Set Sail with Peace of Mind: What Does Boat Insurance Cover?


Third-party liability boat insurance is required by any vessel harbouring an engine of 10HP or more, but it’s advisable for all those who enjoy life on the ocean. In the US alone, more than 5,000 recreational boating accidents occur every year, with the majority of these being on calm waters.

Alongside personal injury and damage to your vessel, an unintentional accident may leave you liable for damages, resulting in a very costly bill if your policy is inadequate. Let’s take a look at what boat insurance covers and the specifics every seafarer needs to be aware of whenever they take to the ocean.

Contents

  • What is Boat Insurance?
  • So What Does Boat Insurance Cover?
  • What is NOT Covered by Boat Insurance?
  • Is my Boat Covered Whilst in Transit?
  • Does Boat Insurance Cover Lightning Strikes?
  • Conclusion

What is Boat Insurance?

Boat insurance coverage is a type of insurance policy that covers various types of water-based vessels, but it mainly covers sailboats, motorboats, yachts and personal types of watercraft like jet skis and dinghies. Physical damage to boat equipment, including features like hulls, sails, machinery and furnishings. 

A basic type of policy will cover most features of your vessel, like your engine, machinery, and hull. sails and fittings. Many boat insurance policies will also cover your personal property whilst on board and any additional equipment used. A boat insurance premium will generally insure you for boat accidents, theft, and damage caused by adverse weather conditions.

GasanMamo’s policy for those based in Malta can either be comprehensive – covering loss/damage to your boat and third-party property damage and/or bodily injury, or third-party only.

What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

Looking over the following items, the advantage of boat insurance becomes clear. Levels of cover depend on your type of vessel, your insurer, and the policy limits you’ve taken out. But the following usually come as standard:

Damage to Vessel

As we’ll discover in our next section, not all damage is covered. But most boat insurance policies will insure you against accidental damage involving other boats or jetties, malicious damage caused by vandalism, fire, and various forms of weather damage.

Theft

Assuming you’ve complied with all necessary safety procedures and not left the keys in the boat’s ignition, insurance will usually cover you for any vehicle replacement costs. Whether you’d like to be covered for its initial value, or its value at the time of the theft, will need to be decided prior to agreeing on a policy.

Liability

Liability covers you for the cost of repairing other vessels or built structures in an accident that’s been deemed to be your fault. It can also cover medical bills should an injured party require them, as well as legal bills if a matter comes to court. The amount you’re actually liable for will depend on the policy limit agreed in your boat policy. One study listed collisions among the top five boating-related accidents, so the importance of liability coverage cannot be underestimated.

Infographic to show that One study listed collisions among the top five boating-related accidents, so the importance of liability coverage cannot be underestimated, for the blog Set Sail with Peace of Mind: What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

Personal Items

Like a homeowners insurance policy, you’ll be covered for a set amount to cover personal items taken on board. These will be items that are not attached to the boat. For example, GasanMamo covers the following as standard: clothing, both dry and waterproof; towels; kitchen accessories; toiletries; keys and pens; and wallets/purses, including cash and payment cards. Should you wish to take any expensive items on your voyage, check its value against the terms of your policy, and consider leaving that Picasso at home.

What is NOT Covered by Boat Insurance?

The following list is not exhaustive, so be sure to check the finer points of any policy to confirm precisely what issues you won’t be covered for. Some common exceptions to the average cover are as follows:

Wear and Tear 

As with home insurance, insurance companies won’t cover natural wear and tear. Even the biggest vessels have a finite lifespan, and when things no longer work because of age, it’s time for a complete replacement.

Damage Caused by Sea Creatures

Should a fish or sea-faring mammal take an aversion to your boat, insurance won’t cover any damage caused. Likewise, it’s your responsibility to remove any molluscs and plant growth from the hull on a regular basis – any damage caused by these in the long term is also your responsibility.

Improper Maintenance

A choking engine or faulty steering wheel might not stop you from making it out onto the ocean, but it may prevent you from claiming insurance should anything go wrong. Damage to the likes of motors or other machinery is only covered if the cause is accident-based, and not down to neglect on your part. Be sure to check over your boat before you use it, and fix any problems the moment they arise.

Is my Boat Covered Whilst in Transit?

Insurance covering boats in transit differs from one policy to another. GasanMamo will insure damage to boats whilst in transit in Malta, under the same conditions as on-water coverage. Any damage to third party property caused whilst your boat is in transit will not be covered as standard, but you can extend your car insurance policy to cover third party damages caused by trailers. Damage to trailers can be insured against if the trailer is listed as a covered item.

Does Boat Insurance Cover Lightning Strikes?

An insurance agent won’t typically cover boats against lightning strikes as standard, or include it under their comprehensive coverage. However, Maltese citizens using GasanMamo earn lightning strike coverage as part of a standard boat insurance policy.

Conclusion

Knowing what your boat insurance covers is a must when it comes to fully-enjoying your vessel and making the most of those halcyon days on the ocean. Guarding against damage, protecting your passengers, and having legal cover should you accidentally cause an accident provides peace of mind, and ensures nothing can get in the way of your journey to the horizon.

Begin your own search for the right plan in Malta by looking through our clear and transparent benefits on our boat insurance page.

GasanMamo Insurance is authorised under the Insurance Business Act and regulated by the MFSA.

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