How Much Does It Cost To Run A Boat?
9 August 2021
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Boat insurance is likely to be needed for most vessels whether they are used at sea or inland on canals or rivers or lakes. Boat insurance can be available depending on whether you use the boat as a home or for leisure and even racing and charter use.
Cover to take your boat abroad
Boat insurance is available for most parts of the world whether your cruising local UK waters or considering a trans-Oceanic passage. Typically the following are regarded as standard areas of coverage include Baltic waters, Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic cruising including Canaries and Azores, East Coast USA and Caribbean Islands. Pacific cruising including Australia, New Zealand and southern Pacific islands.
Brexit and Boat Insurance
It is still possible to arrange boat insurance for UK owners with EU flagged vessels or ex pat UK nationals living in the EU with EU flagged vessels.
Just as with other types of insurance, insurers will usually take into account a clean boating history.
Boat insurance isn’t a legal requirement in the UK but can be in other countries. Even within the UK certain authorities may require you to hold at least Third Party Only insurance to access rivers, canals boatyards or marinas. The Canal and River Trust, which issues licences to use the majority of Britain’s waterways, specifies that boaters will need third-party cover for at least £2m and the Environment Agency, which deals with licences for the Thames, asks for at least £1m of third party cover.
Most policies will include adequate third-party cover, but check the requirements of your boat licence issuer to make sure you choose a policy that includes enough protection.
As with any insurance you’d buy boat insurance to protect yourself against an unforeseen circumstance. The boat that you buy may represent a significant financial investment that you can’t afford to lose. You may have even secured finance on your boat purchase in which case insurance may be a condition of your finance agreement.
Sometimes given less consideration is that as owner you have a legal responsibility by owning a vessel. This could include friends and family on board that suffer injury or third parties property that you may damage with your vessel.
Boat insurance in the UK only has two different options of cover third party or comprehensive cover. Unlike motor insurance there is no option for third party fire and theft.
This is an insurance policy that covers you as the owner of the vessel or anyone in charge of the Vessel with your consent for costs that you are legally liable to pay resulting from damage to any other Vessel or property or death or injury to others.
Third Party Only Insurance is sometimes referred to as Basic Boat Liability. It is important to know that Third Party Only Insurance or Basic Boat Liability do not cover damage to your own boat. If you want this covered you’ll need a quotation for comprehensive insurance.
It is worth considering in that worst case scenario that your boat sinks you should also consider that you’d be responsible for the removal and potentially the clean up costs as well.
Comprehensive boat insurance and insures against both your own losses and those you cause to others. Your losses normally include any unforeseen accidental damage to your boat along with vandalism, fire and theft.
If you’re looking for comprehensive boat insurance, make sure you adequately reflect the value of your boat. This should include any extra navigational equipment, tenders or outboard motors that you may have added.
All types of boats have a value, everything from a sailing dinghy to the most expensive yachts and motorboats.
In general the value of your boat is what you have paid for it. However, this doesn’t necessarily reflect the value of your boat if you’ve added a lot of equipment to it, had the boat a long time, carried out a significant restoration or refit or it was a distressed sale. In these cases there are a number of places that you can approach to carry out a valuation on your vessel. These could be boat brokers, boat yards, marina managers or boat surveyors.
Getting quotes and buying boat insurance is an easy process, whether online or by phone. You’ll need to be able to provide some information about your vessel so here’s some tips on what you’ll need:
Type of vessel
Insurers may have a list of types of vessel they cover, such as motorboat, motorcruiser, yacht, speedboat narrowboat, etc.
An important factor is the age of the vessel. Insurers may ask for surveys on boats over 25 years of age. Essentially they need to know that your boat remains in good condition and has continued to be well maintained.
You’re also likely to be asked for the boat’s length.
For both sailing and powered boats you’ll be asked for details about
engine, if it has one. This will include both the make of the engine and the horse power.
You’ll need to state the value of your boat when you take out insurance, which might be difficult with older or more unusual vessels. Most commonly the value of your boat is similar to the price you’ve paid for it along with any additional equipment that you’ve added to the boat. If you’re unsure of the value of your boat, possibly because you’ve owned it for a long time or had a lot of work carried out on the vessel you can normally get a local boat yard, boat builder, marina manager or a marine surveyor to carry one out for you.
Type of use
The most common use in boat insurance is simply your own private and pleasure use where you use for vessel for family and friends.
You may use your vessel as your main residence, which is known as houseboat or residential use. It is unlikely that Insurers will make a charge more for this type of cover.
Charter or Hire Use
Commercial Use (where you use your vessel as an additional income source)
Mooring and storage
This is another important factor in the pricing of your insurance. Whether it’s in a boatyard or harbour, a professional run marina, a canal bank, or taken out of the water after each and every use (which is known as dry sailed).
Even if your vessel is kept on a mooring You might only keep the boat in the water during the summer months, in which case advise the insurer which months you normally keep the vessel laid up.
If you’re cruising your boat permanently, often referred to as a continuous cruiser, with no fixed mooring or address, insurers will also happily provide cover for this.