It is not easy to determine which will be the best insurance for your motorboat, sailboat, or even jet-ski. Is yacht insurance compulsory? How to find the best insurance for your boat? Is it possible to take out boat insurance for only a few months? All our expert advice!
What are the different boat insurances?
The insurance of a boat is not compulsory, whether motorized or sailing (unlike the insurance of any motorized land vehicle) unless it is for sporting pleasure or you are a professional, such as a boat rental company for example (in this case, Professional Civil Liability is compulsory).
Pleasure boating insurance is still essential, whether you own a monohull or multihull sailboat, a motorboat, a windsurfing board… Indeed, in the event of damage caused to others, for example, you would be, in the absence of minimum coverage to third parties, who alone are liable for compensation.
A certificate of insurance will be systematically requested by a port or a security company. So, unless you keep the boat at home when not afloat, insurance will, in effect, be compulsory.
There are two “main types” of boat insurance:
- Third-party boat insurance: it only gives you Civil Liability coverage, accompanied in some contracts by a retirement warranty (= pulling the boat out of its grounding area) and a defense/recourse warranty;
- Multi-risk boat insurance: grants you an extended level of cover (damage caused to the body of the vessel following a collision, replacement of faulty parts, etc.).
Most boat insurance companies include some additional cover in their third-party formula, such as basic assistance, recourse defense cover, and (sometimes) legal protection cover.
Advice from the expert Reassure me:
- In the event of a loss covered by the insurance, partial or total, make sure that the compensation you receive will be based on the replacement value of your boat (possible for the first 3 to 6 years of your boat generally);
- When you compare boating insurance quotes, check which customary guarantees are included: the practice of water skiing, rental between individuals, co-navigation, etc.
- Also, pay attention to the geographical perimeter in which you can navigate while being well covered.
What are the boat insurance assistance guarantees?
Your yachting contract also allows you to benefit from welcome assistance in the event of a problem, in principle 24/7. It can be both:
- Assistance to the boat (breakdown, towing, repairs, port and guarding costs, etc.),
- Assistance to people (repatriation, medical aid, etc.).
If you are a member of a club affiliated with the FFV (French Sailing Federation), be aware that your license includes a Civil Liability guarantee taken out by the federation with the MAIF and covering you for sport.
How much does boat insurance cost?
Here are the main elements that will be taken into account when calculating the insurance premium for your boat:
- the formula was chosen (as well as any options taken out);
- conditions of the contract: compensation ceilings, deductibles, terms of compensation;
- characteristics of the vessel/pleasure boat: value, year, date of purchase, brand, model;
- use made of it by the yachtsman;
- browsing area.
The applicant’s background will also have an impact on the premium they will be offered, as is the case with car or motorcycle insurance. Some insurers will apply reductions for boaters who have not experienced any claims in recent years (-25% at Allianz for example).
Most insurance companies offer specific rate discounts. For example, Allianz reduces its premiums by 20% if navigation is only done on inland waterways, Axa offers a 10% discount for boaters who are already customers…
Even if it is impossible to give an average as the cost of insurance will depend on the formula chosen and the specifics of the boat, count around 150 to 200 € per year for a small motorboat. Covering a boat of 5 to 10 meters in the simple multi-risk formula will cost you around 15/30 € per month.
How to choose your boat insurance?
Once several boat insurance quotes are in your possession, you will have to compare them based on the table of guarantees and the general conditions of each one. Here are some things to pay attention to:
- The basic guarantees included: in terms of boat insurance, the formulas differ widely from one insurer to another. Take stock of the guarantees that are essential for you;
- The navigation area: some contracts may limit their guarantees to a specific navigation area, where others cover you worldwide;
- In the event of a claim, will you be compensated based on the new value if your boat is new or recent?
When you subscribe to your boating insurance, you may be asked for an estimate of your boat (by an expert). Sometimes, a simplified procedure may be provided and you can make the estimate yourself.
You have found boat insurance but want more information on the conditions of compensation, the guarantees, or the rates charged? Find our boat insurance sheets by insurers, the details of the offer, and our opinion on this contract:
What about boat insurance by the day, month, or year?
A classic boat insurance contract covers you all year round. The guarantees do not stop, even during the wintering period when your boat is stored in the yard or at your home. Indeed, if you are covered for theft and fire, you might as well be covered all year round, especially since the price of boating insurance is often “reasonable”.
Some insurers may still offer you temporary cover, although this is not common practice. You can ensure a boat for a day or a specific period.
Rental boat insurance is intended specifically for people renting their boat, most of the time to an individual. It will be up to the owner to subscribe to this temporary contract, even for a single day, if its usual coverage excludes loan/rental to third parties. This type of policy is booming, given the development of boat rentals between individuals
Can you take out your pleasure boat insurance online?
A boating insurance contract can be taken out online with many general or specialized companies. Online, the process will be relatively straightforward: at the end of your coverage/price simulation, you will generally be able to click on a “subscribe” button. You will then have to fill out a form and send the insurer certain supporting documents, such as:
- a copy of the boat’s circulation card;
- a copy of the necessary permit;
- the signed proposal;
- a RIB for the administrative implementation of the deduction of contributions.
The payment of the annual premium (which can be postponed monthly) can be done online, in a 100% dematerialized way. Once your file is complete and the payment has been made, you will receive your pleasure boat insurance certificate by email, post, or by downloading it to your personal space. This will be useful, for example, if you are looking for a place to anchor in the port.