What does boat insurance cover?

You have just acquired your boat and your dream of going to sea. However, before sailing, know that you must respect certain safety rules for the smooth running of your cruise.

Depending on the type of navigation you have chosen, you will need to have the right boat license adapted to the power of the vessel and the distance to be covered.

It is not mandatory to take out boating insurance ( motorboat insurance or sailboat insurance ) because it is optional, however, it is strongly recommended.

Good to know: it is not useful, if you only travel 6 months a year, to pay a membership fee for the year.

Boating insurance: what is its use?

You should know that the civil liability contract of the multi-risk home contract offers limited and insufficient guarantees to cover your boat insurance. Nevertheless, your insurance broker will be able to cover you for a small rowboat or a canoe but in no case for a pleasure boat (sailboat, motorboat, speedboat, yacht).

Boating or tourism insurance is strongly recommended in the event of risks or events occurring on your boat:

  • collision with other vessels creating passenger accidents or casualties;
  • theft of the boat;
  • shipwreck, fire, etc.

The costs generated by the latter (accidents, compensation of victims) could be considerable.

Boating insurance is not necessary if you go through an intermediary (provider or sailing club) because it is he who must ensure you for your boat trip (sailboat, yacht, etc.).

Good to know: marine insurance is compulsory in some foreign countries. In the case of non-presentation of your insurance certificate, the host country could refuse your boat, so find out well before leaving.

Boating insurance: civil liability

The essential guarantee which is not compulsory is civil liability.

But there are other guarantees allowing you to be well covered and compensated in the event of claims:

  • losses and damage,
  • the individual navy,
  • withdrawal costs.

Here is a table summarizing these different guarantees:

Boating insurance: different guarantees

  • Civil liability this guarantee covers you for all material damage and bodily injury that you may cause to others as a result of the use of your boat (damage caused to a fixed or mobile body: quay, pontoon, buoy, another boat, etc.).
  • It is required to obtain a place in the port.
  • Losses and damage these guarantees allow you to be insured for all damage suffered by your vessel as well as the costs of assistance and salvage.
  • Damage relating to shipwreck, fire, explosion, collision, or maritime accidents is also covered.
  • The guarantee also covers the vessel in the event of theft or total loss.

Individual navy his guarantee is necessary to cover the payment of the indemnities provided for in the event of a bodily accident of which all persons on board (crew and skipper) would-be victims in the exercise of navigation, during the boarding or the descent of the boat.

Withdrawal feesThese are the costs that correspond to the expenses for which you could be held responsible by the state in the event of a shipwreck or a grounding.

The boating multi-risk damage guarantee mainly covers loss and damagetheft, and personal property.

Boating insurance: repatriation assistance for people or boats

Most insurers will offer you repatriation assistance in the event of a problem with people or the boat.

Repatriation insurance is valid worldwide.

Repatriation assistance

The assistance ensures that you are repatriated to benefit from the care and good sanitary conditions, it can cover:

  • repatriation or on-site assistance for an injured or sick person on board:
    • surgical hospitalization to the most suitable hospital center or the country of origin,
    • medical fees ;
  • The repatriation of a deceased person on board:
    • repatriation of the body to the place of a funeral in the country of origin,
    • repatriation of relatives living with the insured.

Ship repatriation assistance

A few things to consider:

  • Repatriation of passengers in the event of material damage.
  • Support for the shipment of spare parts or the repatriation of the boat to a repair site in the event of the boat being immobilized.
  • In the event of a claim: rescue costs, search and rescue of human lives after grounding or sinking of the vessel.

Before signing your contract, read the various clauses carefully, pay attention to the waiting period. Example of exclusion clauses:

  • declared epidemic or virus in a country,
  • surgical intervention before the stay on the boat, the insurance does not insure in the event of a complication on board.

What is the insurance value of my boat?

The insurance contract covers the boat according to the different guarantees that you have taken out and it’s declared value when signing the contract:

  • The insured value of your boat (declared capital) is determined when the contract is taken out between the insurer and the insured:
    • this is usually the real value of the boat,
    • the capital may be reduced for partial damages.
  • It takes into account the value of the boat, the necessary fittings, and accessories relating thereto.
  • This amount constitutes the insurer’s commitment limit.

Agreed value

  • This is the value fixed by the mutual agreement between the insurer and the insured.
  • It is used for everything that is difficult to quantify and serves as proof for the insured, particularly in the event of a total loss of the boat.

Market value or economic value

  • This is the expert’s value of the boat, on the second-hand market on the day of the loss.
  • It must match the one in your declaration.
By Cary Grant

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