Do I need boat insurance to go deep-sea fishing?

If you are passionate about deep-sea angling, owning your own sea-going fishing boat has to be the ultimate dream. Once you have found your perfect boat, marine insurance is an important factor to consider. Unless you are operating a business, there is no legal requirement to have boat insurance, but if you keep your vessel at a marina or boatyard, you will probably find that you are required to have fully comprehensive boat insurance as a condition of your contract. However, even if your boat is on a trailer on your driveway most of the time, accidents do happen and it is wise to have insurance cover.

The first thing to decide is whether to opt for third party or fully comprehensive insurance. The answer to this question depends on the value of your boat. If your vessel is old and only used infrequently then you may not feel it is worth paying expensive premiums; in this case, third party insurance might be adequate. Should you be at fault in causing an accident, a third party policy covers you for compensation and personal damages to anyone injured. You can add options for fire and theft cover but these will increase the cost of the policy. It is worth bearing in mind that, should your boat sink, you will be liable to pay salvage costs and third party insurance will not cover these.

If you have a stylish new boat, you should opt for fully comprehensive marine insurance. This should cover you for theft, fire, accidental damage to your vessel, liability, loss of outboard motors, underwater damage cover and personal accident cover as standard. Benefits such as a protected no-claims bonus may also be included, so check the policy carefully to be sure you are getting the level of cover that meets your requirements. Personal belongings and items such as fishing rods and other equipment are often excluded from boat insurance unless your vessel is broken into, so if you take valuables on your fishing trips make sure they are insured separately.

Deep-sea fishing boats, whether small day boats or expensive motor cruisers, are as individual as their skippers, so do your research, compare several quotes and read the small print to ensure that you get the correct boat insurance for you. Stay safe and happy fishing!

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