If you're fortunate enough to be looking to buy a boat, no doubt you'll already have some awareness as to the associated costs that go with boat ownership. Aside from the initial outlay, you're likely to have mooring or storage costs, as well as inevitable repair costs which will arise, either from damage, or general wear and tear. All that being said, you're going to want to select the right insurance policy to help keep costs to a minimum.
Like car insurance, boat insurance is a legal requirement before you're allowed to set sail for open seas. Fortunately you get some say in what level of cover you adopt, allowing you options to suit your circumstance.
Third Party or Fully Comprehensive Boat Insurance?
As with car insurance, 'Third Party' insurance is available for boats, and considered the legal minimum coverage. All it covers you for is any damage caused to other people's property etc; public liability insurance is another description for it. This of course means that your own boat and anything on it will not be covered, leaving you to pay for any repairs or replacements which are needed. If you have say, an old boat you use occasionally for fishing, and it's scrap value is worth around its actual value, then Third Party insurance is for you really, as the premiums of anything more are likely to be too expensive.
If your boat is a little more valuable, but for whatever reason you feel there's no value in taking out a full insurance policy, you can often add coverage to Third Party policies for 'Fire & Theft'. As it suggests this covers you if the vessel if stolen or catches fire, but does not cover any contents on the boat.
Fully comprehensive policies will cover you for all of the above plus much more; when you're at the helm, or not. Should you have an accident and need repairs, a fully comp policy will cover any associated costs. The sums involved will vary by policy, so always check through to make sure that particular policy suits your needs. Obviously full comprehensive insurance costs a lot more than Third Party policies due to the amount of potential outlay for the insurer, and greater risk.
If you're looking at fully comprehensive policies, it's likely that they will adequately cover your contents. However, another way around this, if you're looking to save money at least, is to obtain coverage for your possessions on your home contents insurance. Even if it's not in your current home insurance policy, most providers will allow you to add coverage for possessions outside of your home, for a slight increase in your premium. This will only go so far to providing cover for you though as not everything from your home is covered; generally any gadgets (phones, laptops, tablets), bikes, and other such 'portable' personal effects will be covered, but if you have other equipment on your boat which you need to insure, cookers, TVs etc, then you'll need to look at special coverage for those items.© Photographerlondon | Dreamstime.com