Why cheap marine insurance is not always the best

Insurance is a funny product. You pay for it, month after month, just so you’re covered if something were to happen to your beloved boat, your equipment or even yourself or crew members.


Sometimes, it can feel like money down the drain – that is, until you actually need to make a claim. But what if the insurance you have been paying for doesn’t even cover you for what has happened?


Today, we’re talking about why the cheapest marine insurance is not always the best.


To cover or not to cover

There are some seafarers who choose not to cover their boat. Unfortunately, we tend to hear about these situations when things have taken a turn for the worse.


Take the marine electrician in Sydney, who accidentally set the boat he was working on alight. The fire jumped to neighbouring boats in the marina, with damage estimated at around $5 million. Luckily no one was hurt.


Then there’s the Skipper, who backed straight into another boat, while trying to manoeuvre his ex-Navy Frigate. In both cases, the individuals involved were not insured. These are just a couple of examples of what can happen when people choose not to insure – the financial consequences can be disastrous – then there’s the stress and uncertainty around dealing with the fallout.


If these individuals had been insured, their story would have been very different.


Why the cheapest marine cover isn’t always the best

Buying a car is a little like finding the right marine insurance. There are different makes on the market – some reliable and known for their quality, while others have poor safety ratings and mechanical issues.


Choosing the right car means doing your research and knowing what features are right for your needs. Insurance is like this too. There are comprehensive policies, that cover you for the stuff that matters and policies that only cover you for a limited set of circumstances.


When it comes to choosing good quality insurance, price is one of the biggest red flags.


If you’re sourcing quotes and notice one insurance product is far cheaper than the others, be sure to look at the fine print. You’ll probably find the product doesn’t actually cover you for many important circumstances that may well arise at some point in your boating life.


Of course, price does matter, and it’s important to try and shop around for a competitive policy – but never at the cost of poor cover. In the end, you’ll just end up paying for a policy that you can’t actually claim on, should an accident or incident occur.


When you’re looking for marine cover, always do your due diligence, especially if an insurance product seems too good to be true.


What does good marine cover include?

When you’re looking at the fine print, be sure to check that the policy covers you for the following loss or damage to your vessel (this includes motors, equipment, accessories, trailer and personal effects, or the effects of any passenger onboard):

  • Accidental damage.
  • Theft.
  • Sinking.
  • Storm damage.
  • Malicious damage.
  • Fire.
  • Latent defect.
  • Repairer negligence.
  • Search costs.


Third party liability

This covers you and any person you allow to control your boat against legal liability:

  • Accidental death or bodily injury to a person other than you.
  • Accidental death to another person’s property.
  • Berth holder’s liability.
  • Property damage caused by or directly arising from sudden accidental discharge of pollutants caused by your vessel.


Personal accident

Check that your insurer will pay for death or bodily injury, if sustained directly from the use of your boat, including:

  • Death.
  • Temporary total disablement.
  • Permanent total disablement.


For a full checklist of what to expect from a comprehensive insurance policy, please head here.


Need good marine cover?

One of the biggest benefits of securing comprehensive marine cover, is peace of mind. Knowing you’re covered for the big and the little stuff, makes it far easier to stay focused on enjoying your time on the water.


Unfortunately, accidents can happen to even the safest and most vigilant boatie – whether you run your own marine business or launch recreationally as often as you can. If you need support with finding marine insurance that takes care of you, and your boat, please get in touch.