What you need to know about boat insurance
It’s not always a legal requirement to insure your boat for most waters, but ensuring you have cover makes sound practical and financial sense.
There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, you need to protect yourself against loss or damage which could result in a large and costly repair bill if the worst were to happen; and secondly, having adequate cover can protect you from any third-party liability for damage or injury caused by you or your boat.
Boat insurance will generally cover the vessel itself and any tangible equipment which may include the hull, sails, motor, furnishings and your trailer. Even if a standard boat insurance policy does not include everything you need, specific coverage can be added on.
How to get the right cover and save a little money
Boats – and the cost of the premium to insure them – are usually categorised by their vessel type and risk. A large super yacht will cost more to insure than a small watercraft and a jet ski will have a different risk attached to it than a yacht.
So, in general, insurers will factor in the type of vessel and risk associated with its use to calculate your premium. The cost of your boat insurance policy will also be built up of additional factors such as the value and where the vessel is kept.
The experience of the user will usually also be taken into account. Make sure your insurance policy covers theft, storms, fires, capsizing and collision. It’s always advisable to ensure the policy covers the most expensive parts of your boat.
In order to save a little cash, some of the usual rules around insurance obviously apply – shop around and keep a clean driving record when using your boat. Also, pay attention to your safety equipment as insurers will ask what measures you’ve implemented to mitigate risk and damage.
But above all, use a broker who specialises in marine insurance to custom build your policy. That way you can include what you absolutely must have covered and the agent can advise on areas you can safely trim.