As any boatie would know, boats can often be very expensive assets to own so it’s important to have boat insurance. The risk of having an accident while out on the water or while transporting your boat can prove costly both in repairs and/or replacement and in liability costs in the event that you damage someone else’s property or cause injury to a third party.
In addition, boats can and do get stolen so having Boat insurance will provide the peace of mind that your investment is protected.
A good boat policy should include legal liability cover for you as the owner of the boat in the same way that a car policy provides cover. This should include damages to third parties that you may be found legally liable for should you have an accident that results in accidental damage to someone else’s boat or another person’s property while transporting your boat or out on the water.
It will also cover you for legal liability in the event that you accidentally cause injury to yourself or to a member of the public and are required to pay medical expenses that are not covered by ACC.
Why you should have Boat insurance.
The most important consideration as a boat owner is to make sure you have a policy that provides cover for accidental damage to your boat and theft. It’s also crucial that you are protected against being found liable for damage to third parties.
Most policies will include cover in the event that your boat and equipment are damaged either while out on the water, while being transported on a trailer or when moored.
Usually legal liability cover for damage to third parties will be set at an agreed amount and each insurer will have their own levels of cover. In the event of an accident, the cover may apply not just to you as the boat owner but also to anyone else using your boat that you have granted permission to.
It pays to check with your insurance broker whether your policy cover includes other drivers of your boat and what conditions may be attached. For example, age limits etc.
Additional benefits of having Boat insurance
A broad boat insurance policy may also cover a range of additional benefits such as emergency towing and other rescue or salvage costs in the event of an accident. It may also include cover for personal effects inside the boat such as clothing, lifejackets, wetsuits, diving equipment, as well as fishing gear or other equipment you may be using on your boat.
It’s important to talk to an insurance broker to find out exactly what you are insured for, as each insurer will have limits around how much and what items the policy will cover. They will be able to talk you through what the best cover is based on your circumstances. For example, the type of boat you have, how old it is, what you use your boat for, where it’s kept etc.
How a broker can help
Consulting with your local NZbrokers member can be invaluable in making sure you have the right cover in place. They will be able to explain what options are available as part of your boat insurance and what the policy limits are.
In particular, they can explain the details of how the cover works, for example whether the policy is based on the market value (i.e. what the boat is deemed to be worth in the current market), or an agreed value that is specified in the policy wording. This is important for you to understand so that there are no hidden surprises in the event that you need to make a claim.
Your broker will also be able to advocate on your behalf in the event that you need to make a claim to make sure that you receive everything that you are entitled to. This can save you significant time and money in filling out paperwork and pursuing a claim in the event it gets disputed.
Contact an NZbrokers member to discuss your Boat insurance requirements and how they can help.