There's nothing quite as exciting as boating - the wind in your hair, raft ups, and of course fishing in Bermuda’s beautiful cobalt blue waters.

However, while boating is enjoyable, being a boat owner is expensive. Although insurance coverage for private boat owners isn’t required by law, it is something that I would highly recommend in order to protect your investment. The requirements for obtaining marine coverage are quick and simple, but do vary from one insurer to another. Argus, an industry leading provider of marine insurance, covers your motor, sailing or charter vessel for all boating risks.

Comprehensive marine coverage is usually recommended which includes fire, theft, collision damage, hurricane and third party liability, which will sufficiently protect your investment and personal liability.

In order to apply for insurance, you need to provide, at the very least, a completed marine proposal form and an up-to-date mooring certificate of inspection at a suitable mooring site. It is standard to examine the majority of marine vessels before offering insurance to owners.

You will be asked to answer questions about past boating experience, previous losses, mooring location, the value of the vessel, the make and the engine size. This information will enable the insurer to underwrite the risk accurately, and determine the premium. The cost of your policy will also depend on the age, size and condition of the boat as well as the sum insured, which should reflect the boat’s replacement cost.

During an inspection, the condition of the vessel is assessed on whether or not it has a fully operational bilge, a self-bailing cockpit and the necessary safety equipment to ensure that it functions properly, and more importantly, is safe.

If you have an older boat, or if you are in the process of purchasing one from overseas, it may require a survey report. If a local survey report is required, Argus recommends using a recognised individual with experience. It’s also important to note that not all mooring locations around Bermuda are deemed suitable to insurers, especially during certain times of the year, or when the wind becomes increasingly difficult to cope with, however this is something that you will have to check with your insurer.

Boating is all about having fun, but before you leave the dock, consider how to protect your investment.

For more information about marine insurance, contact the Argus Customer Service Centre on 298-0888.


 Angus Crumley is responsible for marine underwriting. He has been in the insurance industry for 24 years and has over 34 years of experience on the water in Bermuda. 
This guide is not a substitute for professional advice, you should always consult with your independent professional advisor.