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Using your boat

Apart from the restrictions noted below, it is usual for an insurance to cover anyone driving your boat with your permission. It is worth noting however, that minors under 18 years old are not usually covered to drive the vessel without an adult being on board and in charge at all times. If there is someone who will regularly use the boat, whether or not you are on board, it is advisable to inform the insurer. Give details of the name, age, record and experience, together with any claims history of this person.

Anyone borrowing the boat should also be made aware of any limitations to the insurance, in particular, where the boat may be used or moored. Under our MS Amlin All Risks Boat Insurance Policy there are specific references to restrictions as to who may "drive" the boat as below:

  • If you give permission for someone else to be in charge of your vessel you must take steps to ensure they have the experience to do so.
  • There is no liability cover for anyone operating, managing or working upon the vessel who is employed by a shipyard, repair yard, marina, yacht club, sales agency, delivery contractor or similar organisation. Therefore if anyone covered by these categories is going to drive your  boat it is essential that they confirm they have their own professional indemnity cover.
  • If you are lending your boat for any form of "consideration", this will not be considered “private pleasure use" and will be deemed "hire or reward". This use is normally excluded under insurance policies unless insurers have given their prior agreement to such use.
  • If you are arranging for a delivery skipper to sail or deliver you vessel you should obtain a copy of the skipper and crews sailing CV and make sure that they have the appropriate Professional indemnity insurance in place as insurers will often want to see this prior to agreeing cover. 


The above is for information purposes only. It is not intended to define legal terms nor is it intended to affect the interpretation of any policy we may issue.
If you have any questions concerning your insurance, there is no replacement for having your individual questions answered individually by your insurance broker or insurer.

Extended Cruising

Insurance is not compulsory in the United Kingdom however, increasingly Marinas and Harbour authorities require Third Party Liability as a minimum.  Likewise many countries will ask for proof of insurance upon arrival of at least a minimum of Third Party Liability Insurance. For example, it is law in Spain, Italy and Greece that a Certificate of Insurance is issued to show that there is a minimum of third party liability in place. This document must show the level of cover and must be written in the local language which we can provide you with.

That depends on what it is you are trying to do. There are a limited number of insurers in the pleasure craft market and most of these are wary of long voyages with minimal crew.

We suggest that people talk to others who have undertaken such a voyage. Organisations such as the Cruising Association and the Ocean Cruising Club can guide the owner in the right direction.

Secondly, you must be able to demonstrate to any prospective insurer that you are planning the voyage in a thorough and detailed way. Asking for cover to get to New Zealand in one year shows you are in a hurry and may be pushing the boat hard.

Thirdly, the plan must be seen to be possible. Any insurer is going to ask about the voyage. This is not just underwriters' being nosey, but an attempt to discover whether the voyage has been planned properly. For example, has consideration been given to avoiding hurricane and typhoon areas? Or at least that they have been taken into account.

Here's a checklist:

  • Prepare a full itinerary of the ports to be visited and the approximate dates. Set this out on an annual basis, this way a premium can be calculated based on where you are actually going.
  • Prepare a full C.V. for you and all members of the crew who will be on board for the voyage and particularly for any of the ocean crossings, the more detailed the better. In these cases actually having done it before counts for far more than theoretical qualifications. It will be looked upon favourably if at least one of the crew has done a transatlantic crossing if that is the voyage to be undertaken.
  • Tell the insurer about any specific gear or equipment that has been (or will be) fitted to make the voyage safer - for example, self-steering, radar alarms and the like.
  • Consider having the boat surveyed and/ or rig inspected by an independent qualified surveyor/rigger  to confirm that the vessel is capable of such a voyage.

This depends on the insurer and the answer to the questions above.
Single handed round the world voyages are very difficult to get insurance for and regrettably not something we are able to cover.
Double-handed voyages are viewed similarly to single-handed. If one crew member is injured, you are down to single-handed again. For this reason, like single-handed voyages, these will prove very difficult to insure. Most insurers are happier with three, or more, people – certainly for the long distance voyages, for example across the Atlantic, or down from the UK to the Mediterranean. It will however depend on the experience of the crew.

Don't panic. The trip is likely to be a long one, especially if you are going the whole way round the world. Policies will be written on an annual basis and should at least be able to provide cover as far as your next destination, or near to it. If for example you can't get liability cover in the US, arrange it with the local market when you arrive in the Caribbean. As long as effective cover is in place at the time of arrival in any port, you can stay there while solving the problem of the next stage. The locals understand the market and should be better suited to placing your insurance needs for that region.

Surveys

It is generally considered good practice to have a second hand boat surveyed before purchasing it, irrespective of the age. There will also be occasions when an insurer will require sight of a survey report before agreeing to provide cover on some vessels. Those over a certain age, home built, boats which have been damaged and refitted boats.
 

  1. Find a surveyor who is knowledgeable in the type of vessel involved.
  2. The Surveyor must be independent of the buyer, the seller and any intermediary involved in the sale.
  3. Be sure that the surveyor carries professional indemnity insurance.
  4. Many surveyors carry qualifications and/or are members of professional bodies, such as the Yacht Designers and Surveyors Association (YDSA),International Institute of Marine Surveyors (IIMS)
  5. Do find a surveyor speak to such an association, check their web page or ask at the local marina or a Yacht Broker for their recommended list.
     
  • The survey itself should be a full survey e.g covering the whole boat including engine(s), rig, hull, deck and fittings.
  • The survey should be done out of the water i.e. "dry". There should also be an indication of the value of the vessel when the survey is done.
  • To be acceptable to an insurer (and each insurer may have their own rules) any survey for insurance purposes should be not more than two years old and undertaken for the insured
  • A survey done for someone else, the previous owner or a previous potential buyer, should not be relied upon. While it may be a useful guide the surveyor involved only has a responsibility to the person who commissioned the survey and to no-one else. If there is a survey in existence, done for someone else, it may be possible as well as more economic to re-approach that surveyor for an "update" rather than commission a new survey.
  • Any survey will contain recommendations. It is sensible to speak to the surveyor once in receipt of these recommendations.  The surveyor  should divide the recommendations  up in some sort of order of priority such as:-
  • Those that must be attended to before the boat is put back into the water.
  • Those which can be done after the boat is afloat but before she is put back into commission.
  • Those which should be done soon but can wait until the next lay-up period.Those which need doing to "keep the boat in good condition
  • Once the recommendations have been attended to, the surveyor should be called back to check them out, and confirm, in writing, that the recommendations have been complied with to the surveyor's satisfaction.

The above is for information purposes only. It is not intended to define legal terms nor is it intended to affect the interpretation of any policy we may issue. If you have any questions concerning your insurance, there is no replacement for having your individual questions answered individually by your insurance broker or insurer.

Check with your navigation authority to check if this applies to your waterway. It should be noted that these are not surveys and the vessel should be re tested when she changes hands.

The above is for information purposes only. It is not intended to define legal terms nor is it intended to affect the interpretation of any policy we may issue. If you have any questions concerning your insurance, there is no replacement for having your individual questions answered individually by your insurance broker or insurer.

  • Many Inland waterways require you to obtain a Boat Safety Certificate issued by the Canal and River trust and the Environmental agency.  Its purpose is to help minimise the risk of boat fires, explosions or pollution. While it is wise to have any "elderly" boat regularly checked over it is up to an owner as to how often the vessel should be surveyed.
  • Some insurers, however, ask for surveys on a regular basis, every 3 or 5 years. As a general rule once we receive a satisfactory survey report we will not ask for another survey all the time you remain continually insured with us. 
  • It is wise to ask any insurer, who requests a survey, how often after the acceptance of the first one will there be a request for another. A survey may seem an expensive irritation but while any owner will feel that they "know" their own boat it is essential that an independent, qualified, insured person is called in when necessary.

The above is for information purposes only. It is not intended to define legal terms nor is it intended to affect the interpretation of any policy we may issue. If you have any questions concerning your insurance, there is no replacement for having your individual questions answered individually by your insurance broker or insurer.

Moorings

  • It is important to check as most insures will impose conditions or restrictions for small vessels left afloat unattended. Our MS Amlin All Risks Boat Insurance Policy excludes cover for sinking or swamping for any vessel less than 17 feet in length boat, which has a maximum designed speed in excess of 17 knots when left unattended afloat.

The above is for information purposes only. It is not intended to define legal terms nor is it intended to affect the interpretation of any policy we may issue. If you have any questions concerning your insurance, there is no replacement for having your individual questions answered individually by your insurance broker or insurer.

  • The location of a mooring will dictate whether the policy permits the vessel to be left on the mooring throughout the year or whether it is restricted to certain months. Moorings should be laid professionally and should be regularly checked and maintained by a professional mooring contractor. It is also wise to ensure that the person who laid the mooring carries adequate professional indemnity insurance to cover their liabilities. If the mooring area is at all exposed, (even to a freak wind), it is wise to use a chain from the mooring to the vessel, rather than relying on a rope strop. The vessel's topsides can be protected from chaffing by covering the top section of the chain with a plastic tube.

The above is for information purposes only. It is not intended to define legal terms nor is it intended to affect the interpretation of any policy we may issue. If you have any questions concerning your insurance, there is no replacement for having your individual questions answered individually by your insurance broker or insurer.

  • If your policy stipulates a period during which the vessel must not be left on the mooring, this period must be strictly adhered to. If you require the vessel to be left on the mooring after the lay-up date, (which are clearly stated on your Certificate of Insurance) or it is to be put into the water before the end of the lay-up period, the insurers must be advised and their agreement obtained in advance.
  • As with any insurance matter, the terms and conditions of insurance are very important. All boat owners must be aware of the implications of these terms and conditions. If you are in any doubt regarding any stipulation as to where and how the vessel is to be moored or stored, immediate clarification should be sought from the insurer.

The above is for information purposes only. It is not intended to define legal terms nor is it intended to affect the interpretation of any policy we may issue. If you have any questions concerning your insurance, there is no replacement for having your individual questions answered individually by your insurance broker or insurer.

Where and how a vessel is moored can affect the risk a boat faces. It also affects the insurer's assessment of the risk and its rating, terms and conditions. Generally, subject to any specific terms and conditions, the insurance covers the vessel ashore and afloat, and includes hauling and launching. Different moorings can carry different conditions and limitations and it is important that these are understood.

The above is for information purposes only. It is not intended to define legal terms nor is it intended to affect the interpretation of any policy we may issue. If you have any questions concerning your insurance, there is no replacement for having your individual questions answered individually by your insurance broker or insurer.

  • Yes, a Marina Berth is the preferred mooring for most boats. In order to promote freedom to use the vessel, it is advisable and best to have 12 months in commission cover. Under our MS Amlin All Risks Boat Insurance Policy we will not apply your policy excess or delete your No Claims Bonus in the event of a loss occurring while your vessel is in a purpose built marina either ashore or afloat on a berth. 

The above is for information purposes only. It is not intended to define legal terms nor is it intended to affect the interpretation of any policy we may issue. If you have any questions concerning your insurance, there is no replacement for having your individual questions answered individually by your insurance broker or insurer.

  • Usually, this is not a problem. However with boats kept on dry land when not in use, certain conditions regarding the security of the vessel and trailer may apply. In particular, the need for the trailer to be wheel clamped or kept in a locked building when the boat is not actually being towed is commonly used and this condition must be complied with precisely. Boats can also be kept ashore on Dry Stack. These are professionally run storage facilities where the boat is launched as and when required and lifted back out of the water when the use of the vessel is completed

The above is for information purposes only. It is not intended to define legal terms nor is it intended to affect the interpretation of any policy we may issue. If you have any questions concerning your insurance, there is no replacement for having your individual questions answered individually by your insurance broker or insurer.

Claims

  • Take immediate action to safeguard and protect any property from further damage or deterioration. This may include first aid to the engine.
  • Get help (professional if necessary) to safeguard and protect your boat and equipment.
  • If a tow is required, try to agree a realistic charge or fee before you accept.
  • Keep all broken, torn or damaged items for inspection and look after them as best you can.

The above is for information purposes only. It is not intended to define legal terms nor is it intended to affect the interpretation of any policy we may issue. If you have any questions concerning your insurance, there is no replacement for having your individual questions answered individually by your insurance broker or insurer.

  • As well as requesting the name(s) and address(es) of the helm and boat owner, get details of the boat type, class, number, name, and club, along with any witnesses details.
  • If you are racing, make sure you protest the Third Party if they did not accept a penalty, and obtain witness statements.
  • If you are involved in a road accident, call the Police to the scene and obtain details of the driver, vehicle and insurer, as well as any witnesses.
  •  If possible, write down all the details and make a sketch of the site.

The above is for information purposes only. It is not intended to define legal terms nor is it intended to affect the interpretation of any policy we may issue. If you have any questions concerning your insurance, there is no replacement for having your individual questions answered individually by your insurance broker or insurer.

  • If a Third Party wishes to hold you liable for damage, provide them with your name, policy number and boat details and pass on your MS Amlin insurance details.
  • You should acknowledge any correspondence and pass it on to us immediately.
  • Do not admit any liability or make any offer of payment.

The above is for information purposes only. It is not intended to define legal terms nor is it intended to affect the interpretation of any policy we may issue. If you have any questions concerning your insurance, there is no replacement for having your individual questions answered individually by your insurance broker or insurer.

  • Report any theft or malicious damage to the police promptly.
  • Keep a note of the Police Crime Reference Number.
  • Let us know the serial numbers of any engines, tenders etc.
  • Notify your club and local harbour master with the full details of the theft/vandalism.

The above is for information purposes only. It is not intended to define legal terms nor is it intended to affect the interpretation of any policy we may issue. If you have any questions concerning your insurance, there is no replacement for having your individual questions answered individually by your insurance broker or insurer.

  • It may seem like strange advice, but when you experience loss or damage to your vessel, you should act as though you are uninsured. This approach will help you take reasonable steps to minimise the loss. 
  • Where possible please take photographs of any damage to your vessel.

The above is for information purposes only. It is not intended to define legal terms nor is it intended to affect the interpretation of any policy we may issue. If you have any questions concerning your insurance, there is no replacement for having your individual questions answered individually by your insurance broker or insurer.

  • Please remember that the repair contract is between you and the contractor. Any instructions regarding either repair or replacement must come from you. However, you must seek our agreement in the first place.
  • Please read your policy wording carefully because your claim may be subject to deductions in addition to your policy excess

The above is for information purposes only. It is not intended to define legal terms nor is it intended to affect the interpretation of any policy we may issue. If you have any questions concerning your insurance, there is no replacement for having your individual questions answered individually by your insurance broker or insurer.