Go for the cheapest and hope you don't need to claim, or go for the most expensive because that must be the best? Or take a more logical approach with our handy checklist.

Here are some issues to consider when comparing policies.

  • If an accident happens because a worn out part fails, is the part excluded or is the claim rejected?
  • If there is a No Claims Bonus, is it protected at its maximum? If you have a claim, what is the effect on NCB in the following year?
  • Do the insurers need a condition survey? If not, and your boat is more than say, 10 years old, why not?
  • Is the policy an Agreed Fixed Value policy?
  • If a ‘New for Old’ deduction can be applied, does it apply to parts and materials only, or to all costs including labour costs?
  • What parts and/or equipment can be subject to deductions due to their age or condition when replaced following a claim?
  • Can ‘average’ be applied to claims, and if so, to what items?
  • Can ‘betterment’ be applied, and if so, to what items?
  • Are any claims settled on the basis of ‘market value at time of loss’? If so, which?
  • Can the insurers elect to replace parts – or the boat itself – with those of a similar age and condition?
  • Do the insurers have the final say on where repairs are to be carried out?
  • Whose Personal Effects will be insured?
  • Is use of the vessel restricted in any way that may affect you – single handed sailing, night sailing, specified winter lay-up period, club racing etc?
  • Does the policy excess apply to all claims? If not, when does it apply?
  • Is liability covered under the same policy as damage to your own boat? Does the policy excess apply?
  • Will I be dealing with an insurance company directly or with an intermediary? How knowledgeable are the employees who will handle my policy?