Monday, 8 December 2014

Boat Insurance

When it comes to insuring your boat there are many questions you should ask yourself before you take on a particular policy. Questions such as how much cover do I need as well as what sort of cover do I need. When things go wrong its to late to consider which insurance cover is appropriate for your boat.
Do you need boat insurance. Yes,  it is usually a legal requirement on most Inland waterways. Having  boat insurance can help to protect you against any third party liability for injury or damage caused by you or your vessel.
What sets the premium payable. Each type of vessel will attract a different level of risk, so just like car insurance, boats are usually categorised according to their vessel type and risk. expensive boats cost more to insure than smaller cheaper boats. The actual size of the boat isn't as important as its value, how easily it could be stolen and the potential for damage. The area in which you keep and use your boat will also have an influence on the level of premium you pay. The experience of the owner and the type of use and of course any previous claims are all taken into consideration when calculating the premium.
What type of policy do I need. First of all the level of premium should not be the sole deciding factor. No two policies are exactly the same, choose one that provides the cover you need. Create a list of essential and desirable options for cover. Then check the different policies against your check list. You would have a starting position with comprehensive cover that includes accidental damage, including fire, theft, personal effects and malicious damage, sinking, stranding, collisions and salvage costs. You would want cover for travel over tidal rivers between connecting waterways and if your boat is capable estuary crossings you may need extra cover for that.  Ensure that the policy provides protection for you and other authorised persons using your boat (you may wish to name them in the policy) from claims made by third parties for death or injury or damage to third-party property for which you may become legally labile.
Check with the advisor for any specific exclusions. Make sure you also look out for any other exclusion in the wording of your policy. All policies have them, so check your wording very carefully. Make sure the insurer is authorised and approved by the Financial Conduct Authority. 
Use a specialist insurance broker. They will be able to advise you on the correct cover for your vessel. They may also offer you 'enhanced benefits' such as lower excesses and improved cover. 
Do not purchase on-line. Check exactly what you’re covered for before taking out the policy and you can also have the benefit of an advisor to talk you through the details. Review any potential policy in detail and you should be able to get the right cover for your vessel and enjoy peace of mind when cruising without worry.

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