Pause a moment to consider if pooch is covered.

No paws clause in boat insurance policies

This regular column previously explored some of the key differences between a boat and a car when it comes to compulsory third party insurance.

Just to recap – your annual car registration has two key components, the vehicle registration and associated costs and the compulsory third party insurance component.

The Queensland Government Motor Accident Insurance Commission clearly states that CTP provides cover for any person injured in a motor vehicle accident… and then clarifies issues such as fault, vehicle driver, ownership and such.

It also clearly states that CTP does not cover damage to other vehicles or property.

You need to take out third party property damage for that, which is ordinarily also part of a comprehensive insurance policy.

But when it comes to boats, there is no CTP cover associated with your annual registration.

If someone gets hurt, you could be held liable.

Therefore, you need to take out third party insurance cover if you want protection on the water and specialist marine insurers such as Nautilus Marine should be your starting point for the right advice.

Ordinarily, third party insurance cover will form part of your overall boat insurance policy.

But there’s a key point to note here – as for your car’s third party insurance policy, your boat insurance will cover injury to people on your boat.

And while Winston – your pedigree French bulldog – might well be part of your family, when he trots his little legs on to your boat, he’s not automatically covered under your boat’s insurance policy.

Winston is a ‘pooch’ and you are a ‘people’.

You will have cover, Winston will not.

If Winston suffers some type of mishap – and have you ever heard of an inexpensive ‘mishap’ when it comes to pets and medical bills – payment will come out of your pocket.

And heaven forbid, if Winston decides to bite someone for whatever reason, you will be wasting your time pouring over your marine insurance policy looking for a way out of the ensuing legal suit.

Likewise, all those little doggy boating accessories – such as spill-proof bowls, toilet mats, doggie life jackets and doggie ramps – probably won’t be covered under your boat’s insurance policy.

Ordinarily, the boat insurance will only cover those things directly associated with boating – such as marine equipment, electronics and yes, even prescription sunglasses.

But Winston’s marine survival gear and toys won’t be.

You bought Winston from a pet shop or breeder, you bought your boat from a marine dealership – clear difference.

Therefore, if you’re one of those people who love taking pooch on the boat with you – and tens of thousands of people do – and you want it to be covered by insurance, then check

whether your four-footed friend has some level of protection under your household insurance policy or perhaps a pet insurance policy.

As always, what is and what may not be covered will always be decided in accord with the terms of insurance as defined in your insurance policy’s Product Disclosure Statement.

That’s why it is so important to read it thoroughly and to note any special conditions and excesses, which should be explained clearly in your PDS.

If you need further information, you can contact Nautilus Marine Insurance on 1300 780 533 for any boat insurance requirements.

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