Yacht insurance buyer's guide

Yachts come in all shapes and sizes and everyone's boating lifestyle is different. So how do you know if your insurance is right for your craft, your mooring arrangements and usage? Our guide explains all about yacht insurance and how to get the right cover for you and your yacht.

What is yacht insurance?

Essentially, yacht insurance aims to protect your craft, other craft on the water and of course, you and your passengers. The idea of insurance is to put you back in the financial position you were in before you experienced a loss of some sort. This financial loss could come about in the form of damage to your boat, a third party claiming against you for damage to their craft or in the worst case, loss caused by injury to you or one of your passengers.

Towergate yacht insurance covers all the areas mentioned above. Though it isn’t necessarily a legal requirement, many marinas require a minimum of third party cover if you’d like to use their facilities. In any case, it is strongly advised you have insurance in place due to the high value of the yachts themselves and the potential for injury.

What are the benefits of yacht insurance?

Our yacht insurance comes with a few different options allowing you to get the cover that’s right for your value of craft, level of sailing experience and mooring arrangements. Listed below are just a selection of our best features and how they can benefit yacht owners just like you.

  • £3,000,000 third party liability included as standard - The waterways, rivers and seas can be tricky places to travel around on and sometimes mishaps occur. Add to that the fact that yachts and other craft tend to carry a hefty price tag and you’ve got a recipe for some expensive accidents. Our yacht insurance policy includes £3,000,000 third party cover so if you accidently cause damage to someone else’s property whilst on the water your insurance will cover the cost of that damage.

  • Personal accident cover (optional) - If you enjoy challenging yourself with rough seas and high speeds, we advise you add personal accident cover to your policy. Our personal accident feature will cover medical expenses and emergency treatment. 

  • Protected no claims bonus (platinum level cover) - Take out our highest level of cover to have your no claims bonus protected year on year even if you have to claim (No more than two claims per year).

  • Marina benefits (platinum level cover only) - If you permanently moor your boat on a marina berth or keep it ashore at the same location, we won’t charge your excess on any claim made while it’s moored or stored. This also won’t affect your no-claims bonus.

  • Failure of machinery (on yachts less than three years old) - You’d hope that newer yachts wouldn’t have too much trouble with the machinery on-board. Never-the-less, we include cover for this should you be unlucky. 

  • Legal expenses cover - Should a third party bring charges against you for damage caused to their craft or personal injury caused by you, our legal expenses cover can help with your legal fees up to £100,000.

  • 24 hour legal and claims advice line - In addition to covering legal fees, we also offer legal advice to guide you through what to do if you get involved in a legal dispute.

  • Travel concierge service - Part of the joy of owning a yacht is the ability to travel to new places. The travel concierge service can arrange; local hotels, restaurants, theatre tickets and more.

How to get the best value from your yacht insurance

Moor in a marina - Our policy offers extra benefits for mooring in a marina as mooring at a berth in a marina is typically safer and more secure than a swinging mooring.

Use Smart Water - Mark your equipment with a Smart Water kit purchased using your unique Towergate code and you can receive a further 10% discount.

Get a survey of your craft completed if it’s over 25 years old

Tell us about your RYA qualifications - We like to reward those who try to develop their own sailing competence as this only makes them safer on the water. Let us know if you have a RYA qualifications and we could award you another 10% discount.

Let us know if you’re planning on racing

Laid up cover for yachts

Not all of us are lucky enough to use our yachts all year round. There are likely to be times when the weather is too rough or your yacht is in need of essential maintenance. During these times, you may wish to take your boat out of the water and store it in a dry dock or stack storage.

It's also a strong possibility that your boat will need to be out of the water if you're selling it on. It's a good idea to take it out of the water to allow potential buyers to fully inspect the hull, keel and other components which sit below the waterline.

As well as covering your yacht when it's in the water, Towergate can also apply laid up cover for when it is out of the water and not in use for an extended period. This cover will insure your yacht against theft, damage, vandalism and third party cover whilst it is off the water. It won't cost you any more money, you just need to let us know that you're taking your boat off the water and how long for.

Exclusions explained

It’s very important to read your policy documents in detail, so you understand what’s covered and what could void your cover. Listed below are a few key exclusions you should be aware of. Check your policy document for a full list of exclusions.

Mechanical failure is not covered if your craft is over three years old

  • Personal accident cover won’t cover individuals over the age of 76 - If you are over the age of 76 the personal accident aspect of our cover will not apply. All cover relating to the craft however, will still apply.

  • Wear and tear and mechanical failure are not covered - If your craft is under three years old, we can provide mechanical failure cover. Wear and tear however, is not covered.

  • Replacements beyond the sums insured on your policy - Our policy works on a market value basis. Therefore, it’s important to know the true replacement value of your yacht. You will be unable to claim for a replacement yacht above the value you give us. If you’re unsure of the value of your yacht, a marine surveyor will be able to make an assessment and give you an accurate value.

Jargon buster

Sometimes insurance can be a bit like a foreign language. So here is our run down of a few words and phrases which might be a little confusing.

  • Indemnity - Putting you back in the same position that you were in before the loss

  • Public liability - Is your ‘responsibility’ for the wellbeing of other members of the public and their property. In insurance, this refers to the cover given to compensate legal costs and compensation payments resulting from injuries or property damage to others, which was caused by you.

  • Excess - A payment you make towards a claim on your policy.

  • New for old policies - You will be covered for replacement as new. (If we cannot replace your yacht with the same model we will work with you to find the best equivalent).

  • Market value - The cost of replacing your yacht at its present value - taking into consideration; year of manufacture, type, wear and tear.

  • Policy schedule - Your insurance document outlining the period during which your policy is valid

Why choose Towergate?

We are a specialist insurer who keep our finger on the pulse of the boating world. Our boat insurance teams are trained to find the right cover for you and we feel our combination of flexible insurance and a helpful customer service, will ensure you're covered correctly and be a huge comfort every time you take to the water.

Should you need to claim, we will guide you through each step of your claim and advise you on how to gain a swift resolution. It's our aim to take the stress out of what's often an already stressful situation. Simply give us a call and we’ll take it from there.

Can we help you with anything else?

We also insure a wide range of other craft, take a look at our boat insurance page to find out more.

Also, if you run your own marine trade business, you can get expert business insurance from our specialist SME team. Get in touch with them today to see how they can help protect your business, by visiting our business pages for more information.