April 18, 2014

Should I buy a boat? Three things to consider when buying insurance for your watercraft


It’s rare that a person considers buying boat insurance. After all, it’s rare to wake up and think ‘I should buy a boat’, let alone consider the insurance for it. However, for many a boat can be a home, a business opportunity. Many are taking to travelling (and living) on a narrow boat, or on a massive yatch, sailing around the southern coasts. There’s opportunity for adventure and fun on the seas, but also for profit, as increasingly jet-ski businesses spring up around the country. There are ways to insure wind-surfs, RIB’s, dinghies and canoes too. It’s worth it, especially as we know how dangerous waters can be. Here’s some things to consider when purchasing insurance:

  • Used or new? – Is the craft borrowed, or new? This could mean a lot to insurers, who may deem the quality of the craft questionable if it’s an old rust-bucket, as opposed to a brand new yatch.
  • How can I save? – The best thing to do is go on a Personal Watercraft Course (or PWC), in order to prove yourself as an adequate sailor. This will help save on premiums in the long run. There are also several different policies and exclusions for each different type of watercraft. Jet-ski insurance, for instance, may only cover you by a limited distance between you and the shore. And remember, it’s only the craft that’s insured. Items such as wet suits, life vests and emergency telephones have to be covered on another policy, such as contents insurance.
  • What am I going to use it for? – There are many reasons to buy a boat in terms of investment, whether financial or personal. Of the many differences in policies, for instance, Yatch insurance may or may not include racing. Also whether you’re covered in only British waters, or abroad. You normally need to declare that others will use your craft, especially those under 21. As mentioned above, if it’s your family then it’s best to get them qualified with a PWC.

When buying a policy it’s best to check for exclusions, especially to do with theft exclusions, as there are many differences between policy holders. Otherwise, if you’re all set, then happy sailing!