to Insuring your RIB
If you require insurance for your RIB, but
have been presented with a number of alternative
policy wordings from a variety of companies,
this guide may help you decide the sort of
policy you require.
Both the cover provided by different RIB insurance
companies and the service they offer, can vary
greatly. Bear in mind that a cheaper policy
may end up costing you more, if you have to
make a claim and you should always check what
cover is being offered before signing up.
Q. What should I look out for?
A. Everyone's needs are different, and only
you can decide if wider cover is important
to you. It is essential though, to understand
what is being offered to you, before being
able to make an informed decision.
• 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 worse still cause
• Racing Risks - Most insurers will exclude
cover if you are racing your boat.
• New-For-Old cover - This will replace damaged
items with new, however age limits
Policy Excess - You will be required to pay
the first £x of any claim.
• Laid up Period - Do your insurers restrict
cover by insisting that your boat
is laid up ashore between certain dates?
• Waterskiing liability - do you require cover
for accidents caused to water-skiers
being towed by your boat, or cover for damage caused
by a person skiing behind your boat.
• Towing toys - Some insurers are unable to
provide cover for towing toys such
as doughnuts, banana, ringos etc.
• Damage to underwater machinery - Will provide
cover for propeller and engine damage
if you were to run aground or hit a submerged
object. Not all policies provide
this cover as standard.
Q. Do I need to use a specialist marine
or RIB insurance company?
A. No - but they may not have
the necessary expertise to advise
Q. How can I be sure the insurance
company I choose is reliable?
A. Your policy is only as good
as the service you receive if
you have to submit a claim.
Why not speak to your fellow
boat owners, for their comments
provide good (or bad) service
to their clients.
A small number of marine insurance
companies are based overseas
and it would be wise
to establish that the insurers
are based in
the UK where you will have access
to UK Law and compensation should
a serious problem
occur with your policy.
It is a legal requirement that
any UK company providing an insurance
policy, must be
authorised and regulated by the
Financial Services Authority
A firm should clearly display
their status on any documentation.
you are in any
doubt, have a look at the FSA's
Register of Firms.
Q. Why do I need third party cover?
A. £2,000,000 Third Party Liability
is usually compulsory if you are to launch
you boat in the UK and you should not consider
going afloat without this cover as a minimum.
A policy providing third party liability
should cover you if you were to cause damage
to property or injury to another person,
with your RIB.
The industry standard provides a limit of £2,000,000
and should be sufficient for use in the UK.
Marine Law limits the maximum payable on
Third party risks whilst in transit would
be EXCLUDED as this is normally covered by
your motor insurance policy.
Q. Should I expect a standard policy
to cover me while my RIB is not being
when my boat is ashore or while I'm travelling?)
A. 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.
There may be restrictions on where your RIB
should be moored, and when it should be taken
ashore. These details should be listed on
Transit cover will be provided for smaller
RIBs towed behind your car, however there
will be restrictions on larger boats (typically
those longer than 9m) and those boats being
transported by professional hauliers. Third
party liability whilst in transit will be
excluded, as this will be covered by the
Q. Am I covered to use my boat for 12 months
of the year?
A. Some policies will stipulate that your
RIB is laid-up ashore for certain times of
the year. Check your policy carefully and
find out what cover would be in place if
you were unable to lift the boat from the
water, due to bad weather, tides, or busy
boat-yards or if you wanted to launch the
boat prior to the end of the laid up period.
Q. To what extend would my equipment be covered
on a standard policy?
A. Some insurers will exclude
damage to underwater machinery if you were
to run aground or strike
a submerged object.
Other items, such as your outboard, trailer
and other personal effects or navigational
equipment should be listed separately on
the policy and all serial numbers advised
to your insurers.
Q. Does it matter who is in charge of my
A. The majority of RIB insurance policies
will allow anyone to sail your boat with
your permission, however it would be prudent
to check this first. If you receive money
in return, i.e. the boat is being chartered
or hired; this may invalidate your policy.
Q. Will I need to obtain a survey for my
A. It is unlikely, however some insurance
companies will require a survey for any boat
aged 20 years old or more, and then again,
every five years or so. Some RIBs may require
a survey if they have sustained serious damage.
Q. What is legal protection?
A. 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.
If you are injured, it is even more important
that you receive expert help so that any
claim for damages is pursued quickly and
Q. What about cover for foreign waters?
A. This will vary, depending on the policy
you have chosen and the cruising range will
be shown on your policy. You should carefully
check that the cruising range is adequate
for you as you will not be covered if a claim
were to occur outside this area shown.
Q. What should I do in the event of a claim?
A. You should always submit your claim as
soon as possible after an accident. After
all, the faster you make the claim, the faster
you can get back on the water.
Any incidences of theft or criminal damage
should be reported to the police - remember
that you'll need the Crime Reference Number
for the claim form.
You will be required to provide at least
one estimate for the repairs or a written
quote for the replacement items if a repair
is not possible. Your Insurer may ask to
inspect any equipment damaged, before authorising
its replacement or send a Loss Adjuster or
Surveyor to assess the damage.
Q. How quickly should I expect to have my
A. This will depend on which RIB insurance
company you use and their speed of response.
It can also depend how quickly your repairer
can provide a quotation and then carry out
the necessary repairs.
Comprehensive RIB Insurance should include
as a minimum:
£2,000,000 Third party liability for
anyone using your boat with your
• Your RIB (plus your outboard, trailer and
other personal effects if specified
on the policy) covered for accidental damage, theft,
fire and vandalism.
• Damage to the RIB whilst in transit, but
excluding third party liability
in transit, as this should be covered by your vehicle's
• Cover for damage to underwater machinery.
• New for old cover - on all vessels less than
three years old.
• No excess payable on third party claims.
• 12 months cover whilst afloat or laid-up
Article sponsored by iRIB
and Towergate Mardon who are specialists
in understanding the requirements for
rigid hull inflatable boat insurance for
both private and commercial use. Offices
are staffed by RYA qualified personnel
providing basic, comprehensive and bespoke
marine insurance cover.