Boat Insurance – price determinant factors

This article looks at the key price calculation factors that ultimately impact upon your boat insurance quote for inland waterways vessels. This information is provided with goodwill.

Whatever the type of vessel you own the majority of marine insurance companies will put them into groupings of similar vessel types. The reason for this is partly due to simplicity as there are so many boat types the boat insurance companies have to create and maintain premium calculation rules for, but actually the key reason is because the inherent risk of a claim within these vessel categories is similar.

Fortunately those who own an inland-only waterway vessel this immediately guarantees you lower rates of insurance levy, with fast powerboats attracting the highest levies for obvious reasons. Regardless of boat insurance category however all good boat insurance companies will firstly offer you the option of either comprehensive or third party only insurance. As one could reasonably assume, this option is the single biggest criteria in determining your insurance cost as you are indirectly making a statement of whether the insurer must pay a claim on one or two vessels in the event of an incident should you be ultimately at fault.

Third party insurances are usually calculated as a fixed base cost, but assuming you select comprehensive insurance, the second key factor determining the price of any boat insurance quote is your vessel valuation. Insurance companies will literally take the value of the vessel (plus an additional quoted items e.g. generator, outboards) and multiply it by a specific percentage rate (i.e. vessel value x 0.#%). When it comes to barge insurance the rate applied is normally fairly static however the rate can be on a sliding scale (i.e. reducing gradually for higher valued boats) but also age may well be classed as a factor (i.e. as boats age the probability of hull disrepair increases the likelihood of accidental sinking).

The third key factor that will affect you quote will be (similar to most insurance types), years no claims bonus. Most insurers provide 5 years but some do provide 6 years. For each and every year without a claim a percentage will be knocked off your final insurance cost up to the maximum number of years. The remaining factors determining your insurance cost are often thereafter optional. Clearly taking up additional optional boat insurance items incurs a cost (for example a risk) for the insurer and as a result inevitably affects the price;

  • Break-down cover: usually a fixed price
  • Contents cover: depends on the type and value of contents being covered & normally requires direct contact with insurance staff
  • No claims bonus protection: when available at a small percentage rate

Finally, there are also some additional items which may need to be taken into consideration (this all depends on individual insurers) which perhaps don’t affect a majority but inevitably will affect some. For example, not having a mooring (roaming boats are of greater risk to insurers due to increased movement) or requirement for access to tidal areas e.g. on the River Severn near Gloucester for instance. Somewhat surprisingly whilst most insurers will stipulate an age limit such as eighteen or over, thereafter age is not a factor upon boat insurance cost. Those over seventy years old however may well find exemptions from personal injury claims.

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