Boat Insurance Policies In The United Kingdom (UK)

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Owning a boat in the United Kingdom (UK) can bring you joy and excitement, whether it's for leisure purposes or as a source of income. However, with this great privilege comes added responsibility to protect your asset from certain risks.

What Is Boat insurance?

Boat insurance provides you with financial security if your vessel is involved in an incident that results in someone being hurt or having their property damaged. Insurance also helps in covering you from all potential third-party claims.

Several marinas in the UK also require third-party insurance as a need for anchoring. Hence, boat insurance is strongly advised. However, there are many different policies that you need to consider. This guide will assist you with information on what boat insurance covers and what to look for. Continue reading to find out all about boat insurance and how much it will cost you.

Do I Need Boat Insurance living In The UK?

Even if purchasing boat insurance is not required by law in the UK, it is still a wise decision. There are some exceptions that you should be aware of when sailing. As mentioned before, some marinas and most inland waterways insist you have boat insurance. Having this allows you to rest assured that you are protected from third-party claims! Additionally, there are specific situations in which you must have insurance, such as:

  • Obtaining marine finance to purchase a boat.  
  • Using your boat for racing purposes.
  • Keeping the boat in the harbour.
  • Sailing in foreign water.

How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost?

Boat insurance is somewhat similar to other types of insurance in that the cost is influenced by the size, age, location (specifically where the boat is tied), and the owner. The type of boat insurance policy you want will significantly impact the cost of your coverage.

So, while third-party insurance may have insurance premiums of less than £50 per year, a thoroughly comprehensive motorboat coverage will probably cost more than £150 per year. However, it’s important to know that the exact coverage costs will depend on your experience and the coverage options you avail.

What Is Covered By Insuring Your Boat?

  When you insure your boat, there are two types of coverage:

  • Comprehensive Boat Insurance
  • Third Party Boat Insurance (Liability only insurance)
  • Keeping the boat in the harbour.
  • Sailing in foreign water.

Comprehensive Boat Insurance

This coverage offers the broadest protection for your boat. It typically protects you from the following risks:

Unexpected damage

Unexpected damage - This protects you in the event that your boat is lost or damaged due to a fire, theft, accident, or intentional harm. The majority of policies cover your boat if:

  • Ashore (in your driveway or in storage)
  • Travelling by road
  • Cruising through inland and coastal waterways

If your boat is damaged beyond repair or if the cost of repair exceeds its current value, boat insurers typically pay up to the boat's current market value.If your boat is damaged beyond repair or if the cost of repair exceeds its current value, boat insurers typically pay up to the boat's current market value.

Personal mishap

  • Death
  • Loss of sight
  • Loss of vision
  • Permanent disability

Some insurers can pay up to £60,000 if you have any of the aforementioned effects as a result of an accident on your boat.

Third-Party Boat Insurance

Also known as liability-only insurance, third-party boat insurance covers losses or damages brought on by your vessel to third parties. Your own boat is not covered in such cases. Although it is the simplest and least expensive solution, it might not be enough to effectively protect your boat.

What Boats Types Can I Insure?

Boat Insurance Categories

A boat insurance policy might cover a variety of boats, including:

  • Narrow boat Insurance
  • Yacht Insurance
  • Speed boat insurance
  • Small motorboat
  • Large Motorboat
  • Rowing boat insurance
  • Houseboat insurance
  • RIB or Rigid Boat Insurance
  • Dinghy insurance

Common Exclusions In A Boat Insurance Policy

Before purchasing coverage, you should be aware of the exclusions that are present in all boat insurance policies. Certain things to look out for include:

  • Deliberate damage and wear and tear :   The cost of fixing corrosion, wear and tear, or gradual disintegration is typically not covered by insurance. 
  • Damage caused by corrosion osmosis
  • In Transit : If you tow your boat from one location to another, you will need additional cover whilst in transit. Typical car insurance will only provide damage cover for any damage to other vehicles or property, but not for any damage to the boat being towed. If you have just purchased a new boat, check if you have the required cover before towing your precious new boat.,
  • Personal Items : Like a motorhome, a vessel can contain many valuable personal items, that you may wish to include with your boat insurance policy. 
  • Some insurers will only provide coverage when at sea if you are within a particular range of land, such as 12 nautical miles off the coast of the UK or Europe.
  • Damage done while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not going to be covered by insurance.
  • If damage occurs when your yacht is being used for business purposes, you could not be covered unless this has been agreed upon with your insurer.

It’s important to understand that you must carefully examine such exclusions prior to the acquisition of such insurance policies.

Choosing The Right Boat Insurance Policies

Acquiring boat insurance is the best way to ensure protection against unexpected damages or third-party claims. Consider the following when reviewing boat insurance policies that are available.

  • Coverage Option: Examine the coverage options provided by insurance companies to be sure they match your unique needs.
  • Policy Limits: Be aware of the highest amount your insurance will reimburse you in the event of a claim, and make sure it corresponds to the value of your boat. 
  • Exclusions and Limitations: Read the policy's exclusions and limitations carefully to understand what is and isn't covered.
  • Claim Procedure: To ensure smooth and effective handling of claims, research the insurance company's claim procedures and reputation for customer care.
  • Customer reviews: Customer testimonials and reviews might help you determine how satisfied you are with the insurance company in general.

What is the standard procedure for buying boat insurance?

You will be questioned in-depth about your boat when you apply. This will help the insurance provider understand the state of your boat, what you want to use it for, and how secure it is when you're not sailing. You may have to provide answers regarding:

  • Your boat age
  • Your boat length.
  • The material your boat is made of.
  • The location where you will keep the boat.
  • The boat's market value.

Need Help Finding Boat Insurance At A cheaper Price?

Boat insurance can be somewhat expensive, but don't worry—there are methods to cut those expenses and keep your boat afloat without breaking the bank. Here are some smart tips to cut your boat insurance costs:

  • Certifications: You're in luck if you've developed your abilities on the high seas. Several insurers reward your knowledge and responsible sailing with cheaper premiums. So, make sure to showcase those well-earned badges and let your insurer know you're a seasoned sailor
  • No-Claim Bonus: Similar to a no-claims bonus for car insurance, this bonus can significantly reduce the cost of your boat cover. On your previous boat insurance coverage, if you've sailed the seas without making any claims, you might be in for a discount

Compare Boat Insurance Now?

Acquiring boat insurance is the best way to ensure protection against damages to your vessel, personal injuries, or third-party claims. There are multiple policies available that provide for yachts, sailboats, or motorboats. Explore the boat insurance policies in the UK today and find the best option for you.

Policy Exceptions and Clauses

Examine these carefully, particularly in relation to the following :

  • Any sailing limits : Most polices are limited in the cruising range to UK inland waterways and costal regions.  
  • Season Cover : Some polices will only provide cover during fair weather or limited to certain months per year. 
  • Water sports : If you will using your boat in water sports, for example towing inflatables for example, check your policy to see if this is excluded.

Boat Insurance FAQ's

Do I Need Comprehensive Boat Insurance if I Only Have Third Party Cover?

Yes, having third-party cover is crucial, even if comprehensive marine insurance is not mandatory.

What Does Comprehensive Cover for Racing Yachts Include?

Comprehensive cover for racing yachts offers extensive protection, encompassing various risks like fire, theft, and personal accidents. 

What Should I Consider When Comparing Boat Insurance?

You should consider coverage options, claim procedures, policy limits, and exclusions before acquiring a boat insurance policy.

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