There is no legal requirement to have boat insurance, but any marina requires you to have proof of third-party liability insurance and if you’re financing your boat the lender will also require the boat to be insured.
Even if these two points don’t apply to you, boat insurance is an extremely worthwhile investment all the same.
Insuring a boat is much the same process as covering a car or house and there are companies which specialise in marine insurance.
That said, it is the boat that is insured – not the person – so other suitably qualified people can use your boat with your permission and still be covered by the insurance policy.
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Boats are valuable assets but insurance costs aren’t usually prohibitive (see examples below) though factors such as performance, loss record and experience can affect premiums.
Whichever insurance company you decide to go for, be sure to examine the small print extremely carefully as some policies may exclude cover if you’re using the boat solo or leave it unattended at anchor, for example.
Certain insurance policies will only provide cover during specific times of the year if the boat is kept on a swing mooring.
It’s also worth double checking with your insurance provider if you’re planning to tow the boat regularly or need liability cover for waterskiing, watersports or water toys.
Example insurance costs
6m RIB worth approx. £50,000: £350 per year
13m sportscruiser worth approx. £350,000: £1,925 per year
15m flybridge worth approx. £1 million: £4,500 per year
First published in the June 2021 issue of Motor Boat & Yachting. Our How to start boating series is brought to you in association with Pantaenius.