Boat Insurances

Boat Insurances - Updated in September 2018






OR - with GJW boat insurance please always quote the Pennine Marine introductory code - GJW2624 

For boat insurance on your own boat, please try our own insurance company  - GJW and GJW Direct. 
GJW are found on  or phone GJW on 0500 141 141 (Mon-Fri; 9am-5pm) OR CLICK ABOVE    
When you ask GJW to quote you for your own (new) boat insurance, and you also quote them our own "introductory code".
(Note: Please  refer to GJW terms and conditions for full details of your boat insurances. This topic of insurance T&C's is far too complex for our little brains to handle, especially on a hot and sunny afternoon, when we really ought to be out on the water....)


An Introduction to UK & EU Marine and Leisure Boat Insurances
Boat insurance for leisure boating is (....believe it or not!) not mandatory in the UK. However we here at Pennine Marine always recommend that every boat owner and operator has a minimum of both personal injury and third party insurance in place when using their boat, on eiither inshore or coastal waters.
If you do go boating without insurance, you might get away with it. However if you ever have a serious accident on your boat, especially if somebody gets injured, then without you having boat insurance cover you will become personally liable. This situation of not having proper insurance for your boat is far, far worse than paying an annual marine insurance premium. Boating accdents are very are, serious boating accidents are fortunately even more rare. However accidents do happen occasionally and when they do - it can become expensive. Personal injury accidents caused by boats are rare - however they are both extremely expensive and extremely litigious, with the consequences often running on for years after the event. Uninsured persons have been bankrupted and ruined after a serious accident (not just in the boating world) simply because they have become personally liable for all costs incurred as a result of their accident. This being the 21st century, any type of accident that results in either damage – or even worse, death or serious injury - will get very very expensive.
Paying your annual boat insurance premium means you, as the boat owner, are covered for the financial aspects. Therefore you will avoid the worst of the consequences if, god forbid, a serious boating accident did occur. Having proper boating insurance also means you will be able to sleep at night

We must also note that many sailing clubs, powerboat clubs, boating marinas, waterways owners and even council owned slipways are now asking boat owners for proof of marine insurance cover, before they will allow you use of their boating facilities.

Different Types of Marine Insurance Cover for Leisure Boats

There are two basic types of boat insurance – third party cover or comprehensive cover.
Third party cover only covers the damage and injury to other boats and other people. Third party marine insurance is normally for at least £2M, however there are occasions when more cover may be required for specific types of higher risk boating. Comprehensive boat insurance however covers both this third party injury and damage and also damage to your own boat. With comprehensive boat insurance, of vital importance to make clear to your boat insurers whether you want your boats “current value” insured (after depreciation), or whether you want full replacement “new for old” value of your boat. In practice most people who own a boat will take out comprehensive boat insurance, simply as you will probably want to cover your boat.
Anyhow there is very little difference between the cost of annual premiums for boat insurance for either third party cover or fully comprehensive cover.

Boat Insurance for Chartering, Hiring and Commercial Use

If your boat is used for chartering or commercial use, then quite simply it must be insured. Please make it clear to yor marine insurance company whenever you are chartering, hiring or taking any fare-paying passengers.   
Even taking on board your boat a passage crew who pay you a nominal amount for the trip counts as "commercial boating use" . Please also read - and be aware of - the small print in your boating insurance policy. If in doubt, we recommend you always check with your boat insurers before thinking about boat hiring, boat chartering or taking any fare paying passengers - or even nominal payments by passengers to "help out with the bills".

Common Exclusions in Boating Insurance Policies

Creeping into many marine leisure / recreational boating insurance policies, there are now a number of common exclusions from the standard boating insurance clauses, such as;

  • Waterskiing
  • Towing toys (i.e. doughnuts, ringos, bananas)
  • Racing
  • Boat drivers under 16 (or 18) years old
  • Going a long way offshore

Cover for these “high risk” activities is still available, however often at additional cost. These clauses may require you to “shop around” between insurers, simply so that you obtain the best deal for they type of boating you want to do. One – and we have to say slightly sneaky - exclusion with some insurers’ boating policies is about “underwater machinery”. This clause is for propellers and engines damaged by striking rocks and other submerged objects. As this is quite a common cause of damage, we do not recommend taking out a marine insurance policy which has this exclusion.
However the good news for boaters is that many of the reputatable marine insurance companies now offer discounts for powerboats and sportsboats if you comply with certain conditions and also have certain boating qualifications. Therefore, for example, our recommended insurers GJW offer discounts for their customers having RYA/SBDA qualifications (i.e. RYA powerboat level 2); up to 60% no-claims discounts; having a tracker system fitted.  

The Excess on Boat Insurance

The excess is the first part of any damage or injury claim on your boat, which you have to pay. You may want to consider agreeing to have a high insurance excess, as this can significantly reduce your annual premiums for your boat isnurance - i.e. you will pay out the first few hundred pounds of any claims. Most marine insurance companies ask boaters for an excess of a few hundred pounds on any one claim

Boat Insurance Premiums

These boat insurance payments are usually arranged annually, and paid either as a simple annual one-off insurance payment, or as monthly insurance premiums.

Details Given to Boat Insurers

Boat Insurers’ are all nowadays asking for more and more details. When you are arranging boat insurance for your pride and joy it is vitally important that you answer the marine insurers question’s honestly and comprehensvely. This is simply because any dishonest answers can invalidate your boat insurance in the event of a claim being made –even if the dishonest answer was not directly related to the type of claim being made!

Boat Insurance when being Towed by a Vehicle

When a boat is being towed by a vehicle, a different insurance principle will apply.
Normally it is the vehicle’s insurance which covers the towed boat when it is on the road, not the boat’s insurance. If you are towing your boat, then you need to check that the vehicle insurance covers the boat and trailer.

International and EU Travel and Insuring Your Boat Aboard

In almost all other countries, boat insurance is always compulsory. Many European (EU) countries now require you to have proof of insurance carried with you when you are using your boat.  Most boat insurance companies insist you notify them when using your boat outside the UK .
For insurance purposes - despite the UK’s membership of the EU - the definition of the international border still starts at the English Channel, or Irish Sea (around here it is the nearby border with Lancashire).  Please check with your own boat insurance compnay for their own detailed requirements. If you intend to use your boat overseas, tow it internationally or especially keep it in a foreign country, you will need to change your boat insurance, even if only slightly. Your standard UK boat insurance cover might need to be extended and you may need to take out additional boat insurance.
Within the EU organising your boat's insurance for European use with your own marine insurers is usually fairly simple (however there are some noteable exceptions). The question of whether your boat's insurer will cover you overseas can be tied up with a number of related issues, especially the security arrangements if the boat is unattended.

Security of Boats

Theft of boats - and especially outboard engines (just the engine) - is unfortunately more prevalent than it used to be. Therefore boat insurers are now often insisting on additional security measures on boats, simply  so that boat thieves are deterred and prevented. This keeps boat insurance premiums for everybody lower.
Therefore please check with your boat's insurance company which security measures they specifically require - especially if your boat is going to be left unattended in a relatively insecure location.