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Have you purchased boating insurance before? Are you thinking about changing insurance companies? Whatever your situation, it’s a good idea to always do your research, to be aware of the benefits that narrowboat insurance can bring to you, what the average policy includes and what you should look out for. Our easy-to-follow guide will break down each section for you to consider when making a decision on adequate cover.

Is narrowboat insurance essential?

Boat insurance is not legally essential for those who are spending time away from the shore, however, it’s likely as a narrowboat owner that you will also be spending time along the inland waterways too. In the UK is it a legal requirement to have boat insurance in these areas, as well as a boating licence from Canal & River Trust.

Not only that, but it’s wise to have insurance for a multitude of reasons, such as protecting your vessel all year round from any damage or injury to those onboard from fault of your own doing or that of a third party. Depending on your chosen insurance provider, your policy may also include a range of features.

When choosing the right insurance policy you should consider the following factors…

  • Personal property/Contents – Research what exactly this cover provides and to what extent your personal belongings are protected, making sure it meets your needs. If you live on board permanently, you may also need an ‘all risks’ cover, that is similar to a household policy.
  • Houseboat use – when deciding upon your insurance, it’s important to make the company aware if the narrowboat is your primary residence as there may be exclusions surrounding this.
  • Single-handed use – Some policies exclude single-handed use or charge extra so look out for this.
  • Cruising range – Some providers restrict you to just non-tidal waters, however, there may be times when you pass through tidal waters.
  • Survey – Some providers require a full out of water survey if your vessel is over a certain age.

Does your policy include tidal waters, such as the Thames below Teddington?

What will my policy cover me for?

The amount of cover you receive will inevitably depend on which insurance provider you choose, so always check the details, however, it is most likely you will receive the following:

Does your policy cover you for damage from freezing?

  • Accidental damage
  • Contents cover
  • Latent defects
  • Negligence
  • Damage
  • Freezing
  • Third-party liability
  • Theft

What are the features of narrowboat insurance?

There are many reasons to get narrowboat insurance. If you choose to get yours through GJW Direct, your policy you will also get to sign up to MyBoat, a free digital boat management system, that gives you exclusive access to discounts and offers on a range of amazing recognised marine brands, these includes, Midland Chandlers, RCR, Bilgeaway and August Race.

Other features include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Third party liability up to £5,000,000
  • Protected no claims bonus
  • Agreed fixed value
  • Automatic liveaboard cover
  • Marina benefits

What may be the exclusions of my insurance?

As with all insurance policies, there may be some limitations to look out for. Typical exclusions include any damage caused by:

  • Fraud
  • Osmosis
  • Wear and tear
  • Wilful Misconduct
  • Barnacles, insects, marine borers
  • Molluscs, marine growth, fungi
  • Corrosion, rust or oxidation that is due to no fault of your own
  • Weathering, rot, mildew, or dampness
  • Civil Disturbance, Terrorism and War
  • Lack of maintenance

Practising proper maintenance techniques on a regular basis will help you to avoid issues like these becoming a problem in the future and will make it easier for you to claim on insurance if any issue does arise.

What are my obligations?

For the majority of insurance policies, when you take out insurance, you need to make sure that your vessel is in good condition and that you regularly put effort into maintaining it. It is also important that you give your policy provider any details of potential claims, accidents and incidents if and when they occur.

Other obligations may include:

  • Keep all of the information up to date and accurate during the policy
  • Meet the required security applications
  • If you sell the narrowboat, let the insurance provider know
  • If you plan on altering the vessel, tell the insurance provider

Features/cover items may be subject to exclusions and limitations. It is always important to check your policy wording.

Where can I buy narrowboat insurance?

GJW Direct offer comprehensive narrowboat insurance with a range of features. With over 195 years experience in marine insurance, you can rest assured you’re in safe hands with a dedicated team of experts who will be there to set up your policy and answer any questions you might have. Find out more information about GJW Direct’s narrowboat and barge policy.

Are you searching for insurance for the first time or are you thinking of switching insurers? Get a quote for narrowboat insurance with us today in minutes, you can even buy online if you choose to or request a callback from one of our friendly team members.

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