Owning a boat is a source of relaxation, an escape from stress rather than a cause of it. However, selecting the right insurance policy for your boat can be daunting, especially if you’re new to the process. To help alleviate any additional stress, we present five essential aspects every boat owner should know about pleasure craft insurance in South Africa.
Understanding the Types of Cover
Don’t wait for a disaster to strike before ensuring your boat is adequately protected. Pleasure craft insurance generally comprises two fundamental principles:
Liability Coverage: This policy aspect safeguards you against legal obligations arising from injury, loss of life, or property damage caused by using your boat.
Physical Damage Coverage: This component protects from accidental damage or loss to your boat and its machinery, including the hull, engine, sails, and essential operating equipment.
Determining a value for your vessel
When comparing different insurance policies, it’s crucial to examine whether the physical damage cover falls under “agreed value” or “new replacement value.”
Agreed Value: Opting for this coverage ensures you receive the amount stipulated in the policy if your boat is deemed a total or partial loss. The selected value is based on a market-related value and should be equivalent to what the market would offer for the same or similar vessel.
New replacement value: This value is typically reserved for new vessels less than Three years old, where the total replacement value of the vessel can be insured.
Trailer and Transport Coverage
Interestingly, even when your boat is out of the water and resting on a trailer, insurance can still cover it. However, it’s important to note that if your boat is being towed on a trailer and causes damage to third-party property, such damage would not be covered by your boat insurance but would fall under the towing vehicle’s liability cover.
When your trailer is not being towed and is stationary on the dam bank, boat club, or slipway while you are using the boat, there is coverage for physical loss or damage to the trailer. However, liability arising from such situations is not covered.
Policy Limitations and Territorial Coverage
Most insurance policies come with territorial limitations. For example, our coverage at RBS applies to any body of water within Southern Africa and extends up to 40 nautical miles from the coast of South Africa, Namibia, and Mozambique. It is crucial to ensure that your policy covers the locations you intend to visit, as certain policies may exclude specific high-risk areas. We also provide cover for international waters where there is a South African interest or ownership in the vessel.
Additional Coverage Offered
A comprehensive boat insurance policy should include coverage for various liabilities:
- Medical Expenses: This aspect covers your first aid, ambulance, and hospital costs in the event of an accident.
- Towing and Emergency recovery costs: Should the vessel be in distress or stranded at sea.
- Personal Effects: Loss of personal items, such as clothing and gear specific to boat owners, is covered under this provision.
- Third-Party & Passenger Legal Liability: This coverage protects the boat owner and fare and non-fare paying passengers in case of unforeseen injury or damage to third-party property.
At RBS, we also offer the following:
- Racing risk cover as an extension.
- Locally build vessels that must be delivered to the owner’s country of origin outside South Africa; RBS can provide once-off delivery voyage cover.
At RBS, we offer highly flexible insurance coverage for a wide range of vessels, including boats, dinghies, yachts, catamarans, motor launches and jet skis. Our policies also extend to cover boating equipment and accessories. Additionally, our team is open to accommodating additional policy extensions to provide more specialized coverage per your requirements.
For more information on our pleasure craft insurance options, we encourage you to contact one of our experienced brokers today. They will be able to provide detailed insights and guidance to help you make an informed decision and ensure that your boating adventures are worry-free.