Before you can legally set sail or take to the open seas, you're going to need insurance. With such a wide range of boats and activities on the water, not to mention a whole raft of available insurance policies, it's not always clear what to look out for. Our guide below should help you to gain a clear understanding.
Yachts are typically measured by their length and defined as any vessel over 8 metres long. If you're planning on entering any competitions you should check the policy exclusions as you may find there's a lot you're not covered for. Exclusions that relate specifically to yachts include loss or damage to sails, spars, masts and rigging, depending on the provider. These will almost certainly be excluded should they be caused by racing.
If you're a yacht owner it's likely that you'll be travelling a fair distance, so remember to check which areas your insured for, any exclusions, and the flexibility of the policy should you wish to expand the area you’re covered for.
Look for a policy which offers at least £3 million in liability protection, legal expenses cover, and ideally a 24 hour helpline. You'll also want to ensure that you have adequate coverage in the policy for your hull, including fittings, machinery and equipment.
Houseboats, Narrowboats and Barges
If your boat is also your home, you'll no doubt want a level of coverage similar to that which home insurance would offer. If you're living on the boat all year round, or for many months at a time, you'll need to check that any policies cover you for such. Normal policies assume leisurely use and are cheaper as a result; essentially, the more time you spend on the boat, the more of a risk for the insurer.
Aside from the minimum of third party cover, you'll need to look to insure your contents, along with the boat itself in the case of fire, theft, or damage to its structure or fixtures and fittings. When applying for insurance, you may be required to provide a hull condition report before the quote can be given.
If you own your own private rowing boat, typical coverage will insure you against; theft, fire, , vandalism, weather events, and accidental damage. You may also want to check if the policy you're looking at covers for personal injury.
Many rowing boats are owned as a commercial enterprise, available for hire. If this applies to you, you'll need to look at a more specialist policy for commercial boats.
You can reduce your premium by making sure your jet ski is stored at an approved location, and improve any security measures to safeguard it, when it's not in use. If you plan to let your jet ski travel a bit more, you'll want to ensure that your policy covers haulage from location to location.
It's quite likely that you'll let friends and family use your jet ski, so look for a policy which extends to other drivers, or can be added as an optional extra.
As with rowing boats, if you're planning more commercial activities you'll need to look for business cover.© Ufuk Uyanik | Dreamstime.com