From Bow to Stern
By Matthew Seales, Business Development Underwriter, Island Heritage Insurance
Living on an island, with the sea visible at every turn, the lure of the sea is one we all experience. Whether you’re already a boat owner, or dreaming of becoming one, you know that when the ocean calls, there’s no better way to experience it than on your own boat.
There’s a lot to consider when purchasing, upgrading or maintaining your boat – but protecting your investment with insurance should receive the same consideration.
When boat owners think of reasons to insure, potential hurricane or storm damage is always top of mind. Depending on where you moor your boat though, insurance coverage is also sometimes a legal requirement. When deciding what level of coverage is right for you, consider policies that provide comprehensive protection for your vessel and also provide peace of mind against threats such as theft, fire and collision.
Covering your vessel alone is not quite enough though. You’ll also want liability coverage to protect yourself against third party risks such as damaging other boats/docks, swimmers and passengers. Most policies offer liability, but the standard limits vary by provider.
Most importantly, when discussing insurance coverage for your boat with your insurance provider or broker, do talk about how your boat will be used. The everyday Rum Point and North Sound cruiser will have different needs to the fisherman or charter operator. Have an open discussion with your insurance company or broker, so that they can structure a policy to suit your needs.
In the event of an insured loss, your insurer will bear the responsibility for the repair costs or the replacement of your boat, depending on the extent of the damage. You will be asked to contribute to that cost through the payment of a policy deductible. Your deductible can vary depending on what level of precaution you take to reduce your exposure to certain risks. For instance, if your vessel is trailered and stored in a professional boat yard, some insurance companies will offer you a lower deductible as your chance of wind damage, sinking at the mooring and theft damage is reduced.
Be sure you understand what you are protected against and whether you’ll be covered in the event of a loss. Additional covers you may also want to consider include:
Navigational limit: some insurance companies will cover your vessel outside the normal territorial waters of the Cayman Islands.
Non-emergency towing: coverage for the costs associated with getting to shore safely if you are stranded at sea.
Salvage: coverage for the cost of raising your vessel, if it’s submerged, and moving it to a place of safety.
Having the right insurance cover for your vessel and your needs ensures you’re heading for smooth waters.
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