nautilus marine insurance

Nautilus Marine Insurance – Insights into boat insurance

BUSH ‘n Beach has brought Nautilus Marine Insurance on board to expand the fine print and provide readers with clear, easy-to-understand and helpful tips on protecting their boating assets.

The scenario

You’ve got that new waterfront home and can now conveniently keep your 6m boat at the end of the backyard. No more trailering down to the ramp – in fact, no more trailer. As a responsible boat owner, you want to make sure everything is sweet with your insurer, so you make a phone call about your boat’s new mooring arrangement. What happens next?

The answer

Unless you are with a specialised marine insurer such as Nautilus Marine Insurance, the discussion might go something like this: “My 6m boat is now kept at the end of my yard on a modular docking system.” ‘On a what?’ “On a modular docking system – you know, out of the water on floating blocks.” ‘Oh, you mean it’s now on blocks in your backyard?’

“No, it’s in the water on a lift system, like a dry dock.” ‘Sorry, I think I get it now – your boat is in a dry dock marina?’ “No – you know you have sea pens and modular floating blocks or a series of trailer rollers on mooring pods that keep the boat out of water – it’s like one of those systems. My boat is now kept on the water, but not really in the water. Anyway, it doesn’t matter – the fact is it’s no longer on a trailer.”

Oh sorry, we don’t insure trailer boats not on trailers unless they are in the water. Goodbye.’

Many companies offer boat insurance, however most of those companies do not understand boats. While they may well understand the ins and outs of insuring a house or the contents of a factory, they might have no idea of anything other than the most basic issues related to boat ownership. And let’s be fair, could you reasonably expect a non-boater to know the differences between a punt, a car-topper, a tinnie, a bass tracker, a traditional, a pram, a plastic and a pickle-fork dinghy?

How about a dry pen, a ramp cradle, or a drive-on floating block system when it comes to on-water storage? What if you want your insurance to now cover your new skeg and stainless 19” four-blader?

And may all the Greek gods of the sea and boating be with you when you try to explain an IPS, sterndrive, C-drive, or jet drive propulsion system to someone who only has ‘yes’ or ‘no’ tick boxes on an insurance form for an outboard or an inboard engine. Some of these companies also refuse, point blank, to insure a boat that is kept in the water at any place other than a formal marina.

Fortunately, specialist marine insurers such as Nautilus Marine have staff who know boats and know exactly what you are talking about. Yes, you might be transferred so you can speak to an expert in boat mooring systems, but you can secure coverage if your boat and its mooring system meet the ordinary conditions of insurance.

Nautilus Marine Insurance has people of diverse boating backgrounds on its permanent staff. These are people who began their working careers as boat builders, people who race boats, people who fish, people who own boats, people who know how a boat is put together and people who know how to assess a damaged boat or equipment.

In the same way as you would prefer a highly skilled surgeon to repair a leaking valve in your heart, rather than the plumber living down the road, when it comes to insuring your boat, you are advised to seek out a marine insurance specialist rather than a company whose core business is insuring homes, cars or livestock.

Don’t assume your boat is automatically covered if you change where or how it is stored – always check with your insurer. Finally, as with all insurance policies, always check your product disclosure document and if you have a query, ask for clarification.

If you need further information, you can contact Nautilus Marine Insurance on 1300 780 533 for any boat insurance requirements.

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