Boat Insurance


Ten Top Tips

Buying or renewing boat insurance can be a chore and like many types of cover, you pay for what you get. This 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, so hopefully 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.

Sailing Boat Insurance

Speedboat Insurance

Powerboat Insurance

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 market value.

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.



Yacht Insurance


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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Towergate and Towergate Insurance Marine are trading names of Towergate Underwriting Group, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Towergate Underwriting Group Limitedís register number is 313250. This can be checked on the FCA's register by visiting the FCA website or by contacting them on 0845 606 1234.

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