Whether you own an expensive luxury yacht or a small dinghy, boats tend to be valuable investments that always warrant insurance cover in case the worst should happen. Boat insurance is not always a legal requirement but for larger yachts, you usually do need to have proof of third party liability insurance before you will be allowed to set sail. Furthermore, as with your car or home, disaster can happen when you least expect it and having a decent insurance policy in place protects you against loss and damage. The last thing you need after purchasing a pricey yacht is a huge repair bill following an accident, so finding the right insurance policy for your boat comes highly recommended.
Insurers will always consider various factors when putting together a policy. The value, length, age and type of your vessel will all contribute to the premium and where the yacht is both moored and sailed will also affect the final calculation. The type of use, whether private, chartered or for racing and sporting purposes, will also make a difference to the price of the policy.
Most fully comprehensive yacht insurance policies will cover you against fire, theft and accidental damage as standard and this tends to includes not only the hull, engine and sails but also other machinery and on-board equipment. Whereas opting for a fully comprehensive insurance policy will cover you for theft and damage to your own yacht, third party liability insurance will only cover you for injuries and damage caused to others by the operation of your vessel. If you have an old or lesser valued boat and you are not too concerned with the costs of potential repairs, third party liability insurance is an ideal option as the premiums will be significantly lower. However, for most yacht owners, the cost of repairs would definitely warrant a fully comprehensive agreement.
With so many different policies available offering different levels of cover, it is important to ensure that you only take out the cover you need. Before committing yourself to any insurance agreement, you must ensure that you not only check exactly what you are covered for, but also what you are not covered for. Exclusions and restrictions will always apply and these must be completely understood before taking out an insurance policy. The main difference between insuring yachts and other types of boats is that yachts are frequently used for sporting competitions and several specific exclusions will usually apply. These exclusions mostly pertain to damage caused when racing. If you do intend to take part in such events, ensure that you make this clear when initially enquiring about your insurance policy. Also, a majority of insurance policies will only cover you when you are sailing in British waters, so if you wish to cruise further afield, this needs to be reflected in your agreement.