boat insurance

How to get a rebate on your boat insurance

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.

The scenario

In a previous column, we explained how you could be entitled to claim a rebate on your boat insurance premium if you advised your insurer in advance that you were undertaking not to use your boat during particular months of the year. Marine insurance specialists such as Nautilus Marine call it ‘lay up’, which is primarily designed to cater for trailerable runabouts and personal watercraft (it does not cover vessels berthed in a marina or at a pontoon).

But that is not the only way to secure a refund on your insurance premium. When you sell your boat, you are also entitled to claim a rebate on the unused portion of your policy, if you pay an annual premium. Obviously, under a month-by-month payment, you would simply advise your insurer that you did not wish to continue with coverage of your vessel because you had disposed of it.

In Queensland, you simply need to provide copies (photographs, scans or photocopies) of the transfer of registration documentation lodged with the Department of Transport and Main Roads. With Nautilus Marine, you can even do this up to 21 days after the sale of your boat and provided that the evidence you supply stacks up, you will get the rebate.

It is very good advice to keep a couple of copies of your sale and transfer of registration documentation. Therefore, always issue a sales receipt if you sell a boat and get it signed by the new owner. Similarly, always ask for a signed receipt if you buy a boat.

You can supply one copy to your insurer to claim a rebate and you can keep the other to protect you against any subsequent action involving the boat you previously owned. For example, if the new owner or someone else commits an offence involving the vessel, such as driving at excessive speed through a restricted area, you have clear evidence that you have no association with the boat or actions, irrespective of whether or not the new owner correctly lodged their documentation.

Sometimes it is wise not to claim the rebate immediately, particularly if you think you are going to buy a new boat immediately.That’s because boat insurance specialists including Nautilus Marine ordinarily give you 21 days of automatic coverage for your new boat.

Leave the policy in place, buy your new boat, take it home and then advise your insurer of the change in details required for insurance coverage. During this changeover period you will be covered, even if your new boat is worth more than the one you just sold.

The overarching premise on all matters relating to boat (and every other form of insurance) is to be very upfront. Don’t try to cadge the facts or blur the realities. Explain the facts to the very best of your ability and let the insurer advise you of the best course.

If you believe the decision is unfair, there are formal procedures that can be invoked to have those concerns considered at a higher level. But unless you have started off on the right foot with a full disclosure of the facts, then you’re going to find yourself stuck in the propwash before you even start.

Finally, as with all insurance policies, always check your product disclosure document and if you have a query, ask for clarification. 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

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