Boat insurance is an essential running cost that boat owners pay every year. But is there anything that you could be doing to lower the price of your policy? It turns out, yes. When insurers are calculating the cost of your premium, a lot of factors are taken into consideration before assessing the risk which, ultimately, decides how much you’ll be paying.
Our Marine Insurance Specialist Alison Melia has worked in boat insurance for 20 years and here she shares her top tips on how you can lower your boat insurance premium.
1. Think about where you keep your boat
If you don’t keep your boat in a marina, you’re likely to be paying more for your insurance than those that do. If you switched to a marina with 24-hour security and secure, fixed berths, your insurance will undoubtedly be lower.
You can even take this one step further and keep your boat ashore every time it’s not in use, to help reduce your premium. This is because the insurer usually assumes that aside from the lay-up period, your boat is always in the water. If that’s not the case, then inform your insurer as this is likely to lower your premium.
2. Insure your vessel for the correct market value
As you’d expect, the price that your boat is worth is one of the main factors your insurer takes into account. Every year, your boat will decrease in value and we’re sure you don’t want to be paying the premium based on what your boat was once worth.
Check recent sold prices for your vessel’s model, by looking at boat sale websites or speak to a marine surveyor to get an accurate valuation. Once you’ve done this, make sure to update your insurer - your premium will almost certainly come down.
3. Only use your boat on inland waterways
You could save money if you only use your vessel on inland waterways. This is because inland waterways often have stricter speed limits than the open sea and the water is usually a lot calmer. So, if you only take your boat on inland waterways, it’s important to update your insurer.
4. Consider Third Party only insurance
If you’re happy to take on the risk of repairing or replacing your boat yourself if it’s damaged or stolen, then you can choose to insure yourself for Third Party Liability only to help bring the cost of your premium down.
5. Match your boat with your experience
An easy way to keep risk down is to buy a boat that matches your level of experience. This particularly applies to new boat owners. You wouldn’t expect someone who had just passed their driving test to drive around in a Lamborghini, and the same applies to boats!
The owner of a high-performance motorboat should expect a higher premium if they are new to boating and don’t have a great deal of experience with that type of boat. Also, be sure to inform your insurer if you’ve had no claims too – the longer you’ve been sailing with no claims, the lower the premium.
6. Scrutinise pre-bundled insurance packages
Most boat insurers only offer cover as a pre-bundled package which can mean you can end up paying for add-ons that you’ll never need. A way to avoid this is to go to an insurer like Insure4Boats which will create bespoke policies tailored to your exact requirements. That way, you only pay for the cover you need and nothing extra.
Of course, it’s important to remember you can’t withhold information from your insurance provider about what you’re doing with your boat as it will make the policy invalid if you need to make a claim.
Next time you get a quote, make sure to follow these tips to avoid overpaying and help reduce your premium.
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