, why you need to?
Boat insurance is not a legal requirement but it makes financial sense to;

  1. Protect your capital investment against loss or damage
  2. Provide adequate insurance cover to protect you against 3rd party liability, injury or damage caused by you or your boat

What does a typical boat policy cover?
Physical damage covered by a boat insurance policy will include equipment such as; hull, sails, machinery, furnishings, on-board equipment and if applicable a trailer.

Standard Cover
Provides protection for you or authorised persons using your boat from claims made by third parties for death, injury or damage to third party property for which you may be liable.  Cover generally provides:

  • Accidental damage, fire, theft and malicious damage, sinking, stranding, collision and salvage costs
  • Damage to engines
  • Transit risks up to 30ft in length
  • Lifting and launching risks
  • Loss and damage covered by latent defects
  • Frost
  • Personal effects
  • Third party liability

What can influence a premium?

Each vessel has its own level of risk just like you have with the different types of cars on the road.  Boats are categorised by their type and risk.

  1. Generally the size of the boat isn’t as important as its value
  2. What security arrangements do you have for your boat?
  3. What are the risks of damage to your boat?
  4. Is your boat trailer-able but spends most of its time on your drive, you’ll probably pay a different premium to someone who moors their boat at a marina. 
  5. Where you moor or store your boat will influence the level of your premium and may have restrictions on your cover that are subject to local weather conditions.
  6. How much sailing experience do you have?
  7. How will you be using the boat?  For private use, or as a charter or racing vessel?
  8. Do you have any previous claims history that will be considered when calculating your new premium?  

Features to look out for in your policy
Although the premium is generally a primary consideration, there are other deciding factors you may want to consider to achieve a balance between cost and benefits;

  • What are the most expensive parts of your boat, check that your policy provides cover for damage to these, not forgetting any deduction that may apply in the event of a claim
  • Are any replacement costs issued on a ‘new for old basis’?
  • Check for exclusions – all polices have them
  • Ensure that the policy covers any cruising grounds* you want to sail into

 *Cruising by boat is a lifestyle that involves living for extended time on a vessel while travelling from place to place for pleasure

What isn’t covered in a standard policy?
Here are some typical policy exclusions:

  • Damage by wear and tear
  • Wilful misconduct
  • Loss of value due to age of the boat
  • Losses caused by corrosion
  • Mast, spars and sails whilst racing unless the policy has been extended
  • Damage to machinery following breakdown
  • Theft if you have left the boat unlocked or unattended
  • Policy excess relating to damage

 How to reduce your insurance costs

Here are a few tips you may want to consider:

  • Qualifications – Have you thought about taking a sailing course?  Gaining a helmsman, skipper or yacht master qualification could reduce your costs
  • No claims bonus – like you do with car insurance, if you haven’t made claims on previous years you will build a no claims bonus discount
  • Security – Keeping your boat in a Marina berth could lower your premiums, keeping your boat locked and secure is advisable at all times

Be Wiser VVIP insurance
To begin your search for Boat Insurance, contact our insurance advisors for a tailored quotation providing you with cover at competitive prices.

Call us on 0800 093 0774.