Insights into 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

You have plenty of warning that a cyclonic storm is bearing down on your vessel, which is riding at anchor or on a swing mooring.  A safe haven is available to you in a nearby marina. What should you do?

The answer

Contact your insurance company immediately. A specialist marine insurer such as Nautilus Marine may decide to approve and cover the relocation costs of your vessel. And those costs could include your travel to move your boat, or engaging another person to move your boat on your behalf. As well as the incidental costs, the insurer may also cover your vessel’s tenancy in the marina during the storm.

The key issue is whether you are undertaking an approved preventative action to specifically avoid damage being done to your vessel. In a related example, you may own a large cruiser and have an inflatable tender mounted on the cabin roof while it is moored in a marina. Given that a severe storm is coming, a specialist marine insurer may approve the costs of someone moving the inflatable from your boat’s hardtop and storing it in the cabin, or in a secure building until the storm passes.

A good rule of thumb is to consider what you would have done if your vessel had no insurance. Would you have simply left it there to ride out the storm even if you had been able to access your vessel? Would you have made a trip to lock it down more securely? Would you have double-checked the mooring lines?

If the answer is you would have taken preventative action, then it certainly is worth contacting your marine insurer because their priority, like yours, would be to avoid damage or minimise the risk of damage to your vessel, as well as consequential damage. Consequential damage would include the damage your vessel might do to other people’s property if it broke loose.

Conversely, if you don’t worry about the condition of your mooring lines; if you leave your boat parked unsecured on a trailer on the street; or if you’ve done nothing about that tree that has been leaning over more and more every year above your boat and just waiting for the next storm to send it crashing down on your hull, you could be in for a shock.

Insurance policies ordinarily require you to avoid preventable damage. You have an obligation to act responsibly. Always check your policy and its product disclosure statement. You can contact Nautilus Marine Insurance on 1300 780 533 for any boat insurance requirements.

Win a Nautilus Marine rod

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 custom-built 15kg Nautilus Marine-branded overhead 5’6” light game and reef fishing rod crafted by Gary Howard and featuring Fuji guides, a graphite reel seat and roller tip.

Each rod has a retail value of about $300.

Just email your questions to

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