Narrowboat Insurance

Slow down the pace and explore the UK from a different perspective

  • You’re with us, so from quote to claim it’s us you’ll speak to
  • Four levels of cover available with policies for leisure or living aboard
  • River Canal Rescue cover is included for our platinum policy holders

Complete a quick quote and buy your policy online

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If you’d rather speak to us, call us and we’ll help you get covered

0344 892 1987
0344 892 1987

We’re here for you Mon - Fri 9am to 5pm, Sat 9am to 1pm
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Whether you’re living on your narrow boat or cruising Britain’s canals on your holidays, we have features to keep you afloat along the way

Live aboard narrowboats

If you choose to live aboard your narrowboat and reap the benefits of life on the water, we can cover up to £25,000 of possessions with a limit of £5000 for any one item on our Silver, Gold and Platinum policies. If you require accidental damage (if drop your laptop for example), we need to know a little more about the items you would like covered so it’s best to have a chat with the team. This cover is only available on our specialist live aboard policy to qualify for this cover your narrowboat must be your only residence.

Accidental damage

Meandering through the UK’s narrow canal system, navigating locks along the way can be tricky business and you never know what is lurking under the water’s surface. So for your peace of mind our Gold and platinum policies both cover accidental and damage include any underwater machinery. Gradual damage caused over time by the natural wear and tear of your narrowboat is not included in the policy cover. Here’s a tip though, keeping your narrowboat in tip top condition throughout the year will help to avoid this sort of damage becoming a problem.

Breakdown cover from River Canal Rescue

You can call upon the River Canal Rescue team 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. On calling you will receive practical and technical telephone assistance and where necessary a mechanic can be sent to assist you. Fingers crossed you won’t need it but this is available for up to two breakdowns per year and is an optional extra on our Silver and Gold policies. If you have a Platinum live aboard policy with us then you will receive this cover as standard. RCR cover is only available to the narrowboat insurance policy holder, friends or family who require assistance can still use the cover for just £40 a time.

Public liability

This isn't about damage you sustain to your boat, it's about damage that you may cause to other people's property or injury you may cause to a third party while you are out in your narrow boat. So if you were to damage a lock in the course of passing through, public liability cover would mean you insurance will pay for the damage. This is important to have just in case and is covered across all four of our narrow boat policies. Injury you cause to yourself or members of your family is not included as part of this cover and comes under the personal accident section of the policy so if this is something you require please ask the team.

We like to make it easy for you to choose the right policy for your boat. Compare our levels of cover in a glance using this handy table.
Third party
Fire, lightning, explosion  
Theft, malicious damage or Vandalism  
Weather events  
Freezing of machinery  
Accidental loss or damage    
Personal accident      
Breakdown and recovery assistance      

These are just some of the key features and exclusions, full details will be found in your policy wording. Show policy documents

We've got your claim locked down.

If you are broken down and need to contact River Canal Rescue you can do so on 0800 071 8021 or 01785 248 793.

Photographs of any damage will help your claim along so please take a few photographs where possible

0344 892 1320

Our claims team are available from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, to assist you with what to do next.

Articles & Guides

Get tips and advice from our industry experts to ensure you get the best out of your boat insurance.

Narrowboat Winter


Narrowboat winterisation and de-winterisation

Preparing your narrowboat for winter and likewise getting it ready for the new season is imperative to your craft's longevity. In some cases it will also help avoid damage to parts of your boat.

Narrow Boat Repairs


Narrow boat breakdown pt. 1 - the basics

A break down can really make your canal trip turn sour. The following series of articles will help you avoid breakdowns. The following guides will also help you locate and fix problems if they should arise.

Canal History


A brief history of canals and narrow boats

Inland waterways have been pivotal to the UK transportation system for centuries. Our infographic picks out a few of the key points in the history of our inland waterways and explains how they have been and always will be a strong part of our national heritage.

Customers rate our service at 92%

Based on 1812 independent customer reviews.

DateProductScoreCustomer Comment

Boat Insurance (New Policy Holder)


quick and efficient service

Boat Insurance (Renewal)


There was a problem with sorting out a lost payment which had been received by Towergate however their record on settling claims has been excellent.

Boat Insurance (New Policy Holder)


It is unbelievable that despite a letter from Towergate on 19 November 2014 providing details of a change in management of my policy and clearly stating that "there is no impact on your existing policy and nothing else will change" and further that "we will contact you in advance of your next renewal" i was not contacted at all in advance of my renewal in mid-May 2015.

Towergate let my policy laps with no further correspondence and when I chased them I was treated as a new customer, so clearly again not as the letter from Towergate stated "as a Towergate customer, your business is as important to us as it is to you"

How can Towergate get basic policy renewal and customer service so wrong?

i wonder how many other Towergate customers have been left uninsured?

The only glimmer of hope, when i did eventually get to speak to someone he was sensible, pragmatic and helpful.

Boat Insurance (Renewal)


No nonsense canoe insurance with no silly small print. Thanks.

Boat Insurance (Renewal)


No different to other years

Dinghy Insurance (New Policy Holder)


Website was quick and easy to use.

Boat Insurance (New Policy Holder)


did not receive renewal notice reminder last year.

Dinghy Insurance (New Policy Holder)


Quick clear and reasonable

Dinghy Insurance (New Policy Holder)


Simple and adequate dinghy insurance at a reasonable price.

Dinghy Insurance (New Policy Holder)


I was very impressed with the speed Towergate was able to guide me to the correct form to fill in for our small boat insurance and the speed of acceptance and follow-up with the paperwork - quick and simple - thank you

M H Iddon

More reviews


Am I covered for navigating interconnecting tidal stretches?

Yes, you can travel along inland tidal stretches provided it is only to enter or leave the non-tidal system. Our inland waterways expert, Michael Stimpson, can help to advise you on this where necessary.

How can I buy a live aboard narrow boat policy?

You can purchase a live aboard policy with us through our online quote and buy system or by speaking to one of our helpful boat team. It’s important to get your cover right, so we always recommend speaking to the team if you are unsure about any of the cover or requirements to do with our policy.

At what age will my narrowboat need a survey?

Once it reaches 25 years of age, we will need to see a survey detailing the condition of your narrowboat. This can coincide with your BSS certification. Thereafter you will need to provide us with a survey every six years going forward.

Will a BSS certificate suffice in place of a survey?

For insurance purposes the BSS certificate does not provide enough information for us to fully understand the condition of your narrow boat. A full survey is required as it includes a hull condition report too.

Can I pay in instalments?

If you would prefer to spread the cost of your policy you have the option of setting up a Direct Debit to pay your premium in equal monthly instalments through our preferred provider, Premium Credit Limited (PCL).

To find out more about PCL and direct debit payments, select Direct Debit.

To understand more about how PCL work together with Towergate, please read our Regulatory Information.

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