However, you may be surprised by the fact that a significant proportion of boat insurance claims occur whilst vessels are unattended in what the owners believed to be safe locations. Alex Smith is an ex-Naval officer, with extensive experience as a marine journalist, boat tester and magazine editor. Insurance companies require surveys prior to issuing insurance policies for the first time and often require them periodically over the course of insurance policy renewals. You may be unable to obtain finance or insurance until a survey is submitted. Marine mortgage companies for instance insist on compulsory insurance as part of their money lending process. Condition and value survey. This will give current market and replacement values for the boat, as well as detailed descriptions of the construction and condition of the hull, and the boat's major systems (electrical, fuel, machinery, etc.). Don't expect him or her to empty out lockers of heavy anchors, bags of sails, and boxes of spare parts. Visually inspect the hull for flaws or damage. By Barry Goodyear . Why do you need boat insurance? Paul Grimes inspects an engine as part of his work as a surveyor. boats.com is part of the Boats Group Network. If your houseboat does require a survey, a representative from a third-party marine survey group will stop by and take a look at the vessel. Do you need boat insurance? And, as the old saying goes, a bad boat is a hole in the water that you pour money into. Why you need a Professional Marine Survey before you buy a used boat. Each insurance company sets their own guidelines regarding how often or whether you need a survey before a policy can be obtained. This is invaluable when you need to understand and quantify a technical report. Say you’ve found the right boat and made an offer contingent upon a survey. Below we’ve come up with the top eight things you need to know when it comes to insuring your boat. It is always best to speak your preferred insurer before purchasing a boat. The last thing you want is a boat in poor condition out on the water. Insurance companies set the standard for the condition of the boat that they consider an acceptable risk to insure, and decide whether or not to insure the boat based on the surveyor’s report. A thorough survey will assure you and your insurance company that your boat is perfectly sound for continued use. The condition of your boat was also mentioned as a rating factor. Choosing a boat: which boat is right for me? It will give a better idea of exactly what you are getting into with your boat purchase, and help you learn what will be necessary to maintain the vessel in the future to keep you and your family safe, and your investment secure. That depends on what kind of boat you have. You’ve probably already learned that a boat survey is often helpful and/or necessary. To use an analogy with home buying, the surveyor is like a combination of home inspector (condition) and appraiser (value). Before digging into the details, let’s make a checklist of the things covered in a boat survey: Verify the boat’s identity, via HIN (hull identification) number and state or federal registration. If a full survey or hull survey is carried out the narrow boat will need to come out of the water and will require the use of a dry slip. Contact our expert today for boat insurance surveys in Surrey and the surrounding areas. Other varieties of houseboats range in value. How often does the insurance need this kind of survey so I can plan for it during the next haul-out. While it is wise to have any ‘older’ vessel checked over regularly, it is up to the owner as to how often a survey should be arranged. The pre-purchase survey can also be used for insurance purposes or to generate a useful work list. Buying a marine survey is buying peace of mind. Surveys provide boat buyers with peace of mind prior to purchase, identify potential safety and maintenance issues and can provide an up-to-date value of the vessel, which helps to determine if it’s over insured or under insured. Even in the case of a new boat purchase, a new boat survey can be an important factor. You do not need to apply to use this division of Exemption 2—Marine Safety (Certificates of survey). Why do I need a marine Survey? I have just purchased a vessel that will be built, should I engage with a Marine Surveyor? If you get into an accident, and cause property damage or hurt someone, without insurance everything you own can be at risk. A marine survey serves that need by putting an experienced set of eyes on the boat that are independent. Ask for their prices (and any terms and conditions) for carrying out a survey and make sure a surveyor has Professional Indemnity Insurance. If you depend on your boat for income, you'll need commercial boat insurance. Understanding Boat Surveys: What is Pre-Purchase? Marine mortgage companies for instance insist on compulsory insurance as part of their money lending process. Although owners often feel they ‘know’ their own boat, it is essential that an independent, qualified and insured surveyor is called in when necessary. I am working on and altering my vessel, do I need to contact a Marine Surveyor? Copyright © 1999-2020 Boats Group. There are also a few other times when a survey is necessary, like when you update your insurance, file a claim, or have a special situation or area that needs inspection. Like a lot of fun things, boats are dangerous. Even if a second hand vessel appears to have been well maintained and little used may have hidden structural defects that will impact on both the vessel’s value and its seaworthiness. You're probably not required by law to have boat insurance, but that doesn't mean you don't need it. If a covered accident happens and you have the proper insurance, you’re usually responsible for paying the deductible and insurance … No matter which side of the negotiation you're on, it helps to … Such as, not being able to acquire insurance or financing for most boats over twenty feet in length. In other words, you may not need coverage for the entire east coast of the U.S. when you only operate your boat in Maine. How much does it cost? Always check the professional status of a surveyor. Carol Cronin has published several novels about the Olympics, sailing, hurricanes, time travel, and old schooners. Why do I need boat insurance? Buying a marine survey is buying peace of mind. I like that you provided some tips on how to prepare for a boat insurance survey such as finding a fair and accredited surveyor. How often does the insurance need this kind of survey so I can plan for it during the next haul-out. In a similar vein, always ensure that a marine surveyor is independent and ask around (in yacht clubs or online forums) for testimonies from previous clients. I can’t tell you how many times I have found a dangerous, serious problem on a boat that the owner thought was OK. Even though boat insurance is not required, you may still be asked for proof of insurance if you are stopped by the police. Your usual insurance may not apply beyond US waters. The surveyor is hired by, and works for, the buyer. There may be times when you have no choice but to purchase insurance. How can that be! Boat insurance is not actually a legal requirement in the UK, but if you are considering investing thousands of pounds in a boat it’s wise to protect it. If you're shopping for boat insurance and don't know where to start, let us be your guide. Here’s a rundown of the basic types of marine surveys, along with what to expect when the surveyor comes knocking. Spending money on a proper survey buys you long-term peace of mind. Do I Need Boat Insurance? Having a marine survey determines if your boat meets safety criteria and also helps safeguard your passengers and crew. How do I get my boat “in survey”? Do you need boat insurance? 1 Questions & Answers Place. Get the best deal, International Institute of Marine Surveying, Society of Consulting Marine Engineers and Ship Surveyors. If you have a boat, there are a few things you need to know to make sure that you have the right coverage for your watercraft. WHAT I DO I go through a boat with a fine tooth comb. Visually inspect the hull for flaws or damage. Always ask questions about a given surveyor and look for a specialist with extensive experience in the kind of vessel you are considering. You should keep an updated copy of your insurance on your vessel just in case. Year-round boating is not possible in most areas of Canada but your lender, marina, yacht club or storage yard will require you have coverage in effect all year. Boat insurance is not actually a legal requirement in the UK, but if you are considering investing thousands of pounds in a boat it’s wise to protect it. You’ve probably already learned that a boat survey is often helpful and/or necessary. You may also need insurance if you're financing your boat or docking it at a marina. If you’re wondering, “Do you have to have insurance on a boat?”, the simple answer is no. The chart below lists each state and their boat insurance requirements. No matter which side of the negotiation you're on, it helps to understand the overall situation. A surveyor would only state the obvious in the report, since the engine or systems can’t be tested, and you can visually judge for yourself if there are any evident hull imperfections. And finally, if you need finance to help buy the boat (or in fact boat insurance to help keep your investment safe, a condition report can be a very useful asset. And for whatever reason, the idea of running into trouble with your boat seems far-fetched in our minds. If you store the boat at home don’t assume your homeowner’s insurance will cover the boat if you cancel the boat … Even if you think you know everything about boats, you still need a marine survey. So if you are relying on your homeowners insurance for boat coverage, you could be risking more than you know. Well here’s some food for thought. You can inspect your boat and do your own survey, but when it comes to insurance or resale, only a professional survey report is acceptable. If you own an older boat, the underwriter may request a recent marine survey of your boat before quoting or insuring it. In addition, it’s unlikely you will be able to secure financing or insurance without a qualifying marine survey. My 37 foot sailboat required an out of the water survey for insurance purposes. The pre-purchase survey can also be used for insurance purposes or to generate a useful work list. Why do I need a marine Survey? What kind of insurance do I need? You may ask. With Saga Boat Insurance, you do not need another survey fo… Circumstances when you should have or could benefit from the use of a survey are often coincident with cases where the insurance companies and financial institutions are involved. Ask questions and talk to your surveyor, but don't stop him doing his job. By Barry Goodyear During the past several years, the pleasure boat market has experienced major fluctuations in both values and buying trends. Do I need to insure the boat during winter? A marine surveyor assesses both the structural condition and value of a used boat, and it's the nautical equivalent of a termite inspection, plumbing/electrical report, and property appraisal. If you’re unsure what will be covered in your survey, you can always ask your preferred surveyor for … Surveyor's Perspective For the surveyor, these can be the toughest assignments – not because of the boats, but because of the parties involved. When you need a survey on your boat for your insurance company, you need a professional company to complete this properly. When you’re in the process of buying a boat and trying your best to keep costs under control, the idea of throwing a big chunk of cash at a surveyor can be quite onerous, so why should you bother?A good survey is essential in both providing peace of mind and protection when buying a boat – whether new or secondhand – and in ensuring no important elements are missed in the vessel’s long-term maintenance. 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