Ten Top Tips
Buying or renewing boat insurance
can be a chore and like many types of cover, you pay for what you
means it's no good comparing quotes on price alone - you need to
scrutinise the policies' terms & conditions to see what they
do and don't insure. However, not everyone finds this easy to do,
these tips will help new and experienced owners obtain the right
cover at the right price.
1. Be prepared - If towing a new boat to its mooring location, take
out marine insurance beforehand. The previous owners' cover does
not extend to you and although your car insurance should cover a
boat on tow, there may be length restrictions, so check with your
car insurer. And don't forget to check the trailer - if this fails,
your boat may be damaged and rendered unseaworthy. Check the wheel
bearings, hitch locks, breakaway cables and tyres are fit for purpose.
2. Which type of policy - You may be asked if you
want wide-ranging or third-party liability cover. Wide-ranging pretty
much does what its name implies - covers your boat in the event of
fire, theft, vandalism and accidental damage. If your boat or equipment
is damaged, you'll be offered a replacement which equals the current
Third-party liability provides financial protection if you have
an accident involving another boat. It compensates for any damage
or injury incurred by that third-party, plus covers legal costs,
which could be financially crippling. If you intend to use your craft
for watersports, such as towing inflatables, check with your insurer
that your policy covers this, not all do.
3. Don't pay over the odds - Some yacht insurance
providers, like Towergate, automatically cover at no extra cost localised
sailboat racing such as the Round the Isle of Wight Race (including
damage to masts, spars, sails and rigging). However, others may charge
an additional premium, based upon the estimated cost of replacing
the damaged parts. So ask before you buy - otherwise you could end
up paying extra for something that's automatically included elsewhere.
You can also save costs
if your boat is kept ashore.
4. Sailing limits - If planning to sail to sunnier climes, check
your policy's cruising range. Standard cover is inland and coastal
waters of the United Kingdom, so if you're sailing outside this area,
you'll need to extend your limits. An oversight now could result
in a claim being excluded.
5. Seasonal cover - Some policies only provide cover for certain
times and stipulate your boat should be secured ashore for the rest
of the year. Check policy limitations - as if you're at sea when
you should be ashore (due to bad weather or an unexpected sailing
delay) you might not be covered.
6. Boat management - Most policies offer flexibility, allowing anyone
to sail your boat with your permission. However, some stipulate cover
is void if chartered, so if you are keen to do this, check whether
this is acceptable.
7. Excess costs - Excesses amongst providers vary,
so hence why it's difficult to compare quotes on a like-for-like
basis. Invariably, the higher the excess, the cheaper the quote,
so know what you're expected to pay out up-front if you make a claim
- you may want to increase or decrease it.
Towergate also has a low-cost policy that repays your excess costs
- not just on your marine cover, but also your home, motor, pet,
travel and private medical insurance.
8. Making a claim - A hassle-free claims' process is crucial, so
find out how the insurance provider would want you to submit a claim;
on-line, over the phone or via the post?
How long do claims take to process, is it a UK-based in-house team
or is the claim contracted-out to a third-party? Is there one point
of contact and are inspections required before claims are paid?
9. Be in the know - If you're a new boat owner, you'll
need training. Reputable insurers expect you to show you've reached
a certain level of competence, either gained through years of experience,
or following completion of a RYA course.
10. Location and equipment - If, after you've bought your policy,
you change the mooring location or buy more gear/equipment, let your
insurer know - otherwise it could affect any claim you make.
Sound boat insurance cover gives you the peace of mind to enjoy
your love of water sports to the full. Don't go on the water without
it .. !
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