A discussion of marine insurance policy variants and how to buy yacht insurance.


PUBLISHED 02/03/2012

BY admin

IN Tips & Advice

Marine insurance is without doubt rather different from most other forms of insurance. in short that is why you just can’t easily just go and compare with all the various companies at once, particularly for more specialist requirements. A key reason for this, is that there are many more policy variables such as vessel type, engine size, mooring locations, cruising ranges, auto-bilges, water-skiing, racing, specialist equipment (outboards, navigational equipment, trailers, contents etc). But given the large variety of vessels out there, used for very different purposes, this perhaps should not come as a surprise. However, it’s something that every prospective boat owner should certainly understand as unfortunately it can result is a dizzying array of marine insurance options. This is something that here at Mercia Marine we meticulously avoid, this detailed policy offering analysis makes your choices much more straightforward… for full marine insurance details click here.

What About A More Specific Example – Yacht insurance

Now, discounting for a moment what one would look for in a standard boat insurance, lets take a more specific example, what does one need to think about with regards to yacht insurance? Well, there are two main types of policy available to you under these circumstances and these are governed by your insurer: Agreed Value and Actual Cash Value. An agreed value policy such as those we provide as standard, whilst this may sometimes cost a little more, the insurer is held to a reimbursement at an ‘agreed value’, as naturally you’d expect. In comparison, an ‘actual cash value’ policy will be cheaper but, should you claim, you will find that the amount paid to you will depend upon the current market value of your yacht and thus it will suffer from deprecation – in other words, you’ll almost certainly get a lower reimbursement. Deductibles will also be different for both policies as yacht insurance, unlike boat insurance, tends towards giving deductibles as a percentage instead of as a fixed value. There is of course the choice of third party only or fully comprehensive insurance, but also yachts are usually larger than average boats so are also treated differently in many other ways. Whilst a boat may generally be transported over land an unlimited distance, a yacht is generally limited by its insurance to a certain range of travel because, due to its increased size, it is increasingly more liable to damage whilst travelling in such a manner. Equally they coastal mooring locations may result in stipulations with regards to automatic bulge pumps or not using certain mooring types (e.g. swing moorings) or being penalised by the cost of your insurance if you do.

Standard Policy Inclusions

Our yacht insurance also provides salvage of a damaged yacht, the costs of wreck removal, damages caused by the uninsured and potential legal fees (policy addition option applies). In the modern age of litigation, legal fees are particularly important to be protected against as the yacht captain is potentially liable for claims and on commercial vessels any employed crew members can potentially sue for damages in the event of an accident.

As we’ve sought to highlight above, it is possible to protect your vessel with third party insurance cover however it’s not usually advisable, despite the lower costs, as it provides little more than the most basic cover, which is not a good idea when there are so many potential costs involved. Therefore, a fully comprehensive insurance policy relating specifically to your category of vessel is most definitely advisable!

When Buying Yacht insurance

Whilst you should know that yacht insurance is not an obligation unless stipulated by your marina, it does give you ultimate peace of mind. When buying yacht insurance online you will be asked to provide details of your make and model, vessel length, legal owner(s), build year, cruising range, mooring type/ location, no claims bonus years (or claims details) and place of registration. After go-live of your policy you will also need to send us any no claims bonus evidence and recent boat survey copies may be required for older vessels (i.e. 20 years and above).