boat insurance

How to claim boat insurance?

The process for claiming boat insurance

Claiming boat insurance, like all other claims, involves a process which is seldom deviated from. It is essential that you give the correct information and follow the rules applied to your policy, or it is likely that you insurance company will attempt to legally refuse to pay out. The process can be broken down into a number of points.

  • You must notify the insurance company of an incident as soon as practicable as as delay may violate a policy clause.
  • Collect evidence at the time and location of the accident. Photographs are best but it is prudent to acquire all the evidence available for the assessor’s visit.
  • The assessor will be expecting you to demonstrate your losses, but will not volunteer the information. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have claimed for all losses applicable in your policy schedule.
  • You should not begin repairs before the assessor has visited as you must preserve the physical evidence as much as possible. You may find it necessary to carry out emergency repairs to prevent further deterioration to the boat. If this is the case then you should inform your insurance company of the extent of damage and the costs to make it safe before proceeding with the work. They are likely to claim that you have not preserved the evidence if you fail to do so.
  • Ensure that you have supporting documentation for your claim. This could be in the form of photographs, repair quotations and specifications. They will help you bolster your case during the assessment period.
  • In the case of a theft, you must report it to the Police and obtain a crime reference number. The insurance company will request a copy of the Police records to verify your claim.

When making a claim, it helps to understand some of the terms that will be used to assess your loss.

Partial Loss: Partial damage were repairs do not exceed the value of the boat.

Constructive Total Loss: When repairs exceed the insured value of the craft. Insurance companies will not pay out more than the insured value. In this case you are likely to abandon the boat to the insurance company, who will dispose of it to their benefit.

Total Loss: The boat has been sunk and no longer functions as a boat.

In the case of damage by a third party, your insurer may decide to pay out and pursue for damages. If this decision is made, you cannot then sue the third party and attempt to get paid out twice.

Court Proceedings

If court proceedings prove necessary, then the best advice is to proceed as if you will attend court to get the claim paid. It is important that you ensure you have kept all relevant documentation, written statements and quotations for the repairs or replacement. A verbal agreement is of little value so you must make sure that all communications are written. At this point, it is advisable that you take legal advice before making any further decisions.

As a final note. It is worth pointing out that insurance companies will use any legal means to avoid paying out on a boat claim, so make sure that you record and keep everything surrounding the incident to give yourself the best chance of a successful outcome. Click here for more information


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