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    Boat Insurance FAQs

What is the Excess or Deductible?

An excess or deductible is the amount you have to 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?

You may have the opportunity to purchase Excess Waiver Cover for an additional premium on your Topsail insurance policy. If purchased, the excess or deductible shall 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 ech individual insurer. The maximum no claims bonus entitlement under Topsail's boat insurance policies is 25% and is earnt 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 and will build up after the claim each year you are claim free.

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

Initially, if a claim has been paid by your insurer it will affect your No Claims Discount until such time as 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 when you have 20% or 25% No Claims Discount. This means that 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?

Most of our sailing yacht or motorboat insurance policies cover the loss or damage caused by lightning strikes. 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 usually able to extend our sailing yacht insurance and boat insurance policies to cover the vessel whilst being used for Skipper Charter. If you require Bareboat Charter cover, please contact the office to discuss your requirements.

How do I make a claim?

Should an incident occur which may result in a claim under your policy, all the information on how to make a claim can be found in your Topsail 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.

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?

A 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 autopilot and autohelm.

What if I am going to sell to my boat?

If you are planning to sell your boat then 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 in respect of the period of unused boat insurance. We may require proof such as a bill of sale to confirm the refund of premium. Please note, we now offer a discount scheme when selling your boat for yourself and the buyer. Please click here to find out more.

Do Topsail offer Third Party Liability only cover?

Yes, we do offer Third Party Liability Insurance as a stand-alone product on all policies with the exception of Inland/Narrowboat. This is only for UK Waters and Mediterranean Waters. We can offer up to £5,000,000 (any one accident) Third Party Liability cover.

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

Under the terms of most of Topsail’s sailing yacht or motorboat insurance policies, cover is in place 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 do so. 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 a schemes discount for various clubs and associations. There is a field for this on our enquiry form so be sure to include details and we will offer any applicable discounts and benefits.

Is my policy an agreed value policy?

Yes, all the insurers we deal with offer agreed value insurance policies. That said, your sum insured of the vessel should reflect the current market value. So, please ensure you review your sum insured to ensure it is reflective of this.

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 (topsailinsurance.com/refer-a-friend) 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?

The survey requirements differ depending on the insurer, but generally insurers will require a survey once the boat is 20 years of age and over. The requirement would be for a full out of water survey and valuation report by a qualified marine surveyor. The survey should report on the condition of the hull, structure, electrical and mechanical installations, additionally the mast, spars, sails and rigging for a sailing yacht. The surveyor should include recommendations within the report and it would be a requirement for you to comply with all of these recommendations, unless otherwise agreed by an insurer. Generally insurers will then require a further survey report every 10 years thereafter.

Do Topsail have any specific requirements regarding rigging?

The rigging requirements differ depending on type of cruising you are carrying out. If your plans do not include Bluewater cruising (Ocean crossings), 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. Of course all recommendation would need to be complied with. That said, some insurers may even 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 (excluding Amex) and you can also pay by bank transfer if you wish. Additionally at Topsail you can pay by card online and in many instances by monthly instalments too.

Do Topsail insure all types of vessels?

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

Have a question that is not on the list?

Please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will come back to you as soon as possible, or call the office on +44 (0) 1273 57 37 27.

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