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What happens if we can’t offer you any cover?

If we can’t offer you the travel insurance cover you want, or your premium is higher than you expected because you have serious medical conditions, you may be able to get help by accessing the Biba Travel Medical Directory or by calling 0370 950 1790 (open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5:30pm UK time).

Do you cover offshore sailing and are there limits as to how far offshore I can sail?

Yes, we can cover offshore sailing. Our comprehensive travel insurance does not limit the number of miles or how far offshore you can sail, providing you are sailing within the permitted geographical area specified in your policy.

Should I get a single or annual policy?

We offer both options, so it is entirely up to you – sometimes, it can be more cost-effective to take an annual travel insurance policy. Our travel insurance multi-trip annual policies cover you for your sailing holiday and leisure trips too, including land holidays. Get a quote online here to look at the options.

How do I work out how long I’m going to be away?

Your trip duration is calculated from the date you leave your country of residence or the start date of your policy, whichever is later, to the date you return.

I am sailing on a vessel other than a Yacht – are your policies suitable for me?

Yes, we offer comprehensive travel insurance policies that are equally suitable for people aboard sailing boats, motor yachts, dinghies and tall ships, to name a few.

How do I know which area I am travelling to?

You can review the areas of travel we can offer when applying for your policy. We can offer either UK & Europe cover, or Worldwide, with the option to add USA/Canada/Caribbean, and the Arctic/Antarctic.

Why shouldn’t I just insure through my bank or something similar?

Many basic travel insurance policies are not specialised enough to cover you for sailing trips, with many excluding waterborne activities completely. If cover is provided, it is often limited to no further than 12 nautical miles offshore, or only within territorial waters. As such, if you sail offshore then have an incident, you may not have any assistance available.

What discounts can you offer?

When applying on our website, we automatically apply family and partner discounts where applicable.

We also work closely with the sailing and travel community, including various sailing associations such as the Ocean Cruising Club and Cruising Association. We provide a discount for members of both these associations, and more! We also offer an introductory joint policy discount if you take out both annual travel and boat insurance through Topsail Insurance – contact us for more information!

Do you have a maximum age limit?

For anyone under 80 years of age, we can quote for you through our online Quote and Buy system with no need to refer in. If you are 80 or over, you can apply online and the application will be referred for approval.

Can you cover people aged under 18?

Yes, our single trip policies can cover under 18’s, however the policy will need to note the name of a parent or guardian for the purpose of the contract. The online application will ask for this information so it can be noted on your Certificate of insurance. Please also note under 18’s must be always accompanied by an adult for cover to be in place.

What do I do if I need to make an insurance claim?

Please refer to your Certificate Schedule for details of our claims handlers.

It is advisable to carry these details with you when travelling, as this includes a 24-hour emergency assistance number if required.

If you have any questions about your policy or need any assistance, then call Topsail on +44 (0) 1273 57 37 27.

How can I advise about my medical declaration when taking out travel insurance? Will these affect my premium?

Once you have used the Quote and Buy system to receive a quotation, you can click to move forward and complete the full application form.

This includes a question on whether you have a medical declaration to make and a box for you to submit details of this, plus some guidance on what to declare.

The effect on the insurance is dependent on the medical condition declared, but each application is assessed individually in-house.

Am I covered for ‘acts of god’, e.g. cancellation due to bad weather?

Our comprehensive travel insurance provides cover if you are delayed for over 24 hours, or your pre-booked public transport is cancelled, due to adverse weather, fire, earthquakes or mechanical problems. This relates to publicly licensed vessels only.

Do your policies cover non-sailing holidays?

Topsail travel insurance policies are specifically designed for the sailing community and we would expect that you will undertake some yachting or boating activities within the period. However, our polices do also cover leisure non-sailing holidays too, including the option to add Winter Sports cover.

Is there a limit for trips to the USA?

We cannot cover trips to the USA in excess of 89 days in any one 365-day period. Due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) we are legally unable to offer USA cover if you have spent 89 days in this area in the last 365 days, or if you will exceed the 89-day limitation in any one 365 day period.

Am I covered for winter sports?

30 days of Winter sports cover can be added to any of our policies, at an additional premium. You can review the details of this cover in the Policy Wording.

What activities do you cover under your travel insurance policies?

Please review the Sports and Adventure Activities list in the Policy Wording, which lists all activities and sports that we cover at no additional premium. Should the activity you are partaking in not be listed, please contact us for confirmation as to whether we are able to provide cover.

Am I covered whilst racing?

Yes, as long as you are not competing professionally. We also do not cover the Clipper Round The World Race. If you are participating in a Round the World race, you can declare this on our application form.

Am I covered for my personal liability to other people?

If you are sailing recreationally, our Yachtsman’s travel products do provide you with personal liability cover. This is to cover claims from other people in the event that you should cause them death, personal injury or damage their property.

It should be noted that while on board a waterborne craft, our policy only covers your person-to-person liability, and does not include liability relating to the vessel you are using. This is because we would expect that to be covered by the yacht or motorboat insurance policy.

If you have any doubt as to the extent of the cover being provided, then please contact the office.

Can I extend my maximum trip duration once I am away?

You can extend your maximum duration away for an additional cost, plus our administration fee.

Do you offer a Private Medical Insurance (PMI) long-term health care cover?

No, we do not offer private medical insurance. It is important to note that Topsail Travel Insurance Policies are an emergency travel insurance only, and not a long-term health care plan.

If you are requiring a comprehensive Private Medical Insurance which includes routine care, then we would recommend that you discuss your needs with a specialist Private Medical Insurance providers or your Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) who may be able to assist.

Do you provide cover for working crew?

If you are on board a yacht or motorboat under a contract of employment as a permanent or part time crew, you should declare this to us when applying, in the ‘any other information’ box.

What is the maximum time I can spend away from home?

Our Yachtsmn’s Insurance policies can be extended to cover you whilst away for the whole year, without returning to your home country.

Can I make changes to my cover while I am away?

Often this can be done, so if you need to make changes you should contact us to discuss what you require.

Do you offer a family policy?

Often this can be done, so if you need to make changes you should contact us to discuss what you require.

Would this insurance cover me for sailing around the world?

Yes, if you have selected the right cover, then our insurance can cover a Round the World sailing trip.

Can I buy insurance after I have started my trip?

Yes. However, you will need to ensure you declare that you are away in the relevant section of our application form.

Can I insure my yacht charter deposit?

Yes, we offer cover of up to £5,000 for yacht charter deposit. This can be added to any of our travel insurance policies.

Can I insure my car hire deposit?

Yes, we offer cover of up to £5,000 for yacht charter deposit. This can be added to any of our travel insurance policies.

What is the Excess or Deductible?

The excess or deductible is the amount you pay in the event that you wish to make a claim on your boat insurance policy. If the loss is less than the amount of the excess, then you must meet the cost of your claim.

What is Excess Waiver and do Topsail offer this cover?

Depending on which insurer you are placed with, you may have the opportunity to purchase Excess Waiver Cover for an additional premium. If purchased, the excess or deductible does not apply if you make a claim under your policy, subject to the terms and conditions set out in the policy wording.

Am I entitled to any No Claims Discount / Bonus?

This depends on each individual insurer. The maximum no claims bonus entitlement under Topsail’s Navigators & General boat insurance policy is 25%, earned at 5% per claim free year.

What happens to my No Claims Discount / Bonus if I have a claim?

If you have a claim during the policy period of your boat insurance, then your No Claims Discount will revert to nil. You may have the opportunity to protect your No Claims Discount for an additional premium, once you have earned 20% No Claims Discount or more. This means even if a claim is made during the period of your boat insurance, you will not lose your No Claims Discount entitlement.

What happens to my No Claims Discount / Bonus if I have a claim and it is not my fault?

Once a claim has been paid by your insurer it will affect your No Claims Discount, until a successful recovery is obtained from the third-party insurer. At this point, your No Claims Discount will be reinstated to the same level that it was at prior to the loss.

Can I protect my No Claims Discount / Bonus?

You may have the opportunity to protect your No Claims Discount for an additional premium, once you have earnt 20% No Claims Discount or more. This means even if a claim is made during the period of your boat insurance, you will not lose your No Claims Discount entitlement.

Does my policy cover lightning strikes?

This depends on your specific insurer’s Policy Wording. Please contact us for advice on the cover provided and to find out more.

I want to charter out my boat, can you cover me?

We are often able to extend your cover to include the vessel being used for Charter, depending on your vessel and insurer preferences. If you require charter cover, please contact the office to discuss your requirements.

How do I make a claim?

Should an incident occur that may result in a claim under your policy, all the information on how to make a claim can be found in your Certificate Schedule or Policy documentation. If in doubt, please contact the office and we will provide you with a claim form and the necessary support to assist you in making a claim under your policy. It is important to notify us of a potential claim as soon as possible.

What does ‘See Policy’ mean next to the tender(s), outboard motor(s) and personal belongings on my quotation?

If you have not specified insured values in respect of your outboard motor(s), tender(s) and personal effects, your boat insurance policy may provide limited cover for these items automatically. Please check the policy or discuss this with a member of our team.

What is defined as self-steering gear?

Self-steering gear is best defined as; equipment used on ships and boats to maintain a chosen course without constant human contact. It is also commonly known as auto-pilot and auto-helm.

What if I am going to sell to my boat?

If you are planning to sell your boat, please contact the office to advise of the lay-up location and the advertised sale price. If you have sold your vessel already, please let us know the date of sale as soon as possible. We can then issue a cancellation note and organise a refund of any premium owing back to you depending on the amount of time spent on cover.

We may require proof, such as a bill of sale to confirm the refund of premium.

Do Topsail offer Third Party Liability only cover?

Yes. Depending on your vessel and requirements, we can offer standalone Third Party Liability coverage. We can offer up to £5,000,000 cover (any one accident).

Can I let others sail my boat without a charter agreement, even if they are not joint owners and have no financial interest?

Most insurers include cover for loss or damage caused by Permitted Users (people using the vessel with your permission), provided there is no financial gain and you feel they have the experience to use the boat responsibly.

Please check the policy or discuss this with a member of our team.

Do Topsail offer any discounts for club or association membership?

Yes, we offer discounts for a number of clubs and associations. Ask your association for a code to use on our online Quote and Buy website, or if you contact the office for a quotation, be sure to let them know!

How much would I be paid in the event of a total loss?

Most insurers offer agreed value policies, so in the event of a valid claim you will receive the amount you insured your vessel for, per your certificate.

However, you are responsible for ensuring the vessel is insured for its current market value, taking into consideration of its age and condition. If you are ever in doubt about the vessel’s value, ask a surveyor or local boat broker to give you an independent valuation.

What happens if I refer a friend to Topsail for insurance?

By way of thanking our existing customers for passing on the good word about Topsail we are offering £25.00 (or equivalent in any other currency as agreed by Topsail) off your renewal premium for every friend who takes out a Yacht or Motorboat insurance with us, following your introduction.

We will even give your friend a 10% discount on their first year’s insurance as a thank you for choosing Topsail. Simply fill in your friend’s details on our Refer a Friend form and we’ll send them an enquiry form, noting that you have suggested they may be interested in taking out a Topsail policy.

Do Topsail have any specific requirements regarding surveys?

Survey requirements differ depending on the insurer, but generally insurers will require a survey once the boat reaches 20 years of age and over. The requirement would be for a full out of water survey, and usually a valuation report, by a qualified marine surveyor.

The survey should report on the condition of the hull, structure, electrical and mechanical installations, as well as the mast, spars, sails and rigging for a sailing yacht. The surveyor should include recommendations within the report; it would be a requirement for you to comply with all of these recommendations, unless otherwise agreed by insurers. Usually, insurers will then require a further survey report every 5 or 10 years thereafter depending on your cruising range.

Do Topsail have any specific requirements regarding rigging?

Rigging requirements differ, depending on type of cruising you are carrying out. If your plans do not include Bluewater cruising (ocean crossing), then insurers are generally more relaxed.

If your plans include a plan to carry out an extensive trip, then generally insurers will require a full rigging inspection by a qualified rigging surveyor once the rigging is 7-10 years of age – all recommendations would need to be complied with. That said, some insurers may still insist on the rigging being replaced prior to an ocean crossing, where the rigging age is 7 years or over.

How can I pay for my insurance?

We accept all major debit and credit cards except Amex, and you can also pay by bank transfer if you wish. Additionally, some customers are able to pay via monthly instalments too (UK residents only, dependent on cruising range).

Do Topsail insure all types of vessels?

Yes, we can insure nearly all vessel types – from sailing dinghies, ocean going vessels and RIBs to luxury motorboats, narrowboats or inland craft. Big or small, if it floats it is likely we will be able to help.

When might I need to provide a hurricane plan?

If you are sailing in an area where hurricanes are more common, your insurer might ask for a copy of your windstorm plan. This details what you plan to do in the event that there is an oncoming storm, and helps insurers assess your preparedness.

Do you provide boat insurance covering single-handed sailing?

Some insurers we have access to will offer single handed sailing, though there are often restrictions on the time spent doing this. Contact us if you’d like to discuss this.

Do you provide boat insurance covering racing?

Yes, we do have access to insurers that offer racing cover. This depends on your vessel and the type of racing you want to do.

What is the difference between fully comprehensive and third-party only insurance?

Comprehensive insurance covers a range of potential risks, whereas Third Party Only insurance would only cover costs incurred by a third-party and not damage to your own vessel. Depending on your boat details, we may be able to quote for both options.

What if I don’t know what my cruising plans are?

If you aren’t sure where you might be cruising in 12 months’ time, you can purchase insurance for the cruising areas which you are sure you will visit now. Then, when your plans are clearer, you can contact us to extend the insurance mid-term.

Can I insure the personal items on board my boat?

Definitely – if you have a fully comprehensive insurance, you can specify an amount for personal effects when completing our enquiry form. Just make sure you check with us, or review the policy, to see the restrictions on what items are covered.

Can I make changes to my policy mid-term?

Yes, of course! Simply contact us if ever you want to make any changes to your policy or cover.

Can I increase my excess in return for a discount?

You can usually increase your excess in exchange for a premium reduction, depending on which insurer you are receiving a quote from. Please discuss this with a member of a our team if you wish to increase your excess.

A large white boat is in the water.