Frequently Asked Questions

Insuring your boat

Introduction to insuring your boat

If you've recently bought a boat or are thinking about changing insurance companies, this guide may help you decide the sort of policy you need.

The level of cover and service provided by different insurance companies can vary greatly. Bear in mind that a cheaper policy may end up costing you more if you make a claim.

Everyone's needs are different, and only you can decide if wider cover is important to you. It is essential to understand what is being offered to you before making an informed decision. Some key aspects to consider are:

  • Comprehensive Cover  –  will provide cover for your boat against accidental damage, theft, fire and vandalism.
  • Third Party Liability  –  You should not consider going afloat without liability insurance, which will cover you if you cause damage to another boat or injury to someone.
  • Racing – Other insurers may charge you an additional premium for cover whilst racing. If you race without paying an additional premium you may not be covered.
  • New-For-Old cover  –  This will replace damaged items with new, but check whether there is an age limit on your equipment. For instance if you were to break a ten year old mast, some companies would replace this with a new mast of equivalent specification, others would only pay out what they considered to be the mast's value at the time of loss, leaving you to fund the difference.
  • Policy Excess  –  This is the first portion of any claim you will have to pay.

You should always check what cover is being offered before signing up.

What is boat insurance?

Most importantly, boat insurance will provide you with third party liability cover if you were to cause damage to other people’s property or injury to another person.

In addition Comprehensive boat insurance can provide you with financial protection if your boat is involved in an accident, stolen or damaged by fire or storm.

Do I need boat insurance?

Boat insurance is not actually a legal requirement in the UK however most marinas, harbours and in recognised mooring areas require evidence of third party boat insurance.
Most lakes and reservoirs require the same, and you will need to produce proof of third party boat insurance to obtain an inland waterways licence. Also most organised events such as racing will require evidence of liability cover.

In addition to third party liability cover most people will want to insure their boat for damage including from fire or theft to protect their investment and ensure that they are able to stay on the water as much as possible. Noble Marine Insurance can insure boats up to a value of £750,000.

Do I need to use a specialist marine insurance company?

No, but the specialist insurance providers, like Noble Marine, have years of experience which can assist you in the boat insurance buying process.

Noble Marine started as a dinghy insurance specialist in 1989 and since then we have grown to become a market leader. We have been enthusiastic supporters of social and competitive sailing and we are the preferred dinghy insurance provider and sponsor for more than 25 class associations. We also offer a 10% discount to our sponsored class associations.

How can I be sure the insurance company I choose is reliable?

Your policy is only as good as the service you receive if you have to submit a claim. Why not speak to your fellow sailors, for their comments regarding which insurers provide good (or bad) service to their clients.

Why do I need third party liability cover?

There is no statutory requirement in the UK to have third party liability insurance but cover is usually required by waterways, marinas and harbour authorities. Most of these will require £3m or £5m cover, Noble Marine provde £5m as standard.

If you are sailing in Europe or further a filed the rules vary and in some countries thrid party liability cover is mandatory. 

You should not consider going on the water without this cover as a minimum. A policy providing third party liability would cover you if you were to cause damage to property or injury to another person. 

Cover is normally provided for a named boat. Some policies cover another person using your boat with your permission, but some will only cover named individuals. Check your policy if you are unsure.

It is unlikely that you would be covered to use someone else's boat under your own policy so if you are borrowing another boat you should always check with the boat's owner that you are insured to use it.

What does your boat insurance cover?

It is important to make sure that your boat insurance is adequate for your needs, and not to forget additional equipment such as trailers, trolleys and safety equipment that can be easily overlooked and are often costly to replace. Most accessories and equipment that is specific to your boating activities can be covered by boat insurance if you opt to include them. Noble Marine’s boat insurance will usually cover:

  • Accidental Damage
  • Fire or Explosion
  • Theft or Attempted Theft
  • Malicious Damage / Vandalism
  • Storm Damage
  • Your liability for damage or injury to other parties

Boat insurance policies generally do not cover:

  • Wear, tear, depreciation, gradual deterioration e.g. corrosion or electrolysis
  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Damaged deliberately caused by you
  • Faulty workmanship

For full details of Noble Marine’s Boat Insurance cover and exclusions please click here for a copy of our policy wording and Insurance Product Information Documents.

Are there any conditions of my boat insurance?

It is also a condition of many boat insurance policies that your boat is maintained correctly and in a seaworthy condition. Whilst it is important to ensure your boat insurance policy will be valid in the event of a claim, this is also good practice to ensure that you and your passengers and/or crew are safe when on the water. It is important to ensure that all systems of a boat are checked and, as necessary, maintained in accordance with manufacturers guidelines or generally acknowledged best practice. If you are unsure it is worth getting professional advice from a yard or surveyor.

How much will my boat insurance cost?

This depends on the type of boat, who’s using it, where it is being used and what it's being used for. Prices start from around £40 per year.

What if I want to insure more than one boat?

Most boat insurance policies only allow one boat per policy, however Noble Marine’s policy allows you to insure all your boats from canoes and paddle boards to dinghies and yachts under the same policy, you will also benefit from a 12.5% Multi-boat discount (up to £150 per policy).

Should I expect a standard policy to cover my dinghy while I'm not sailing (ie, when my boat is sitting on the drive or while I'm travelling?)

Comprehensive policies should cover your boat against accidental damage, theft, fire and vandalism, whether in use or not. However there may be restrictions on your policy. Boats should be securely tied down, trailers locked and / or immobilised when not in use, and equipment stored beneath your cover or taken home after use, if possible. It is relatively common for mice, rats or other rodents to make nests in your sails if stored in your boat.

If they do, your sail will become eaten and stained. Not all insurance policies will cover this eventuality.

Would my trolley and trailer be covered?

Most boat insurance policies can be extended to include damage to or theft of trailers and trolleys, normally at an additional charge.

If a trailer is being towed by a vehicle then the thrid party liability cover (damage caused to other people or their property) must be covered by the towing vehicle's insurance - your marine insurance will not cover this.

However if you are manouvering a craft on a trolley or trailer by hand (other than attaching or detaching from a towing vehicle) you would normally be covered for third party liability.

To what extent would my equipment be covered on a standard policy (ie, sails, spars etc)?

Some insurers will only pay claims based on a percentage of the new replacement cost of your mast spars or sails, dependant on its age, leaving you to fund the difference. Typically, insurance companies will only pay two thirds of the replacement price on equipment over three years old.

The dinghy policy offered by Noble Marine will pay the full replacement cost of your mast, spars or sails, damaged beyond repair, irrespective of age up to the sum insured. All you need to pay is your policy excess.

For other craft types we will pay the full replacement cost of your mast, spars or sails, damaged beyond repair, up to 3 years old and up to three quarters over 3 years - up to the sum insured.

Does it matter who is in charge of my boat?

This will depend on the type of boat you are insuring. Usually for sailing dinghies and other small craft cover can be extended to allow anyone to sail your boat with your permission, however with larger craft, powerboats, RIBs and Jet Skis it may be restricted to named individuals or specify a minimum level of experience. If in doubt check with your insurers.

In all circumstances you should ensure that the person using the boat is competent to do so or appropriately supervised at all times. 

What is legal expenses insurance?

Upon payment of an additional premium, some insurance policies can be extended to include legal representation if your boat is involved in a collision or other accident and you suffer financial loss or injury that is not covered by your own insurance policy. It will usually cover other legal matters relating to your ownership of the insured craft such as contract disputes. 

Does your boat insurance cover me abroad?

If your boating adventures take you to more distant shores or you are involved in racing abroad, then Noble Marine Insurance can provide a solution to meet these needs in most circumstances. We can also extend the policy to include boats that are Skippered Charter.

Just call us to discuss your requirements and we will help you through the process or enter your details online by clicking 'Get A Quote' and we will get back to you.

Please note that policy cover is subject to the terms and conditions of our Marine Insurance Policy.

Is my boat covered when it's being towed?

Liability for damage caused to other people or their property whilst towing your boat should be covered by the motor insurance policy of the towing vehicle. Most motor insurers cover towing for personal use but you should check with them before doing so.

Most insurers cover your boat when it is being towed but check your policy carefully and contact your insurance company if you are not sure. Many insurers restrict road transit to boats under a certain length, 9 metres is quite a common limit.

Am I covered to allow my boat to be chartered or used for other commercial use?

Chartering your boat can be a good way to gain a useful contribution to your running costs but it does pose an increased risk to your boat in the same way that renting out a house or car would do. 

Insurance can be arranged but this is almost always at an additional charge and many insurers will not offer charter or commercial use at all.

If you receive money, other than friends or family contributing to running costs, you must tell your insurers before doing so.

Am I automatically covered to tow water skiers and water toys?

Most insurers do not including liability cover for towing skiers and toys as standard. This will usually be at an additional charge and may have special conditions or requirements around the safe operation of towing, it is very important that you understand these additional requirements and comply with them as it may invalidate your cover if you don't apply them when a claim occurs.

Do I need insurance when my boat is laid up ashore?

This is up to you although many yards and storage facilities will insist that you have a minimum of third party liability cover.

Although you expect your boat to stay safe when laid up we do see a number of claims every year so we would recommend you maintain comprehensive cover all year round. 

Do you offer boat insurance for racing?

Racing cover is included as standard on all of our dinghy, sports boat, rowing boat, canoe, kayak, surfboard, sailboard and paddleboard policies.

We also offer racing cover for sailing yachts, this may be at an additional charge depending on the type of racing you’re doing.

For full details of Noble Marine’s Boat Insurance cover and exclusions please check our policy wording and Insurance Product Information Documents.

Can I transfer my boat insurance to a different boat?

If you sell your boat and replace it with a new or different boat then you can keep the same policy and simply swap them over.

Is my outboard motor covered?

You will normally have to specify additional equipment such as outboard engines but these can be included in your policy. Most insurers will specify security conditions for storage such as being removed to a locked building when not in use or require them to be attached by security bolts.

Am I covered to sail for 12 months of the year?

In most cases the answer is 'yes' although some insurers charge extra for using your boat in winter months.

Some policies may stipulate that a boat is laid-up ashore for certain times of the year, restrict the cruising area or prohibit certain navigations.

This may be down to the mooring location or the type of boat.

Are all marine insurance policies the same?

The simple answer is 'no'.

Cover can vary considerably and you must check the policy carefully before buying to ensure you don't get any nasty surprises should you need to make a claim.

It is important to make sure that you have included everything you need when you obtain quotations to make sure you have a fair comparison.


When will I need to obtain a survey for my boat?

Most insurers will not require a survey for dinghies and other small craft but this can vary.

For other craft types insurers usually require a survey for any boat aged 20 years old or more, and then every five years or so. Some boats may require a survey earlier than this if they have sustained serious damage, if they are wooden or if they have been self-built.

A list of local Surveyors can be found by searching our Surveyors Database.

How do I make a complaint?

Noble Marine aims to provide you with a first class service. If the expected service has not been delivered or there are any concerns with the service provided, we would like to have the opportunity to put things right.

Should you wish to complain, you may do so by telephoning on 01636 707606, emailing [email protected] or by writing to: The Customer Services Manager, Noble Marine, Jubilee House, Long Bennington Business Park, Long Bennington, Newark, NG23 5JR.

We take all complaints seriously and will endeavour to respond immediately. Where this is not possible, we will acknowledge your complaint within 5 business days confirming the name of the member of staff dealing with your complaint.

We will provide you with a full written response within 20 business days or explain the current position and agree a time scale for a full response. If upon receipt of the full response from Noble Marine you remain dissatisfied you may be eligible to refer your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

The FOS is an independent body that arbitrates on complaints. They can be contacted at: Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London, E14 9SR Tel: 0800 0234567 (for landline users) 0300 1239123 (for mobile users). Email: [email protected] Website: You have six months from the date of our final response to refer your complaints to the FOS.

This does not affect your right to take legal action, however, the FOS will not adjudicate on any case where litigation has commenced.

Making a claim

Introduction to making a claim

How to Make a Claim

If you need to make a claim here’s what to do.

In the event of any incident which may give rise to a claim you need to inform us as soon as reasonably possible with details of what has happened.

You can report a claim to us by phone or online via your Noble Portal. The Noble Portal is available to all customers who have bought a new policy or renewed a policy direct with Noble Marine since 15th February 2023.

If you do  not have access to your portal please let us know and we can send you a unique link to submit your claim without logging into the portal.

Telephone:   01636 675888
Email:           [email protected]
Post:             Jubilee House, Long Bennington Business Park, Long Bennington,
                     Newark, NG23 5JR

Once we have your completed claim form our team will then be able to help you and explain the next steps.

Will Noble Marine pay the repairer direct?

Once the repairs have been completed the repairer may require the full amount to be paid before your boat is released to you. We are happy to arrange payment direct on receipt of an invoice or we can reimburse you should you pay the repairer. In all cases invoices should be forwarded to Noble Marine.

Who do I pay the policy excess to?

If you have had repairs carried out and we have agreed to pay the repairer direct then we will pay them the amount after deduction of your excess. You should then pay the excess to the repairer when he hands over the boat.

If you are seeking reimbursement from us having paid an invoice in full or we are making settlement following the total loss of your boat then we will make the payment to you for the agreed amount after deduction of your excess.

What happens after I submit my claim?

Once we have received your claim form we will confirm the claim is covered and how to proceed.

Sometimes more information may be required, or it may be necessary to communicate with the repairer or surveyor before authority can be given to proceed with the repairs. 

Whatever the circumstances we will keep you informed and do everything possible to get the claim dealt with in the shortest possible time.

If there is another party involved what details do I need to get?

Whenever an incident occurs and another boat is involved, take a note of the details of the other persons or boats involved. Also don't forget to obtain the details of any potential witnesses. This is not always easy whilst afloat, but note the name of the boat or the sail number and make contact once you are ashore. The information you might require would be:

  • The name and address of the person who was in charge of the other vessel.
  • Are they the owner of the boat? If not, the name and address of the boat's owners will be required.
  • Their insurance company and policy number if known.
  • Their boat name and / or sail number.

It is always useful to get photos of the damage to both boats where it's possible to do so as this helps us to establish who was responsible and also ensures that we only pay for damage caused by the incident.

How do I get my boat repaired?

You will also be required to arrange estimates for the repair or replacement items.

Usually only one estimate will be required. However if the costs involved are large, further estimates may be required or a Surveyor may be appointed to inspect the boat or oversee the repairs.

To assist you in finding a local repairer, our web site also has a directory of suppliers and repairers which is fully searchable by postcode or region.

Do I need to complete a claim form?

You can report a claim to us by phone or online via your Noble Portal. The Noble Portal is available to all customers who have bought a new policy or renewed a policy direct with Noble Marine since 15th February 2023.

If you do  not have access to your portal please let us know and we can send you a unique link to submit your claim without logging into the portal.

Telephone:    01636 675888
Email:            [email protected]
Post:              Jubilee House, Long Bennington Business Park, Long Bennington,
                      Newark, NG23 5JR

Once we have your completed claim form our team will then be able to help you and explain the next steps.

Still can’t find the answer? Contact us