You are the happy owner of a motorboat and you’d like to get covered in case anything unfortunate happens whilst you are at sea.
You don’t know which motorboat insurance to take and what does it cover exactly.
Find out everything you need to know on motorboat insurance in this definitive guide: cover features you should get, insurers, prices and tips!
Table of Contents
What is motorboat insurance?
Motorboats refers to vessels propelled by an internal combustion engine.
They are extremely common in the UK. Starting at relatively affordable prices and offering an extremely wide range of possibilities these boats are a very popular compromise. Requiring less technique than sailing boats, motorboats are the ideal vessels for your fishing trips, water skiing or a simple walk on the water. Motorboats insurance cover potential damages to the boat itself or its users during its use, as well as damage to third parties to give you complete peace of mind.
Do I need motorboat insurance?
You definitely need motorboat insurance. This type of vessel can reach high speeds and the damage in the event of a collision can quickly become very serious as well as costs associated.
For example, the propeller is a vital part of the propulsion system but is very sensitive to underwater collisions or fishing nets. Moreover the engine is a very complex and expensive part, the slightest technical problem could cost you a lot of money to repair. A motorboat insurance will allow you to sail with peace of mind.
|Item frequently damaged||Average cost of repair|
|Critical engine over heating||£3,400|
More over motorboat insurance is mandatory in many cases :
- If you wish to obtain a boating licence for inland waterways. This depends very much on the local authorities, so you should find out about the laws in force in areas that concern you.
- If you want to take out a loan to buy your own boat.
Always more marinas and local authorities are asking for a minimum third party liability policy.
What are the best motorboat insurers?
policy (third party only)
Basic policy +
Standard policy +
|Extras||Get a quote|
|£3 million||Accidental damage or loss (fire, weather, collision, theft) |
|no||Third party liability of 5 million |
Winter cover Europe cover (60 days)
|Get quote with discount|
|£3 million||Accidental damage or loss (fire, theft, weather, frost) |
|no||Go to website|
|£3 million||Personal accident |
Any accidental damage
|For boats over 23 feet long third party 3 million personal accident (£10,000) |
Accidental damage Transit cover
Medical expenses (£500)
|Third party liability of 5 million|
Cruising cover limits (Europe) Trailer cover
Marine legal expense (£150,000)
|Go to website|
|£5 million||no||Accidental damage |
Personal effects (£250 each)
European cover (30 days)
|no||Go to website|
|£5 million||no||Any accidental damage |
Trailer and cradle
Personal effects (£600)
|Cruising area (tailored) |
War, Political acts
|Go to website|
|Medical expense Personal accident (£20,000) |
Third party liability (£5 million)
|no||Europe (30 days) |
|Go to website|
What cover do I need for my motorboat?
As for all types of vessels, there are several possible covers for motorboats, 3 levels to be precise.
- Basic cover (third party liability only): this policy is the least expensive and covers you against damage you may cause to others. Such damage could be a collision with another person’s vessel or to someone else’s property. This type of coverage is increasingly required by marinas and ports to moor your boat.
- Standard cover: this policy includes third party liability but adds cover against damage to your motorboats, its engine or hull. Depending on the insurers, this policy may cover more or less items.
- Premium cover: this policy is similar to the normal cover but offers a higher degree of coverage as well as other things covered such as personal accidents that can lead to hospitalisation, which is often very expensive. Moreover, some extras may be included in this policy according to the insurers like transit or trailer cover or even personal effects cover.
What does motorboat insurance cover?
Motorboat insurance covers:
- Theft, attempted theft (vessel, hull and machinery)
- Fire and explosion
- Heavy weather
- collision (with another boat or with under water object)
- malicious (physical loss or damage caused by someone else, has to be reported to the police)
- Salvage charges
- Liability to third party (accidental injury, damage to third party property or vessel)
- no age limit.
What does motorboat insurance not cover?
Motorboat insurance does not cover:
- Any vessel unequipped by anti-theft device
- Gradual degradation due to wear and tear
- Any equipment undeclared in your schedule
- If the boat exceeds cruising limits
- Damage caused by insects or marine life
- Third party liability doesn’t cover people doing underwater sports or to people being towed behind the boat
- Damage caused by any irresponsible behavior (influence of alcohol or drugs)
Pay attention to carefully read your insurance policy, some terms and conditions can vary according to the insurer.
What are the possible extras with motorboat insurance?
As you have seen before, extras are essential in motorboat insurances! They allow you to pay only what you need which is a real advantage when you see the savings!
These motorboat insurance extras depend on your insurance company but here is a quick list of the main extras you can find:
|Liability up to 5 million|
Europe cover (60 days)
|Third party up to 5 million |
Extend cruising cover limits (Europe)
Marine legal expense (£150,000)
|Cruising area (tailored)|
War, political acts
|Europe (30 days)|
How much is motorboat insurance?
The price of a motorboat insurance can vary enormously because of the diversity of motorboats, especially their size, condition, the model of the onboard engine … It is therefore difficult to have an idea of an average price for a motorboat insurance, but know that you will be able to find policies starting at less than 100 pounds per year which is quite acceptable.
Let’s take a common example: if you have a boat type worth 30,000 pounds you will pay less than 145 pounds per year for a fully comprehensive policy.
You can benefit from discounts when subscribing to your motorboat insurance, for instance a no claim discount that can go up to 25% with some insurers.
What will affect my motorboat insurance price?
There are a lot of criteria that will influence the price of your motorboat insurance but the most important are:
- The value of your motorboat
- The type of cover you chose for your motorboat
- If you benefit from no claim discounts
- Cruising location (inland only or inland and costal).
You will then of course have a lot of other criteria such as your sailing experience, your age, the place of anchorage of your motorboat … All these criteria will have to be fulfilled according to your personal situation with your insurer.
Can I get racing cover for my motorboat?
Even if they are less frequent, motorboat races do exist! The context of a race encourages risk taking and undeniably leads to accidents, collisions or personal injury. However, most motorboat insurances do not include coverage for racing due to the low number of motorboat races (this avoids unnecessary expenses!).
Therefore, you will need to take out insurance offered by the race organizers.
How to claim on my motorboat insurance?
If you unfortunately have had an accident with your motorboat and plan to make a claim, please be sure to follow these points to make it easier for you to make a claim later on:
- Keep the affected property as evidence.
- When involved with another boat: get all the information on the boat in question as well as the owner’s contact details. If you are responsible for not paying any money immediately, take the necessary steps and you will discuss the details with your insurer afterwards/
- In case of theft or vandalism you must report them to the police and keep the Crime Reference Number.
- To proceed with a claim you must then deal directly with your insurer on the website, by sending an email or by phone.
How to cancel my motorboat insurance?
Each insurer has its own cancellation process (as for claims). You usually need to send a cancellation letter, email, or call them to express your wish not to proceed.
You have 14 days following the signature of the contract to cancel it and the entire premium will be refunded to you (unless a claim has been made during this period). Beyond these 14 days, part of the premium will not be refunded (amount may vary according to the contract subscribed).
The amount of your premium to be paid for your motorboat insurance depends strongly on the value of your vessel. Therefore you will have to estimate your motorboat before drawing up your insurance contract. Estimating a motorboat is not as easy as estimating a car because of the great variety of models and the less common nature of boats compared to cars. Concretely what will influence the value of your motorboat is size, speed, state and year of construction.
Indoor storage is the best option because it brings your motorboat the most security against theft but also against bad weather and external aggressions. Some insurers even impose protection systems to make sure that it meets their requirements.
Outdoor storage, although less optimal (because more exposed to bad weather and less protected from theft), is also suitable. You can store it on land, for example at home if you have room for it. This solution requires adequate protection of the motorboat for the winter (protection of the engine from frost and rust, removal of valuable components, use a suitable cover, oil draining …). Otherwise you can leave it moored in a port or marina, this solution will allow you to dispose of your motorboat quickly at any time of the year.