Boat Insurance UK
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Compare Boat Insurance

boat insurance uk for your sailing yachtHaving looked briefly at how the marine boat insurance market works in the UK, now let's compare boat insurance policies available to UK boat owners, and the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

Marine boat insurance in the UK is typically divided into two distinct types of cover, namely full coverage boat insurance and liability only boat insurance, and in simple terms are very similar to motor insurance, where we have third party cover and fully comprehensive. Indeed we also have 3rd party boat insurance in the marine world. Deciding on the type of boat insurance you need depends on many factors, not least the type and cost of your boat, where you will be using it, type of activities, commercial or pleasure use, and also whether you are financing it with a marine mortgage or a lease. In this case not only will the lender concerned insist on approving the actual terms of the policy, but also the insurance company and underwriters. After all, if the boat is financed by a bank, they own it, until you have finished paying for it! In addition of course, all lenders who are financing the boat with a mortgage or loan will require you to provide a boat survey undertaken by a qualified yacht surveyor. So let's look at the two main types of policies for boat insurance in the UK starting with full coverage boat insurance.

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Marine Boat Insurance  -  Full Coverage 

Let's start by asking a very simple question - is boat insurance compulsory in the UK ? The answer I'm afraid is yes, and no! If you are berthed in, or visiting coastal marinas, harbours or recognised mooring areas, then evidence of the minimum level of insurance will be required, and similarly to obtain an inland waterways licence you will need the same. Some lakes and reservoirs may not require evidence of boat insurance. If you were to ask, is it sensible to have boat insurance, then the answer is categorically YES. Even if you are not concerned about your own property and life, think of others on the water who you may injure, harm or even kill.

Full coverage boat insurance will cover you for most risks, which generally include the following as standard:

Third party liability - if you damage someone else's boat, their property, or them personally, then you will be covered under the policy. Typically you will be covered for up to £2 million pounds which tends to be the industry standard.

Theft to the vessel and equipment - boat theft is very common, and stolen boats are often never found. Equipment theft is again very common, and you will need to check your policy very carefully, both for the terms and also what is, or more importantly what is not covered. If you are negligent in the security of your boat or it's equipment, then you will almost certainly not be covered.

Fire - these can and do happen, and often not just at sea. In a recent fire in a Spanish marina seven other boats were destroyed which is another reason for third party liability cover.

Accidental damage - accidental loss or damage to your boat. Again, make sure this is not due to your negligence!

Now, in simple terms, the above are the four main areas covered by most boat insurance policies in the UK, but this is where the simplicity ends. Beneath this are a whole array of specialist types of cover available which may or may not be appropriate, and which may or may not be included in the standard policy. These include such things as water skiing, tenders, jet skis, passenger liability, charter cover, European use, racing risks, transit cover, laid up vessels, wreck and emergency removal services and many others which we will look at shortly. One in particular is natural disaster. For now, let's just look briefly at liability only boat insurance for the UK.

Cheap Boat Insurance  - Liability Only

As I mentioned earlier, this is the absolute minimum for any boat owner or user. 3rd party boat insurance covers you for damage to other vessels and property, and also for injuries to other people including loss of life. It will not cover you for any damage to your own property, or injury to yourself, but will of course be much cheaper than full coverage boat insurance. Finally a word about insuring your boat under your home insurance policy. Whilst this is possible, it is not recommended and certainly not for a boat of any size as many risks will simply not be covered.

So having looked at the two principle types of boat insurance available in the UK, let's start considering some of the more specific details that you will need to check on your boat insurance UK policy, and please remember that you get what you pay for in this market!

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Marinablu International Ltd is an Introducer Appointed Representative of  Pantaenius UK Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA)  - boat insurance uk