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Yacht Insurance – Questions to consider

April 03, 2017

This brief guide to insurance seeks to give an overview of what to consider and what questions to ask when seeking insurance. It is not an exhaustive list, but intends to provide some overall guidance when considering the protection and cover you select for your boat. Finding the correct insurance provider should be the start of a long relationship, with an ever-ready supportive team ashore.

Hull Cover
Hull insurance covers you for damage to your own boat, covering the yacht’s hull, machinery and equipment. The cover needed depends on your intended use of the vessel, for example; Charter? Racing? Period in-commission? Cruising area? Explaining the intended use of the vessel to insurers enables the provision of the right coverage. What cover is available for the engines and machinery? Are any limitations on the speed of your vessel? What personal effects / equipment is covered? Does your insurance provider require a survey report? For what age of boat is a survey first required? What intervals thereafter? These factors can vary between insurance providers. 

Third Party Liability

Liability insurance covers your legal liabilities due to negligence should you cause damage to a third parties’ property or cause injury to, or death of another person. The majority of, but by no means all, policies include liability to third parties with the hull insurance. If separate from the Hull Insurance, claims on the one policy should not affect the premium or conditions on the other. Almost all marinas require yachts to have Third Party Liability insurance. 

Personal Accident

Personal Accident Insurance pays a sum for a permanent disability or death. Some policies include additional cover such as Emergency Medical Expenses, Search & Rescue costs and some cover you ashore for short periods. Personal Accident cover tends to either be free under a comprehensive yacht insurance policy, or as a stand alone policy for which a separate premium is charged. Either way, check the limits offered. If it’s included within a comprehensive policy are the benefits lower or more restricted?



You will want to familiarise yourself with any policy exclusions before purchasing a policy. Insurance is to protect you against the unexpected, so policies generally exclude things that can be anticipated or prevented. Significant exclusions often include (but are not limited to) wear and tear, gradual deterioration, faulty parts or lack of maintenance. If something is likely to fail due to its age or condition, replacement should be considered. An important question to ask is, if a part fails due to wear and tear or fault, is the resulting damage excluded, or only the part that failed? Is that clear in the wording? Consider the consequences.

New for Old

The term New for Old is used by insurers when they are replacing old items with new items.  Most policies will make it clear what items may be subject to a deduction on the replacement costs if you make a claim. This deduction is a common feature in many insurance policies, but when and how does this operate?  Does it apply when the boat or equipment reaches a certain age, or can it be applied at any time? It’s worth checking the wording here – if a deduction is made, does the deduction apply to parts and materials only, or to the entire claim including labour costs? Can you buy yourself out of this deduction entirely?


 ‘Excess’ is widely understood to be what we have to pay ourselves when we have a claim. The excess will sometimes be referred to as the ‘deductible’. Amounts differ from policy to policy as does the application – so if  comparing two policies, one possibly with a higher excess than the other, look to see what type of claims it does or does not apply to. Some policies apply it to all claims except total loss; others don’t apply it to specified types of partial loss claims (for example fire or theft).

Are the costs associated with the policy clear? Are there additional fees to consider? Such ‘hidden costs’ can include documentation fees; cancellation fees; instalment charges and credit card charges. What may, on the face of it, appear to be a cheap quote may actually be more expensive due to such fees.  

Overall is the cover wide enough to meet your requirements? If comparing two policies and the premium differs, does this mean cover is compromised if offered for less premium? What risk does that present? 

Pantaenius has over 90,000 boat owners worldwide who enjoy the peace of mind our unique and comprehensive policy provides.  If you would like more information on the products available please click here or if wish to discuss your insurance requirements please call +44(0)1752 223656.