10 things to keep in mind before taking out your boat insurance

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Choosing or taking out your boat insurance is not a simple task. Many insurance companies nowadays offer boat insurance, but as you can imagine, all insurance products are different. This can lead you to make the wrong choice of insurance for your boat. When choosing boat insurance, you should not only focus on its price. Keep in mind that there are many more risks at sea than on land that you should carefully consider. In order to help you make the best decision about your boat insurance, we are going to explain all the details that must be considered before signing the insurance policy.


1. Analyze your boatmaster certificate and the type of sailing you are going to perform

The insurance must fit the type of sailing you are entitled to perform in the best possible way. In other words, if you have a basic boatmaster certificate, your insurance requirements will not be the same as those of a yacht captain or a professional pleasure craft skipper.

In the case of a basic boatmaster certificate, you will need the insurance to cover coastal waters and the area around your home port, while a professional skipper may need the insurance to cover waters worldwide and cross-oceanic voyages.

If your certification enables you exclusively for motor navigation, your insurance needs will be different from those of a skipper qualified for sailing.


2. Estimate the type of boat you are going to insure

The year of vessel construction is a determining factor when taking out insurance with damage coverage. Insurance companies take this information into account when calculating the insurance quote, and depending on the year of construction they may deny your application for insurance with damage coverage or may ask you to present a recent proof of the good condition of the boat. It will also be a determining factor in defining a minimum deductible for damages.

Another fact to consider is the boat length. Normally, the longer the boat, the more its value is. Chances that your mooring neighbors would be boats of similar length and value are higher. It is especially important for estimating liability coverage. For example, if your mooring neighbors happen to be expensive yachts, you are strongly advised to take out voluntary civil liability insurance because mandatory civil liability insurance limits material damage claims to € 96,162, an amount that may often be insufficient to cover the damages caused, especially in case of fire.


3. Keep in mind the way you are going to moor your boat

Your insurance must be suitable for the type of mooring or anchorage you are going to use. The insurance needs are not going to be the same for a boat anchored in a marina with fixed wharves or with floating wharves, a buoyant anchorage or a boat kept in a dry Marina or in a garage.

If your boat is usually kept on land, you must consider that mandatory insurance only covers damages to third parties when the boat is afloat. In other words, for any damage that may be caused to a third party, you should take out voluntary civil liability insurance.

For example, in case your vessel is anchored on a buoy, it is necessary to confirm that your insurance covers damages to the vessel while it is anchored on a buoy and to check whether any seasonal or anchorage/buoy surveillance type limitations apply. Usually, the coverage for vessels anchored on the buoy is excluded during any season but summer.


4. Choose the most appropriate nautical insurance modality

At Nautia Seguros we always recommend acquiring an insurance package that includes mandatory civil liability + voluntary civil liability + defense and claim + maritime assistance. It is the minimum coverage that we recommend within basic boat insurance.

Another guarantee that we recommend is coverage for boat remains removal in the event of a shipwreck. It is usually an expensive operation and it is better to have coverage that guarantees refloating and removal of the debris of the vessel. Maritime authorities or any other public organization will compel you to remove those polluting debris from the coast.


5. Take out additional guarantees

The boats are usually quite expensive. Considering the number of risks a boat faces during sailing and the port stay, such as sea storms, lightning strikes, torrential rains, theft of the boat or any of its electronic accessories, it is advisable to consider the possibility of including coverage for the total loss and theft of the boat and/or its equipment.

The cost of this coverage depends on the year of construction of the vessel, its value, the value of the accessories onboard and the type of port it is moored in. Keep in mind that if there is no surveillance in the port where you moor your boat, the coverage for theft of the boat and/or its accessories may be excluded from the insurance policy. The same may be true if a total loss occurs during a storm in a port without surveillance.


6. Does Super Cover exist in boat insurance?

It is not very common, but nowadays various All Risk insurance modalities are offered on the market. The main feature of this type of insurance is that it covers any damage. You have to be careful and make sure you read the list of coverage exclusions before signing such a contract.


7. What type of insurance with coverage for damages is the most common?

Two types of insurance with coverage for damages have been offered traditionally in Spain. The so-called Spanish clauses, which is a type of insurance for the so-called nominated risks, in other words, it covers a range of risks defined in the contract. If the accident suffered by your boat is not on the list of guarantees, the damage will not be covered.

Another traditional type of insurance is the so-called English clauses: it is a type of insurance based on the Institute Yacht Clauses, and one of its main advantages is that the conditions are the same in any insurance company (except for some small changes that each insurer might apply). This type of insurance mainly covers the risks or dangers at sea.


8. Save with a deductible

If you wish to protect your boat with broad insurance, but you don´t want to pay a high quote, a feasible solution is to take out insurance with excess for damages. It will not apply to civil liability or maritime assistance (it is uncommon).

By accepting a deductible, you let the insurance company know that your intentions are not to be constantly placing claims and they would most likely agree upon a significant discount on the quote.


9. Check the navigation area where you plan to use a boat

The navigation area is a critical point in boat insurance. Check the limitations of your insurance contract. In Spain, the usual areas are waters of the European Union and up to 200 miles from the Spanish and Portuguese coasts. But this limitation varies for different insurance companies. Some offer cover only in the Mediterranean Sea, some include the crossing to the Canary Islands, however, if you want to cross the Atlantic Ocean, sail in the Caribbean Sea, the Indian or the Pacific Ocean, you will have to make a deal with your insurance company about the extension of navigation limitations, as it is usually not included in your insurance policy automatically.


10. Ask for a nautical insurance expert advice

There are many factors that influence the choice of the most appropriate type of insurance for each vessel, skipper or sailing type.

Due to the complexity and variety of available options on the market, you might need a consultation from an expert nautical insurance broker who would advise you about the best insurance policy for your boat. Trust Nautia Seguros!