We know that there is far too much choice on the market when it comes to ensuring something as special as your yacht – after all; every yacht is different. Derri Dunn from GoCompare has a thorough insight into what to look out for.

Boat insurance is likely to be needed for most sea, river and canal vessels, whether you use the boat as a home or for leisure. Find out more about the options.

Boats range enormously in value, from inflatable kayaks to luxury ocean yachts, but whatever craft you skipper, you’ll probably need to insure it. It’s not just to protect your own pocket. You’ll need cover for your boat to stay on the right side of river, canal and marina regulations. Just as with insurance for cars and other vehicles, you’ll be able to choose your level of cover and optional extras.

What insurance do I need for my boat?

There’s not actually a legal requirement for boats in the UK to be insured. However, navigation authorities for the waterways and marina and harbour operators usually insist upon at least third-party insurance, which protects others from damage your boat may cause. The bottom line is, without third-party insurance you’ll be unable to use your boat on the waterways and unable to obtain a mooring agreement for it.

Buying boat insurance

Getting quotes and buying boat insurance can be simple and straightforward, whether online or by phone. However, you’ll need to be able to provide some information about your vessel.

Type of vessel

Insurers may have a list of types of vessel they cover, such as motorboat, narrowboat, etc. If you’re unsure of your boat’s type, contact the insurer for help making the correct selection. You’re also likely to be asked for the boat’s length and the power of its engine, if it has one.

Value

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. When insuring a boat, it’s common to pay a marine surveyor to come out and value your craft so that you have this evidence for the insurer. Some insurers will insist on a valuation by a surveyor for boats over a certain age or of certain types before agreeing cover.

Type of use

How you use your boat will have a significant effect on its value and whether you can get cover. For instance, some insurers won’t cover boats being used as a main residence, while others may charge more for this type of cover.

Mooring and storage

You’ll usually need to tell your insurer where you plan to keep the boat, whether it’s in a boatyard or harbour, moored on a canal bank, or taken out of the water to park on a trailer on dry land. You might only keep the boat in the water for part of the year, in which case the insurer may need to know the mooring address and where it’s kept while laid up.

If you’re a continuous cruiser, with no fixed mooring or landlocked address, some insurers will be reluctant to provide cover. However, there are boat insurers who recognise the needs of boaters who continuously roam the waterways.

Full credits and many thanks for this insightful look into yacht insurance to Derri Dunn – GoCompare.