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Boat Insurance

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Why do you need boat insurance?

Whilst boat insurance is not a legal requirement, many marine mortgages require you to take it out. To access canals, rivers and marinas you will need a minimum of third-party cover.

Also, it makes sense to cover your valuable assets and to give you peace of mind in case something goes wrong. It is particularly important that you are covered by third-party liability for injury or damage or you could face legal action.

Different levels of cover

Third-party only

The third-party cover will pay for damage that your boat causes and injuries to other people. Before you are allowed to licence and moor your boat, you will generally be required to provide proof of a minimum of the third-party-only cover. Trusts that issue licences for waterways require boat owners to be covered for the third party, with the Thames, for example, requiring a minimum of £1m.

Third-party, fire and theft

This level will cover the third party as described under the third party only cover, plus damage by fire and theft of the boat. It will usually be more expensive than third party only but if your boat is valuable then it will ensure that it is covered for two of the more common risks.

Comprehensive boat insurance

This is the highest level of insurance that you can buy and most policies will include cover for the third party, fire and theft plus accidental damage, personal belongings (theft or damage), malicious damage and personal accident.

If you do require comprehensive insurance, depending on the usage and type of boat, you may want to take out additional cover to the above list.

How to get cheap boat insurance quote

Insurance quotes are calculated using factors such as value, size, type of the boat; where and how often it will be used; security and storage. Just like motor insurance, more experienced boaters will be perceived to be a lower risk to insurance companies. You can also take recognised courses and qualifications to reduce your insurance premiums with some insurers.

Check for new offers & online discounts

When you are comparing different insurance quotes, you will see that there will be a range of discounts on offer. If you have not had any claims in the last 5 years then you will usually be entitled to a generous discount. If your boat is moored at a marina you may also be able to get a further discount. You can also select a higher excess to lower your premium.

Tips to get the right option for you

Most insurers will offer three different ways to insure your boat’s value:

  • Actual Cash Value
  • Agreed Value
  • Replacement Cost

You can choose the option that is most relevant for you. So when you set up your policy, you should take a look at these different options and see how it affects your insurance policy price.

For newer boats, the Replacement cost option will ensure that you get a similar vessel as a replacement if your boat is a total loss but if your boat does not have much value then you may prefer to take out the third party only.

Boat insurance FAQs

Am I required by law to have boat insurance?

Whilst it is not a legal requirement to have boat insurance, you will be required to have a minimum of third party insurance to use most waterways in the UK.

Will I be covered to take my boat abroad?

Each policy is different, so make sure you check the details to see if you are covered outside of the UK.

Will my boat be covered when in transit?

You will usually require additional trailer cover to insure your boat whilst it is being towed.

Can I cover my boat under my home insurance?

Yes, you may be able to cover your boat under your home insurance policy, so it is worth checking with your home insurer.