Boat Insurance


The NZS.nz Boat Insurance article contains information about boat insurance in New Zealand, insurance claims, cover, what not covered, marine insurance, jet ski insurance and more.

Looking for a boat insurance provider? Wondering what marine insurance can cover, and what it won’t cover? Read on for more information about boat insurance in New Zealand.

Boat insurance is an essential precaution in nautical motor vehicle ownership. Whether it be a yacht, powerboat, trailered vessel, commercial vessel or jet ski, you need to ensure you have sufficient boat insurance to cover you in the (all too common) event of a marine accident.

In a similar fashion to finding cheaper car insurance, you will want to shop around with several different boat insurance providers in order to obtain quotes. Marine insurance companies will ask you for the following details about your boat:

  • Details on hull (frame and body), fixtures and fittings
  • Vessel type
  • Design
  • Year built or manufactured
  • Machinery type and capacity
  • Outboard motor type, horsepower and motor serial number
  • Auxillary motor types and horsepower and serial number
  • Chattels carried on vessel but not sold with it (stereo systems, diving gear, etc)
  • Trailer and registration number
  • Type of facility where vessel kept, and type of security. Marina location if applicable
  • If you will be racing the boat
  • Previous marine insurance claims
  • Previous marine insurance applications that have been declined, and for what reason

Boat insurance policies are normally tailored specifically for each customer as many boats are custom made. Because of the high likelihood of a boat or other marine vessel being damaged in its lifetime, every term within a policy needs to be stipulated carefully.

What Boat Insurance Can Offer  

  • Accidental loss or damage of vessels of all sizes on the water, in the marina, and on the road in transport
  • No claims bonuses
  • Burglary and theft from a garage, marina or mooring
  • Third party collision liability (many companies offer up to $1,000,000 with an additional $500,000 option)
  • Transport to the nearest nautical repairer
  • Racing risk extensions
  • Salvage and wreck removal
  • Coast Guard assistance

As standard, boat insurance companies will only cover your vessel within the geographical limits of New Zealand waters (or between 50-80km off each coast, depending on the insurer). Should you require insurance for international boat travel, you will need to specific this with the insurer – as many insurance companies will not be able to accommodate this.

What Will Not Be Covered?

Because of the likelihood of damage to a boat or other marine vessel throughout its lifetime, there are many exclusions set out by insurance companies, and many aspects of boating incidents which will not be covered. These can include:

  • Stolen items from your boat, if the insurer believes you have not taken reasonable security precautions to secure them
  • Wear and tear, corrosion, osmosis, wood rot, gel coat fracturing, paint fading, insect or vermin damage
  • Damages because of fault in design or construction (a key exemption to note if you have built your own boat)
  • Loss or damage caused while your boat has been left unattended at anchor or mooring for a specified amount of time (often as little as 12 hours)
  • Damages caused in racing, ski trials, speed tests, time trials, or similar events, if you have not chosen racing risk extensions to your policy
  • Damages to your boat if it is overloaded
  • Damages to your boat if it is being driven by someone else, someone without a license, or someone under the influence of alcohol

More often than not, making a boat insurance claim will be a tasking, time-consuming experience, as insurers need to ensure the validity of each claim very carefully. Claiming will involve assessor call outs and is a much more hands-on process than making a car insurance claim.