BUSH ‘n Beach has brought Nautilus Marine Insurance on board to expand the fine print and provide readers with clear, easy-to-understand and helpful tips on protecting their boating assets.
Home is anywhere you hang your hat, according to scores of musical artists over the past 50 years, particularly those with a country music focus. But when it comes to insuring your boat, that observation simply does not stack up. Irrespective of how well you sing the line, your insurance claim could fall on deaf ears if you are careless in how you fill out your insurance application form.
Location, location, location should be at the forefront of your thinking as you start filling out the form, according to boat insurance specialist Nautilus Marine. An insurance application form will ask you a question such as: Where will the boat ordinarily be stored? For trailer boats, that very frequently will be “at my home address”, noting that this does not prevent you from taking your boat with you on festive season holidays and storing it at a beachside caravan and camping park where you are staying.
Likewise, taking your boat with you to visit your parents and securing your boat in their driveway during your stay ordinarily would not present a problem.
But to leave your boat in a public boat trailer park for weeks on end, unattended, simply so you didn’t have to tow your boat from your home to the ramp, would present a real problem.
Likewise, you are inviting trouble if you think that simply chaining your personal watercraft to a fence in a public boat ramp parking area near your residence constitutes ‘at home’ on an insurance form. Different methods of storing your boat or PWC can result in different premiums, so be upfront with all the facts – it can work in your favour.
The key issue here is your ‘home’ and a boat’s ‘home’ may be the same place, or two different places.You could nominate where you live as your home address and a secured boat parking compound at your local boat club as your boat’s home. No problem. You could similarly nominate that you keep your boat secured in a factory shed you own.
Again, no problem. You take your boat to a seaside boat ramp and leave your boat trailer fully secured to your car as you make an overnight fishing trip – again, ordinarily not problem. But if you leave your boat and trailer parked on the street, kilometres from your usual place of residence, chances are that you are going to run into problems.
Not surprisingly, many insurance companies will not insure boats left unattended at locations that may be close to a boat ramp but kilometres away from where a person lives. The chances of theft or interference with the unattended boat are considered to be too high a risk. In NSW, the issue of parking boats and trailers ‘remotely’ on a street near a boat ramp has become an issue of debate, with some municipalities now exploring how the practice can be prevented.
But back to your home address – if you change it and where you keep your boat, even if you move into a new residence just a few streets away, you are obligated to inform your insurance company of the move. An email, letter, or phone call where you note the person you spoke to, at what time and what the agreed outcome of the phone call was, would be considered reasonable starting points for giving that ‘change of address’ advice.
But as always, your product disclosure statement will detail what is required. If you can’t find the relevant section, or if you are unsure, phone your insurer.
If you need further information, you can contact Nautilus Marine Insurance on 1300 780 533 for any boat insurance requirements.
Win a Nautilus Prize Package
Nautilus will also be answering your boat insurance questions of a general nature and will be offering a great bi-monthly prize to the best questions received.
The prize is a Nautilus Marine merchandising pack comprising a collapsible chiller bag, a handy marine sports bag and a cap.
Just email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org