Small craft policies typically provide protection under four main areas;
- Property loss or damage – covering the vessel, contents and, usually as a separate sum insurance, personal effects
- Reasonable cost of recovery – to recover a vessel, or prevent or minimise pollution following physical loss or damage to the vessel, and legal liability to pay salvage charges
- Third party liability cover – providing protection against legal liability claims arising from the policyholder’s ownership and/or use of the vessel
- Personal accident – covering emergency medical expenses for anyone on board the vessel other than employees of the policy holder
Policy wordings do vary but they will usually exclude losses due to certain circumstances, such as wear and tear, frost, corrosion and natural decay, electrical or mechanical breakdown, sail damage by wind or malicious damage by the policyholder.
It will not be possible to claim third party liability if the incident occurred while undertaking excluded activities, which can include paragliding, water-skiing, towing inflatables or wakeboards.
The policy will be subject to the vessel being used only within agreed geographical limits and stored as agreed. It must not be used for business purposes or as a place of residence.
All claims must be reported to insurers as soon as possible. They will wish to satisfy themselves that the information given when the policy was arranged is still factually relevant to the loss reported, and check if any conditions or warranties have been breached before loss assessment and settlement negotiation can begin.
If you are involved in an incident, make sure to record contact details of any other persons/vessels involved and any potential witnesses. A police crime reference number will be needed if the incident is criminal, such as theft or vandalism.
Tailored to the type of vessel you own, cover can protect against:
- Loss or damage to vessel and contents
- Costs of vessel recovery/preventing pollution
- Third party liability
- Personal accident
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