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Insuring Your Boat

Boating Insurance - Insuring your BoatBoat insurance is an expensive and incredibly important aspect to the ownership of any boat.  Choosing an organisation to insure your vessel should be done carefully; despite wanting to get the best rates you will also need to look at the financial stability of the company involved, and check out the finer details of the policy on offer.  Motorboats are capable of high speeds and considered fairly high risk, whilst something more sedate may well have a more economical level of insurance available, and you will need to look for a policy which will truly cover the cost of replacing the vessel should the worst happen.
As with various other forms of insurance, you must bear in mind that there will be much in the way of fine print which can stop an insurance company paying out in the event of a claim, so ensure you understand all the restrictions and terms.
Possible exclusions to ask about are:
• If an accident arises due to a worn out or faulty part, will the claim be fulfilled or rejected? Will the damage itself be covered even if the part is not?
• What in the wear of ‘wear and tear’ will be covered?
• Will claims arising from extreme conditions of weather be covered?
• Is damage caused by marine life, animals or insects covered?
• Does the policy include coverage against accidental damage caused by natural disasters?
• Will the policy cover the vessel for accidents or damage caused during transportation?
Choose a well established company with a good track record, perhaps asking fellow boat owners of their experience, Googling reviews and generally finding out as much as you can.  They should maintain a good customer services network, with 24 hour claim advisers, and proper claims management.  Using a comparison website may be helpful to give you an idea of the range of quotes on offer, and will cover the basics in terms of costs, legal cover, and discounts and so on.
Once you have whittled it down to a couple of potential providers, ring them and go through the possible policies in more detail.  It makes sense to go for the maximum coverage available according to your budget, and look for a policy which keeps exclusions to a minimum.  Some offer discounts if you have completed safety courses, professional qualifications and a good driving record too.  You may need to have a survey done on the condition of your boat, particularly if it is 10 years or so old

As well as covering the boat from fire, theft or damage, your insurer should also offer good quality legal and indemnity protection in the event of legal obligations arising in a third party situation.
Other questions to ask before committing to a policy:
• Can you protect your No claims Discount?
• Can the insurer offer to replace the vessel or parts thereof with items of a similar age and value, or are replacements based on a ‘new for old’ basis; does the policy allow for betterment?
• Will personal; effects aboard the vessel be covered?
• Does the insurance company have the right to insist repairs are carried out by particular repairers?
• Is this policy based on a fixed, agreed value or current market value?
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