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Boat Insurance: Top 5 tips for getting the best value

Top 5 Tips For Getting The Best Value Boat Insurance

Your boat is a great source of pride and joy. It’s your never-ending adventure; an escape from the stresses of everyday life. However, there’s very little fun to be had with an uninsured boat. We’ve put together five tips to help you properly insure your boat whilst keeping costs down. All aboard!


• Keep your boat in a dry environment over winter

• Invest in an RYA course for certification

• Take photos of your boat for insurance purposes

• Keep up with the maintenance of your boat

• Total up the value of your boats' contents accurately


1. Keep your boat in a dry environment over winter

Boats stored on land and properly winterised are most likely to take to the water with ease when spring comes round. Water expands by about nine percent when it freezes and can expand with the force of tens of thousands of pounds per square inch. This is the equivalent of being squeezed by a giant - imagine the damage that could do to your vessel! In summary, if your boat is stored away for winter, away from the elements, you stand a better chance of avoiding this sort of damage and subsequent claims.


2. Invest in an RYA course

The RYA (Royal Yachting Association) is Britain’s national body for all forms of boating, including: dinghy and yacht racing, motor and sail cruising, RIBs and sports boats, powerboat racing, windsurfing, canal and river boat cruising, and personal watercraft. The RYA offers year-round courses on many different aspects of boating, from sail cruising, to navigation and boatmanship. Completing certain courses may make you eligible for discounts on your boat insurance premium; simply ask your insurer to see which courses apply and how much you can save.


3. Take photos of your boat for insurance purposes

Taking photos of your boat may be something you do naturally anyway, but in a claim, photographic evidence can be essential to prove ownership and condition of the boat. Ensuring you regularly update photos of your boat to show its most recent condition will help insurers.


4. Keep up with maintenance on your boat

Observing some basic maintenance rules before it gets cold can extend the life of your boat and help prevent the need for expensive repairs and inconveniences. Some simple things to check off include:

Clean your boat: remove any stains and dirt; apply a good wax job; and make sure the bilges are clean and dry.

Inspect your boat: check for damage to the propeller, electrical wiring and connections; and for any loose or broken fasteners.

Maintain your boat: always aim to follow your manufacturer’s guidelines. This process will include: changing the gear case oils, filters and crankcase; replacing spark plugs; lubricating engine fittings and the propeller shaft; circulating antifreeze through the engine block and manifolds; topping off fuel tanks with stabilized fuel; removing hoses from water pumps; connecting the batteries to a trickle charger; and storing in a cool dry place. Boat maintenance is the most important aspect of boat ownership.

Protect your boat: a high quality, breathable cover is one of the best investments you can make for your boat. A custom cover that blocks UV rays from breaking down the exterior surface will pay for itself over the life of your vessel. Just make sure there’s enough room for airflow. Throw a tarpaulin over everything to extend the life of your cover and for extra protection from the elements.


5. Calculate the contents of your boat accurately

Total up the value of your boats contents accurately – separate to your boat’s value. For example, GPS tracker, VHF radios, and any other valuable items that may be on board that are unrelated to boats but are worth a lot. Sending a proper estimate to your insurers is vital to make sure your premium will not be too pricey.


(Secret tip) SmartWater

As a last tip, we'll let you in on a secret. Some insurance providers will offer customers a 10% discount off their premium if there is a SmartWater tracker installed on their boat. An annual SmartWater membership is available at just over £20 per year and includes a forensic marking kit that will provide cover for your whole vessel.