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Old 04 January 2006, 10:11   #1
John Kennett's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Brighton
Length: 3m +
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 7,106
A guide to RIB insurance

If you require insurance for your RIB, but have been presented with a number of alternative policy wordings from a variety of companies, this guide to RIB Insurance may help you decide the sort of policy you require.

Both the cover provided by different RIB insurance companies and the service they offer, can vary greatly. Bear in mind that a cheaper policy may end up costing you more, if you have to make a claim and you should always check what cover is being offered before signing up.

Q What should I look out for?
A Everyone's needs are different, and only you can decide if wider cover is important to you. It is essential though, to understand what is being offered to you, before being able to make an informed decision.

Comprehensive Cover - will provide cover for your boat against accidental damage, theft, fire and vandalism.

Third Party Liability - You should not consider going afloat without liability insurance, which will cover you if you cause damage to another boat or worse still cause injury.

Racing Risks – Most insurers will exclude cover if you are racing your boat

New-For-Old cover - This will replace damaged items with new, however age limits may apply.

Policy Excess - You will be required to pay the first £x of any claim.

Laid up Period - Do your insurers restrict cover by insisting that your boat is laid up ashore between certain dates?

Waterskiing liability – do you require cover for accidents caused to water-skiers being towed by your boat, or cover for damage caused by a person skiing behind your boat

Towing toys – Many insurers are unable to provide cover for towing toys such as doughnuts, banana, ringos etc.

Damage to underwater machinery – Will provide cover for propeller and engine damage if you were to run aground or hit a submerged object. Not all policies provide this cover as standard.

Q Do I need to use a specialist marine or RIB insurance company?
A No - Many High Street Insurance Brokers will be able to arrange your RIB insurance, but they may not have the necessary expertise to advise you correctly.

Q How can I be sure the insurance company I choose is reliable?
A Your policy is only as good as the service you receive if you have to submit a claim. Speak to other boate owners ans have a look on the RIBnet forums for comments from other RIB users about which insurers provide good (or bad) service to their clients.

A small number of marine insurance companies are based overseas and it would be wise to establish that the insurers are based in the UK where you will have access to UK Law and compensation should a serious problem occur with your policy.

With effect from 14th January 2005, it is a legal requirement that any UK company providing an insurance policy, must be authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). A firm should clearly display their status on any documentation, including their web site. If you are in any doubt, have a look at the FSA's Register of Firms at

Q Why do I need third party cover?
A £2,000,000 Third Party Liability is usually compulsory if you are to launch you boat in the UK and you should not consider going afloat without this cover as a minimum. A policy providing third party liability should cover you if you were to cause damage to property or injury to another person, with your RIB.

The industry standard provides a limit of £2,000,000 and should be sufficient for use in the UK. Marine Law limits the maximum payable on navigable waters.

Third party risks whilst in transit would be EXCLUDED as this is normally covered by your motor insurance policy.

Q Should I expect a standard policy to cover me while my RIB is not being used (i.e. when my boat is ashore or while I'm travelling?)
A Comprehensive policies should cover your boat against accidental damage, theft, fire and vandalism, whether in use or not; however there may be restrictions on your policy. There may be restrictions on where your RIB should be moored, and when it should be taken ashore. These details should be listed on your policy.

Transit cover will be provided for smaller RIBs towed behind your car, however there will be restrictions on larger boats (typically those longer than 9m) and those boats being transported by professional hauliers. Third party liability whilst in transit will be excluded, as this will be covered by the vehicle's insurance.

Q Am I covered to use my boat for 12 months of the year?
A Some policies will stipulate that your RIB is laid-up ashore for certain times of the year. Check your policy carefully and find out what cover would be in place if you were unable to lift the boat from the water, due to bad weather, tides, or busy boat-yards or if you wanted to launch the boat prior to the end of the laid up period.

Q To what extent would my equipment be covered on a standard policy?
A Some insurers will exclude damage to underwater machinery if you were to run aground or strike a submerged object.

Other items, such as your outboard, trailer and other personal effects or navigational equipment should be listed separately on the policy and all serial numbers advised to your insurers.

Q Does it matter who is in charge of my boat?
A The majority of RIB insurance policies will allow anyone to sail your boat with your permission, however it would be prudent to check this first. If you receive money in return, i.e. the boat is being chartered or hired; this may invalidate your policy.

Q Will I need to obtain a survey for my boat?
A It is unlikely, however some insurance companies will require a survey for any boat aged 20 years old or more, and then again, every five years or so. Some RIBs may require a survey if they have sustained serious damage.

Q What is legal protection?
A Upon payment of an additional premium, some insurance policies can be extended to include legal representation if your boat is involved in a collision or other accident and you suffer financial loss or injury. If you are injured, it is even more important that you receive expert help so that any claim for damages is pursued quickly and efficiently.

Q What about cover for foreign waters?
A This will vary, depending on the policy you have chosen and the cruising range will be shown on your policy. You should carefully check that the cruising range is adequate for you as you will not be covered if a claim were to occur outside this area shown.

Q What should I do in the event of a claim?
A You should always submit your claim as soon as possible after an accident. After all, the faster you make the claim, the faster you can get back on the water.

Any incidences of theft or criminal damage should be reported to the police - remember that you'll need the Crime Reference Number for the claim form.
You will be required to provide at least one estimate for the repairs or a written quote for the replacement items if a repair is not possible. Your Insurer may ask to inspect any equipment damaged, before authorising its replacement or send a Loss Adjuster or Surveyor to assess the damage.

Any stolen boat should be listed by your insurance company, free of charge, on the website.

Q How quickly should I expect to have my claim sorted?
A This will depend on which RIB insurance company you use and their speed of response. It can also depend how quickly your repairer can provide a quotation and then carry out the necessary repairs. Ask your insurance company how quickly they will respond to a claim.

This article was written by Jonathan Langford from Noble Marine Insurance Brokers (RIBnet user Noble Marine). He is happy to answer questions about RIB insurance and can be contacted by email or by telephone on 01636 707606.
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