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Insuring your boat

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Mon Apr 17, 2017 at 9:00am

Insuring your boat.

In reality the only obligation you have to canal boat insurance is the conditional requirement by the Canal & River Trust to insure powered boats to cover third party liabilities for at least £2 million.



This is simply because as a licence holder, you are responsible for injury or damage caused by you or the boat. Due to the nature of our chosen activity whereby we are navigating locks, negotiating bridges and cruising past moored boats, these damages could be considerable so it makes sense that other peoples property is protected from accidental damage.

What is optional, and therefore left for you to decide, is the insurance protection of your own property. When thinking about the level of investment we make it seems obvious that most of us would wish to protect not only our boat but also the contents as well

Compare the best boat insurance online, look for the best deals, seek out as many quotes from as many brokers as possible. Especially consult those who offer specialist insurance that meet your needs. If your boat sinks, will it be recovered? If there’s a fire while it’s on the trailer, does the car insurance cover for the accident or the trailer insurance? Do you need both or less cover?

Whether you’re seeking out jet ski insurance or laser insurance or simply a little more cover for your kayaking activities while out on the river. Peruse the details below and select the best insurance coverage for your sport, hobby or pursuit. It’s always beneficial to look for the cheapest premiums but not if the payouts don’t match the requirement in the event of a claim.

Fully Comprehensive Or Third Party

Don’t go anywhere before you’ve decided if you’re going for fully comp or 3rd party marine insurance.

By law most large boats like yachts or narrow boats need to have proof of third party insurance before you can set sail on canals, estuaries, inland rivers and moor at harbours. This is handled via license from the Canal and Rivers Trust, Environment Agency and the Broads Authority. Simply put, at the very basic level you need to have third party insurance in place for your vessel.

Now many people get confused as to the difference between fully comprehensive and third party insurance, especially once they find out about the parts that make it different. Simply put, third party insurance is a requirement as it covers the third person and offers you liability protection. If you are at fault in an accident, it covers repairs and personal injury to the opposing party.

Here’s the catch. It doesn’t offer you any cover whatsoever when it comes to your own needs or your own boat’s repairs. So what’s the point of third party insurance over fully comprehensive? Well if you have a boat that is old or on its last legs, or a lower valued item that you use as a fishing boat, you may not be too concerned at losing several hundred pounds compared to the insurance premiums you would need to pay.

So in these instances it’s perfect, you get to abide by the law and save loads by not paying out on cover you don’t need. It’s worth remembering however that should your boat sink, you are legally obliged to pay for salvage costs or there would be boats strewn in waterways all over the place. There is, like car insurance an option for an additional insurance policy for your boat which covers theft and fire.

Buying this will ensure should the worst happen and your vessel is stolen or catches fire, that the third person involved in the incident is covered as well as repairs or replacement is insured against. The most popular and of course the most convenient is however the most expensive. Fully comprehensive insurance against all eventualities while you are at the helm and when you’re not.

So when you drill down all the parts. If you have a boat that isn’t worth much or can be easily replaced or salvaged and the costs absorbed, only buy the insurance you’re legally obliged to. Don’t fall into a trap of buying content insurance or small vessel insurance for a tenner a year when it’s just a token gesture like mobile phone insurance when it is on contract.

Before you purchase third party insurance, check with the local authority as to whether you firstly need a licence or you’re exempt and whether you need insurance before you apply. Then if you do and your boat is worth much more than ten years worth of monthly premiums, consider a fully comprehensive boat policy to cover all the bases and eventualities.

Happy Boating.


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