Value, age, condition: these tend to be the main factors that influence the level of boat insurance premium you’ll pay. Let’s face it; if your launch happens to be an extremely desirable piece of kit, there’s not a lot you can do to stop would-be thieves thinking of it in the same light. In a similar way, the repair bill for a reef-damaged twin-propellered superyacht is going to be somewhat steeper than for a modest monohull. All of this is taken into consideration when calculating your premium – but thankfully, it’s not the be all and end all. A few smart steps here and there can help keep your payments down – so with this in mind, here are five areas to focus on…
Your excess: how much risk can you stomach?
In a similar way to motor cover, you’ll find that most boat insurance policies feature a range of excess options. The bigger the excess, the less you’ll pay – although with this comes a quid pro quo; namely the fact that if something happens, you’ll need to personally shoulder a bigger chunk of the cost. As such, it’s always wise to earmark an amount equivalent to the excess in your contingency kitty. Of course, providing nothing happens, you’ll have this sum to carry over from one year to the next.
Keep your options open on storage
In your mind’s eye, you can see your boat on free roam at a very particular bankside at your favourite location. It’s wonderful to be able to finish work and drive straight to where your boat is ready and waiting for you – but if you want to make savings on your premium, it may be worth broadening your horizons.
In practical terms, what options are available to you? Is a swing mooring a possibility? Have you priced up a marina pontoon berth? At the same time, you should give consideration to the various ‘ashore’ storage options that might be suitable such as dry stacking within a boat club – or perhaps keeping it on your main residential or holiday home driveway. When looking for insurance, price up each of these options and remember to factor in the storage charges when considering which offers best value.
Don’t assume all marinas are the same
If you’re veering towards marina or boatyard storage, it’s worth getting insurance quotes for several different specific facilities in and around your desired location. For instance, it may be the case that a certain boatyard offers extremely competitive storage charges but it just so happens that insurers have it down as a hotspot for theft or damage. An alternative facility a little further down the coast may enjoy a much better reputation in the eyes of insurers – and with that comes a cheaper premium.
Get some training under your belt
For a boat insurer, which type of customer do you think carries the lowest element of risk: one that obviously has taken efforts to develop their skippering skills or someone who wants to take to the water without any prep?
Insurers typically give credit for practical training qualifications and certificates of accreditation. With this in mind, check out this RYA training overview to see what courses might be relevant to your situation.
Don’t tick every box
Realistically, just how likely is it that you’ll be taking part in competitive racing? Are you sure you aren’t requesting over-insurance for items such as cameras and phones that are covered under other policies? Especially when it comes to how you are going to put your boat to use and the contents you are going to keep on board, make sure you’re not over-insuring for eventualities that don’t fit how you are actually going to use your boat.
Especially if this is your first experience of the marine insurance market, navigating your way around it can be a confusing process. Boat insurance specialists such as Bishop Skinner are a natural port of call for new boat owners looking for the right cover for the right price.