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Boat Insurance

Do you enjoy spending time out on the waters in your boat?  If so, you are not alone.  Thousands of Brits spend time out in the sun and fun with their watercraft every year.  While planning your water adventure, getting in an accident may be the last thing from your mind.  Nonetheless, with boat coverage in place, you can keep yourself financially protected if the unexpected does occur.

What is Boat Insurance?

Boat insurance, which is also commonly referred to as marine insurance, is a form of insurance coverage that provides you with financial compensation for losses associated with a watercraft.  There are a number of different types of boats that may be covered under a boat insurance policy.  These include:

  • Dinghy
  • Jet Ski
  • Motorboat
  • Narrowboat
  • RIB
  • Rowing Boat
  • Speedboat
  • Windsurfer
  • Yacht

Basically, if it can transport people or goods by water, it can be covered by boat insurance.

Boat Insurance Components

When obtaining a boat insurance policy, you will find that there are many different components that will make up your policy.  These include:

  • Third Party Liability
  • Comprehensive Coverage
  • Damage to Underwater Machinery

The Third Part Liability aspect of your boat insurance will provide you with financial protection if you accidentally cause damage to someone else’s boat or if you cause someone to be injured while operating your boat.  Having liability insurance in place is important because, if you cause an accident to occur, you are held personally and financially responsible for the resulting damages.  With insurance in place, however, you don’t have to worry about going broke in order to pay these expenses.  The standard amount of liability insurance in the UK is £2,000,000, though you can choos to carry more coverage if you like.

Comprehensive Coverage is used to protect your boat against damage.  If it gets damaged in an accident that is your fault or if it becomes damaged by fire, vandalism, or theft, this part of your policy will compensate you so you can get your boat repaired or replaced if necessary.  The amount of comprehensive coverage you need depends upon the value of the watercraft you need to insure.

The Damage to Underwater Machinery component of your boat insurance policy provides you with coverage for damage to your engine or propeller that may occur if you run aground or if you accidentally hit something that is submerged.  This form of coverage is not standard with many boat insurance policies. Therefore, you may need to specifically ask to have it added to your policy.  When placed on a policy, there may be limitations on the amount of damage that must occur before a benefit will be paid.

Special Considerations in Boat Insurance Policies

In addition to the different types of coverage that can be included in a boat insurance policy, there are also certain provisions that may or may not be included in a policy.  Some of these include:

  • Laid Up Period – a restriction of coverage that requires the boat to be ashore between certain dates in order for coverage to be in effect.
  • Racing Risks – coverage for racing under sail, which may or may not be standard on a policy.  If damage occurs through racing, such as Club Racing or Off Shore Racing, coverage may not be provided if it is not included in the policy. 
  • New-for-Old Coverage – this clause stipulates that old equipment will be replaced with new equipment when damage repairs are made.  Some policies may have limits on the age of the equipment and may pay out in different ways.  For example, if a ten year old piece of equipment is damaged, the company may replace it with a new one or may payout a benefit equivalent to the value of the equipment when it was damaged.
  • Personal Effects – You can also choose to carry additional coverage for the personal belongings that you carry on your craft.  This way, if the boat is completely destroyed or if items aboard the boat are damaged, you can be properly compensated for the loss.

Having boat insurance in place is essential when it comes to keeping you properly protected.

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